China

Overview

An intoxicating and magnificent giant of a country that captivates all who travel there, China tops the list of our favourite destinations.

From the ancient history of the Great Wall to the modern buzz of Beijing and Shanghai, China is a land of staggering contrasts, with over 100 different ethnic groups.

Lightfoot Travel can arrange a variety of spectacular trips, from hot air ballooning over the limestone peaks of Yangshuo, panda safaris in their natural habitat, ice festivals in Harbin, to regional food tours in Sichuan.

As the capital city, Beijing has been the heart of the country’s politics and culture for much of the past 700 years. Amongst the opulent palaces, temples, gardens, tombs, and crumbling gates, there is a treasure trove of gems waiting to be discovered. We have worked our way around the touristy sections to find the tastiest restaurants hidden away down the quietest hutongs and the bars with the best views over the Forbidden City. One of our favourite spots in the city is on the Great Wall, which we’ll decline to publicly reveal, where we almost always come across only a handful of other people.

At the mouth of the mighty Yangtze River, Shanghai is China’s vibrant financial centre and synonymously home to amazing restaurants, trendy bars and boutique shops. Remnants of its colonial past are still evident throughout Shanghai today, giving it a very different feel to other Chinese cities. The Bund is of course its most photographed site, but other areas definitely worth a visit are the wonderful French Concession, and the beautiful Yuyuan Gardens.

Yunnan Province is located in China’s far southwest bordering Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. The province is full of charming little towns such as Dali, Lijiang and the magestic Shangri La. Outside these towns, breathtaking natural beauty awaits. Picture soaring mountains, the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, Tibetan prayer flags waving over stupas dotted around the plains.

Curious travellers should add Guilin & Yangshuo to their must-visit places: this region of China is becoming increasingly more high-profile as the rumors of beauty and tranquility circulate. It’s the perfect antidote to the frenetic big cities of China and a wonderful escape into the country’s great outdoors.

With an office in Hong Kong, we’ve got the inside scoop on our home turf and we can offer expert advice on the country as a whole. Our consultants can recommend the best crop of luxury hotels and traditional-style boutique retreats that have sprung up recently. Just drop us a line if you want an authentic, hassle-free taste of China. Our services include a tailor-made itinerary, with flights, transfers, accommodation and guides all pre-arranged.

China Regions

Chengdu

The "Heavenly State" and capital of Sichuan Province, mountainous Chengdu is one of the most breathtaking destinations in western China.

Read More

Shanghai & Surrounding Areas

Shanghai is in Eastern China and situated at the mouth of the mighty Yangtze River. It is China's financial centre and home to amazing restaurants, trendy bars, boutique shops, and some pret…

Read More

Yunnan & Central China

Yunnan Province is located in China's far southwest and borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. It is China's most biologically and culturally diverse province and is full of snow-capped mountain…

Read More

Guilin and Yangshuo

Avid travellers have long kept Guilin and Yangshuo secret – it’s too good to share. Yet this region of China is becoming increasingly more high-profile as the rumors of beauty and tranqu…

Read More

Xian

Xi’an is a place of ancient history and power, in its heyday home to more than 12 great Chinese dynasties. The mysterious old city of Xi’an remains a key highlight of China for most visi…

Read More

Sanya

Billed as "China's Hawaii", Sanya has 20km long stretches of beach. As the only tropical city across the coastline, it is definitely booming and packed with a lot of water sports such as sno…

Read More

China Itineraries

Xi’an In A Weekend

China, Xian

Xi'an, in the Shaanxi Province, is often considered the place where Chinese civilization began. Having been the capital of the Empire three times, Xi’an played a decisive role in the histo…

Read More

China Properties

Filter by

Aman at the Summer Palace

Beijing & Northern China, China

Inhabiting a series of historic dwellings just steps from one of China’s most iconic sites is Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing. Adjacent to the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds, Ama…

Read More

Amandayan

China, Yunnan & Central China

Amandayan marks the group’s third property in China. Located in Lijiang, a fabled city in China’s Yunnan Province, it is often compared to the mythical Shangri-La and is one of the count…

Read More

Amanfayun

China, Shanghai & Surrounding Areas

Hidden in a picturesque valley, only a 20-minute drive along bamboo and tree-lined avenues from the centre of the bustling city of Hangzhou, Amanfayun enjoys a serene setting surrounded by t…

Read More

Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa

China, Yunnan & Central China

Nestled on the banks of the Luosuo River amid the lush primeval forests of Yunnan Province in Central China, Anantara Xishuangbanna offers a blend of contemporary style with oriental charm i…

Read More

Banyan Tree Lijiang

China, Yunnan & Central China

Sitting at the base of the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, along a trade route that was once part of the historic Silk Road from Yunnan to Tibet, Banyan Tree Lijiang offers privacy an…

Read More

Banyan Tree Ringha

China, Yunnan & Central China

Banyan Tree Ringha is found in China's Yunnan province, a spectacular mountainous area 3,200 metres above sea level. Day-trips and overnight excursions take you to divine mountain peaks t…

Read More

Banyan Tree Sanya

China, Sanya

Located in China’s premier beach destination, also known as the Oriental Hawaii, Banyan Tree Sanya, is nestled in the enchanting Luhuitou Bay, the southernmost tip of Hainan Island. Its lo…

Read More

Banyan Tree Yangshuo

China, Guilin and Yangshuo

This newly opened luxury boutique lies on the banks of the Li River with a spectacular backdrop of Karst mountains. It is located in Yangshuo in Guangxi, southern China.  Banyan Tree Yangsh…

Read More

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing

Beijing & Northern China, China

This landmark luxury hotel is superbly located in Beijing’s most dynamic entertainment and business area. Offering the customary Four Seasons service and hospitality, Four Seasons Hotel Be…

Read More

Grace Beijing

Beijing & Northern China, China

Situated in the heart of Beijing’s iconic 798 Art District, Grace Beijing is a hip boutique hotel, which combines a distinct blend of traditional Ming Dynasty elegance with contemporary st…

Read More

Hotel G Beijing

Beijing & Northern China, China

New kid of the block - Hotel G Beijing is a stylish and exciting addition to the boutique hotel scene in China's capital. Let the mood of the swinging 60s, with its psychedelic colours an…

Read More

Mandarin Oriental Sanya

China, Sanya

Set in 12 hectares of tropical gardens, on the southern tip of Hainan Island lies Mandarin Oriental Sanya. The décor of the room, suites and villas are contemporary with ethnic touches f…

Read More

Norden Camp

China, Yunnan & Central China

Just 20 minutes out of Labrang, the famous Tibetan monastic town in Gansu Province, lies the Norden Camp and its 11 log cabins and yak hair tents. The stunning 11 hectares border a meanderin…

Read More

Park Hyatt Beijing

Beijing & Northern China, China

Soaring above the heart of the Beijing’s Central Business District, Park Hyatt Beijing is part of the prestigious Beijing Yintai Centre, the tallest skyscraper on Chang’an Avenue and a s…

Read More

Rosewood Beijing

Beijing & Northern China, China

Located at the heart of China’s bustling capital, Rosewood Beijing delivers a unique blend of modern sophistication and comfort inspired by China’s rich cultural heritage. Offering im…

Read More

Shangri-la Guilin

China, Guilin and Yangshuo

Shangri-la Hotel, Guilin is set in enchanting gardens overlooking the crystal-clear Li River with a breathtaking backdrop of the legendary karst mountains. It is situated near the city of Gu…

Read More

Six Senses Qing Cheng

Chengdu, China

The first Six Senses hotel opens in China is located an hour away from Chengdu. Six Senses Qing Cheng is the ideal base from which to explore the neighbouring Qing Cheng Mountains, a UNESCO…

Read More

Songtsam Lodges

China, Yunnan & Central China

The four properties that comprise Songtsam Lodges sit in unique locations around Northern Yunnan Province, away from the tourist routes and noisy towns. Each site has been carefully chosen t…

Read More

Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La

China, Yunnan & Central China

Shangri-La is the fabled land at the heart of a sacred region featuring three rivers, the Yangtze, the Mekong and the Salween - a setting that will take your breath away. At 3,300m above sea…

Read More

Temple House

Chengdu, China

This recently opened luxury boutique hotel is located in the heart of the ancient city of Chengdu in southern China. Designed by acclaimed British architects, The Temple House offers a stunn…

Read More

The Opposite House

Beijing & Northern China, China

Teeming stylishly with all things modern and traditional, The Opposite House in Beijing, China, offers dazzling modern design, unparalleled comfort and excellent service - without all the bi…

Read More

The Peninsula Beijing

Beijing & Northern China, China

Elegant comfort meets professional service at this vibrant venue in China's landmark capital. Originally opened in 1989, the hotel's dramatic Chinese architecture makes it as distinctive …

Read More

The Peninsula Shanghai

China, Shanghai & Surrounding Areas

The Peninsula Shanghai in China is the newest hotel on Shanghai’s historic Bund and offers spectacular views of the river. Combining old-world opulence and modern luxury and sophistication…

Read More

The Puli Hotel and Spa

China, Shanghai & Surrounding Areas

The Puli - An oasis within the metropolis. Standing at an impressive 26-storey height in the heart of China’s busiest metropolis, The Puli Hotel manages to whisk you away from the chaos…

Read More

The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu

China, Yunnan & Central China

The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu is located in the heart of downtown Chengdu, overlooking Tianfu Square. It is the first luxury hotel in southwest China and offers breathtaking views of the ancient …

Read More

URBN Hotel, Shanghai

China, Shanghai & Surrounding Areas

URBN hotel shanghai is set in the heart of the city, within a hub of local activity and close to shops, restaurants, colonial lanehouses and Shanghai's famous French concession area. URBN…

Read More

Waldorf Astoria Beijing

Beijing & Northern China, China

Situated in the heart of downtown Beijing, the Waldorf Astoria Beijing is a stylish and sophisticated, landmark hotel that blends oriental opulence with modern luxuries. Offering unrivalled …

Read More

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

China, Shanghai & Surrounding Areas

With a magnificent setting on the banks of the Huangpu River, the award-winning Waldorf Astoria Shanghai enjoys a prime position on the vibrant Shanghai Bund, close to a variety of attractio…

Read More

China Tips & Highlights

  • Favorite restaurants in Beijing are Chuan Ban (excellent Sichuan food in the Sichuan Provincial Government Building) and Bao Yuan, down the street from the US Embassy. Both are full of locals, are inexpensive and offer amazing food.
  • Whilst in Beijing, a favorite activity is walking around Nanluguxiang, a street in a hutong with great shopping and restaurants. Houhai is nearby and has good shopping and restaurants surrounding the lake (don’t miss the little lanes off the main path circling the lake).
  • If you’re heading to Chengdu, be sure to visit the pandas at the Research Base, or even venture out to Ya’an to the Bifengxia Panda Reserve, which is located in the mountains and feels very natural.
  • Visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall to enjoy mountain paranomas, yet with less crowds and easier walking conditions.