Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa eyes April opening

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announced the slated opening in April of its newest property, the 289-room Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa.

Lhasa is the administrative capital of Tibet. Set on a plateau soaring 12,000 feet above sea level, the city is encircled by the Himalayan mountains, glaciers and desert-like landscapes.

Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa is close to some of the world's most culturally significant Buddhist sites, including World Heritage Sites such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka Palace. The hotel is also located within walking distance to Potala Palace and Norbulingka Palace.

Guests will approach the hotel through a grand entrance gate, which opens onto a plaza and is inspired by traditional Tibetan architecture, the same as the hotel's exterior. The Tibetan culture was the reference for the property's interiors, the heart of which is Lodgers Lounge. The focal point of the lounge will be a 21-foot bell-like chandelier draped in flowing red fabric which is reminiscent of a prayer wheel. Dressed in warm tones and earthy colors drawn from Thangkas (Tibetan paintings) are the high ceilings and windows surrounding the lounge, as well as the outdoor patio. To the right of the lounge will be the front desk, where there is a floating cloud installation behind reception. Signifying unity and strength, the ancient Tibetan symbol of swirling clouds are made into a contemporary work of art by using hammered oxidized bronze.

Visitors to Lhasa are advised to acclimate to the high altitude before exploring the area. To assist guests in doing so, the hotel will have the first oxygen lounge to be found in a hotel in Lhasa. Other amenities will include: a landscaped garden; two pavilions built by Tibetan craftsmen using bronze-ware, lacquer, murals and carvings; a spa; a gym; an indoor swimming pool; and a complete clinic.

Among the hotel's 289 guestrooms are 10 long stay apartments. Guestrooms, some of which offer views of the Potala Palace, will start from 452 square feet and are equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. The rooms' decor is grounded in neutral colors and accentuated with the reds, blues and greens that are seen in traditional Tibetan dress. Traditional Himalayan accents such as turquoise stone, decorative metals, floral patterns and auspicious symbols will complement the design.

The hotel's signature outlet will be Shambala, a tapas bar and lounge. It pays homage to the region by serving authentic Tibetan cuisine. The interior of the restaurant is low lit by lights reminiscent of oil lanterns carried by monks; while the walls are draped in Tibetan hand-crafted carpets. Other Tibetan influences include decorative metal fixtures across the low ceiling beams and the repetitive use of the auspicious endless knot. There are three areas: the lounge, dining room or outdoor tapas bar.

The all-day dining restaurant, Altitude, will serve international fare and will have an outdoor dining area, as well as an open kitchen layout. Meanwhile, Shang Palace, a Shangri-La signature restaurant, will serve authentic Cantonese and Sichuan specialties; it has 10 private dining rooms.

For events, the property will have ballrooms and function spaces starting at 872 square feet. The 13,078-square-foot Grand Ballroom is the largest in the city. The eves of the ballroom are inspired by Jokhang Temple, while the ceiling will be covered in wallpaper using a gold brush technique. The breakout area at Level 5 leads to the Outdoor Terrace which will overlook Potala Palace and the surrounding mountain range.

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages more than 80 hotels under the Shangri-La brand, with a room inventory of over 34,000. The group has a development pipeline with upcoming projects in Mainland China, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the UK.






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