Location: Nature-loving guests will be taken aback by the hotel’s dramatic location, situated on the top of a mountain, surrounded by mesmerising rice paddies for miles upon miles.
History: It was back in 1997 that a man named Keren Su discovered a picturesque plot of land was for sale while he was photographing the region’s stunning panoramas. He bought the land and created the Li-An Lodge using traditional Chinese building methods, without the use of a single nail.
Service: Nestled into remote rice paddy fields in rural China, one wouldn’t expect to have access to such luxuries as WiFi and drinkable tap water, but at the Li An Lodge, these are standard features that all guests can enjoy.
Li-An Lodge is the culmination of artist and traveler Keren Su’s decade-long quest to build a unique, luxurious lodge amidst the gorgeous Longsheng rice terraces. Su first discovered this area on a photography trip in 1997 and finally opened Li An eight years later; the entire lodge is built without nails and instead uses a traditional Chinese construction technique of fitting pegs into grooves to secure joints. There are 16 rooms, each with unparalleled views of the terraces and their own specific themes and designs. For example, the Harvest room features farming tools used by the local Zhuang minority in addition to other Zhuang-specific pieces, and the Rock room fitted with intricate stone carving and furniture. Although the rooms do not have Internet access, there is a high-speed connection in the business center. Li-An Lodge also has a restaurant that serves Western and Chinese food, as well as a bar and sitting room decorated with Su’s photography and other work.
A vast array of room variations is available here, with sixteen different types to choose from. All rooms are designed with traditional Chinese decor and artifacts, creating a quaint and rustic feel that strikes a balance with elegance and charm.
The Abacus room features, as the name implies, an antique abacus, an ancient calculator once used to simplify complex equations back in China’s trading days. A hot water shower, drinkable tap water, and even WiFi are available for guests’ comfort and convenience.
The name of this room is indicative of its contrasting color scheme, consisting of under-glazed porcelain and indigo-dyed cloth. The walls are adorned with elegant batik paintings, while fine porcelain pieces worthy of royalty are on display throughout the room.
The Four Seasons is the hotel’s only suite, with windows offering incredible panoramas of the surrounding area. The room is spacious, and filled with traditional Chinese art, portraying the various seasons that transform the landscape. Furnishing are authentic Chinese and many are handcrafted, giving the room a truly traditional-yet-modern feel.
The hotel’s living room, adjacent to its bar, is a relaxing and comfortable spot where guests can gather to kick back with a drink in hand and discuss their day’s activities.
The hotel’s bar is another social congregation point, which not only serves up an array of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks both local and imported, but in the evenings, features slideshows that showcase photographs of the surrounding region, taken by the hotel’s founder. This show provides guests with a unique encounter with the surrounding region.
The hotel’s restaurant, a social meeting point for all guests, provides a menu with a wide selection of Chinese and Western dishes, prepared with fresh produce from local villages, and organic meats, filling meals with countryside charm.