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“Beautiful”

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Shaxi Laomadian Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Kunming, China
Level Contributor
57 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
Reviewed 14 February 2012

I brought my mother and her partner here when I took then through Shaxi (my favorite place in all of Yunnan), and it was the perfect experience for them. The hotel is pricey by local standards (ie around $100 per night), but if that's not an issue, it's a beautiful place to stay with high-end beds and the best bathrooms in the town (my understanding is that the owner used to do bathroom design for a high-end hotel chain). For many people, this is exactly the China that they're looking for—beautiful and refined, but homey and authentic. A rare find these days.

Room Tip: Ask to see a few rooms as they vary considerably in layout.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Georgia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2012

This place may not suit all guest but for us it was perfect! A beautiful old building with lovely staff. Yes, there are gaps in the wood panelling but isn't that to be expected in such an old building? The small drapes covering the modern bathroom were different... I guess a door would have been nice, same for the awesome shower. The food was delicious - ask for the noodles for breakfast rather than the western style food.

Shaxi itself is a small village yet to be overrun by tourists. We were the only white people in sight. Try an be there on a Friday between 9-2 for the local market where all the villagers come down from the mountains to buy and sell their wares. If you are as lucky as us you may be treated to a performance in the town square.

Shaxi is a beautiful little villiage, use it as a base for hiking or as a stopover between Lijiang and Dali. The village itself has not much to do/see apart from the market.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sares14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2012

The Laomadian Lodge is utterly charming, with two beautiful enclosed courtyards and a perfect location in Shanxi's ancient square. Da Hua, the manager, was super-helpful, he drew us a map of the surrounding villages and attractions, organised a driver to take us up to Shangri La, and even came along for the ride! Dinner on both nights was fantastic, with good quality ingredients, simply prepared.
A few drawbacks, the old wooden walls have gaps to the outside, and despite a plug in radiator in our room, we were absolutely freezing. Same problem in the dining room, where there are plug in radiators under the tables, but they don't make a dent in the chilly air. And, like other reviews have mentioned, there is no bathroom door -- and windows all around the bathroom stall, so no privacy whatsoever. Still, it's a wonderfully preserved old inn, clean, charming and inexpensive.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MrsPChina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
101 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2011

Taiwanese-owned Shaxi Laomadian Lodge is said to be the best in Shaxi, the last remaining town in the ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Trail.

This 150-yr old lodge is made up of a complex warren of courtyards connected by narrow passageways, each with its own set of guest rooms. We checked in and negotiated a maze of laundry hanging out to dry in all the open spaces that captured sunlight. Like Shaxi town itself, the 12-room lodge is not wholly sanitised for tourism and that is what gives it an unique charm.

"A8" is a second-storey double room in an adobe brick and wood annex. Numerous panel gaps in the thin wood-plank walls and windows make it an authentic experience. One can hear creaking doors, passing voices, neighbours' footsteps and smell woodsmoke from somewhere in the vicinity.

In contrast, the modern retro-fitted en suite bathroom has a sit-down flush toilet, glass-walled shower cubicle and porcelain washbasin with hot and cold running water. Amenities include moisturising liquid handsoap; shampoo; bath milk; disposable combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shower caps. A large ceiling-mounted heat lamp is complemented by compact fluorescent down lights; the halogen light on a flexible stalk over the washbasin mirror did not work during our one-night stay but the bathroom is bright enough without it.

The room is clean and comfortable in a rustic way, and generally well-lit; it is not within range of the complimentary WiFi. Attention to detail is obvious in the form of thick duvets and an electric blanket, complimentary bedroom slippers, an adequate number of electricity sockets (including an electricity extension cord) and iron nails protruding strategically from walls (for hanging miscellaneous items) and a large vacuum flask of hot water that was brought to our room before bedtime. The electric blanket had also been switched on for us in advance. If there were a TV, it would be a source of considerable noise pollution.

We eschewed the Western-style buffet breakfast of eggs, jam and toast, etc, in favour if a bowl of delicious local-style noodles that sustained us for the rest of the day.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank biketrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2011

Have just got back from a 3 week trip to Yunnan. Stayed 1 night in this hotel and it was like going back in time it had such a lovely atmosphere. Our room did not have a door to bathroom/toilet which makes it a little too intimate and the walls are paper thin, but if you can accept this do stay here. The staff are charming and the meal they cooked us could have graced any London restaurant. If possible get there on a Friday for the weekly market, you will not be dissapointed.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Poppy070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairns
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2011

The rooms are far from 5 star but nonetheless comfortable, well appointed, clean and well maintained. Management is solid here and the staff helpful but maybe breakfast could use a facelift. Walls are paper thin so avoid neighbouring honeymooners if possible! The town itself is 'must see' material and maybe the budget minded traveller should look elsewhere.

Room Tip: The upstairs rooms are better lit and more likely to be quiet. Rooms are small so go the extra few...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ulysses10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2011

in a hotel this is for you. If you want luxury, forget it.

Nice staff, right on the main square, restaurant (if you can find it!) is OK. Room access with heavy bags, in our case, wasn't easy. Bathroom excellent. Clean bedclothes.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank andarrat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shaxi Laomadian Lodge

Property: Shaxi Laomadian Lodge
Address: Sideng street, Shaxi Town, Jianchuan County 671302, China
Region: China > Yunnan > Jianchuan County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 43 B&Bs / Inns in Jianchuan County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Shaxi Laomadian Lodge Laomadian signifies 'Inn for old horses' and it used to lodge caravan owners traveling on the Tea-Horse Caravan Road, from Xishuangbanna to Tibet and further, transporting and trading mainly tea, but also other merchandises like salt, silver, copper etc. Situated between Dali and Lijiang, near Jianchuan, Shaxi was one of the important trading centers on the Tea-Horse Caravan Road since several hundred years. Winter 2006, after 4 years of restoration work by Swiss architects with the help of Jianchuan government and several Swiss and International fundings, Shaxi has regained its beauty and starts to attract visitors from afar to admire this one of the last well-conserved market centers on the famous Tea-Horse Caravan Road. Shaxi Laomadian is a compound consists of 3 courtyards and 6 shop-fronts. It is being renovate into a modern Lodge with 9 standard rooms and 3 dormitories, a tea house and a fusion restaurant/bar (Karma Cafe). ... more   less 
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