We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Charming decor, great location, tepid water” 4 of 5 stars
Review of House Of Shambhala

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
You added House Of Shambhala to your Saves list
House Of Shambhala
No.7 Jiri erxiang, Lhasa 850000, China   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Lhasa tour @USD400/person
Ranked #4 of 297 Hotels in Lhasa
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Charming decor, great location, tepid water”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

House of Shambala and Shambala Palace Hotel are run by the same company. We stayed at the latter. The decor was delightful, over the top Tibetan, and the staff tried hard. There were a number of small maintenance problems, like latches that didn't open or loose toilet seat, but the only important one was the failure of the water to get properly hot. It took us a day or so to figure out which tap was meant to be the hot water one and then wait a full five minutes for it to show up, but never more than tepid. That said' the location couldn't have been better, right in the heart of the old Tibetan quarter. This meant daily walks through lively alleys filled with prayer wheel twirlers, school children, furniture painters, craft shops, knitters, etc.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

39 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
See reviews for
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Annandale, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2015

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.

Room Tip: We liked 203 and 204.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014

If you need a Chinese run western style box hotel, this is not your place, if you want character, charm, warmth, friendly helpful service run by Tibetans in the Tibetan part of town than this is THE place. Ideally situated a few blocks from Barkhor Square, this oasis of Tibetan peace and tranquility offers interesting accommodations (we stayed in the meditation room, nice!) and a roof top bar with a view of the Potala. The nice little restaurant has a with charm and friendly accommodating staff. Food is good and the beer cold. I'm surprised by some of the avg/neg reviews these people must have thought they were checking into the George V. My wife and I can't wait to return. Also, check out the handicraft shop next door for pillowcases, jewelry and more. A perfect way to give back to the local artisans.

Room Tip: Front facing rooms may be a bit noisy early in the evening and early in the morning.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
trisong J, Manager at House Of Shambhala, responded to this review, October 28, 2014
Thank you so much for your kind review and sharing your experience with on tripadvisor users.We really value every reviews from our client including bad reviews as well.Through bad reviews ,we are able to improve our hotel services including hardware facilities for future clients as much as we can and we are pleased to inform our future clients that we are making some minor changes at House Of Shambhala this winter to make your stay more comfortable with us.We can't wait to share room photos new accommodation facilities soon.

We also would like to use this page regarding a very negative review by one of our hotel clients who stayed in Shambhala Palace mainly the part where we are portrayed as cheaters and greedy!! We do understand and ackowledge the fact that style of our hotel is not the taste of every clients.. But we are not greedy and cheater. I am actually the greedy manager the client has mentioned.I am sorry she felt that way.I actually offered her free motor bike ride with her partner to House Of Shambhala restaurant twice. (just to express how we tried to do our best) The client has actually made booking in one of our large room but not the one with potala view.She has two nights reservation.After first night client requested to change the room and we without any complications upgraded her room to a room with potala view without any extra fee. But then our client thought that was the room she booked which is not true.But we are also sorry because room photos and room infos on agoda is not sufficient and we are to blame for that misunderstanding to some extent. We will make sure such misunderstandings doesn't happen again in future.

Elevator : There are actually only one or two hotel in old town that is equipped with elevator facility. Having said that,everytime a clients arrives, we make sure we voluntarily take the luggages to guests rooms and vice versa when clients checks out although some clients do insists to carry the luggages on their own.

Our room floors are not at all made of rock. Floors are equipped with wooden floors.

In short,we make it our duty to make sure clients enjoys their stay in our hotel and in Tibet.
For future clients : Please do not hesitate to ask for any services or favor you might need.We are always at your service.

Our sincere apologies if we have written our management review too straightforward.
Reservation Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for three nights during a trip to Tibet. It's a fun, quirky place that is in the heart of the old town.

Fixtures and fittings look a little worn but adds to the charm.

Hot water was lacking but don't think you'd get this in most places.

Bring ear plugs to drown out the noise from the old streets outside and turn the fan heater on an hour or so before you go to bed.

Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

Stayed there for 2 nights on the 3rd level next to restaurant. (do note that you have to carry your luggages as there are no lift) If you are looking for a traditional tibetan furnishing accommodation this is the place to be. Room was with a musky smell when we first entered. Carpet and bed sheets doesnt exactly look clean. So if you are very particular about cleanliness this might not be the right place for you. Also if you are light sleeper, you might not be comfortable with the noise from the neighborhood. Wifi connection was stable. Great location right in the middle of barkhor sq area. Hotel staff speak good english. Breakfast were great. The restaurant ala carte menu were great too. Recommend to have a meal here even if you are not staying over.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
95 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
224 helpful votes 224 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

I I stayed at the House of Shambhala recently and had a great stay. It is important to understand what the House of Shambhala is before you decide to stay here. If you are looking for a fancy, modern-style hotel, this is probably NOT the hotel you should stay at. However, if you are looking to stay at a heritage hotel that has a lot of character and charm, this is the perfect place.

There are no elevators so all the rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor can only be accessed by using the stairs. The rooms are quite spacious. Inside, the rooms are all decorated in a nice, traditional Tibetan design. Because the House of Shambhala is in an old-Tibetan home, there is not a lot of natural light coming into the room, however, I had no problem with that. There were plenty of lamps inside the room to provide adequate lighting. The bathroom is built with large stones in a rustic-style, but still quite nice. It does take the hot water a few minutes to come through, but once it came it was fine.

The staff were all very helpful. I met with the manager who gave me the complete history of the building. The restaurant upstairs was beautifully designed and served great food.

Again, if you are looking for a modern 4 or 5 Star hotel, the House of Shambhala probably isn't for you. But if you are looking to stay in an authentic heritage hotel that is owned and managed by a great group of local Tibetans, this is the perfect place for you. I look forward to staying here again!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woolpit, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

We stayed here for 4 nights. We live in a house much older and appreciate old buildings and wanted to try this out. Certainly a lovely heritage building but absolutely not boutique. For our first night and morning we had cold water and after that only when running the tap for 15 minutes. Unfortunately the drains don't run away so you end up with a flood to paddle in and an unpleasant smell. The room was cold and we needed the heater on the whole time we were in. We also had to ask for towels to be changed because they didn't dry. The bed needed a lot of padding with a spare duvet as described by another reviewer. Food in the restaurant was ok but we had much better in town. My husband enjoyed it much more than I did. Overall one night would have been enough of an experience. We don't know how much we paid as it was booked by an agent but the website prices are outrageous at around 150usd. 50usd is as much as it's worth really.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to House Of Shambhala? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about House Of Shambhala

Address: No.7 Jiri erxiang, Lhasa 850000, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Tibet > Lhasa
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Lhasa
#5 Best Value Hotel in Lhasa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda so you can book your House Of Shambhala reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
House Of Shambhala Lhasa, Tibet

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage House Of Shambhala, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.