In the foothills of Yunnan Province’s Meili mountains is a village with 22 homes that are more than 100 years old. Sunyata Hotel Meili, a conservation project, is the 23rd structure here.
"The rooftop lounge turns into a social hub in the evenings. Intimate parties are held here to encourage the limited number of guests to mingle."
Bordering Yunnan Province and Tibet, at the foothills of Meili Snow Mountain, is Wunongding Village. For centuries, things have remained pretty much the same for the 22 Xianggelila households who still live there.
The ones who have moved on have left behind not just vacated Tibetan homes but also a history that can be preserved and enjoyed by others, albeit in a less traditional way.
One of the vacated premises is now the Sunyata Hotel Meili, which opened in June. Chinese architecture ﬁrm Zhaoyang Architects took 1,095 days to turn the morethan 100-year-old building into Crate & Barrel meets rustic Tibetan space.
To retain its raw spirit, the architects kept the aged texture of the natural materials, and used salvaged wood and earthy colours for the hotel’s exterior and furniture. They also installed Tibetan-style ﬁre places, Buddhist murals and reclaimed doors.
The hotel’s extensive library lets visitors learn more about the rich Xianggelila culture.
The reading material will come in handy. To encourage guests to go off the grid, there’s no Wi-Fi except in the lobby, and no electronic devices in the rooms. – HT
Sunyata Hotel Meili has 18 rooms and charges $400++ for two persons a night.
1. Every room has a special selection of books on Yunnan’s flora and fauna.
2. The architects recycled the original rammedearth wall and incorporated concrete to strengthen the structure.
3. The chairs in the dining area are all made in Tibet from recycled materials.
4. The Noble House is the only villa in the establishment. It has a terrace that faces the Meili Snow Mountain.