Tibet’s diverse selection of essential properties are characterful places to rest your head after exploring the high-altitude terrain. Details differ between hotels, but each property has its own idiosyncratic decor with simple facilities and unfussy interiors. They all provide a down-to-earth base where you can relax, connect to local life and soak up Tibet’s singular landscape and culture.
Bright colours and gilded details are a running theme through many of these properties, bringing in elements of traditional Tibatan culture and those from across China. Vivid patterns and bold designs create striking spaces. They don’t offer the bells and whistles of high-end contemporary luxury, and many of the amenities are very basic, but these properties are honest and uncomplicated, allowing you to focus your energies on the destination itself. Whether exploring central Lhasa, stopping at Shigatse en route to Mount Everest, or staying within walking distance of the beautifully preserved Gyantse Dzong, there’s a modest hotel on hand which you can happily call home for the night.
No-frills properties scattered throughout Tibet, including locations in Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and Tsetang, which immerse you in the character of each location.
Simple rooms and facilities
Right in the heart of things, amongst the best locations in town. It’s the kind of place where you meet and chat with people easily. (Yak Hotel, Lhasa)
Discover what to expect from staying at Tibet Hotels
Behind the modest façade of a traditional courtyard house in Lhasa’s Chengguan district, the Yabshi Phunkhang hotel provides cosy, laid-back accommodation ideal for exploring the temples and markets of Tibet’s principal city. Originally built in the mid-19th century for the parents of the 11th Dalai Lama, this heritage hotel has been carefully restored into a characterful boutique that combines historic charm with modern facilities. At the centre of the hotel is a quiet courtyard and pretty garden where you can enjoy a few peaceful moments with a cup of Tibetan tea.
This colourful courtyard hotel, in typical Tibetan style, offers vibrant, cosy accommodation in Lhasa’s famous Barkhor district around Jokhang Temple. Located in a quiet alleyway off the main drag, this individual boutique has the best of both worlds in terms of convenient access to Lhasa’s sights and somewhere peaceful to return to at the end of the day. Despite its somewhat old-fashioned feel, there are a few of the usual mod cons throughout. A bright courtyard and airy terrace offer ideal outdoor spaces for stealing a few peaceful moments or having an al fresco drink. Enjoy a range of local and international dishes at the terrace restaurant, glimpsing the Potala Palace across the rooftops as you plan your sightseeing for the following day.
A central location and real sense of place make the Yak Hotel a sociable and relaxed base for exploring Lhasa. Whether you’re taking the 5-minute walk to Jokhang Temple, enjoying a cooling cup of Tibetan tea on the terrace, or chatting to a group of Russian climbers who’ve just tackled Everest (as happened to one of our Destination Specialists!), the Yak Hotel provides a simple, down-to-earth package that appeals to the adventurous. Leading off from bright corridors carpeted in red and gold, the guest rooms are low-lit, cosy shelters where you can rest away from the hubbub.
Offering uncomplicated accommodation with a familiar feel, close to many of Shigatse’s main sights, the Tashi Choeta makes a convenient base for exploring this remote yet dynamic city en route to Mt. Everest. This fairly large, traditional hotel in central Shigatse is overlooked by rugged hills on one side and the Tashilhunpo monastery on the other. It feels fairly basic compared to big city standards, but this hotel has convenience on its side, and includes a few distinctive details such as a modest garden area and a decorative model of Potala Palace in the lobby. Wander out to explore the markets and monastery before returning to watch the sunset over the hills from the roof terrace, or relax with a nightcap in the lounge.
Location, location, location! You can’t get more central and convenient than the Gyantse Hotel. The imposing Gyantse Dzong (one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet) is within walking distance, and Gyantse’s iconic 15th-century monastery, Pelkor Chode, is less than two kilometres away. Views over the mediaeval town, the dzong and surrounding scenery can be enjoyed from the hotel’s upper floors. When you travel deeper into Tibet, journeying further away from Lhasa, the choice of tourist accommodation is more limited, and this is arguably the best option in Gyantse. Whilst it doesn’t offer all-singing, all-dancing facilities, it’s perfectly comfortable for an overnight stay.
Tibet’s premium properties are wonderful places to stay, without doubt, but sometimes simplicity is enough. For the nights in between, where all you crave is somewhere reliable and comfy to rest and refresh, these no-frills properties in fantastic locations are just right. Head out exploring the local sights and landmarks, take in Tibet’s extraordinary scenery, and enjoy homely comforts and tempting dining when you return to base.
Trekking across the ‘roof of the world’ in Tibet, at an average elevation of 4,500m, is and adventure hard to beat. It’s not the easiest destination to get to, but the unparalleled rush of standing in one of Earth’s rawest landscapes is like nothing else.