Top Ten Luxury
Banyan Tree Lijiang, Yunnan
It's quite a challenge to blend the new into the very old, but this is what Banyan Tree has skilfully achieved just outside the cobbled street charm of the world heritage-listed town of Lijiang. Set in view of the soaring Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the sunken-shaped old-style roofs of the resort reflect traditional calm in a still lake. Anything fronted by Banyan is going to have a brilliantly relaxing spa attached to it, but we more than credit the villas and suites - many with pools or jet pools - to provide you with more than ample unwind material. On a recent visit The Luxury Travel Bible was rather partial to the Deluxe Garden Villa, but if you're after royal style grandeur with features like an expansive outdoor pavilion and built-in bath made of local stone, book the Presidential Villa. In-villa dining is also offered, and four individually-styled restaurants ensure you'll never get bored with the food. The Luxury Travel Bible also likes to stay at Banyan Tree Ringha with its 32 resort lodges and suites that are rebuilt old Tibetan farmhouses, the genuine article right down to the intricate woodcarvings but without the smoky fireplaces.

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The Lijang resort's walled privacy.
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Banyan Tree Lijiang, Yunnan
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