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“Friendly rustic charm”
Review of The Bruce Chalet

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The Bruce Chalet
Ranked #12 of 962 Hotels in Lijiang
Reviewed 9 December 2011

My partner and I stayed for 3 nights in mid November, during Lijiang and Shuhe's quieter season. The courtyard is beautifully maintained and as it's a ten minute walk from Shuhe, it offers a nice haven from the town's somewhat overly touristy bustle. The staff are extremely friendly and never failed to offer free home grown fruit, tea, and coffee. They are happy to help with travel bookings, and very generous with advice--be warned, some of the staff can be extremely talkative and you may find it hard to get away.

Our room was clean but extremely cold, with only an electric blanket to keep you warm while in bed. Showers are hot but the bathroom itself is like an ice box, with only an overhead heater for warmth. Breakfasts, though very affordable, are basic, and if you're a coffee fanatic you are best getting your coffee elsewhere as Bruce's only serves instant.

As the Chalet is a ten minute walk from restaurants and shops, be prepared for dark walks back at night, since the Chalet has a kitchen but does not serve lunch or dinner. Make sure to borrow a flashlight from staff--we made the mistake of returning in pitch black and fell into a pothole in the road. That said, after checking out several hostels in the center of Shuhe we decided that the Chalet was preferable. Especially as it has a lovely rooftop with a view of the neighboring Snow Mountain and surrounding rice paddies, which makes for a nice spot to have a drink or two at sunset.

The Chalet also generously offered us bikes for free, as there weren't many guests, and advised us to explore the surrounding areas of Baisha and Naxi villages--which were much more laid back and less touristy than Shuhe. They offer a van and driver that can take you to Lijiang for 20RMB, or to the airport for 100RMB, so everything is quite accessible. They also allowed us to keep our room 6 hours after checkout as we had a night train to Kunming.

Overall a very charming place with enthusiastic and accommodating staff, but don't expect to be warm.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank chinacanuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 December 2011

This is a great place to stay for travellers, maybe not regular holidaymakers. Bruce is a fantastic host and bends over backwards to offer help and advice to his guests. While I was there he bought 2 train tickets for me saving me a lot of time and effort. To be honest the place is pretty basic, but it is very good value so no real surprises there. The compound has a small garden and pond which gives a nice natural feel. The dining and lounge areas are not spotless or even that tidy but have a nice, casual 'lived in' feel. My room was fine, although the bathroom was a bit grubby in places. Breakfast is very basic with Bruce being the only staff member it is pretty much do-it-yourself but I was happy with that. And the people who stay there make a great travelling atmosphere, with plenty of stories around the table. The Chalet is well off the beaten track but within easy walking distance of Shuhe (about 15 mins) down an unlit track with no signs so you are reliant on a pickup to get there. Bruce has bikes to get around locally but I never used them. In a nutshell it comes down to this - if you took away Bruce then this place would get one or two stars tops. He is the draw here, but that puts a lot of pressure on his time. You find him being drawn away by other guests as you are talking to him. I wonder how he keeps it up! Bottom line is I recommend Bruce, and the Chalet just comes with him!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank trailfinder58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

We had a fabulous stay at the Bruce Chalet! We stayed for three nights, then left our bags there while we did an overnight trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge, then returned for a final night at the Bruce Chalet.

We arrived late in Lijiang and just before our taxi driver got to Shuhe, his van got a flat tire. We called Bruce and he came out right away with his partner Bella to pick us up. When we first got to the room, we were a little worried that we didn't see a switch to turn on the heat, as it was pretty chilly. However, the heat lamp in the shower and the heating pads for the king size bed kept us nice and toasty. I also have to say that we travelled for three months and the bed at the Bruce Chalet was one of the most comfortable of our entire trip!

Bruce was extremely helpful with orienting us to the region, helping us plan our trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge, arranging cars, offering the use of bikes (although these are not in the best condition...). We really liked the communal nature of breakfast, which is where we were able to talk most with Bruce and other travelers. The garden in the middle of the Chalet is beautiful!

Bruce really did go above and beyond for us, though, after I was stung by a wasp during our trek through TLG and my foot had swollen up to twice its size. We went first to a pharmacy to dry to get some antihistamines and we encountered a translation obstacle as the kind women who worked there didn't speak any English. We called Bruce and he helped us translate, but we still couldn't find anything that seemed right. The women thought I needed to go to a hospital but were worried that the doctor would only speak Chinese. Bruce offered to drive into town (his chalet is about 15 mins outside of Lijiang) and accompany us to the hospital! He was a real star, waiting with us to see the doctor, trying to convince the doctor that an IV wouldn't be the most helpful (to no avail, I still ended up having an IV). We were SO grateful for him being there and going far beyond our expectations. We HIGHLY recommend this hotel, you will love it!

*FYI: it is a little outside Shuhe (5-10 min walk), which we didn't mind, but we had a few disgruntled taxi drivers (coming from Lijiang) who couldn't find it and wanted more money.

Room Tip: Request a room on the 2nd floor.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Cecilia70808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

Wonderful hosts (Bruce and Bella), excellent location, and superb place. Bruce is fluent in English: he spent 8 years in Canada, in high school and university. He is also an excellent source of information on local and China-wide stories. We found him most helpful.

The location: just outside Shuhe, which is just outside Lijiang. We very much appreciated waking up with a view of Snow Mountain, and our daily walk into Shuhe, alongside farm fields. We can't imagine why anyone would want to stay in the tourist madness of Lijang! Bruce's Guesthouse is walking distance to Naxi villages, 10 minutes from excellent eating places in Shuhe, and 30 minutes from the old town of Lijiang by mini-bus (2 Yuan).

Room Tip: Ask for the room with the balcony that overlooks the mountains.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Michel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2011

We spent two nights at the Bruce Chalet and the room we had was ok. It was a little small for two people and our luggage but we didn't spend much time at the hotel. There are electric blankets to keep the bed warm in cold winter nights. The bathroom was just fine with hot shower. The host, Bruce was very helpful. We had arranged taxi from pick up from airport and the guy was there with our name right on time and it wasn't expensive.

Couple of points about location: The Bruce Chalet is in Shuhe town and NOT in Lijiang. Lijiang ancient town is about 6Km away from Shuhe. So if you are looking to stay near Lijiang this would be far. We purposely stayed in Shuhe and after visiting Lijiang I think it was the right choice. The hotel is about 5-10 minute walk from Shuhe town and it gets pretty dark at night so walking from late night back to hotel might be a challenge. We arrived about 8pm at night and although Bruce was nice enough to drive us to Shuhe to look for food, we found it to be inconvenient since there was no way for us to get to Shuhe town on our own to look for food. Last point about location, since it is out of town, the place is very quite!

Bruce was also nice enough to arrange a trip for us to Tiger Leaping Gorge and he wasn't going to be there in the morning but left us all the details and also called the bus driver in the morning to check to make sure we got to the bus ok.

We didn't really have breakfast at the place so can't comment on the food. My suggestion would be to get breakfast in Shuhe town instead. Most selection and great variety. It is a nice walk through small farms to Shuhe town. Overall we were pleased with our stay but if we had to pick again we would stay closer to Shuhe town though.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Weimarner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Bruce Chalet

Address: Ronghua Village, Shuhe Town, Lijiang 674100, China
Region: China > Yunnan > Lijiang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 962 Hotels in Lijiang
Price Range: $24 - $59 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bruce Chalet would be a great place for you who are already exhausted in trying to survive the throat cutting metropolitan life and looking for ways to recharge your batteries. The Chalet located in the Shuhe village underneath the Jade Dragon Mountain in Lijiang, Yunnan, China, the Chalet features picturesque scenery, genial sunlight, a large garden and great hospitality. The Bruce Chalet is built based on Naxi style structure combining with modern facilities. In total of 13 comfort rooms, including luxurious suites and Snow Mountain View rooms, all rooms with private bathroom, hairdryer, WIFI… ... more   less 
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