we stayed here for two nights, 1st all the location: if you are city folks, please stay home, this is a hotel for people that want to see why Zhongdian is called Shangri-la, ie beautiful rivers, mountains, yaks, horses, pigs, etc. culture: Tibetan Buddhism, friendly locals
this place really feels like it is out in the middle of nowhere but that's the charm of this place, I had very spoilt city friends that loved this place and other less spoilt city friends that hated this place so do your research first
I liked the location (10 minutes hike to a 800 year temple), great views, was impressed with the way the Banyan Tree farmhouses completely blend in with the local village houses, decent food at the restaurant, cups & cups of ginger tea, very easy walk down by the river (nice kayaking spot in the summer), convenient location to see how the villagers live their day to day lives, far from "downtown"--which is nothing much to see, except for old town "gucheng" that's worth spending 1/2 a day in & also far from Songzanlin Si
for the price I paid though, the rooms were not that clean, my bedsheets had strands of hair (lots of them, & not the ones that grow on your head) on them
my friends and I are planning to come back next June, & at this point I'm inclined to stay at Songtsam Hotel instead. (but Songtsam is undergoing renovations so will have to see)
p.s. another complain I have is that I wrote the hotel 3 emails (to 3 different addresses) to ask if they still had a farm rat problem (something I read about in tripadvsior.com by another member), I only heard back from the HK sales office after I came back from the trip, turned out that they had a computer glitch and never got my emails, I was offered a free lunch which I turned down, I still like the Banyan Tree hotel chain and may check out their other properties (I loved Bintan & Phuket) but like I said, if Songtsam is opened by June, I prefer not to come back here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the most secluded hideaways in the world, Shangrila is a remote paradise hidden in a Tibetan valley. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, Banyan Tree Ringha is nestled within this fabled valley, offering awe-inspiring views and experiences within a tranquil retreat. Leave the modern world behind and step into a land of great beauty and peacefulness. At the Banyan Tree Ringha, the feeling of exotic isolation converges with all the comforts of a pampering resort stay. Discover all that Ringha has to offer with the "Spirit of Shangrila" program. Designed as an all-inclusive package, the program covers the best tours and treks in the area. With transport, meals and accommodation taken care of, as well as a local guide to show you around, all you have to do is to relax, enjoy, and take in the beautiful surroundings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banyan Tree Ringha Hotel Shangri-La County
- Banyan Tree Ringha Shangri-La County, China - Yunnan