Banyan Tree Ringha

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Yunnan, 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 touched by the clouds. This is a land of awe-inspiring ridges, deep canyons, torrential rivers, mystical plateaus, endless valleys, crystal-clear streams and the most tranquil of lakes.

In true Banyan Tree style, the Banyan Tree Ringha’s architecture reflects the local Tibetan culture. All 32 spacious resort lodges and suites are traditional Tibetan farmhouses with intricate woodcarvings, smoky fireplaces and wooden balconies that have valley or river views. Impressive pine pillars add enormous character to both the interior and exterior of each house. And of course, there is the heavenly Banyan Tree Spa.

Lightfoot Travel provides tailor-made itineraries that include daily tours and excursions, restaurant recommendations and bookings, and can incorporate Yunnan into a greater Chinese holiday. Take a look at A Tour Through Mystical Yunnan as an example of a bespoke itinerary that we can create for you.

Banyan Tree Ringha Information

Location & Getting There

Banyan Tree Ringha is found in China’s Yunnan province, a spectacular mountainous area 3,200 metres above sea level and a 15-minute drive from Diqing Shangri-La Airport.

Accommodation

All 32 spacious resort lodges and suites are traditional Tibetan farmhouses with intricate woodcarvings, smoky fireplaces and wooden balconies that have valley or river views. The Tibetan Suites spread over two levels to include a living area, rustic fireplace and a bedroom; Tibetan Spa Suites indulge couples in a private spa treatment room, wooden bathtub, spacious relaxation area and comfortable daybed, over spread over two storeys; the Two-bedroom Tibetan Lodge offers a traditional Tibetan garden, traditional fireplace and wooden balcony that overlooks Ringha's valleys and wild rivers; the Ringha Lodge is an authentic Tibetan home that includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large classically Tibetan living area, quiet study area and a traditional courtyard.

Facilities

- Spa
- Tennis
- Jeep rental
- Dining: 1 restaurant, 1 bar

Activities

Guests are in for plenty of day-trips and overnight excursions that will take them to divine mountain peaks touched by the clouds. This is a land of awe-inspiring ridges, deep canyons, torrential rivers, mystical plateaus, endless valleys, crystal-clear streams and the most tranquil of lakes. Activities include trekking, horse riding, tours to temples and local villages and cultural tours.

Children

Children are welcome but there are limited facilities available.

Banyan Tree Ringha Price Guide

1 out of 5

Notes on our prices

Banyan Tree Ringha Offers

Tried & Tested

A fictional land made famous in James Hilton’s novel ‘Lost Horizons’, Shangri-La does exist in China (although it’s name was given to capitalise off publicity from the novel), and is known for its remote temples, rugged scenery and Tibetan culture. This majestic destination is full of charming little towns and cuisine like no other – yak cheese, anyone? Lightfoot Travel’s Nikki vacationed in this remote area and set up shop at Banyan Tree Ringha during her getaway.

Where are the staff at Banyan Tree Ringha like?

The staff are predominantly Tibetan, from either Yunnan, Sichuan or Tibet proper. Their levels of English vary somewhat, but while some things do get lost in translation, it really is not an issue. I think when in Shangri-La, you expect the pace of life to be slower, which is why you would come in the first place! The staff are all lovely, add a huge amount of charm to the place, and when prompted, are happy to share their stories – many of which are fascinating.

What activities are available?

One morning we did a village tour led by the lovely Sonam, a guide from Eastern Tibet. The 3-hour walk took us along the river that runs below the hotel, and Sonam pointed out different types of animals, plants, and chatted to just about every villager we came across. She told us about her five sons, and explained some of the differences between Tibetan and Han Chinese culture. We stopped at a local farmhouse for tea, and she introduced the traditional Tibetan family structure and how old houses were built. The Tibetan yak butter tea they served us is definitely an acquired taste, and I barely managed more than two sips (which was one more than the rest of my family!). Next we hiked up to a monastery and had fruit with the resident monk, before stopping at another farmhouse for a home-cooked lunch. It was the best meal we had in Shangri-La, with local potatoes, fresh vegetables, mushrooms and yak meat.

What is the cuisine like in Shangri-la?

The climate is harsh in Shangri-La with high altitudes, cold, dry winters and hot summers. Because of the long winters, food tends to be quite hearty – fatty yak meat, stodgy potatoes, and lots of pork. All are warming foods. It is quite different to Yunnan cuisine found in the cities, which tends to be a lot lighter. Here the food is a lot more rustic, a lot heavier (a lot of oil and yak butter is used for frying), but it is extremely comforting and delicious.

What was your favourite thing about your stay?

We loved waking up early in the morning, sitting on our little terrace with a cup of coffee and watching the mist rolling in over the hills. There is such a silence about the place, interrupted only by the occasional person walking past, the sound of birds, and the livestock that freely roam around the property.

Banyan Tree is well known for its spas, did you have any treatments?

To be honest I was slightly skeptical of the spa as the last treatment I’d had at another hotel in Shangri-La was quite subpar. However, we were all wonderfully surprised as the spa at Banyan Tree Ringha was very, very good. I had a body scrub, wrap and massage in the couples treatment room. The major issue I had with my treatment previously was that the room was just too cold and you end up lying there shivering for the better part of an hour. However, the hotel had these amazing heated beds that made all the difference. The therapists were properly trained, the products were good, and we all thoroughly enjoyed our treatments.

What is the best time of year to go?

While you can go to Shangri-La year round, I’d say early summer and autumn are probably the most comfortable times to go. I was there in mid-April and while the temperatures are fairly comfortable during the day, the landscape is fairly barren. I personally think it is still very beautiful, but if you are looking for vibrant colours, then late-May to June is when the grass turns green and the flowers come out in full bloom across all the fields. October is of course when the leaves start to change colour and is also apparently very beautiful. Winters are on the cold side, but I’ve seen pictures of the hotel covered in snow and they are very stunning. It would be a completely different experience, but one that must have its own charms.

Anything to take note of?

The hotel is situated above 3,000 metres, and I do recommend taking altitude sickness pills before and during your stay. It’s a small thing to do but it does make a difference and can help you avoid a bit of discomfort. I would also recommend bringing good books as really, this is a place for relaxing, taking in the scenery and just unwinding. I think it’s a great idea to do daily activities, but what I will remember most about my stay there was just sitting and looking out over the fields as I read my book and sipped my coffee.

Map

Banyan Tree Ringha