Recommended Shaxi hotels

Old Theatre Inn | award-winning design and unique protected heritage status among Shaxi hotels


In 2012, the Ginkgo Society, led by American designer Chris Barclay, renovated and re-branded the popular Dragonfly Guesthouse as the Old Theatre Inn, in Shaxi Yunnan China. The 5-room family-run inn was conceived by Partner Wu Yunxin and built around an historic folk theatre temple built in 1782. The boutique Shaxi hotel features a private bath in every guestroom, complimentary breakfast, a full service dining room and spacious sunny central courtyard. It has won TripAdvisor’s traveler’s Choice Award seven years in a row, rating it among the top 10 Inns in China and #1 among Shaxi hotels for the past seven years.

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Other recommended Shaxi hotels:

Shaxi Horsepen 46 – a quiet Shaxi hostel in the old town. A great choice for budget travelers and young people who want a safe friendly hostel that’s close to everything. Shaxi Horsepen 46 is run by Shirley Huo, an early arriver in Shaxi from Sichuan and she offers tours and climbing activities as well.

Shaxi Laomadian Lodge – a favorite of upmarket travelers, the Laomadian Lodge is also located in the heart of Shaxi old town in a restored traditional courtyard. English speaking staff and nice food make Laomadian Lodge another good choice among Shaxi hotels.

Tea and Horse Caravan Inn – Just down North Tibet Alley from Laomadian Lodge is this quaint and affordable courtyard style Shaxi hostel. While not in the old town square like Laomadian and Horsepen 46, the Tea and Horse Caravan offers an authentic feel and good value among Shaxi hotels.

Shaxi Cultural Centre – for those interested in traditional local culture, this affordable Shaxi hostel is another good choice. With a library and offering many local activities, the Shaxi Cultural Centre is also conveniently located close to old town.

Our advice on Shaxi hotels

Many Shaxi hotels are run by outsiders and lack the distinctive local design and flavor. In Shaxi old town, one can hear cafe and guesthouse owners speaking dialects from Bejing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. They often hire friends and relatives from outside and cook food native to their hometown. Ownership of the guesthouses change frequently as outsiders struggle to find their market or adapt to the unique Shaxi climate and food. We therefore recommend only locally owned accommodation. This not only supports more local employment, but keeps more profits circulating in the Shaxi Valley.