Amandayan, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Tile-roofed pagodas surmounted by golden spires. Decorative trees. Ancient stone bridges arching across meandering streams. In Lijiang it’s easy to see where China’s willow pattern found its inspiration.

Yunnan Province is generally reckoned to be one of the most traditionally picturesque in China. And within Yunnan Province it’s easy to imagine that the fabled city of Lijiang – tucked quietly away in the region’s northwest corner – is its most beautiful place. The city’s Old Town, for example, has been designated a World Heritage Site.

So Lijiang is a worthy destination on your luxury, tailor-made vacation to China, and there are few better places to stay than the Amandayan. Standing just a few steps above the quaint, winding lanes of the Old Town, this traditionally-styled hotel reflects the ancient architecture of the Nahki people. Individual dwellings are gathered around tranquil courtyards – promoting a feeling of peace that is echoed in the quiet décor and traditional furnishings of the interiors.

Amandayan, at a glance

  • Traditionally styled resort set in the wonderful city of Lijiang
  • Choice of 35 spacious, airy suites giving views of the courtyards or the rooftops of Lijiang’s Old Town
  • Simple elegance combine with modern en suite bathrooms
  • Stone or natural wooden floors, decorative screens, intricately carved Donga wooden birds, flowers and natural motifs
  • Many suites offer large private terraces with wide panoramic views
  • Raftered wooden roofs
  • Chinese and international restaurants plus the Tea House arranged over two levels

For leisure and pleasure

  • Large 20 meter heated swimming pool
  • Aman Spa with six double treatment rooms, plus four wet rooms for scrubs and wraps
  • Rituals based on ancient Chinese medicinal practises
  • Gym and pilates studio
  • Private 30-seater movie theater with leather seats
  • Library with reference and regional history books
  • Boutique selling local handicrafts, jewellery, artwork and silks
  • Excursions to the Old Town, local villages and nature tours of the surrounding countryside
  • It was a complicated and very individual trip, and several changes were made by me during the planning. None of this seemed to worry Ayesha and everything went according to plan.

    AM, India, 2014