I felt I must respond to the review of the Linden Centre I read today. Having just returned from a vacation there recently, I couldn't believe that the reviewer and I visited the same place.
1. The location of the Centre IS remote. But, it is an interesting drive from Dali, and the further one gets from the city, the more beautiful and rural it becomes. I chose to visit this area precisely because it is in one of the most natural, stunning places in China.
2. When we arrived at the Centre, we were charmed by the narrow streets, the people on bicycles, and the horse-drawn carts. We had left taxis far behind in the cities. Xizhou, or "Happy Town", is an authentic village of working people. This is the China we came to see.
3. We were welcomed by a smiling staff who greeted us warmly, as did others in the village. The Centre IS old. Xizhou itself, and the Centre in particular, are protected as historic national treasures. To stay in a very elegant four-courtyard mansion that was restored with respect and grace, felt like an honor.
4. When we first entered our room, I was so impressed with the decor and its cleanliness. It was completely unique in design, and I loved being able to look outside the ornate windows to the simplicity of the agricultural fields and mountains beyond.
Since the reviewer didn't stay longer than five minutes, he missed the wonderful food served in the dining room with the glass ceiling. It was always a treat to find familiar foods, as well as Chinese dishes that were new to us. He missed the experience of wandering comfortably through the streets and markets of Xizhou. He missed the opportunity of meeting some of the friendliest people in China, from the village elder to the one of the workers at the Centre who invited us for a 12 course lunch in her garden. He missed sunrise over the mountains, the early-morning stroll through the streets of Xizhou, the noodle factory where fresh noodles hung on lines in the sunshine. After a day on clear, beautiful Lake Erhai, he missed an evening on the deck, where we all toasted the setting sun with wine and looked forward to a second day at the Linden Centre. I hope that other travelers will also experience this unique and very special place. It is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience in a fast changing part of the globe. Don't miss it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Linden Centre is a meticulously restored courtyard mansion in the pristine Yunnan village of Xizhou. Great care was taken to preserve the beautiful indigenous architecture of this nationally protected cultural relic, while up-scale modern conveniences including heating and air conditioning were added to ensure guests a comfortable and absolutely unique stay. In this elegant setting, connect with the local ethnic cultures that make this part of China so special. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Linden Centre Hotel Dali