We stayed at the St.Regis hotel, Lhasa last month and were very favourably impressed with the hotel and its staff.
Our butler showed us to the room 1516 (overlooking the Potala Palace) which was vast. It was divided into three areas which could all be curtained off for privacy if necessary. It was our wedding anniversary during our stay and our room was decorated with rose petals on the bed and a vase of red roses followed by delivery of chocolate cake once we had settled in.
The main bedroom had a seating area with coffee table and comfy sofa and a separate area with an apple docking station and free wifi for laptops etc. The minibar was well stocked and there was a good supply of tea and coffee in this area too. The bathroom was one step higher than the rest of the room and had two sinks, deep bath, walk in shower and separate glass enclosed toilet. Each sink had a powerpoint at the side so I could dry my hair whilst my husband was shaving. Lots of white fluffy towels and good quality toiletries, comb, mending kit etc. Bottled water was replenished in the bathroom and by the side of our bed several times each day. All windows in the bedroom and bathroom had views of Potala Palace.
One plus point on the bathroom was the lighting; once we put the main lights off at night small discrete floor lights showed the way to the bathroom so there were no stubbed toes in the middle of the night.
The TV had HBO as well as many other English speaking channels so I did not miss CSI Miami! This was most welcome on our first night as we both suffered from the altitude which, although not as bad as some other reports did give us a pounding headache in the middle of your forehead and trying to get as much air into your lungs as you could was a bit panicky but this seemed to go by the following day and we were able to climb all the steps at Potala Palace.
We ate in the Social restaurant each day for breakfast which had a wonderful supply of cooked to order and fresh meats, salads, breads etc.I settled for fresh cooked ham and cheese omelette each morning. We had dinner in the Social restaurant a couple of times as the Tibetan restaurant was empty so lacked atmosphere (you could have the same food in the Social restaurant anyway) but we did eat in the Tibetan restaurant one night as it was so beautifully furnished and decorated. I had Yak curry and Tibetan noodles which were delicious. The only minor complaint I found with the restaurants if you ordered wine by the glass it had to come from the Decanter bar on another floor to the restaurant which could take a little while. I think if the wine is offered by the glass there should be at least one bottle of that particular wine in the restaurant. Having said that the food was good and staff very pleasant, I have just read a review from someone commenting on the lack of English spoken but during our stay if there was any doubt on what we were ordering/asking the waitress called for help from another member of staff who was more fluent. With the absurd restrictions being put on getting visas into Tibet I was astounded to find the Tibetan people so delightful. When we were exploring the streets by ourselves, we encountered nothing but friendly smiling faces (except for the Chinese guards) we were greeted with handshakes and faltering English sentences from toddlers to aged pensioners.
We did visit the Spa, I particularly wanted to swim in the Golden Pool but I found it much too hot (not the water but the air temperature in the pool and dressing areas) - this might have been due to my suffering a bit from altitude sickness but I couldn't stay for a swim or treatment.
The hotel had a gentle elegant feeling and there were lots of antique treasures on tables and shelves throughout the hotel (I daresay when more Western tourists start visiting these will have to be locked a\way). The hotel shop stocked an assortment of local paintings, jewellery and scarves which were specially made for the St. Regis and of exceptional quality. Tibet is too far for me to ever return but it will stay in my mind and heart as a place of exceptional beauty both of the landscape and its people.
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- Also Known As:
- St. Regis Lhasa Hotel Lhasa
- St. Regis Lhasa Resort Tibet