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The Linden Centre
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All reviewscultural experiencelocal communityrice fieldschinese culturexizhou villagea special placehorse carttie dyemarket tourhistoric buildingyunnan provincelocal baicourtyard homeold townonce in a lifetimesmall villagecultural revolution
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249 - 254 of 632 reviews
Reviewed 30 July 2014 via mobile

Food is good. Rooms are filled with culture, yet cleaned and well kept. Amazing view of the paddy field on the terrace. Beautiful 4 courtyards. Building is well restored and properly maintaining, with beautiful manicured gardens. Extremely peaceful and relaxing. Truly a sanctuary.

Stayed: July 2014
Thank avaaaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

A really wonderful hotel to stay in. The location is great, a village just outside Dali set in rice fields. The building is a beautifully renovated village house, full of antiques and catering for everyone. The owner and staff are very friendly and helpful (on the way to the airport they rang us to tell us we had left a silk umbrella behind, and we were able to go back and get it) and really make you feel at home. We were a group of three staying in one room, and they gave us a free extra room so that we wouldn't be so crowded! The food is excellent, even catering for vegetarians which we found difficult elsewhere in China. The owner is very knowledgeable about the area and ancient China. This was definitely the icing on the cake of a very enjoyable trip to china.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Liz H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brian L, Owner at The Linden Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2014

The sun is shining again in Dali, something that unfortunately did not happen as often while you were here. Even with the rain, we are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. We have a team of 50 staff working our 16 guest-room hotel. We are doing this not only to provide personalized attention to all our guests, but also to provide challenging work options to our local villagers. We are one of the largest employers in the area, and we regularly train our team to ensure that their natural warmth and gregariousness is complemented by a high level of professionalism. We are happy to hear that you were charmed by their attentiveness. As their colleague, I am so proud of their work ethic and spirit. Thank you again for spending time with our family of 50 plus!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

I was very pleasantly surprised by Linden centre despite preliminary doubts on what it has to offer. The hotel is beautiful, renovated out of traditional Bai houses with ~ 10 rooms outfitted with modern amenities. The decor was tasteful with REAL antiques collected all over China. It was peaceful to sit outside and chill on the beautiful patio overlooking rice (garlic?) fields, felt like I was sitting in a movie scene. The owner Linden was all smiles to everybody with an impressive resume.

IMHO one of the top 10 hotels I have stayed in all over the world!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Yue0717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brian L, Owner at The Linden Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2014

Thank you for the very gracious words. I hesitate to make any comments beyond a few small corrections: 1. Our Centre has 16 guest-rooms. It is is easy to feel that there are fewer rooms than there are because we have dedicated so much of this national relic to common space for our guests. Unlike other hotels, even so-called 'old courtyards', we have preserved over 40% of our space for amenities such as a library, pool and ping pong room, DVD screening area, mahjong room, fitness center, dining spaces and cafes, and gardens. We regularly have day visits by 'wise' businessmen who criticize us for not maximizing every corner of our building with guest-rooms. If we did that, we could have 30 rooms. The decision not to do this was based on our desire to preserve the structure and integrity of as much of this national relic as possible. Guest-rooms require plumbing and air-conditioning/heating, and surprisingly suffer much more to daily wear than common rooms. We chose to preserve these common spaces to provide our guests with a complete complex- one of China's only national relics open to overnight stays- in which they can lose themselves in the timeless elegance of China's past.
2. Our antiques are collected only from our region in order to provide guests with indigenous examples of Yunnan's cultural traditions. Antiques are our passion because they provide tangible examples of a cultural past that is so illusive in China. It is sad to see so-called expert restorations throughout highlighting only Jingdezhen porcelain or huanghuali furniture. We must look beyond what is popular among the nouveau riche of China and learn to appreciate the refined folk-art traditions of each region. We are proud to exhibit such works throughout our Centre, even in our rooms, and we continue to build collections to adorn our future sites throughout Yunnan, including our third Xizhou site which will open later this year.
Thank you again for spending time with us. We hope to see you back in Yunnan soon!

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Reviewed 13 July 2014

Just to reiterate all the other reviews: after bouncing around China and the uneven experience at staying at Hilton-wantabees, The Linden Centre feels like the place you were hoping to find. It's not like walking into the past--you've got wi-fi, hot water, great service, clean rooms, wonderful views from the rooftop terrace--but there is an awareness here of China past, present, and future that makes your stay fulfilling. You find yourself in conversation with anthropologists, journalists, architects and other travelers that are worth talking to. If you stay a day or two, or a week or two, it will pass too quickly. I'm eager to return.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Barracoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brian L, Owner at The Linden Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2014

Thank you for your review. We are proud of the steady flow of scholars who fill the Centre's evenings with lectures and bar-side storytelling. This week we will have lectures on the Burning Man and its Future in China and on the Politicization of Chinese Tourism. We have calligraphy classes going on as I write and Xizhou bread making for children later this afternoon. The Centre is a retreat for learning and exploration. Our guests are encouraged to share their expertise with our visitors and staff, while we immerse them in the local culture.

Children time is held in our playroom and pool/ping pong area. Parents can leave their children with our bilingual staff from 5:00-7:00 each day (as well as other times when needed).

While we are proud of our historic structure and its carefully carefully restored elegance, the Centre thrives on the spirit of our team and guests. Thank you again for spending time with us!

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Reviewed 5 July 2014

We spent 5 wonderful days (6 nights) at Linden Center in late June. We came with high expectations and our actual experience was far better than expected.

The hotel is about a quarter mile from the center of Xizhou village, and maybe a mile from the Erhai Lake. It is a traditional Bai house, built in the 1940's and renovated just a few years ago by Brian and Jeanee Linden. There are a small number of guest rooms and a lot of other rooms that guests can use (lounge, library, bar, dining room, rec room (pool and pingpong) gym etc.). The facilities are decorated with an incredible variety of local artworks and handicrafts, and are beautifully maintained in the traditional style. However, the bathrooms and beds are contemporary, as is the air conditioning.

We ate most of our meals in the Linden Centre restaurant. The food is excellent and reasonably priced. The chef is happy to make dishes that are not on the menu, and some people even go shopping in the market and bring back food to be cooked.

We loved spending time in the village, which is bustling and prosperous but not yet a major tourist destination like Lijiang or Dali Old Town. There is a morning market which sells produce, clothing and hardware items, and there are numerous old temples, small shops, and a wonderful museum. We loved spending time and just relaxing at Linden Centre. There are 4 beautiful interior courtyards in Linden Center. We spent time in all 4 of them, admiring the gardens and the architecture and watching the swallows fly around catching insects to feed to their hatchlings in the nests overhead. There is also a patio in the back with comfortable chairs where you can feast on a panorama of farmland, village houses, and high mountains in the distance.

The atmosphere is relaxed, casual and extremely friendly. Guests get to know each other and often wind up sharing tables, exchanging tips about where to go and what to see, and finally exchanging phone numbers and addresses. The staff is truly the best part of Linden Centre. They could not have been nicer or more helpful. There are scheduled activities many evenings, and the staff members participate actively in the group discussions. It just feels like one big happy family.

I have several recommendations for improvement. 1. The bathrooms could use a few extra hooks or towel racks. 2. The dining room menu is pretty good but there are not enough hot appetizers. 3. The wifi is fairly slow. But these are minor issues and the overall experience is really wonderful.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Joel E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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