Backed by the Karst Mountains in South China, the recently opened Alila Yangshuo Hotel has been converted by Beijing-based studio Vector Architects on the site of the disused sugar mill. And it might be our favourite looking hotel of the year.

Alila Yangshuo Hotel, China

Alila Yangshuo Hotel is situated in a col between two of the Karst Mountains which make the Guangxi region in China a popular destination for tourists after some breath-taking scenery. The original sugar mill was constructed in the 1960s, and comprises of various buildings alongside a truss used for loading sugar cane onto boats.

These buildings have been reimagined at the Alila Yangshuo Hotel to house everything from a reception area and café/bar to a gallery and even a library. Two new structures have also been built on site to contain the guest rooms and suites of the hotel. While the hotel is modern in material and design, the building does pay homage to the original architecture.


The main guestroom building is designed with a combination of local stone and bamboo. The Sugar House Retreats offers the best of luxury living, combining contemporary style, modern amenities and stunning scenic views. Each retreat comes with a private terrace, while at the higher end of things, the individual Pool Villas each feature private pools and gardens.

The iconic 1969 Bar features a modern industrial design and even has its own in-house rum distillery, where cocktails are centred on the theme of sugar and rum. Inspired by Yangshuo’s karst caves, the on-site Spa Alila is located underground, and is accessed via a stone-like spiral stairway.


The Sugar House Restaurant offers seasonal farm-to-table menu caters to all, using fresh local ingredients to create a selection of Chinese and Western dishes. The Alila Leisure Concierge team also offers bespoke activities through the Yangshuo region.

The Alila Yangshuo Hotel is available from around £150 per night. Head over to the Alila Hotels Website for more details.




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