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Songtsam Retreat at Shangri la - MGallery Collection
Ranked #3 of 161 Hotels in Shangri-La County
Certificate of Excellence
Curemonte, France
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A real treat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2014

After 3 weeks of touring Yunnan it was a wonderful way to finish on a massive high. Lovely rooms, great food, friendly staff... China can be a bit overwhelming so this was a real surprise to have such an amazing place to stay in, considering where we were. The location is spectacular & perfect for photography. It even snowed!

Room Tip: They light the fire in the room at night which can be rather hot so maybe ask them to not do this un...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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306 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Fleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2014

A really pleasant surprise after travelling around China for three weeks. This hotel was fantastic - set on a hillside overlooking the Songtsam Monestary and only a short walk to the Tibetan Village below. The rooms were large and very comfortable with a welcoming log burning fire - we had snow when we arrived. The restaurant and service was excellent as was the good. The hotel staff were very pleasant and accommodating.

Room Tip: All rooms (stone lodges) are good but those closer to Reception avoid you climbing steps.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WendyCole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
China
Level Contributor
95 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2014

WOW. That's my summary in 3 letters. We traveled last December between 3 lodges: Meili => Benzilan => and Shangrila last, and we absolutely LOVED anything about our stay at the Shangrila retreat.
First the surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful: the lodge is located RIGHT NEXT (5 mn walk) to the gorgeous Songzanlin Temple, which is the 2d biggest Buddhist temple after the Potthala in Lhasa, Tibet. The lodge is located in front of a small beautiful and quiet lake ,that you can explore by foot easily. The decoration inside the lodge is fantastic: warm tones, rich tibetan fabrics and carpets, beautiful wooden flooring. Feels out of time. The staff, as in all the Songtsam lodges we visited, was absolutely competent and delightful, anticipating any of our needs quietly, efficiently. We were quickly shown to our room, at the last floor (we indulged in one of their best rooms, for our birthday): amazing views from our small balcony, everything in the room was tastefully chosen and designed: the cosy tea table with hand-made tea sets, complimentary tea leaves and dried camomille flowers, the rugs, the bed linen, the bathroom amenities with hand-made soap...everything up to the smallest details and room temperature was perfect, and made from high quality material. Unlike Meili and Benzilan lodge, the room rate doesn't include the 3 meals, since there are many dining options in the Shangrila small town, so we only tried breakfast: beautiful buffet with extensive selection of local and western delicacies, including a traditional Tibetan dish with explanations on how to eat (loved that cultural touch!). Everything was fresh, tasty and fully satisfactory. The dining hall was spacious and beautifully decorated too, the staff attentive.
We have absolutely LOVED our stay there and would recommend it to anybody in need of a serious break from the busy life, including families (lots of cool activities to do with the kiddos, like bike, walk, bird watch, temple visit etc...). The place is indeed perfect for lovebirds, as well as solo-travelers in need of inspiration for meditation, writing, self reflection...it seems odd to write, but the proximity of the Songzanlin temple somehow provides a deep sense of peace and harmony, some strong good vibrations that make you...just feel good. Try it by yourself.
Now a couple of hopefully helpful tips:
- You definitely don't want to miss visiting the Songzanlin temple: it is next door, and another cool stuff is that the ticket prices are cheaper if you book FROM the lodge directly. You can easily wander for a full morning or afternoon in the temple: it is really big, with many rooms to visit. Don't run out on camera battery! And remember you can't shoot in the praying rooms.
- The next BEST attraction for us was to go to the Shangrila old town. While you can ask the hotel to drive you, we found much more fun to take the bus: just grab the # 3 bus departing right in front of the Temple, and ask the driver with your best Foreigner's smile "GU CHENG" (pronounced "goo cheung" It means "old town"). Stay close to the driver and don't worry, he will somehow manage to make you understand its time to get out of the bus ;-) Price is only 1 Yuan / person.
- Going back from old town to the lodge: there are taxis easily found. Keep the hotel name in Chinese handy, and make sure they switch on the meter-counter. If its too late and you need to bargain, prices shouldn't' go any higher than 30 RMB for day 40 RMB night / single trip.
- The old town is a very cool maze of small streets with lots of fun shops, bars and restaurants: THE perfect place for souvenir shopping.
- What to shop? Tibetan Saffron (I didn't know Tibet was one of the biggest producers!), silver carved jewels (but negotiate hard on price!!), Yak dried meat (tasty, lean and high protein content), traditional Tibetan bells and singing bowls, Tibetan knives, Yunnan Pu'er tea, knitted yak wool stuff...
- Traditional Tibetan knife: be careful, as beautiful as they are, the blades are extremely sharp, and most airlines won't allow you to bring it back, even in a checked-in luggage. So negotiate to have it sent to you by mail. Serious shops definitely know about this constraint, and will offer logistics solutions. Any seller that tells you "check-in no problem!" = WRONG! Seek advice from the lodge.
- And now I'm going to give some lucky Trip Advisors' readers MY secret little shop...the coolest discovery I made in Shangrila : the place is called "DROPENLING" and sells amazing traditional Tibetan crafts at affordable price: hand-made puppets for kids (dragon, tiger, Tibetan dog...) made from very high quality fabric, stuffed toys, yak cashmere scarf, cushion covers etc...they even received the prestigious UNESCO award of excellence for their design. Everything is handmade by Tibetan artisans, so you do a good deed while bringing back the coolest present EVER to your loved ones! Prices: 150-300 RMB for puppets, 30-60 for small coin purse, 500-700 RMB for cashmere scarf with infinity know pattern. Address: # 18 Cengfang Street. Website: www.tibetcrafts.com
Find it! Or email me for detailed map.

Room Tip: Ask a room with a view!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Acidinmyfridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
46 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2013

Our family of 4 were greeted with warm tea and cookies upon arrival, a much needed respite in the sub zero conditions, and were quickly ushered to our rooms. Our room came with a balcony facing the monastery, a most tranquil and wonderful view. The room was very cold but the heater was able to warm it up in less than an hour. The staff was most wonderful, they offered to light up the fireplace (with no extra costs) for extra warmth and even brought ginger tea (or warm milk) during turndown service - how thoughtful of the hotel! Our room had a little seating area facing the fireplace. The minibar (consisting of soft drinks) was also complimentary. The bed was very comfortable and kept us warm.

We had dinner twice in the restaurant during our stay - we were tired of Chinese and Tibetan food and had western cuisine instead. They do have an excellent repertoire of Tibetan dishes though. The service staff at the restaurant were excellent hosts, going out of their way to see to our dietary constraints. They also have an extensive wine list. We met Patrick the GM of the hotel who is most hospitable, and enjoyed our chats with him. He has spent more than 4 years in the area, and offered travel suggestions for our itinerary the next day. Patrick is extremely thoughtful, the next morning he offered to cater to our diet in the evening so that we will not be limited to the same main dishes (for western cuisine). He and his team went out of their way to prepare for a dinner of salmon, roast chicken and a most delicious barley risotto!

The breakfast spread was limited but sufficient and delicious. There was a small noodle soup station, egg station and the rest of the spread was largely filled with bread, pastries and bacon.

Do note that the hotel closes for about 2 months and reopens in early March. We will definitely be back in this hotel the next time we are here, and highly recommends to anyone who is looking for a comfortable, luxury hotel. You will be in the good hands of Patricl and his team!

Room Tip: We stayed at 1401 and 1402 which are just in front of the reception (which is easy for unloading/ lo...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MuffinEats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2013

Shangri-La was my favorite city in China. When the sun rose in the morning, it made the gold roof of the Buddhist Monastery below it shine with an unbelievable beauty. The exterior of the hotel was made mostly of stones, and its placement into the side of a hill overlooking the city was exquisite. The rooms were large, and very comfortable, and the staff was very friendly.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the valley, and with a balcony.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jayne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
75 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013

Stunning property with amazing views of the monastery. The complex and the rooms are wonderful, everything is well appointed and looked after. The location is also good, you can walk to the monastery (which looks near but it's a bit of a hike) and you can catch a bus from there to the city. The restaurant serves INCREDIBLE food (great Tibetan delicacies). The spa was fantastic and affordable.
The amenities in the room, the fireplace (yes), the gigantic bed, the fruit and tea every day, the tone down service... I mean, wow!
Great views, smiles all around, complimentary airport transfers, it's got it all.
Special thanks to Ed for helping out and sharing trips on my next trip, Hawaii :)
Only cons: not a lot of channels on TV... which we turned on once...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Luca G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint-Etienne
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

We stayed in a Junior Suite on the second floor of one of the buildings overlooking the resort. Consequently, we had a non obstructed and nice view of the Songtsam Monastery. The room was spacious, tastefully decorated in Tibetan style, with a king bed on a raised platform. We also had a small outdoor terrace.
We were warmly welcomed with ginger tea and cookies. A pure delight!
The Tibetan staff is genuine, friendly and very pleasant.
We enjoyed an excellent dinner in a nice atmosphere as well as a very good breakfast buffet.
A true amazing boutique hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ED-Net
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Songtsam Retreat at Shangri la - MGallery Collection

Property: Songtsam Retreat at Shangri la - MGallery Collection
Address: Son Zan Lin Ka, Shangri-La County 674400, China (Formerly Songtsam Retreat At Shangri-La)
Location: China > Yunnan > Shangri-La County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 161 Hotels in Shangri-La County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Songtsam Retreat at Shangri la - MGallery Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Shangri-La Hills, Songtsam Retreat, a member of the Mgallery Collection, offers exceptional boutique accommodation in a distinctly Tibetan Style. Boasting a breathtaking location in this beautifully remote area of China, unique architecture and stunning design, the retreat comprises 72 rooms and suites. Songtsam Retreat is located 25 minutes from Diqing Airport and 5 minutes from Songzanlin Monastery. It offers spectacular views, 2 restaurants offering superb dining, a day spa;Linka Spa by L'Occitane, boutique shop, takeout shop and a meditation/yoga room. The hotel is pleased to provide various activities in and around the hotel for you to have a truly memorable stay and ensure you experience all that Shangri-La, also known as the 'Eden in Dream' has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Songtsam Retreat At Shangri-La Hotel Shangri-La County
Songtsam Retreat At Shangri La - MGallery Collection Shangri-La County, China - Yunnan

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