Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa Opens in Tibet
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ new 289-room urban retreat in Lhasa awaits guests eager to explore one of the world’s most storied destinations.
In a sign of things to come, the Shangri-La has become the latest hotel group to open a luxury property atop the highest plateau on the planet, in one of the most fabled, mythical destinations on Earth.
Surrounded by the Himalayan mountains, the Shangri-La Lhasa is set 3,650 meters feet) above sea level in Lhasa, the administrative capital of Tibet.
While the company is Hong Kong-based, its evocative brand name is inspired by the fictional utopian Himalayan lamasery described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon. You’ll find a copy of this book in every room!
The hotel’s high-altitude facilities include a 24-hour medical clinic and the city’s first “Oxygen Lounge”, where O2 concentrations are equivalent to those found at sea level, helping guests to acclimatise to life at 3650m.
Efforts are made to create an authentic Tibetan atmosphere: Guests are greeted with the offering of a hada — a traditional ceremonial white silk scarf — and barley is thrown on a wooden container used by Tibetans to pray for a bumper harvest.
Once in their room, guests are served yak butter tea in Tibetan pots. And upon departure, hotel staff sing traditional Tibetan songs to send off their guests.
All 289 guest rooms and suites are decorated in the bold colors and fabrics found in Tibetan culture. The hotel centerpiece, meanwhile, is a striking 6.5-meter-tall chandelier made from 61,000 pieces of crystal, draped in a flowing red fabric to evoke a prayer wheel.
The hotel is located within walking distance to the Potala Palace, formerly the chief residence of the Dalai Lama, and Norbulingka Palace, which once served as the Dalai Lama’s summer residence.