Best hotels and hostels in Yunnan

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kunming

    Lost Garden Guesthouse

    Tucked in the side streets off Green Lake, this oasis amid white-brick apartment blocks has nouveau Dali decor with wood furniture, antiques and a pleasant lounge. Rooms are spread across two adjoining buildings. It’s tricky to locate: start by following the alley to the right of Green Lake Hotel, then take the first left and look for the sign pointing left.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Xizhou

    Linden Centre

    This traditional Bai stone-and-wood courtyard home has been turned into a very smart boutique hotel with 16 rooms, all of which are set around a courtyard, have balconies and come with antique furniture (but modern bathrooms). The first courtyard is open to curious visitors, as is the terrific upstairs terrace bar (noon to 10pm) overlooking the agrarian landscape surrounding Xizhou.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kunming

    Kunming Upland Youth Hostel

    This large, friendly place aims to impress with its sharp red-and-black decor, welcoming kitchen and bar plus inside and outdoor communal areas with all the amenities backpackers are looking for. Dorms come with big lockers and power outlets. It has English-speaking staff and a handy location near Green Lake. Bikes can be rented for ¥30 a day.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Lijiang

    Blossom Hill Neverland

    There are only a handful of massive rooms, all built around a central courtyard filled with the sounds of classical music and burbling (artificial) brooks, at this very popular boutique inn in the heart of the old town. Bathrooms are modern and large, while each room comes with its own collection of antiques and wood furnishings.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Shaxi

    Old Theatre Inn

    This boutique guesthouse has been lovingly restored out of a 260-year-old Chinese theatre and inn. There are only five very comfortable rooms here, all with photogenic views towards the nearby mountains, so book ahead. It’s located 3km north of Shaxi; you can rent a bike (¥20) to get around.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Tea Horse Guesthouse

    Just above Yāchà village, this ever-expanding place has a reasonable restaurant – it makes a sensible lunch stop – as well as a small spa and massage parlour, but the main draw is the indescribably beautiful view from the upstairs terrace. The cheapest rooms share bathrooms; the most expensive are very big and have good beds, modern bathrooms and shared balconies.

  • Lodging in Shangri-la

    Red Hill B&B

    With large, bright rooms and beautiful common areas overlooking Hongpo village and the snowy mountains in the distance, you may never want to leave this little American-run B&B about 12km east of Shangri-la. It’s small and books up quickly, though, so reserve well in advance. They can arrange transfers from town.

  • Lodging in Shuhe Old Town

    Lazy Tiger Inn

    This intimate courtyard-home guesthouse run by a Chinese-Canadian couple is one of the most pleasant spaces in Shuhe Old Town, but with only six rooms it can book up fast. Discounts are available in low season.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Deqin & Kawa Karpo

    Interval Time Guesthouse

    This guesthouse in Upper Yubeng would be an ideal hostel in Lijiang or Shangri-La, but finding it in remote Yubeng makes it exceptional. Friendly, English-speaking staff, a great chef and top-notch coffee all recommend it to independent travellers.

  • Lodging in Lijiang

    Cǎiyúnjiān Kèzhàn

    Set behind an entrance that seems more like a temple than a guesthouse, this makes a great base for exploring the old town thanks to its modern stylings and an unbeatable location due south of the Old Market Square.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kunming

    Hotel Arts

    Built around a tranquil garden space, large rooms here offer sitting areas overlooking the street below. It's one of the most pleasant options in the city, and the neighbourhood is flush with bars and restaurants.

  • Lodging in Shangri-la

    Desti Hostel

    Unusual upmarket hostel located in a huge converted Tibetan house in a village just outside town, close to the grasslands and mountains. Tibetan-run, it has numerous communal areas, while dorms are heated and come with individual reading lights, USB sockets and comfy beds. Private rooms retain the original wood features of the former house.

  • Lodging in Dali

    Jade Emu

    Smack in the shadow of Cang Shan and now spread over a complex of buildings, the Jade Emu is massive and has everything a traveller could need. The dorms are more comfortable than most and the private rooms are spacious, clean and bright, while the new boutique annexe is perfect for flashpackers. Staff are efficient and friendly.

  • Lodging in Tengchong County

    Yǎng Shēng Gé

    The luxury rooms at this hushed, upmarket place all come with their very own mini-spa complete with water piped from the hot springs; in the more expensive rooms these mini-spas are actually outdoors and exposed to the elements. Discounts of up to 30% are available.

  • Lodging in Lugu Lake

    Husi Teahouse

    The old man of the Lugu Lake hostels, this multistorey complex of dorms and private rooms is still a mainstay. The more expensive rooms come with excellent lake views. There's a big communal area with computers and a restaurant serving Chinese food and average western meals, while the coffee is the best of the few places in town that serve it.

  • Lodging in Weishan

    Báilùyuán

    Out front this is a lovely teahouse which opens in the afternoon and also serves coffee and juices, but out back you can stay in what's effectively your own little courtyard home, with a small garden and a very comfortable and tastefully decorated loft bedroom. It's not always open if there are no guests, so call ahead.

  • Lodging in Jianshui

    Typha Youth Hostel

    This is a legit hostel with a cosy communal area, bike hire (¥30 per day) and sound travel advice; it's also a good place to book a tour of the surrounding area. Dorms are clean and come with lockers; the private rooms are compact but OK.

  • Lodging in Kunming

    Green Lake Hotel

    Proud but subdued, this icon of Kunming hôtellerie history has a fabulous location opposite Green Park, and has kept up with modernity with a tasteful 2015 renovation and top-notch service. The panorama from the top floors is worth the price alone. Discounts are often available on their website, and there are Chinese, Japanese and western restaurants on-site.

  • Lodging in Lugu Lake

    Lǚxíngzhě Zhījiā

    On the edge of the Lige peninsula, all the rooms here come with decent views, but the 2nd-floor views are tremendous and worth the small price increase. They're a little overpriced but the bathrooms are a cut above the rest in the village. In the attached restaurant, try Lugu Lake fish (泸沽湖鱼, Lúgū Hú yú) or sausage (香肠, xiāngcháng).

  • Lodging in Shaxi

    Horsepen 46

    Popular guesthouse with compact rooms surrounding a sunny little courtyard. There’s a laid-back traveller vibe here, with daily communal dinners (¥25). There's also laundry and bike hire (¥20 per day). The helpful English-speaking staff can provide info on hikes and activities in the area. It's tucked away to the right of the stage in the village square.