What it is
A 35-suite retreat inspired by historic local dwellings flanking a mirror-like swimming pool.
What it isn't
All for show. The hotel’s spa sits in the shadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and takes its wellness cues from ancient Taoist philosophies (expect bamboo and prai root, ginger, turmeric and lemongrass compress massages).
What we think
We find it sort of sad when travelers journey all the way to China and stay in what amounts to an Omaha roadside hotel. Part of what makes Amandayan so alluring is that it is extremely of its place, and handily blends in with the UNESCO-protected Old Town village that surrounds it. The large (775-square-feet and up) rooms are outfitted in streamlined-meets-traditional style, with plenty of carved wood touches, soaking tubs and ornate wooden screens that overlook contemplative courtyards. But if you think westerners won’t feel at home here, think again; there’s WiFi, a sound system, flatscreen TV, well-stocked mini bar and under-floor heating (plus—phew!—air conditioning).
You're here because
The resort’s fierce devotion to authenticity extends to its restaurants, where seasonal Cantonese and Yunnan foodstuffs are the order of the day. Head to Man Yi Xuan for a black clay hot pot brimming with organic chicken broth, Yunnan mushrooms and yak beef.
The hotel is (blessedly) home to a full Western gym and pilates studio, but after one morning of guided Tai Chi, that’s all you care to do as long as you’re under this pagoda’d roof. The moves: Fly like a wild geese! Push the waves! It’s poetry in motion.
Restaurants & Bars
Amandayan restaurant - Chinese restaurant serving Nakhi fare with a modern touch
Lounge - Asian and Western dishes
The Tea House - Traditional Chinese and Western tea services
Smack dab in the center of the ancient village of Lijiang, a breezy walk from circa 1825 Wenchang Palace—and a 40 minute car ride from Lijiang Sanyi International Airport. Don’t miss taking the cable car to nearly 15,000 feet above sea level on craggy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a postcard sprung to life.