SHANGRI LA, first luxury hotel to open in Himalaya

Shangri-La announces it will own and operate a new hotel in 2012 in Lhasa, a city set on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, the highest region on earth.  The 350-room luxury urban resort, owned and operated by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, will rest amongst the tallest peaks in the world: a striking mountain landscape of glaciers, valleys and lakes considered sacred by many. The hotel will be 1,5 km from the Potala Palace, the famous 7th century complex at the centre of Lhasa with over 1,000 rooms and a collection of cultural relics including handwritten Buddhist manuscripts.

The hotel will be about half a kilometre from other notable Lhasa landmarks including: Chokpori, known as “Iron Mountain” and one of the four holy mountains of central Tibet; Norbu Lingka, the summer palace originally built in 1755; and the Tibet Museum. Service touches will include Tibetan welcome rituals and the local hand churned butter tea.

The hotel’s design will also take into consideration the difficulties travellers face acclimating to the high altitude and attempt to mitigate its effects. Inspired by the window boxes of flowers found outside traditional Lhasa homes, the hotel will be surrounded with extensive garden landscaping featuring indigenous plants to increase oxygen levels in the area. The hotel will also have a full service clinic with medical staff to attend to guests.