China's Most Romantic Hotels: House of Shambhala

Culture | by Stephan Larose
Posted: July 8th, 2011 | Updated: July 7th, 2011 | Comments
[showtime] Trying to find China's most sensuous suite can be quite the challenge. With our China's sexiest stays: China's top 10 romantic hotels piece we gave you an idea of what romantic retreats China has to offer. It's a good place to start, but to be sure you're booking the right room for a weekend of love, your knowledge of each hotel's offerings must be more intimate. To that end we've asked each hotel to tell us more about themselves, giving you the info you need to make sure your seductive sojourn goes just as planned... Here we take a look at the unique Lhasa, Tibet. What are the most romantic aspects of the House of Shambhala? House of Shambhala: It is tucked in an alleyway in the heart of the ancient city of Lhasa. In the morning, one awakes to the sound of prayer in the street. The hotel is actually on a pilgrimage route, pilgrims come in to the hotel courtyard to visit the Tara shrine. It has a complex history, first being an oracle shrine, it later became the home of Tibetan nobility, a minister, a general and the general's notorious playboy son. What spa treatments would you recommend to couples? House of Shambhala: I would recommend the full tantric treatment. It involves first soaking in rose petals with Tibetan medicine in a stone tub. This will detox and relax the couple. This should be followed by moments spent in our Meditation Cave Sauna where Tibetan medicine elixir poured on hot stones will open their chakra points. Afterwards, enjoy a one-hour massage in a room glowing with candles and immersed in Tibetan incense. All oils, incense and medicine elixirs are produced by monks in monastery medical clinics, so by enjoying a spa treatment a couple is actually helping to underwrite rural and nomadic medical care. What is the most romantic room in the hotel? House of Shambhala: Each room is unique. All rooms are decorated with rare, antique door panels that the owner collected on filming expeditions in Western Tibet many years ago. 101 and 204 are palatial in size, once used by nobility and they reflect the original spirit of the hotel's courtyard. However room 301, while small, has a secret meditation chamber once reserved for tantric practice. That may be the most romantic room of them all. Where is the most romantic place to dine in the hotel? House of Shambhala: The Dakini Room on the third floor has a Tibetan fire stove in the winter and is adorned with antiques and intricate carvings. Guests may choose to sit cross-legged on platforms, or in chairs, and the tables are made of enormous logs. It offers the best wine bar in Lhasa. What romantic things are there to do in the hotel's vicinity? House of Shambhala: The hotel is in the heart of the ancient city. It is minutes away from Jokhang monastery where hundreds of pilgrims prostrate before its doors (the "Wailing Wall of Tibet"), and within a short walk from all Tibetan handicraft, food and art markets. Simply walk out of the door of the hotel and you're in the center of Tibetan life with the feeling of an ancient Himalayan kingdom. See more of China's top 10 most romantic hotels.

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