WildChina > Editor's Pick > What is Luxury Travel in China?

From gilded 5 star services in the bustling world cities of Shanghai and Beijing, to the rustic charm of mountain retreats in rural Yunnan and Guilin, China has much variety to offer the luxury traveler.

There is significant variations in development among China’s different regions. Because of this, few countries in the world can offer the breadth and variety of luxury experiences that China can. Understanding the different styles of luxury experiences available will help you get the most out of your visit to China.

What is Luxury Travel in China?

Tier 1 Cities – World-Class 5 Star Luxury

Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are China’s tier 1 cities, the country’s major economic centers. These cities host millions of visitors every year and have all the luxury offerings that would be expected of any world city.


The Peninsula

Shanghai is often touted as the Paris of the East and has 5 star experiences to match. From the Peninsula to the Ritz-Carlton, service levels in the hotels are on par or above their international counterparts but the price is generally lower, so luxury accommodation in China offers great value for money.

China’s tier 1 cities also sit comfortably on the world stage where cuisine is concerned. Shanghai in particular has a superb selection of high-end dining experiences by world-class chefs ranging from top Chinese, to classic French, to modern multi-sensory affairs.

To experience the creme-de-la-creme of Shanghai, join us on our Shanghai Highlife tour.

Yunnan, Sichuan and Guilin – Rustic Rural Retreats

Venturing outside of China’s tier 1 cities will bring you a richer cultural experience. The best way to enjoy authentic luxury in these areas is to go boutique.  Although 5-star hotels can still be found in some bigger cities in these regions, they are often lesser specimens of their international counterparts and close to the tired, commercialized areas of town.

Everything moves much slower outside of China’s big cities and staying at retreats, resorts and boutique lodges is the best way to enjoy this relaxed atmosphere.

Immerse in village life in Yangshuo at the Moondance resort with a cooking lesson using ingredients purchased from the local market. Retreat to Songtsam Meili Lodge in the mountains of Shangri-La to take in its serenity away from the tourist traps.

Conventional luxury dining experiences in these areas will be very hard to come by. However, the unique local flavors and fresh produce these regions offer will more than make up for it.

Bathe in the lap of luxury on our Songtsam Circuit tour which will take you around the mythical land of Shangri-La while staying in world-class luxury retreats.

Xinjiang, Tibet, and Other Frontiers – Ultimate Adventure

China’s frontier regions offer ultimate adventure experiences, which can be found nowhere else in the world. However, accessing these experiences often requires traveling to remote and undeveloped areas where little to no conventional luxury comforts are available.

tibet - norden camp - taken from Wild China blog

Norden Camp Tibet

Luxury in these regions is defined more around premium activities. For example, VIP access to restricted sections of Mogao caves in Dunhuang, or expert guided tour of the Xinjiang Museum’s mummy collection. Many of these experiences are not openly advertised so it is important to work with someone with the knowledge and networks to find them and make them happen.

If you are searching for ideas to be impressed, China’s frontier regions is where you will find one-of-a-kind experiences with serious bragging rights. Imagine an exclusive luxury eco camp on the Tibetan Plateau to witness the Yushu Horse Festival, one of the last remaining horse festivals in China.

If you’re ready to indulge in some upscale camping, check out our Tibetan Camping Retreat.

Don’t see exactly what you want? We can customize your tour to give you the type of luxury you’re looking for. Get started planning your own customized luxury tours.