Sat at 2,500 metres above sea level, the Intercontinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort's trump card must surely be its stunning views. Once you've cleared the lobby and head out to the balcony its impossible not to be impressed by the commanding skies which sweep over the peaking tiled villa roofs out towards the caps of Jade Dragon Mountain (Yulong Shan).
Only a five minute walk from Lijiang's Ancient Town, the freshly rebranded Intercontinental Resort is a charming and peaceful stop to check out Yunnan's surrounding attractions, such as Yulong Shan, neighbouring villages and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Built in the style of traditional wooden homes of the Naxi people, native to this area of Yunnan, the resort is made up of 270 rooms inside a series of two storey villas (including 10 individual suite villas) surrounding the large main house, which is home to the lobby, fitness centre and 25m swimming pool, event facilities and a host of dining options.
Inside that main building. on either side of open air courtyard with a bonfire pit as a centrepiece, is the 7 Colours Chinese restaurant with a mix of local dishes and Cantonese fair as well as Basil Leaf South East Asian Restaurant, which serves up Thai, Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine. Our favourite space though is the small apothecary-esque Green Tea lounge with dark wood drawers and metal teapots climbing the walls. With a corner of loungey couches its a great place to relax with some of Yunnan's famed Pu'er tea.
Rooms are sizeable and the wooden lodge-style structure lends a cosy, home-style feel. Elsewhere all facilities are modern with rainforest showers and Nespresso machines in all rooms.
The spa is possibly one of the best hotel spas we have experienced in China, with a stunning Naxi home-style location nestled in the trees of the resort, with treatment rooms leading on to a private stone courtyards where you can shower under the open sky. Treatments incorporate traditional Pu'er tea and ancient Yunnan herbs in scrubs, oils and aromatherapy steams. Our yin aromatherapy massage treatment starts with a rose and herb foot bath, before we hop on the table and are lulled into relaxation by the chimes of a set of Tibetan cymbals while our softly spoken masseuse provides the ideal blend of soft strokes and tough pressure on knots and sore muscles.
Intercontinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort is at 276 Xianghe Lu, Old Town Area, Lijiang, Yunnan (
Find out more at the Intercontinental Hotel homepage