Recently Shangri-La Group held a media session in Chengdu to promote their upcoming Lhasa Hotel opening. We interviewed Ester Marcaida, General Manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa to learn more about this new hotel.
1. When is Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa due to open? Where will it be located?
The hotel will be open on 17 April 2014. It is located along Norbulingka Road and within walking distance to Potala Palace and Norbulingka Palace.
2. What is the significance to the Shangri-La Group to open a hotel in Lhasa?
The Shangri-La brand was inspired by the mystical paradise found in James Hilton’s novel, Lost Horizon, True in spirit to that imaginary Shangri- La, the Hotel offers guests Shangri-La’s heartfelt hospitality and a full array of facilities and luxurious comforts. Through all the facilities and services, we endeavor to pay homage to the spirit of Shangri-La in Tibet.
3. Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself and your background in hospitality?
I have been with various hotels by Shangri-La in South East Asia for 20 years, and this is my first time working in China.
4. Shangri-La hotels are designed with a blend of traditional elegance and contemporary aesthetic, with a touch of local inspiration. Can you describe to us some of the ways you’ve incorporated local Tibetan culture into the design of this hotel?
From the exterior to the interior of the hotel, we embraced the Tibetan style in our design elements. A 21-foot bell-like chandelier draped in red fabric similar to a prayer wheel can be found at Lodger’s Lounge. Behind the front desk, the ancient Tibetan cloud symbol is referenced in a contemporary piece made of hammered oxidized bronze. Eternity knots can be seen in various area of the hotel.
5. What is the atmosphere/ambience of the hotel?
A luxury and warm ambience with a significant influence of Tibetan style.
6. How do you plan to enrich your guests’ experience in terms of Tibetan lifestyle?
First of all, we have incorporated Tibetan style into our decoration, facilities and service of the Hotel.
Secondly, they will have a special Tibetan welcome upon their arrival and farewell upon departure.
In addition, our local travel partner will be able to customized tour with the guests’ special interest that will enable them to have a wonderful Tibetan cultural experience.
7. With more and more international hotel brands coming into Tibet, what are your advantages and privileges?
Our Brand & Product and Service: As one of the world’s premier hotel companies, Shangri-La has established its brand hallmark of “hospitality from the heart”.
Local tinges in our facilities: Our Oxygen Lounge is the first oxygen lounge to be found in a hotel in Lhasa. And people can have a taste of the authentic Tibetan cuisines in our signature outlet Shambala.
8. Any dishes you recommend trying in your restaurants? What’s your favorite?
Lodger’s Lounge -Tibetan Yogurt Cake
Shambala -Tibetan Dried Yak With Chili
Altitude – Barley Bread and Yak Burger
Shang Palace – Lamb Chops with Two Kinds of Chef’s Signature Sauce
9. What does a typical day for you as a GM look like?
Talk to guests, walk around the property, chair meetings, and problem solving
10. What are some must-sees while traveling in Lhasa that are not so obvious?
Local women doing handicrafts, the painting of Thangka and local picnic by the Lhasa river.
11. If you could give your visitors one piece of advice when traveling to Lhasa or staying at the Shangri-La, what would it be?
Have an open heart and mind to embrace this mystical city, you will find it more rewarding than you could have imagined!
12. What are some of the things that will make a stay at Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa an unforgettable experience?
The Hotel offers guests Shangri-La’s heartfelt hospitality and a full array of facilities and luxurious comforts. And what will make the most difference is the Tibetan style we adopted in our hotel and the comfort facilities we provide for our guests. Examples are as follows:
1. We incorporate Tibetan style in our decoration and service such as the signature outlet Shambala, which will provide Tibetan cuisines and Yunnan dishes and In-room services, which will include authentic sweet tea served in Tibetan pots and such turndown gifts as hand-woven pouches made of yak fur.
2. We have built the first oxygen lounge to be found in a hotel in Lhasa which will refresh and assisit guests in acclimating to the high altitude before exploring widely.
13. What special permits or visas do travelers need to come to Lhasa?
The Chinese government regulates that the non-Chinese citizens including foreign tourists, Taiwan tourists and overseas Chinese must carry a Tibet Travel Permit as well as a valid passport and a visa to visit Tibet.