Shangri-La’s new hotel in Lhasa, the largest five-star hotel in the plateau city, was opened on Thursday. Set in the administrative capital of Tibet, circled by the Himalayan mountains, this new urban retreat has 289 rooms (262 luxurious guestrooms and 17 expansive suites). Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with an offering of hada, a traditional ceremonial white silk scarf. That’s followed by tossing some barley in a wooden chema container that Tibetans once used to pray for a plentiful harvest season.
“It is extremely important wherever we operate hotels that we embrace the local community and culture and our hotels reflect this authentically in both their design and offerings,” said Ester Marcaida, general manager of the Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa.
The hotel has built the first oxygen lounge to be found in a hotel in Lhasa. The sealed, glass-walled treatment room is pressurized to match the air density at sea level, where arriving guests can drink tea and partake in locally-inspired spa rituals.
The hotel’s signature outlet is Shambala, which specialises in Tibetan and Yunnan cuisine and opens in July. The venue features a dining area and lounge, bar and outdoor patio seating. Shangri-La’s signature Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace, serves Sichuan and authentic Cantonese.
Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa is a 40-minute drive from Lhasa Gongar Airport and a 10-minute drive from the world’s highest railway station.
On TripAdvisor, Shangri-La’s nightly introductory rates for a weeklong stay in May show $370 via booking.com, while St. Regis Lhasa Resort is priced at $498 on the same booking engine.