The Indigo Lijiang surprises with design elements that do not try to blend vapidly into its cultural confines. It is not even a full-fledge hotel - guests need to trek over to sister property Intercontinental Lijiang next door for facilities like pools and restaurants, but this is a modish inn with design gumption where oldish accents morph into impressive statements. The ultra traditional facade of this lush property handsomely juxtaposes with its uber modern and cool interior enthusiastically outfitted with accoutrement de la cheval, a theme that resonates cheekily with the Tea Horse Road heritage of the region. Saddle seats, life size sculptures and horseshoe hangers are just some of the funky accents that are delightfully wrought into the living spaces. The expanse of the rooms here are also generous by any yardsticks and are sumptuously decked with plush, luxurious and homely furnishings.
Against a sea of earth tones and wooden trappings, riotous colours are occasionally injected into the interior via plush compositions of unconventional furniture and artworks to rebel against the uniformity of the architectural codes all hotels here must abide by.
While at the Indigo Lijiang,
why don't you ...
Take a hot bath in the room's oversized tub and let the historical ambience sink in.
Talk to the concierge about the outdoor activities they could assist in arranging, like a horse ride through sections of the Tea Horse Road or canoeing at Lashi Lake. While you are at it you'd probably need their recommendations on which bars and restaurants within the Old Town to make bookings and which to avoid. The concierge team here is one of the most efficient and polished we have encountered in China.
Visit the morning market nearby. Yunnan is the produce bowl of China and the seasonal fruits one can find here are as fresh as they are varied. This is also a good place to start to know the friendly locals of the Naxi tribe.
Be sure to take a guided tour of the Mufu Mansion as early as one can. The knowledgeable guides would provide insightful and valuable information on the history and culture of this region while they walk you through the splendid interior of this restored relic with detailed and meaningful commentaries.