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“Full of Character and Old World Charm” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Songtsam Shangri-la (Lugu) Hotel

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Songtsam Shangri-la (Lugu) Hotel
Ranked #1 of 160 Hotels in Shangri-La County
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
63 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Full of Character and Old World Charm”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2013

We arrived in the early evening after a long trip and some good sightseeing on the way up from Lijiang. At over 3500m the altitude means, if you live at sea level like we do, that the climb to you room, we were on the 4th floor, is literally "breathtaking".

The views from the room were spectacular, and with autumn evening sun and leaves turning, it was exceptionally photogenic.

On arrival you are registers in the main lounge next to a lovely wood burning stove and given hot ginger tea. fortunately your bags are carried up to you room as the stairs are steep and as said the climb is breathtaking. The rooms are of reasonable size and well appointed with nice comfortable beds.

Located only a short walk from the Songsam temple, its easy to reach for the "must do visit". There are a lot of steps so take it easy and remember the temple closes at 19:00.

The dinning room in the hotel is about the only place to eat, and its nicely set up. Food was OK, nothing special but filled the gap. Breakfast was good with a nice selection and the local Yunan coffee was delicious.

Room Tip: A room on the top floor at the front
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AnthonyW888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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328 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
325 reviews
136 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013

The Songtsam Shangri-La is a beautiful lodge in a pristine and beautiful area. It is done in the traditional Tibetan style and the furnishing and decoration throughout is authentic Tibetan.

The lodge is located on the grounds of the stunning Songzalin monastery next door. There is also a nice two-mile boardwalk around the lake in front of the monastery and lodge. From this walk you will get beautiful views across the lake of the monastery buildings – and encounter black pigs, cattle and yak along the way.

Upon our arrival we were seated in the lobby area and given a nice welcoming tea and snacks. We also learned that we had been upgraded to a nicer room.

An extensive breakfast is included in the room rate and includes Western as well as local Tibetan fare – quite tasty! The lunch/dinner menu has a wide selection of Chinese and local Tibetan foods – and even some Italian items. We had many meals here and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Be sure to try the yak, yak cheese and yak butter - they are delicious! In the afternoon is a complimentary tea – very nice.

Prior to our arrival I had picked up some food poisoning. Our first day at the lodge was not so pleasant in dealing with the effects of that. As the condition was not improving, by evening, the staff offered to take me to the hospital. Leming, the Executive General Manager accompanied my wife and me to the hospital where I was put on an IV drip. It took until 2:30 am to finish that, and Leming was there with us the whole time to interpret for me and to share travel stories. She was delightful, very helpful and went way beyond expectations in seeing that I was properly taken care of. I can't say enough about what a great manager and person she is!

The hotel staff is top-notch! They are extremely attentive, friendly and helpful. It is obvious that making your stay memorable is their goal. And they succeed beautifully!

Atmosphere….comfort….great food….attentive and friendly staff….and all of this in a peaceful and beautiful environment. The Songtsam Lodge truly fits the definition of “Shangri-La”.

We travel extensively and can honestly say that the Songtsam Shangri-La Lodge tops our list of favorite stays. We will definitely return and will probably avail ourselves of the other Songtsam lodges in the area as well. If you are planning a trip to Shangri-La, do yourself a favor and avoid the downtown shiny-new hotels in the modernized town - make the Songtsam Shangri-La Lodge(s) your first choice!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled 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 Roams-A-Lot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2013

Of all the hotels I stayed in in China this was undoubtedly the best for location, facilities, staff and ambience. The only down side is getting to it. At the time of writing the approach road is under construction and the adjacent town of Shangri La is in a state of continuous development. There are plenty of trails to walk. There is a board walk around the lake. The other plus is that it is adjacent to (within walking distance) of the famous Songstam Lama Temple, the largest outside of Tibet. Visitors need to be aware that this hotel is 3000 metres plus above sea level so you might experience some breathlessness and altitude sickness due to lack of oxygen. Seek medical advice before travelling.

Room Tip: Corner suite on fourth floor very quiet and has its own balcony. Fantastic view too. Beware! There i...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dermot1945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, Beijing, China
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

We visited Songtsam Hotels for ten days recently, travelling to the four properties then open. Having travelled all over the world (and over China) for the last few decades, we rated it as one of our best holidays. We greatly admired the ability of hotel management to provide luxury comfort and excellent personal service, while maintaining local colour - not just in the Tibetan style of the hotels but also through the staff, who are without exception locals from Shangri-la prefecture - most from the villages where the hotels are located. All this in spite of the immense logistical challenge of running hotels in remote mountainous areas. The meals were very good, usually local meat and vegetables from the hotels' vegetable patches. And as much food as one wanted. The complimentary afternoon teas were welcome after a tiring day out exploring. The hotel drivers who took us between the hotel properties drove very carefully, which was much apprecirated on the mountain roads. We really enjoyed the hotel excursions - they were without exception very good. One such excursion took us to the village of Cizhong on the banks of the Mekong, where Songtsam was building a new property (due to open early October). The forests around the hotels were decorated with profusions of rhododendrons (native to the area), and we were lucky enough to spot Yunnan pheasants twice. And to dance with the villagers in Benzilan while they were rehearsing a traditional local dance (beverages to fuel our welcome provided gratis by the hotel). On this sort of holiday one has to have the right spirit - remembering that the infrastructure is not the same as the in the cities. But to visit the famous mountains of northwest Yunnan, on the border with Tibet, while enjoying that level of personal service and comfort, was well beyond our expectations. We thought the whole experience was good value for money. We shall return.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DavidWJ115VW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2013

Songtsam Hotel in Shangri La was beautiful in many ways. It is a lovely old building that the staff works hard to keep in repair. I was happy to be near the lake/wetlands below the monastery so it was an easy hike out to sit and listen to the birds.
The breakfasts and dinners we had there were great, but they will also give you a ride up to the retreat which has a beautifully designed dining room with a view of the monastery and hills. The Tibetan menu at the retreat offers more choices as well.
The very best part of our experience there was the staff who were all genuinely friendly and made an extra effort to make sure you had everything you needed. A special thanks to Hu Li Zhen and Yu Wen Zhen for all their help. Next time we hope to have more time to visit the Songtsam lodges in other villages.

Room Tip: Higher floors for the view but the stairway is very steep.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mona M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2013

This was the only hotel on our trip which was a prior recommendation from a friend and we were not disappointed. We were greeted with a cup of delicious ginger tea which is supposed to help with adjusting to the altitude. Our room was on the first floor and was huge, with plenty of storage and two arm chairs. The bathroom only had a shower but that suited us fine.

The staff were superb. I suffered from altitude sickness and they couldn't do enough to help.

We had two good meals in the restaurant, good quality and a wide range of choices. Breakfast was the best we've had in China with a good range of western and Chinese options and plenty of fresh fruit and cereal.

Location was stunning. It is out of the main town but I think that adds to its charm. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NickyK76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2013

We stayed in Songtsam recently, and it was heavenly. There were 2 sites, and we opted to stay in the smaller, lower level lodgings. The hotel was cosy, and well decorated with tibetian art. The service is exemplarily of how a hotel should be run. The food in the restaurants was superb, serving fresh, tantalising gourmet. The owner of the hotel even came to our table to chat with us !
It 's a pity that we only stayed for 2 nights and I will definitely be going back there soon!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LindyTan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Songtsam Shangri-la (Lugu) Hotel

Property: Songtsam Shangri-la (Lugu) Hotel
Address: Songzanlin, at the foot of Songtsam Lama temple, Shangri-La County 674400, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Yunnan > Shangri-La County
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 160 Hotels in Shangri-La County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Songtsam Lodge at Shangri-la (Songtsam Lvgu Hotel) is the flagship lodge of Songtsam Lodges - a series of luxury boutique lodges built in pristine and beautiful locations in Yunnan.Songtsam Shangri-la (3,280m) is situated right next to the Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan province. The lodge is housed in a traditional Tibetan dwelling within this typical, self-sufficient Tibetan farming village where the founder of Songtsam, Baima Dorjie, spent his childhood. Songtsam Shangro-la has hosted thousands of intrepid travelers from all over the world in the past 10 years. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Songtsam Hotel Shangri La County
Songtsam Shangri-La (Lugu) Hotel Shangri-La County, China - Yunnan

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