We had lots of problems during our 51 day travels with hotel and flight bookings made by our travel agent in London, Evertravel and their partners Peace travel in Beijing, so they decided to upgrade us to the 4 star Sun Island hotel in Lhasa. Only thing is they knew as much about this hotel as we did and how wrong they were thinking the upgrade was worth it.
We arrived in Lhasa after a fantastic 25 hour overnight journey on the train from Xining. It was around 10:30 pm and dark when we got to the hotel so had no idea about our location. The hotel is large with a sign in the lobby boasting it is the best hotel in Lhasa!
The reception staff, actually 99% of the staff did not speak english and it soon became apparant that we were the first western foreigners that had ever stayed in the hotel!
Our room was spacious with a nice bathroom and came equipped with the contents of a mini bar minus the fridge! Pot noodles were also available to purchase. The kettle came in useful!
The room had a fantastic view of the Potola Palace and free internet access. It looked out onto the street with a building site whwere they started using the digger at about 10pm everynight plus they vacuumed the hotel corridors at midnight.
Breakfast was a chinese buffet and when we arrived on the first morning there was no bread or anything we could eat, nor anyone other than another guest who could speak any english. So our tour guide stepped in and ordered something for us for the rest of our stay. Well breakfast turned into everyone running around us like Royalty, delivering food we did not want to eat and eggs that had been fried at 7:00am! Still, 100% on effort if not taste.
The hotel is located in a Chinese area of Lhasa so you lose out on anything 'authentic' that is left. We took rickshaw taxis into town for dinner a couple of times.
Go to Tibet now before it all changes but find another hotel to stay in in Lhasa - this is clearly aimed at mainland China visitors and is not what you are after. Don't always think your travel agent knows best.
On our last day the restaurant manager took photos of us us we were the first foreigners he had ever served!!
Try the New Mandala restaurant near the Jokhang Temple and Bharkor St - it is great and has a roof terrace with good views. English menus, Western, Tibetan and Nepalese food and great beer and good value.
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- Also Known As:
- Sun Island Hotel Lhasa, Tibet