Meili, Yunnan, China

Meili is the poster piece of the Songtsam Circuit, thanks to its stupendous location on a high natural balcony overlooking the Mekong Valley above Diqing town. The view is extraordinary – quite possibly the finest Himalayan vista available from any hotel in Asia. On clear days, you feel you could almost reach out and touch the ice summits of the Kawakarpo massif rising from the nearby Tibetan border. Bag one of the front-side rooms and you’ll be able to enjoy the panoramas from the comfort of your own window seat, warmed by a crackling wood stove. During the day, a sun-drenched terrace provides another superb vantage point. Walkers of all levels will find plenty to enthuse about, whether an easy amble through the lichen-filled, broadleaf forest next to the lodge, or full-on climbs to the snow line up the slopes soaring behind it.

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