We came here in late April, just before the peak from May to October. The place is renovated with local sourced wood and designs to show off the charm of the region. Toilet and shower facilities are important to us and we are very happy to find them modern and very clean. The region is very dry, so the inn keepers are always reminding us to hydrate ourselves. Fruits and drinks are readily available at the lounge.
There is a flat panel TV in the room that we turn on just out of habit, there quite a few channels but we did not notice what was being offered. There is also free wifi in every room, but don't expect to get to any sites blocked by the Chinese government.
There are a few restaurants and 5 star hotels within walking distances. The inn keepers are happy to recommend restaurants based on your preferences. McDonald's and KFC are quite a fair distance away, so don't stay here if you need your burgers and fried chicken in a hurry ;p
This is a very nice and friendly place that offers a good resting place for you to see Lijiang. I did not understand where the bad reviews came from, but we are very happy with the hotel and would definitely stay there again.
We stayed here for 4 nights and what greeted us as we walked through the door was a lovely courtyard with our room overlooking it. However, the Crown hotel were constructing a property behind this and it was in the early phase of being built. Therefore not only did we have to contend with loud guests walking around above us (the vibrations made the cups move on our table) or dragging cases past the window at all hours, but also hammer banging, drilling and concrete pouring. It was certainly not a courtyard where one could relax and pass the time of day. (Top tip 12 air cons overlook the courtyard must be very noisy in the summer).
What annoyed me was the fact that no discount was offered or apology. We booked through CTrip and no mention there either so not impressed. I suppose we could have changed hotel but with two children the thought of dragging our cases along the cobbled streets (top tip carry a back pack or hire an electric car to take you there) did not sit well with me. Anyhow the rooms were basic with sparse decoration. I might go on to add that the bed was not very comfortable. There was plenty of hot water (but again lost one night of sleep due to a incessant noise from a boiler).
On the brighter side the girls were most helpful bringing us lots of purer tea, Yunnan coffee and fresh fruit which my kids loved. My small daughter took a shining to them and spent many an hour chatting to them. Equally my so was ill and we were comfortable leaving him in the room.
Note that this hostel does not offer food (other than free fruit). We would wander into town every morning. A great find was Prague cafe as there breakfast is to due for.
Overall this place had potential and although our room was £48 a night I do feel they could do more. Don't get me wrong it would be an okay place to rest if not for the noise but I would certainly question staying in the summer, equally so no good in the winter as no heating.
There are plenty of traditional boutique hotels like this one in Li Jiang so I would suggest doing some research first we were just unlucky and made the best of it.
Stayed here in summer 2010, liked it, went back in summer 2011. The place is completely transformed, much more upscale - canopy beds, well-designed bathrooms, very modern and attractive decor, and what used to be a restaurant on-site is now a "king suite" with floor-to-ceiling windows and a lovely sitting area. (Luming is also somewhat more expensive, about 350 yuan/night, if I remember correctly.) Still has excellent location - quiet, removed from the noise and energy of the town center, but not more than a 10-minute walk away from the action.
I recommend Luming, but ignore all of the reviews prior to summer 2011, including comments on the relative price - the place is utterly different now. (We didn't recognize it, in fact - we walked past it three times before we realized it was the same place we stayed last year.)
Luminn is nicely decorated, very basic and simple.
Location: As with looking for any hostel in Old Town Lijiang, you will get lost looking for this one. However, they were nice enough to look for us and made sure we got to the hostel alright.
Room (twin private): The room door was secured with a padlock and did not close completely, but I guess it added some old-fashioned "charm". Weather was nice outside, so no complaints of the room being drafty. TV had basic channels, all very very staticky. Room could be brighter. Bathroom was not dirty per se,, but it could have definitely been a little cleaner. Bathroom also only had tapestry for a door. Bathroom ventilation is rather poor, as it was just a small dirty fan. Walls are very thin; we were told to keep it down when we were simply talking about a meter or so apart.
Fun: Pretty empty in the common areas; when we went, didn't meet any other guests.
Service: Staff made sure we made it to the hostel alright. English is not great, but they did their best to be helpful.
Value: Very basic, inexpensive, but I've had better rooms for the money. Maybe it's just because it's Lijiang, where everything is overpriced due to the mass tourism.
Great place to stay on the south side of the old town. Staff were very helpful - they came out to meet us where the taxi dropped us off, and gave us the newest map of the old town and plenty of useful directions. (Friends staying at a different hostel got an older map that was not nearly as good.) Bedrooms and bathrooms are large and nice (for the money; perhaps not by luxury hotel standards, but for the price it's fantastic). Beds are large and comfortable. It's a quick walk to the main square, but far enough away that it's nice and quiet at night. The hostel is small (just two floors and 10 or 12 rooms), which lends a nice air, especially in contrast to busy Lijiang old town.
One caution - two of the rooms (one upstairs, one downstairs) have windows that look onto the road. While this is good for light during the day, at night it can be loud with cars/trucks passing by on the nearby road (no cars right next to the hostel, but a couple streets away). If you're a light sleeper, ask for an inside room so you can avoid this intermittent road noise.