The Luxe List 2011, China: St. Regis Lhasa Resort

The Luxe List 2011At 3,680 meters above sea level, Tibet’s first luxury resort commands unimpeded views of the Himalayas and the Lhasa Valley. The nearby Sera Monastery provided inspiration for the resort’s central pool and courtyard, meditation gardens, and pagoda-style buildings, but there’s nothing monastic about what lies within. A six-meter-high velvet curtain sweeps aside to usher guests into a lobby framed by soaring red lacquer columns and lined with picture windows that look across the valley to the Potala Palace, former winter residence of the Dalai Lama.

Expansive guest rooms—the smallest is 61 square meters—come complete with huge, pillowy beds and bathrooms with heated slate floors (each is also fitted with an oxygen canister, for those who find the high-altitude setting literally breathtaking). The height of extravagance, however, is to be found in the resort’s Iridium Spa, where guests can unwind
in a heated, gold-tiled pool.

22 Jiangsu Rd.; 86-891/680-8888;; doubles from US$597

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