A "very good" Tibetan family hotel befitting a visit to Lhasa. This former school has its challenges, but it was fine for three nights, in late June. (I can appreciate it's pretty chilly in winter months with its single-pane windows.) Those windows aren't very soundproof either, so light sleepers should bring earplugs, particularly if you're in "street"-side rooms. We had one such room, but our adult children had a courtyard room, which was quieter. Beds have thin mattresses and no box springs, so they're "firm". (We did use our own pillowcases, but we do that lots of places.) Toilet/basin/shower-rooms feature amazing rock/masonry work. Western flush commodes. We had hot-ish water. If you want to read (in bed), bring your own little battery light.
Very friendly and accommodating staff. Fine breakfast in third-floor restaurant. The dinner food doesn't quite live up to the impressive menu, but the lamb was good and we're still talking about the delicious, hot nan (bread). I asked to buy a decorative pillow cover, and was taken next door to the "craft" shop. Another amazing experience. (Ultimately, lots of covers to choose from at a great price.)
Yes, you must be able to do steps (it's a glorified ladder to the rooftop dining area). And your taxi cannot drive you to the entrance as the street narrows to an alley, so the last 100 paces are on foot (more charm, to us).
Our met-at-the-airport guide was not encouraging about the place and offered diligently to relocate us to "something better", both before we checked in and after the first night, but we had intentionally picked this place for a Tibetan experience, and we were happy with our decision.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Shambhala Palace is a restored home of a high ranking Tibetan Lama. All of our rooms provide guests with the utmost comfort while surrounded by Tibetan history and tradition. Our rooftop restaurant together with four of our king rooms offer full on views of Potala Palace with other rooms looking out over the quiet alleyways of the ancient quarter. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- House Of Shambhala Lhasa, Tibet