Where to Stay in Dali — 7 Best Boutique Hotels
dali

Where to Stay in Dali — 7 Best Boutique Hotels

By Chris QuanUpdated Mar. 18, 2021

Dali, the old town of the Bai Kingdom in Yunnan, is surrounded by charming Erhai Lake and spectacular Cangshan Mountain. This romantic city could be a dream destination for couples or anyone looking for a peaceful place to stay that's full of character.

Stroll in the historic streets, enjoy mountain breezes and subtropical sunshine, listen to the old stories told by in ancient towns. Escaping the hustle and bustle of the city by staying in a traditional Bai-style boutique hotel for a few days is a good way to quiet your mind.

The sightseeing in Dali is mainly in four areas: around Xizhou (Bai minority town), around Erhai Lake, around Dali Old Town, and in Shaxi Ancient Town. With our seven selected boutique hotels in these areas, you can enjoy a relaxing stay while experiencing the best of authentic Dali.

Around Xizhou Town — Countryside Scenery

The little town of Xizhou (the name means ‘happy town') is a quiet town, about 30 minutes by car from Dali Ancient Town. It is surrounded by rice paddies and is mainly known for the well-preserved traditional Bai-ethnicity houses.

1. The Linden Centre

The Linden Centre, a Dali hotel in Xizhou TownTHE LINDEN CENTRE

Highlights: ancient manor architecture, countryside views

Location: 5 Chengbei Village, Xizhou Township, Dali

Price: from 87 USD per night

With many courtyards and architectural flourishes, the Linden Centre is located in Xizhou, a Bai minority village in Dali with thousands of years of history. Its location cannot be beaten: quiet, amid rice fields, and yet close to town — a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The hotel was founded in 2008 by an American couple, the Lindens, whose love for Chinese cultural tradition led them to give up their jobs, sell their home in America, and search throughout China for two years with two young sons to find a heritage site that could be restored and serve as a foundation for community development and cultural pride.

The Linden Centre has 16 rooms, 3 courtyards, and a lush private garden and terrace overlooking rice paddies beyond The Centre's walls. You will experience more than just a hotel room: the warm and varied common spaces will make you feel at home.

Interactive activities like a walking tour of the morning market and calligraphy classes are on offer to help you better understand local tradition.

2. Sky Valley Heritage Boutique Hotel

Sky Valley Heritage Boutique Hotel in Dali Xizhou Town SKY VALLEY HERITAGE BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Highlights: a handcrafted hotel, traditional Bai-style construction, Bai cuisine

Location: Xianglong Village, Xizhou Township, Dali

Price: from 127 USD per night

Both East and West style rooms are beautifully crafted at Sky Valley Heritage Boutique Hotel in pretty Xizhou Town, which is about a mile (2 km) from Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake. Imagine taking a bike into the country, past the rice paddies, vegetable gardens, and quaint family farms to see the local attractions. 

You can feel the love and thoughtfulness that were given to this handcrafted hotel — an amazing labor of love lasting several years, carefully preserving all that is precious of the original design and structures.

Cuisine is a key element of the experience as well: the restaurant offers delicious Bai cuisine

If you want to explore Dali's countryside while taking some exercise, whether hiking or biking, we have special routes to suit all your interests and abilities. Contact us.

Around Erhai Lake — Stunning Lake Views

With its clear water and its reflections of land and sky as well as the Cangshan Mountains, Erhai Lake is another highlight of visiting Dali. It's about 20 minutes by car from Dali Old Town.

3. Fansu Guanyun Lake View Light Luxury Inn(Dali Erhai)

Fansu Guanyun Lake View Light Luxury InnFANSU GUANYUN LAKE VIEW LIGHT LUXURY INN

Highlights: balconies with great lake views, 'sky mirror', sunset view point

Location: 394 Haiyin Village, Dali

Price: from 64 USD per night

With a great location for enjoying sunsets, Fansu Guanyun Lake View Light Luxury Inn (Dali Erhai) has a peaceful atmosphere with a view over Erhai Lake and a Cangshan Mountains backdrop. The lake-view rooms of the hotel face Erhai Lake with wide views of beautiful scenery. 

Discover the popular 'sky mirror' experience on the rooftop, where you can take many beautiful photos with family and friends.  

When you return to the hotel after a day's walk, a free milk rose foot bath can be prepared for you. If you want to relax and escape from the city noise, Fansu Guanyun Lake View Light Luxury Inn may be the best choice for you.

This hotel is one of the newest hotels in Dali, having opened in 2019. It is very popular on the Internet, but the staff on duty may not speak English and the choice of breakfast is limited as well.

4. Munwood Panorama Inn

Highlights: outdoor swimming pool, sunset view point

Location: 44 Wenbi Village, Haidong Township, Dali

Price: from 76 USD per night

Finding a trendy guesthouse in Dali can be difficult among all the traditional options. Munwood Panorama Inn is a trendy one though, a good place for enjoying the sunrise, with a quiet atmosphere and nice views of Erhai Lake.

Munwood Panorama Inn has 23 rooms. Opened in 2017, it was fashionably redecorated in 2019. Can you imagine sitting by the outdoor swimming pool and enjoying the beautiful view of Erhai Lake? From the 4th floor's view point you can take many pretty pictures as well. If you want to explore Erhai Lake, renting a scooter or a bike is very convenient there.

The hotel provides a one-to-one butler service and they will ask your breakfast preferences in advance to make arrangements. But Western food is limited.

Dali Ancient Town — Night Bars, Street Snacks, and Brilliant Lights

Dali Ancient Town is considered the tourist center of Dali. It is the most bustling place in Dali.

5. Suhuaying Inn

Highlights: great design, delicious breakfasts

Location: 57 Fu'an Alley, Lower Section of Renmin Road, Dali

Price: from 50 USD per night

If you wonder which hotel is convenient as well as quiet in the town of Dali, Suhuaying Inn is your ideal answer. It is a 1-minute walk from Renmin Road and close to Erhai Gate.

Suhuaying Inn was newly decorated in 2020. The first step into the hotel is amazing. You will be impressed by the cozy courtyard: flowers and grass, pavilions and flowing water. The hotel perfectly combines the elegance of traditional Chinese-style architecture with the convenience of modern facilities. The furniture and decoration are as exquisite as a museum display.

Staying there, you can experience local life and appreciate the unique culture and history of Dali. Although not all the staff speak English, their warm service makes you feel at home.

If you have any questions about picking a hotel in Dali, feel free to contact us. We will arrange the ideal hotel for you and we can design your ideal itinerary.

Around Shaxi Ancient town

Shaxi Ancient Town is isolated 2½ hours by car from Dali. It was an important trading hub on the Yunnan–Tibet Tea-Horse Road. Because of its distance from Dali and because the highway between Dali and Lijiang doesn't go past Shaxi, Shaxi is less travelled and has become popular with those who love quietness, traditions, and primitive old-town culture.

6. Shaxi Landscape Hotel

Shaxi Landscape Hotel in Dali Shaxi TownSHAXI LANDSCAPE HOTEL

Highlights: architectural beauty, great location

Location: 2 Sideng Street, Shaxi Ancient Town, Jianchuan County, Dali

Price: from 72 USD per night

Elegant Landscape Hotel is a shining jewel, nestled in the heart of Shaxi Ancient Town, which was founded as a trading point at the Tea Horse Road. It has a fantastic central location, yet the rooms are quiet.

This hotel was a house and was converted to a hotel about four years ago [2020]. It is full of architectural beauty and sophistication, feeling compact as well as spacious. There are many wonderful paintings on the wall. Each floor has common seating spaces outside, which are very tastefully done, as is everything else there.

Stand on the balcony of your room, look out on this non-commercial town, and taste the slow life of Shaxi.

Staff may not speak English. The choice of breakfast is limited as well.

7. Sunyata Shaxi Hotel

Sunyata Shaxi HotelSUNYATA SHAXI HOTEL

Highlights: traditional Bai-style design, pretty garden

Location: 115 Sideng Village, Shaxi Ancient Town, Jianchuan County, Dali

Price: from 92 USD per night

Opened in 2017, Sunyata Shaxi Hotel is a great accommodation choice in Shaxi, an ideal option to get away from the noises of the city and enjoy your personal peace.

The hotel retains its traditional Bai-style design, ascetic but not simple, its sparing decoration engenders a harmonious relationship between man and nature. Rustic old-world China is still to be tasted there. Water garden sounds and bird songs coming through its large windows enhance rather than disturb your seclusion. 

Perfect for reading a book, drinking a cup of coffee, chatting with your friends — trust me, you won't want to leave.

Bear in mind, the staff may not speak English, and the choice of breakfast is limited.

Discover Dali with China Highlights

If you have plans to travel to Dali or other places in Yunnan, do not hesitate to contact us. We can tailor-make your own unique private tour, or you could just choose from our well-designed Yunnan tours.

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