Jing’s Residence, Ping Yao Historic Chinese Boutique Hotel

[09/03/12] 

Jing’s Residence is rooted in Ping Yao’s past and that’s reflected in its historic design. Built 260 years ago, the 17-room hotel was formerly the home of a wealthy Qing dynasty silk merchant but it’s been restored to its former glory by old local craftsmen familiar with traditional construction techniques. We just hope the poor lads weren’t made to do the heavy lifting – but we wouldn’t put it past China.

The rooms are set around four courtyards and are split into three categories, Courtyard Room, Courtyard Suite and Master Suite with prices ranging from RMB1,250 – 2,800 (HK$1,500 – 3,400). It’s good value but we’d recommend getting a suite because the standard rooms are bland and functional. The hotel has a library, a bar, a spa and a good restaurant (it’s a Relais & Chateaux) which serves traditional hotpot in a cauldron that’s over 1,000 years old. What really makes the hotel special, however, is its historic charm. It looks like a film set. You expect Christian Bale to jump out and go mental on the lighting crew at any minute.

The other main attraction, of course, is Ping Yao itself which was founded in the 14th century and was once the commercial heartbeat of China. Set in Shanxi province, 715km from Beijing, the walled city is a perfect example of a traditional Han Chinese city. Much of the original architecture survives today which has earned it the title of a UNESCO heritage site and the best thing to do is explore the local area with a professor from Ping Yao University. After sending your girlfriend off to have massage lessons.

Rub-a-dub-dub.


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