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The Linden Centre

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Key Information:
Specialty Category: Castle hotels
Location: China
Min Price: 130 US Dollar (USD) per day
Max Price: 150 US Dollar (USD) per day

The Centre is a meticulously restored courtyard mansion in the pristine Yunnan village of Xizhou. Great care was taken to preserve the beautiful indigenous architecture of this nationally protected cultural relic, while up-scale modern conveniences were added to ensure guests a comfortable and absolutely unique stay. In this elegant setting, connect with the local ethnic cultures that make this part of China so special.

Bed and bath rooms include 14 double occupancy rooms, each of which consists of custom designed furniture built by local craftsmen, Western style mattresses, and fine cotton linens. No two rooms are the same, with varied layouts that take advantage of the original design features of the residence. Bathrooms have been customized with 21st century amenities using a Western design philosophy. All living accommodations have been decorated with exclusive works of contemporary art and priceless regional antiques to provide a completely unique and unparalleled experience in each room. Each guest room has a writing desk, wireless Internet, telephone, tea-making equipment, hair dryer, toiletries and smoke alarms. The Centre can hold 28 people, with 2 persons per room.

The Centre features 2 restaurants - a spacious Western style room and more intimate Chinese style dining room, serving only the freshest local food using ingredients sourced from the farming families in Xizhou village. In addition to sumptuous regional Chinese cuisine, delicious Western fare is also prepared by our executive chef, who boasts over 30 years of experience at some of the finest eateries in Yunnan.

All meals are provided during your stay with us including a full Western buffet breakfast and Yunnan coffee and tea every morning. Meals are served Chinese style and can be tailored to specific dietary needs. Guests also enjoy our cafe and espresso bar both indoor and on the secluded garden terrace, with a full range of local teas, coffees, wines, and spirits for your comfort.

Property amenities:
Other features of the Centre that are yours to enjoy include a conference/meeting room, library, movie room, small exercise facility, museum highlighting the local architecture, gallery, game room and gardens with terraces and splendid views of the mountains and fields.

Nearby attractions and activities:
Yunnan is home to more ethnic minorities than any other China province, and boasts an unrivaled heritage. Linked to Eurasia, India and Southeast Asia by trade routes, Yunnan has been an integral part of regional trade of goods and ideas for centuries. Famous historically for its place on the South China Silk Road, which was developed centuries prior to the North China Silk Road, Yunnan is at once remote but still connected to other Chinese groups. Yunnan Province is one of the last virgin lands where one can find undisturbed but welcoming cultures with nearly pre-historic ties.

The resulting customs and traditions reflect significant influences from many nationalities and backgrounds. Holidays, religions, and family celebrations such as weddings and funerals evidence this colorful background, as do the localized architecture, artisanship, legends, and other forms of expression. Even the cuisine and cooking techniques are a testament to the borrowing and assimilating of an array of cultures that harmonize so beautifully in this special part of the world.

Surrounded by mountains on the East, West, and South, with Er Hai Lake in its center, Dali is a concentration of over 20 ethnic minorities that exude a unique cultural heritage from the area's picturesque surroundings. The Dali Valley was an early center of economic and cultural exchange that is still thriving today, and was a natural choice for the location of The Linden Centre - we seek to highlight and share these rich cultures.

The people of the Dali region have blended Han and Bai culture alongside other migratory and regional traditions to strike a relatively peaceful balance between indigenous values and external influences. The region stretches North to Jian Chuan and South past Wei Shan, and is known primarily as the homeland of the Bai nationality. Beginning in the Tang Dynasty, the Nan Zhao Kingdom of Dali had close relationships with the Chinese government in the North between 738-902 A.D. After entering into a political union with the Yi of the Nan Zhao Empire in the 8th-10th centuries, the Bai people ruled the Dali Kingdom from 937-1253 A.D. Since then, the Bai people have a history of peaceful coexistence with outside groups and loyal defense of their territory.

Economic prosperity through trade created wealth and political power in the Dali valley. The Village of Xizhou was an important trading center in this early Nanzhao Kingdom and later, during the Dali Kingdom, Xizhou was the capital of the regional government. By the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Xizhou was integrated into these regional trade routes while developing an exquisite collection of exemplary Bai-style architecture. It was in this rare environment that we found the perfect property in which to launch the Centre.

We are in the Village of Xizhou, which is just outside Dali City in Yunnan. Guests typically fly into Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan or Lijiang and travel to Dali by either flight, bus, or train.

All rooms are non-smoking. Pets are not allowed. Children are welcomed.

The Linden Centre is based on a philosophy of intercultural exchange. Our guests stay in an elegant courtyard mansion in the midst of an ancient village that functions today as it has for centuries. Outside our walls, the buildings are stone and the roads are dirt, with the Himalayan foothills providing a majestic backdrop. Throughout the village, the warmth of the local Bai people and the year-round spring climate evoke an openness that facilitates a bringing together of East and West.

The Centre is an all-inclusive compound, with our staff providing all meals and transport for excursions and side-trips. This allows our guests to focus on the deeper aspects of the ethnic traditions and enjoy unimpeded interaction with local villagers and their customs. Too often, the average tourist experience consists of stepping off a bus to snap a photo. What we offer is something special...we strive to genuinely enrich the lives of our guests.

Each day at the Centre is different, with a constant flow of activities and experiences available. What stays the same is a personal interaction with the authentic cultures, traditions, values, and daily life of the Bai people of Xizhou Village and beyond. Some experiences are observational, while others are more participatory. The strong educational component of a stay at the Centre includes a wide palate of expert guidance on the diverse traditions of the region. We are also proud to offer unique chances to join in volunteer efforts that benefit the immediate community of Xizhou.

Guests may experience the Centre through our 'Theme Stays' or 'Short Stay' packages. Custom-made stays are available for businesses, families and special events. Programs are facilitated by our professional bi-lingual directors, who have extensive backgrounds in the arts and traditions of the region. We are committed to ensuring a comfortable, hand-held experience and a real connection to the rich traditions of this unique part of China.

The Centre is truly an idyllic setting for a deeper enrichment in any discipline - please contact us if you would like us to create a tailored cultural experience for your group.

This type of package would be inclusive of meals and accommodations at the Centre, local area transport and pickup, and all cultural tour events and activities. We will also provide a complimentary bottle of Chinese red wine upon your arrival, as well as afternoon tea in our courtyards.