The Zen Garden is a pretty place with a wet courtyard, fish ponds and a number of open salas for quiet contemplation, calligraphy, tea drinking etc. The rooms are prettily furnished and well equipped with a greater range of amenities (toiletries, hairdryer, fruit baskets, wifi) than I might have expected in such an out of the way town.
The location is a five minute walk uphill from the old town, which means there are lovely views from the courtyard and terraces, though not from the rooms, which are quite closed in and cosy. They are a little removed from the noisy bars downtown, which theoretically is an advantage since noise pollution in Lijiang after dark is quite extreme - but since noise travels up, if you want to sleep before 11:30pm, when the bars are compulsorily gagged by local ordinance, you will need earplugs.
Breakfast was limited but the eggs were good.
Though most of the staff had limited English they were all very helpful and quick to bring in linguistic reinforcement if we were unable to guess what was happening through mime and context.
Since the place can be difficult to find (most shop assistants and bar staff are not local so couldn't help direct us even in Mandarin, either get written directions in Chinese and english or ask the hotel to arrange a car for you. The price was little different from the cost of hailing a cab at the airport.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Zengardenhotel Lion Hill Yard is very well situated in the center of the Old Town of Lijiang, next to the main entrance of the Weng Chan temple, with an unrivaled, riveting panoramic view over the roofs of the Old Town Dayan. The Zengardenhotel Lion Hill Yard is a private owned Boutique Hotel with in total 16 rooms on two levels. We provide 12 x Deluxe Standard Rooms, 2 x Chinese Antique Suites on the top with excellent views and 2 x Special Rooms. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Zen Garden Lijiang