LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan

Benzilan, China

At a Glance

  • Located along the romanticised ancient trading route, the Tea Horse Road
  • Spectacular views of the Baima Snow Mountains from the rooms and suites
  • The hotel’s restaurant features a constantly evolving menu, using the best local and seasonal produce
  • Focus on immersive travel, with excursions to local Tibetan homes and to nearby monasteries to join in with morning prayers

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Best time to Visit

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From the subtropical lowlands in the south up to glacier-capped mountains in the north, Yunnan is a province of extremes. The climate varies so much across this vast and diverse area, that it has given rise to an ancient Chinese saying: “You can enjoy all four seasons on the same mountain, with each just a few miles from the next”. Generally speaking, most of Yunnan province is mild in winter and cool in summer, with large variances in temperature occurring across the day. Mornings can start with a wintery chill, and warm up to 25°C by lunchtime. Spring and Autumn are mild and pleasant and the best times to visit Yunnan, despite May being the rainiest month of the year. For snow-capped mountains and dramatic alpine scenes, the winter months of November to January can be spectacular.

 

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Description

LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan is a boutique mountain retreat near Meili Snow Mountain National Park. Located on the ancient Tea Horse Road, this unique outpost is a rich mix of local architecture and hospitality with the signature LUX* style.

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.
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Accommodation

The 30 rooms and suites at LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan are pared back and elegant, crafted from local timber, clay and traditional Tibetan fabrics. Muted, earthy tones and subtle décor allow the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains to shine. Luxurious bathrooms and private balconies make the most of the views. Interconnecting rooms are available upon request, allowing families to explore this spectacular corner of the Tibetna Plateau in comfort.

Childcare

Whilst there are no specific childcare facilities at LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan, interconnecting rooms are available upon request.

Facilities

LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan houses an all-day dining restaurant, serving a mix of local delicacies and western favourites, with stunning views of the thundering Yangztse River. For a relaxed beverage, head to Café LUX for expertly ground and brewed coffee or to the traditional Teahouse to sample the prized Pu’er Tea. The outdoor swimming pool offers spectacular views, whilst the Chamadao Library is the perfect place to relax and plan your adventures.

Activities

The specialist guides at LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan can arrange to take you walking in the foothills of the mountains, for a meal in a local Tibetan home or to join in with the awe-inspiring chants and prayers with monks at a nearby monastery. Try your hand at crafting the local Naxi black pottery, or during the season, allow your guide to teach you the best local mushrooms to pick and sample them as they are cooked in the traditional Tibetan cuisine.

Experiences

  • Balagezong Canyon

    Today, we make a half day trip to Balagezong Grand Canyon. Enjoy a dramatic ascent to view the panoramic valley, followed by a guided nature walk through a suspended walkway above the river and a short boat trip.

  • Dongzhulin Monastery

    Hosting many cultural relics such as the gilded Maitreya Buddha, statue of White Drolma, Buddhas of Three Worlds and more, a visit to Dongzhulin Monastery is essential during your time at Benzilan.

  • Nixi Tangdui Black Pottery Village

    Get your hands on as you watch local pottery makers knead and fire their famous black clay products. Have a chance to make your own pottery too!

  • Shuibianhe Valley with Picnic Lunch

    We will start by visiting the small Tibetan hamlet known as Shiyi village the watch the making of traditional Tibetan incense stick before continuing for a Tibetan-styled picnic lunch in the Shuibianhe Valley.

  • Tibetan Bowl Painting Workshop

    Visit Gonjo village and learn about the arts behind the Tibetan wooden bowl painting.

Holiday Ideas

  • Authentic Northern Yunnan

    Lijiang, Tacheng, Benzilan, Meili & Shangri-La

    from £2500 pp inc flights & transfers for 8 nights

    • Dig beneath the surface into the outskirts of Lijiang as you learn about minority culture in Longquan, Baisha and Yuhu
    • Hike on the backdrop of majestic Meili mountains, Kawagebo peak and Mingyong glacier
    • Learn about the arts behind Tibetan wooden bowl painting or how traditional Tibetan incense sticks are made

Location & directions

Benzilan, China

LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan is located approximately 90 minutes by road from Diqing Shangri-La Airport.  Dongzhulin Temple is within a 40-minute drive, and Baima Snow Mountains are 90 minutes from the hotel.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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