4 Best Hotels in Shangri-La

WildChina > Destinations > Shangri-La > 4 Best Hotels in Shangri-La

Inspired by the mythical land in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, the city of Zhongdian officially renamed itself Shangri-La in 2001. And we agree that it’s a great name for this stunning region. Resting on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, Shangri-La is famed for it’s unprecedented beauty and majesty.

Here at WildChina we make sure your days are filled with authentic, luxury experiences and we don’t want your pleasure to end at your accommodation’s doorway. That’s why we work with the top hotels and resorts across the Middle Kingdom to ensure you’re bathed in the utmost splendor at every turn. 

We also understand that everyone has their own taste and style when it comes to lodgings and that’s why, in each destination we visit, we have a range of options for you to choose from. Let us introduce you to four of our preferred partners in Shangri-La.

Best Hotels in Shangri-La: Homely and Traditional

Songtsam Shangri-La Lodge


READ THE EXPERIENCE: My Perfect Day in Shangri-La

Neighboring the Songzanlin Monastery, the Songtsam Hotel brings you close to the Tibetan way of life. The décor is understated and traditional; helping you to connect with the surrounding village that the founder of the Songtsam Lodges grew up in. It’s evident that this property is close to the heart of the Songtsam brand through the small touches in every room and every stay.


This unpretentious yet deluxe accommodation won the Trip Advisor Travelers Choice award for 2017 and is set to stay at the top of our list for years to come. If you’d like to plan an itinerary similar to our Fabled Shangri-La journey, booking your tour and accommodation through WildChina will make for a worry-free experience.

What not to miss:

Ride on horseback around the nearby mountains and valleys. The sense of freedom you’ll feel on the back of your mighty steed is ineffable.

Best Hotels in Shangri-La: Authentic Luxury

Songtsam Retreat


The sister lodging of the Songtsam Shangri-La, The Songtsam Retreat offers the perfect balance of authenticity and luxury. This boutique retreat is nestled in a local Tibetan village and is just a short journey from Diqing Airport. The hand-built hillside lodge is lovingly and thoughtfully merged with its surroundings.

Songtsam Retreat-2

RELATED READING: The Songtsam Lodges – Retreat into Fabled Shangri-La Valleys

With 75 rooms and a world-class spa, the 21 acres of this resort are enough to house a luxurious portion of this paradise on earth. Enjoy your pick of the Songtsam Lodges, on our WildChina Songtsam Circuit. We work with not just one, but five of the reatreats to provide a unique sensory journey through the Shangri-La valleys.

What not to miss:

Get a Tibetan butter massage in the hotel spa. The health benefits of Tibetan butter are well known in the area and a Tibetan butter massage is said to help your blood circulation.

Best Hotels in Shangri-La: Hideaway Resort & Spa

Banyan Tree Ringha


This secluded spa and hideaway resort is a celebration of local customs. This resort is the perfect getaway for couples seeking an intimate and romantic haven in paradise.

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Spa treatments are interwoven with local beliefs and hand carved river stones, from the nearby Kopan Monastery, are used in treatments. The Banyan Tree perfectly embodies the WildChina philosophy: authentic flourishes embedded in modern luxury. This is why they’re one of our preferred partners in Shangri-La and we receive special rates when you book through us. Let the experts take this one.

What not to miss:

The “Wisdom Room” is a fully stocked library in the hotel. You’ll get to flick through Tibetan scriptures and try buttermilk tea and mountain walnuts served with organic honey.

Best Hotels in Shangri-La: Modern Magic

Hylandia by Shangri-La

Hylandia Lobby

A new addition to the Shangri-La brand, fittingly opened in the place of its inspiration. In the Hylandia, you will be welcomed to your room with a copy of James Hilton’s Lost Horizon. You’ll also be greeted with vistas of the magical and majestic landscapes described in the book.

Views Hylandia

RELATED READING: Venturing Off the Beaten Path in Tibet

Located in the new town but just a short walk from the Old Town, this hotel crafts a union between traditional and modern Tibetan lifestyles. Like the Hylandia, we believe in integrating local customs and modern experiences into a life-changing experiences. Let us do the heavy-lifting and find the hotels that best suit you.

What not to miss:

A Mushroom hunting trek where a local guide teaches you the difference between edible and inedible mushrooms. Afterwards the resort cooks your findings in a hotpot. 

Learn the history of Shangri-La from BBC.

When you book a trip to Shangri-La with WildChina, we make sure you’ll rest easy no matter where you stay. We take all the hassle out of booking your hotel and you’ll take advantage of our preferred partner rates. Get started planning your trip to Shangri-La by talking with one of our expert travel designers.