Banyan Tree Ringha, Jian Tang
Tel: 86 887 828 8822
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Seen from the rocky road, the Banyan Tree Ringha appears architecturally indistinguishable from the villages of packed earth and timber structures in this mountainous region at a gasping 10,000 feet above sea level. But upon arrival at this 32-suite hillside retreat in Yunnan Province, you'll discover lovely landscaped grounds and rooms equipped with deep-barrel bathtubs and pie-plate showers. Spa Suites add a dedicated downstairs space for treatments. Walls from old wood houses in surrounding villages have been given new life as intricately carved interior decor in the guest rooms. Electric blankets, strategically placed heaters, and a stone stove under a mammoth copper cover keep guests cozy when temperatures drop below freezing. The predominantly Tibetan staff exude kindness, while the six trekking guides bring their experience leading expeditions around Tibet's holy Mount Kailash and along the perilous ridges of Everest to the greener pastures of Ringha Valley.2006 Hot List
When to go: September, when animal herds congregate on the grasslands, which are carpeted in poppies, rhododendrons, and wild lilies.
Which room to book: Zone Three rooms have the best valley views (doubles, $400).