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“An absolutely marvelous Tibetan experience”
Review of Rama Kharpo Hotel

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Rama Kharpo Hotel
Ranked #27 of 336 Lhasa B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 16, 2012

Tashi delek. This place totally rocks if you are looking for a real Tibetan experience. And if not, why have you come to Tibet? Hopefully not just to make another notch in your travel belt to exotic places. Admittedly, this small hotel would probably not appeal to all and I need to say from the start that my rating for this hotel is based on the total Tibetan experience and considers only marginally other factors such as amenities. If you are one of those who needs to have 5 star comfort and amenities you would be better off perhaps to stay in one of the many Chinese hotels a km or so to the west of the old Tibetan quarter ( or what is left of it). This move of course would probably not guarantee 5 star quality anyway, having had considerable experience with Chinese hotels elsewhere in China. In addition you would miss out in really experiencing Lhasa as it might have been in the past. The Chinese part of the city is new and does not represent Tibetan Lhasa . The Rama Kharpo is totally owned and operated by Amdo Tibetans originally from the Qinghai province. In fact when we were there for a week the only residents from the West other than us were a pair of fellows from Boston who were in Tibet on a mission to improve their holistic medicine skills. The other residents were all Amdo Tibetans who had come to Lhasa on a pilgrimage following the completion of their farming and herding tasks. This made for rather lively evenings around the dinner table. Us and the curious ( we were curious also) and colorfully dressed Tibetans. The room initially shown to us was a little lacking (no water and heat), but everything was set straight by quickly moving us to quarters with functioning water and an electric heater. Tibetans really do not have central heat or running water for the most part and undoubtedly sleep in whatever they are wearing. We ended up following their example for some nights despite the heater. The Rama Kharpo is well situated to explore the old Tibetan quarter, being located in the lively Muslim area where you can buy pastries and other Muslim snacks, and a few hundred meters from the Barkhor and Jokhang where you can join the pilgrims in their circumambulation (remember always clockwise!). The Jokhang is an absolutely spiritual and moving experience, even for those not touched by the spirit of Buddhism ( we happen to be American Buddhists of a generic variety). The one other note of interest about the Rama Kharpo is that it is located directly across a rather narrow street from a Chinese Army barracks. It was quite interesting to have breakfast downstairs when the young soldiers were lining up in formation for their morning patrols just outside our window (remember photos are really frowned upon of such activities). I might say that while the room was probably not up to Western standards, it was lovely and very fitting and comfortable for the circumstances. Tour groups will not see this place. It is intended for the independent traveler who is looking for something authentic and special. And speaking of independent travel, look up the folks at Spinn Cafe in Lhasa to handle your permit and arrangements. These guys are really tops and will also allow you to use their computers to access the internet. What more can be said. See Lhasa ( at least the old Tibetan quarter) now rather than later when little of the old will remain. You will also not do better than a stay in the Rama Kharpo if you are truly looking for a real Tibetan experience. Kaleshu.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank kalevipoeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 - 27 of 32 reviews

Reviewed November 1, 2011

This place has everything you would want in a budget accommodations:
1. Location: Located in the Muslim Square, it is walking distance (about 10mins) to Bakhor Street and Jokhang temple. The area you are living it feels very local..you have local kids playing games just outside the doorstep, you have to walk through everyone going about their daily lives. It really feels like an authentic Tibetan experience.
2. Amenities: Your own toilet, hot water, bright sunny rooms. It looked better than the Yak hotel we walked past.
3. The service: A small family run place, even though not everyone speaks English, they are a few people who do, and the rest, will try their darnest to help you out. I was actually feeling the effects of the altitude sickness and was sick in the room...my fiance mentioned it to them and they gave us free yoghurt coz they said it helps. Maybe its a placebo effect, but i think i felt better after that. And when they saw me, they would ask how i was feeling...
4. Laundry was very reasonably priced, and was useful after we had been on the road for a number of days and needed clean clothes
5. The yak yoghurt was great! and the yak momos! I Still cant really take butter tea....
6. Across from Rama Khapor, there is this provision shop manned by an old lady with her grandchildren and they have the happiest faces! Neither of us spoke each other's language but we tried through sign language and everything. As i was staying in Rama Khapor, we built a sort of friendship with this old lady and she would smile at us and try to communicate with us whenever she saw us.

All in all, its an amazing experience. I highly recommend Rama Kharpo.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank gyselle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2011

Very comfortable and spacious room; sit down toilet and hot water (luxury)! Full of Tibetan character and Tibetan friendly service. Atmospheric location in the old town but remember your head torch at night. Fantastic breakfast that set you up for the day.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank zenkaon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2011

i stayed there during my Tibet trip last month! it was a well managed family hotel in Lhasa. Everyone's friendly and helpful. Breakfast was great. Eventho our room didnt have bathroom, they arranged for us a bathroom we can use to bathe etc. Affordable & it has strategic location near food area & shopping area. I'll definitely go there when i come back to Lhasa!

Room Tip: get Standard Room will do! for 2 ppl
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank arientastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2011

This hostel is near Bakhor Street and Jokhang temple. On the way to Bakhor Street, there are lots of small shops and stalls, and a lot of locals so I really like it as I can learn more about their culture. And what i really like is that it is really near Muslim Square where i can get my favourite sweet bread. The bedrooms and toilets are clean. Most importantly, the staffs are very helpful :) They provide nice breakfast with 20 RMB. There is free wifi and we can even use their laptops for free. Laundry service is also provided at affordable prices.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank gankahhwee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2010

The highlight of my trip to Lhasa was staying in this hotel. The staff were super friendly, nothing was a problem for them, always happy and smiling. Such a change after some of the other places I had stayed in. The food was fantastic also, authentic Tibetan food, Chinese or Western. And best of all this place was very cheap. On the first morning I went up onto the roof to drink a cup of coffee and could see the Potala Palace, the hills all around Lhasa, the Barkhor area and also the mosque. The nice thing about this place was the access. Parking at the road near the mosque you could walk with your luggage in one minute. I will be staying here again when I return to Lhasa!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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6  Thank tomptak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2016
Google Translation

Room Tip: Разницы в номерах не заметил, разве что в 3ем на втором этаже к двум кроватям бонусом поставлена жёс...
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  • Stayed: December 2015, traveled with friends
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Thank Petr K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rama Kharpo Hotel

Address: No.15 Ongto Shingka Road, Lhasa 850000, China
Location: China > Tibet > Lhasa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 336 B&Bs / Inns in Lhasa
Price Range: $8 - $39 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rama Kharpo is a small family style hotel in Lhasa (associated with Tibet Ctrip Travel Service), one of six hotels awarded a gold star rating. It was set up, and is owned and operated by a young Tibetan book lover with a vision to create quality accommodations and facilities to fit the taste of travelers interested in culture and travel in style. The interior of each room is designed in a simple, minimalist Tibetan style with natural wood floors, furniture, and tasteful decorations. The Tibetan style lobby, bar, and restaurant serve as welcoming and comfortable communal areas. Amenities-Wireless internet-Restaurant-Bar Services-We offer travel arrangements for tours in Lhasa or to other areas of Tibet, such as hiking/trekking trips to Mt. Everest and Kailash.-We can arrange for travel permits(through travel agencies) to Tibet.-We provide a fee consultation and guidance for tours in Tibet -English-speaking staff.Location-In the center of the old city of Lhasa, a 10 minute walk to the Jokhang Temple, centrally located to many other historic and cultural sites. In the recent years we improved decoration and upgraded our services. Meanwhile in early 2015 we have run our "Tibetan Hot Pot" Restaurant in our lobby. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rama Kharpo Hotel Lhasa, Tibet

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