Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La – MGallery Collection
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
With a stay at Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La – MGallery Collection in Shangri-La, you’ll be in the historical district and minutes from Ganden Sumtseling Monastery. This 4.5-star hotel is within the vicinity of Guishan Park and Diqing Museum.
Make yourself at home in one of the 72 guestrooms featuring free minibar items and minibars. Your Select Comfort bed comes with down comforters. Wired and wireless Internet access is complimentary, while DVD players and satellite programming provide entertainment. Private bathrooms with showers feature rainfall showerheads and complimentary toiletries.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Pamper yourself with onsite massages, body treatments, and facials. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). Guests can catch a ride on the shuttle (surcharge), which operates within 8 km.
Food & Drink
Satisfy your appetite at one of the hotel’s 2 restaurants. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Buffet breakfasts are available daily for a fee.
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, limo/town car service, and a computer station. Planning an event in Shangri-La? This hotel has facilities measuring 1765 square feet (164 square meters), including meeting rooms. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available on request), and limited parking is available onsite.
How to Get There
We originally booked, as a family of four, to stay at the Lvgu Lodge but at the last minute were informed it was closed for renovations and were moved to Linka so didn't know what to expect as the names the hotel uses in its emails don't easily match to what is on their website.
When we arrived, after a 7 hour drive from Lijiang thanks to a blizzard, we were very happy to see we were staying at the large resort complex (possibly called Songtsam Retreat) just behind the monastery. We were taken to reception by our guides, who stayed with us for the whole time, and given hot ginger tea whilst we checked in.
We had a 2 bedroom family room which was really comfortable and had fantastic views over to the monastery and adjoining farms. Every afternoon someone would arrive with cookies and more ginger tea which was something we looked forward to each day.
The resort itself was very quiet whilst we were with it being a few weeks between Christmas and Chinese New Year so only the Tibetan restaurant was open in the evenings but this was not a problem as the menu was very extensive and the food fantastic. Their other restaurant served breakfast in the morning which again was great.
As a part of our package we had a guide take us to various places, starting with the pickup from Lijiang. Both he and our driver were amazing company throughout the trip and really made all of my family feel very well looked after. Some highlights were the BBQ lunch at the resort...not your typical aussie BBQ by a long way, and then a "picnic" after a walk near to one of Songtsams other lodges about 2 hours drive away. The walk was through some snow-filled woodlands up to a village that looked like it was straight out of the Swiss Alps. The "picnic" was...not what we expected. A tent had been erected in a field in case the weather was bad, and an incredible hotpot had been prepared along with wine, bear, softdrinks with 3 or 4 staff from the nearby lodge; it was an incredible experience and one that will stay with all of us for years to come.
The other lodge forms a part of the Songtsam circuit which I think takes about 12 days to complete; this is now on my bucket list and I will be back to do the full circuit one day.
The altitude did not present any real issues, although at night time the cold, and very dry air, meant I did go for some extra oxygen a few times All in all this was a flawless and wonderful experience and I will be back one day to complete the full circuit.
For a $200/night hotel, you are getting the level of service / room quality that is on par with the best hotels in the world, and the food from the hotel owned restaurant is out of my surprise - almost all the dishes we tried there (1 dinner and 1 lunch) were very tasty, I wish we could have stayed longer to tried more of their menu items (tip - all the beef dishes are very good).
More details below:
- the check in process reminds me of a traditional japanese hotel - your bags are taken by the hotel staff, you get sorted at one of the couches in the check in lobby, served with hand towel, tea and cookies, then someone will come to take your ID and proceed with the check in procedures, after that the staff will give you a brief intro to the hotel amenities and activities, nearby sightseeing options (hotel provides 2 free tickets per room to a temple nearby for sightseeing purposes, with free shuttle service). Then you are taken by the staff to your hotel room using a golf cart type of motor vehicle. Staff brings your luggage into the room, this competes the check in process.
- The hotel’s assistant manager is very attentive whenever there is issues raised, we had a problem with our soup, the manager helped us resolved it right away (made new soup), she also inquired about our thoughts on other aspects of the hotel, whether we liked the food, the spa or the rooms themselves, we felt that she truly cared about the guests there and wanted to make the hotel better . The hotel is actually a chain in western China that targets tourist spots in the hard to reach mountains from Sichuan to Tibet.
The room: the only downside is that they don’t have bathtubs in the deluxe rooms (only suite rooms have tub), other than that it’s a very comfortable and spacious room, with a huge lounge chair/sofa similar to a size of a twin size bed, there is also a backyard for the deluxe room type with some chairs, facing a huge ranch.
Other items that are free in the room: plate of cookies and ginger tea left in a thermo bottle to keep warm, at least 4 bottles of mineral water, beer and soda in the fridge is also free of charge.
On a relative basis, this hotel stands its ground but on an absolute basis the value for money is not there. For now, Shangrila may be a necessary stop before journeying further inland, but in the future, once the new highways are built I would personally elect to just do a quick daytrip and then return to Lijiang or another lower elevation area. It's not the hotel's fault that it sits at 12000ft, but the fact remains that altitude sickness and high altitude symptoms are an uncomfortable reality.
Beautiful boutique hotel with an unrivalled position next to the Songtsalin Monastery. The rooms are comfortable and clean and the service excellent. The spa is to be recommended as is the restaurant.
Everything about this hotel is well done—from the fabulous site with a great view of the monastery to the beautiful dining rooms (western and traditional Chinese) to the splendid well appointed rooms. The copper giant bathtubs are wonderful, as is the welcome sweet spicy ginger tea and cookies in the rooms. Be sure to ask for a room with a good view and splurge for an excellent massage in the lovely spa.