Perched on the banks of the Jinsha River on the doorstep of the glaciers of the Meili Snow Mountain National Park, you’ll find the LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan. This luxury boutique hotel is located on an ancient trail once used by horse caravans carrying tea from Yunnan to Lhasa, with ancient engravings and imprints from the packhorses’ hooves still visible to this day. This unique sanctuary high on the Tibetan Plateau has only 30 rooms and suites. In classic Tibetan style, they feature local woven fabrics and native timber, giving a distinctly earthy and tranquil atmosphere without compromising on style. Unparalleled views of the surrounding Baima Snow Mountains take centre stage, with the elegant white washed walls simply adorned with local art and historical artefacts.
The hotel’s main restaurant changes its menu on a daily basis, incorporating a selection of local specialities and western favourites and utilising the very best local and seasonal produce. Café LUX serves up freshly ground coffee (another prized treasure traded along the Tea Horse Road) whilst the Teahouse is the place to experience a traditional tea ceremony and sample the legendary Pu’er tea. The sun-soaked valley location makes the outdoor swimming pool a particular highlight, offering sweeping views of the mountains beyond and the rushing Yangtze River. Meditation is encouraged here at the LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan, with daily masterclasses allowing you to embrace this ancient Buddhist practice. In keeping with their unique location and with emphasis on truly immersive travel, excursions from the hotel include visits to local Tibetan homes and joining in with the monks daily chanting rituals at a nearby monastery. During the season, join an expert guide on a foraging walk through the stunning countryside to collect native mushrooms.