InterContinental Lhasa

Introduction: Lhasa, renowned as the “sun city”, is one of the highest cities in the world. Among Lhasa’s most treasured landmarks are the Potala Palace, a masterful symbol of Tibetan Buddhism, and Jokhang Temple, the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. Visitors to Lhasa are often mesmerized by the majestic views along the Lhasa River (also known as Kyichu River), and the Barkhor, a colorful area of narrow streets and popular devotional practice for pilgrims and locals.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: Sadly, the worst arrival experience I can remember of all the hotels I have stayed. The front desk needs a lot of training. Took them a very long time to get me a room and when I arrived it was sadly full of smoke and extremely hot due to no air conditioning. Then back at the lobby and a total of around one hour from arrival to finally having a proper room.

What I loved: Sadly, nothing.

What about the food: I am sorry, I can’t lie. It was inedible. Asked the GM for the best the chef can make of Western food. Took one bite which I couldn’t finish. Ended up asking for chocolate bars.

What about the service: If you read my blog, you will find that around 98% of all reviews are very positive as I always do a lot of research before selecting my hotels. InterContinental in Lhasa is one of the worst experience I have ever had, if not the worst based on the points listed in this article. I have to be honest, and sadly there isn’t much positive to write here. The staff needs a lot more training. The only positive note would be one of the staff, that was able to get me chocolate bars for dinner as the food was inedible. I hope the hotel can use my constructive feedback to improve the hotel experience. If you are a Chinese smoker, like most guest here are, you might enjoy the hotel. For everyone else, if you decide to book here, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

What about the rooms: The rooms are actually very nice and up to InterContinental’s standards, but build without air conditioning. The General Manager, Robert Cheng, said “This is our biggest challenge. The hotel was build before I came here, and there is nothing I can do”. The biggest problem for a non-smoker is the fast that smoking is allowed on all floors. Really terrible and unacceptable in my opinion. It’s unlike anywhere in the world. I pointed this out to the General Manager that there should be at least one non-smoking floor at his hotel and he said he will make changes. The rooms have comfortable bed and separate shower from the bathtub, but the missing air conditioning makes it difficult to sleep. Make sure to ask for a room not facing the street.

Number of rooms: 472.

Type of property: City hotel.

Location: Lhasa, Tibet.

Facilities: Spa, swimming pool, fitness center and business/meeting facilities.

Complimentary internet: Yes.

My overall impression: Good experience (only if you are a Chinese smoker like most of the guest here).

Just outside my so-called non-smoking room. The General Manager has promised to change the smoking policy.