Sitting in a beautiful valley around a half an hour outside of Zhongdian, the Banyan Tree Ringha Resort offers a luxurious rural retreat in traditional Tibetan style accommodation.
The Songtsam Linka Shangri-La (formerly Songtsam Retreat) is a charming boutique retreat nestled within a Tibetan village close to the sacred Songzanlin Monastery. Surrounded by lush fields and mountains, away from downtown, it’s a haven of calm for guests. Guests stay in 72 rooms and suites scattered throughout a variety of hand-built stone structures spread over acres of hillside. The decor is a distinct Tibetan style with Tibetan rugs, handcrafted furniture and touches of modern luxury, and the service from friendly staff is warm and welcoming.
You’ll also find, restaurants serving Tibetan and international food, a bar, and a spa. Despite its hideaway location, the retreat is only a 5-minute drive to Songzanlin Monastery, a 20-minute drive to the airport, and is an excellent base from which to explore the mountains, lakes, and villages of Shangri-La.
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The Songtsam Linka Shangri-La offers 72 guestrooms and suites, stylishly furnished with local handcrafted furniture. Each room is equipped with a TV and DVD player and safety deposit box, and the en suite bathrooms come with copper bathtubs and a good selection of amenities. The suites feature oversized bed platforms sitting above the living area complete with a fireplace.
The Songtsam Linka Shangri-La is only a 5-minute drive to Songzanlin Monastery, a 20-minute car journey to the airport. The attractions of Shangri-La such as Songzanlin Monastery, Napa and Bitahai lakes, Tibetan villages and Potatso National Park are all within easy reach.
Food and Drink
The property has restaurants serving Tibetan and international dishes and there is an option for a BBQ on one of the terraces. The Library Lounge Bar is an excellent venue to enjoy a few cocktails by the fire or relax with a book in hand. Outdoor terraces allow guests to enjoy the sweeping views of the mountains while enjoying their meals or drinks.
Facilities and Activities
The retreat’s spa offers a selection of treatments and massages. Guests can take part in Tibetan yoga, explore Tibetan villages and the countryside on hiking excursions, or learn about the local Tibetan culture with a visit to a local family and join them for dinner.
Our preferred hotel in Zhongdian, Songtsam Linka offers panoramic views as well as a convenient location that’s far from the bustle of town and just a short walk to Songzanlin Monastery.
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
The Songtsam Hotel is a small, beautifully decorated hotel in Tibetan style, set a short drive out of Zhongdian in the foothills of the Himalayas, at the base of the impressive Songzanlin Monastery.
Experiences while staying here
The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.
The trek begins at Ruobola Hill, heading through the forests towards Dabao. During the journey the highest sections are around 3500 metres above sea level.
This 300-year-old monastery houses over 600 Tibetan monks and is one of the most prominent Tibetan monasteries in southwest China.