Lingtsang Boutique Hotel
No.38 Lugu 1st Alley, Lhasa 850000, China
Travel stories from www.tripadvisor.com
Recently saw this 9-room property cited under Lhasa in The New York Times’s “Places to go in 2012” and wanted to comment on a recent December 3 night stay. Overall the hotel delivers a strong atmospheric feel , but it must be noted this has both advantages and disadvantages.
First off the advantages. The location, while arguably a bit hard to find at first, is really right in the thick of things. You are just south of the Barkhor circuit and the primary temple. Walking anywhere in the old town is a quick and easy journey. At the same time, you are a little separate from many of the other old-town hotels, more in a local neighborhood.
The hotel itself is certainly atmospheric as well. Located in a old famous courtyard structure (you can read the history elsewhere), the property oozes atmosphere from the rooftop to the rooms. At the same time, it has been recently renovated to feature good plumbing, quality fixtures, and conveniences such as flat-screen TVs (If you’re coming to Lhasa to watch TV, uhmm…). The staff is also quite helpful – willing to help with whatever questions are raised. Some Mandarin may be helpful – in the offseason when I was there, English appeared limited.
That said, remember this isn’t the St. Regis (Lhasa’s trying to be global standard property) or for that matter any less atmospheric hotel. There is no central heating – there was a space heater by default in our room and we were provided with another upon request. Hot water availability wasn’t a significant issue for basic showering, but despite the beautiful bathtub (see pictures on the hotel website) we were unable to find a chance to use it as couldn’t get enough hot water to fill the tub. Also, the included breakfast was fine by Chinese hotel standards – but for a property attracting a more upscale international crowd I do wonder if more than baozi (Chinese meat-filled “buns”/dumplings), zhou (watery traditional breakfast porridge), and youtiao (Fried dough often served with porridge) quite cuts it.
Overall, as we paid under 500 RMB per night for an off-season rate it was an interesting experience. That said, in hindsight we may have been better off checking out a less atmospheric, more modern-standard property in town for less (~300 or less in the off season) and skipping this place. At the stated summer rates and without the difficulty of colder weather, the hotel still presents a complex decision in my mind.