Where to stay in China - Banyan Tree Lijiang
There are some resorts that are so beautiful you wish you don't have to leave, ever! Banyan Tree Lijiang is just one of them! I am confident to say that this resort offers one of the best luxury hotel experiences in China.
As soon as walked out of the Guilin airport, we were picked up by Tony, a very nice and friendly chauffeur from Banyan Tree Lijiang, and the kids were offered delicious house-made cookies. During our comfortable ride to the hotel, Tony explained me the history of the hotel (where he has been working since it was opened in 2006) and the town of Lijiang. I have always enjoyed talking to the locals as it is a great way to learn the local customs, cultures, and insider tips on where to go and what to see.
Once we arrived at the Banyan Tree Lijiang, we were instantly drawn to the beauty of the resort. Situated at the foot of the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the resort has complete privacy from the outside world. Each and every single villa has a unique dwelling that reflects the Naxi culture. The stunning oriental architecture and carefully tended gardens give these properties a feeling of being exotic, peaceful, yet modern at the same time. We had a great pleasure of staying at a two-bedroom villa in Banyan Tree Lijiang. On the East Wing of the villa are the master living room, bedroom, and a giant bathroom. On the West Wing, there is a dining room with a kitchen, a guest bedroom with two double beds, and a guest bathroom. In the middle of the villa is a beautifully maintained courtyard garden with a jacuzzi and a Chinese pavilion, and of course, an amazing view of the Snow Mountain. Every day, our suite was stocked with fresh local fruits, homemade cookies and even small souvenir presents. The villas are designed in such a way that the guests do not have to leave if they do not wish to. They will be given maximum of comfort and privacy.
Food is probably one of the main reasons why we love Banyan Tree Lijiang so much. There are two gourmet restaurants there, Bai Yun and Ming Yue and both are equally fantastic. Bai Yun offers a traditional Cantonese and local Yunnan cuisine, whereas Ming Yue gives the guests the choices of international and local dishes. At Bai Yun, we tried a variety of dishes such as traditional Yunnan Hot Pot, rice cooked in a bamboo tube, etc. At Ming Yue, a more traditional Chinese-looking restaurant with a beautiful view of the mountain, lake and Chinese pavilion, we tasted some unique and delicious Yunnan cuisines. And also there is the afternoon tea in the garden. Sitting in the Chinese Garden with the view to the mountain, sipping a cup of jasmin tea and munching on some tasty pastries is a pure bliss that you really need to enjoy.
It can be difficult to tear yourself away from the good food and beautiful villa and garden, but you definitely shouldn't miss while visiting Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanks to the experienced travel guide based in the resort, we arranged some exclusive excursions to explore the local culture, including visiting the quaint Old Towns to explore the markets and a scenic tour of the famous Blue Moon Lake at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
And your Banyan Tree experience could not be completed if you haven't tried a treatment in their fantastic spa. From the nice and professional staff to the clean and beautiful settings, from the relaxing music to the technique of the masseuse, everything was just in perfection and attention to details was just flawless.
In addition to the great services you can find at the resort, what also impressed us with Banyan Tree Lijiang resort is their ethnics and their way of running the business and giving back support to the local community, such as schools and traditional artists (Copper Smith, Silk Sewing, etc). With each resort, they always try to source their soft furnishings, or homeware from the local artists and craftsmen, such as cushions, ceramic plates or copper hot pots. They want to show their guests what local cultures can offer. Furthermore, they sponsor some of the local schools by donating money to support their school supplies and provide a BBQ to the kids with the help of their restaurant chefs.
All in all, we could not wish a better choice to stay in this Old Town than Banyan Tree Lijiang. Trust me, you’ll be pampered during the entire stay and feel so relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards. I would not hesitate for a second to recommend you to stay here.