Privacy can be a problem as some of the balconies overlook the main yard, the small road, which unbelievably can be quite busy with coaches and scooters as early as 6-7 o'clock in the morning, as well as a small restaurant where Chinese people in cars, vans or coaches stop on their way. The hotel is a fair distance from Yangshuo and the like because of the traffic on the main road , so taxis can be quite pricey (RMB 40 to 50 to go to Yangshuo one way as the drivers have to drive from Yangshuo to pick you up). Metered taxis cannot be found anywhere near the hotel including on the main road. The main road is too dangerous to ride a bike back at night. The same can be said about arranging taxis for excursions near Yangshuo, so again if you are a solo traveller or a couple it can be quite pricey in the end unless you find fellow travellers and share the cost. The hotel uses China International Travel Service for the drivers they book. Not sure how much commision they get if any.
Excellent caring staff offering real personal service. I cannot thank Lily, the hotel manager and Vicky, the hotel owner's daughter, enough for spending over 6 hours with me at Yangshuo and Guilin hospitals until 2am after I had a bad bike accident with head and elbow injuries following a failed attempt bag robbery as I was heading back to the hotel just after the aftermath of the typhoon which we felt in Yangshuo. The failed robbery happened miles away from the hotel near the bridge back to Yangshuo. Everywhere else I rode by bike was very very safe. Just avoid being on your own on the East bank of the river where they are building the new road next to the bridge back to Yangshuo.The hotel is in a peaceful, rural and beautiful location right next to a branch of the river where one can swim, and very close to the caves. The room was simple but very clean and well appointed with a bath tub and a balcony overlooking the mountains. Water was provided free of charge daily and the internet connection was excellent. The hotel offers various excursions, I would recommend bamboo rafting and the cormorant night show. Other guests have also enjoyed hiking the moon mountain nearby as well as rock climbing. There is an array of other activities closeby which can easily be reached on foot or by bike. The hotel staff doesn't like noise nor do the guests, the vast majority of the guests are westerners, mostly couples or families with well-behaved children. Staff tries very hard at communicating in English and at developing excellent relationships with guests. The area has a very good small community feeling, there is another hotel nearby where one can use the swimming pool or book excursions which Pagoda Phoenix doesn't offer. Breakfast is very good. Fruit and vegetables are fresh from the nearby fields/gardens. The hotel tends to cater for friendly western guests and one can easily arrange sharing costs for excursions.