Founded by award-winning director Baima Duoji, the Songtsam lodges form the only collection of Luxury, Tibetan-style retreats in the fabled Shangri-La region. Each hotel showcases the scenery, culture and spirituality of its location, presenting a rounded picture of this renowned region with each lodge spinning its own unique thread.
Here is what makes each Songtsam lodge such a treasure:
Our favorite feature: A rooftop terrace where you can practice yoga with an unparalleled mountain panorama
Located approximately 11,500 feet (3,500 m) above sea level, Songtsam Meili will leave you breathless. Thirteen out of the seventeen rooms in the traditional Tibet house face Kawagarbo, Yunnan’s highest summit and every room is equipped with a fireplace. The valley in which the lodge is situated is home to just five families and is one of the few places in the region where traditional Tibetan farming and agriculture is still practiced. Enjoy breakfast in the library and practice yoga at sunrise on the terrace viewing platform.
Songtsam Retreat, Shangri-La
Our favorite feature: Located right next to the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan – Songzanlin Lamasery
Occupying the site of the ancestral home of the founder, the flagship Songtsam Retreat in Shangri-La has eighteen rooms and is located just a ten minute walk from Sonzanlin Lamasery. The hotel itself is a work of art, with Tibetan furnishings and decorations literally covering everything from the floor to the ceiling. From the terrace you can enjoy views of the sacred valley and the restaurant offers scrumptious Tibetan cuisine.
Our favorite feature: An outdoor swimming pool set amidst fields of wheat and barley
Buffeted gently from all sides by fertile, low mountain valleys, Tacheng lodge is surrounded by Tibetan, Naxi and Lisu ethnic minority communities. The view from each of the lodge’s nine rooms is awash with fertile rice paddies and vineyards and an outdoor swimming pool set amidst fields of wheat and barley is where the lodge really comes into its own. Guests can also pick their own fresh produce in the organic vegetable garden.
Our favorite feature: The balcony of the Tibetan tower reading room – the perfect place to meditate or read a good book
Located in a hidden valley, Songtsam Benzilan boasts views of the Yangtze River. The area played an important role in ancient tea and horse road and offers guests a diverse cultural heritage. Here, you are encouraged to embrace the spirituality of the local people and immerse yourself in local Buddhist culture. The balcony on the lodge’s iconic Tibetan tower is the ideal place to get some peace and quiet.
Our favorite feature: The hotel vineyard – an ideal setting to sip a glass of homemade wine
The newest addition to the Songtsam family, Songtsam Cizhong overlooks the Lancang River and is close to Cizhong Catholic Church. The ten rooms, spread across two Tibetan lodges all have river views and there is also an organic vegetable garden and vineyard. Try a glass of local red wine as you relax in the beautiful gardens.
M-gallery by Songtsam, Shangri-La
Our favorite feature: The stunning detailing in the hotel design and decor – this lodge is a work of art
Nestled within grasslands, M-gallery by Songtam is the largest lodge in the collection. Each of the lodges 75 rooms features wood burners to warm you on cold winter nights and there are both Tibetan and French restaurants on site. The spa offers Tibetan yoga classes each morning and guests are encouraged to use the yoga and meditation room at their leisure.
Whether you choose to warm your toes by the fire in winter, enjoy the valley bursting with life in spring, sip chilled wine on the terraces in summer or watch the local communities prepare for harvest in autumn, the Songtsam lodges will be sure to make your trip an unforgettable experience.
Begin your own Songtsam getaway with WildChina.