I was given a guided tour by the owner and his tow sons, who are on holiday from the studies in the UK and the US.
This location is a good example of indutrialised local tourism. Around 2,000 domestic tourists traipse through the courtyards and gardens everyday, all led by megaphone touting tourguides that have all the enthusiasm of a rusty typewriter. Decorations are gaudy to the extreme and bear little if no relevance to the local peoples and culture. For example, while this is claimed to be a Bai residence, marny of the marble wall inlays are a painted with scenes with the Chinese classic 'Journey to the West.' Difficult to see how this is related to Bai culture. Most of the artwork is an overcrowded hodgepoge of styles which leaves the whole place feeling cramped and disorganised. There are some guest rooms around the Suzhou style rock garden but we were quoted 1000 RMB per night for rooms that would not command 100 in other locations. There are also some faux baroque western style rooms (western for from a Chinese perspective, that is) that are even more expensive.
With endless busloads of tourists wandering around a series of gardens and courtyards that seem to be intent on rewriting the muslim history of the area through art, this is not a pleasant place to stay. In addition it is a long way from the Old Town. Ticket price just to get in is 90 RMB. For this price you get a guided tour and a lame minority dancing show.
There are much better places to stay in this area. Linden Center is a much better choice and a much better price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- By crossing the door you are entering a space of timeless beauty and luxury. Located At the foot of the picturesque Cang mountainon, the Zhang's Garden Boutique Hotel Dali has been endowed with a special spiritual power. Our hotel has the power to take every guest to far and away places, freeing them of busy life. This is where you should stand and look around. Everything will come to you. Just open your eyes ... more less