In China, most of our hotels were the traditional/standard type of hotel rooms. I think we all know what these standard rooms look like: twin beds, flat screen TV, bathroom and a chair. The lobby’s are nicely arranged and decorated. I am grateful to Sherwin for being able to provide us the special rate for Holiday Inn internationally as it certainly helped on the costs during our trip. On our journey, there was one city that did not have any international hotels so the tour company said that they had a recommendation. They suggested the Yi De Hotel in the ancient city of Ping Yao. (http://www.yide-hotel.com/zhonghe0.htm) Ping Yao is a very interesting city because it was a financial centre and had the first ever bank in China.
It was a bit of a long drive but we finally got to Ping Yao and the ancient city. Checked into the Yide Hotel and all I could say is OMG! I think this was one of the most amazing hotels that I have ever stayed in…and I have stayed in many. It was a manor house from the 1700′s. Everything has been preserved and period. The room has a traditional bed and furniture and we had a shared reception area. The pillow was a wheat pillow and I think it was therapeutic for my neck. The comforter was this thick traditional oriental cover. I had a very restful sleep. The courtyard was also stunning. It is as if time has stood still and you could feel what life must have been like back in the day. There were sections of rooms separated by large traditional doors and courtyards. Just sitting in the courtyard, you can hear the birds but very little traffic noise. Funny enough, the room had a fluorescent light and in my usual way, I turned off the fluorescent light and went back to the lamps and it made the room feel cozy and authentic.
What is funny is that as you enter the city of Ping Yao, you are bombarded by lights. It is like Vegas with all the colour. Then you enter the ancient city through the high protected walls and it is all traditional and very limited lights…my question is why? Why all the lights to be over the top when there is such beauty in simplicity…maybe it is just me. Give me simple any day when this is what I get. Bland over glam!