As far as last frontiers go, Benzilan is a top contender. In northwest Yunnan, on the Sichuan border and not far from Tibet, it’s a spectacularly remote location for the second LUX* Tea Horse Road hotel, the other being four hours south in the UNESCO-listed old town of Lijiang. A gateway to the glacier of Meili Snow Mountain National Park along an ancient trail that was once busy with horse caravans carrying precious pu’er tea from Yunnan to Lhasa, the property isn’t short of trimmings: 30 rooms and suites on the banks of the Jinsha River nod to local life with spaces carved from native timber, mud brick, wicker, and colorful woven fabric; meals don’t deviate and might include Sichuan-style noodles and yak-butter tea. But the real reason you come here is for the truly immersive experiences. How many hotels take you into Tibetan homes for a meal, offer meditation master classes, join you with monks for daily chanting rituals, or lead you on mushroom picking missions through the countryside? (86 887/899 8000; luxresorts.com; doubles from US$188).
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