If you want some luxury (Tibetan-style)...
Not our first choice, we ended up here nonetheless, courtesy of the Chinese government, which changed our plans. It is not exactly centrally located but I can't imagine a more luxurious hotel in Tibet. You name it, they've got it: two restaurants (including, sadly, the Hard Yak Cafe), laundry, karaoke lounge, coffee-shop, bar, room service, swimming pool, a whole floor devoted to souvenirs of virtually every imaginable kind, air-conditioning, telephones, televisions, 468 rooms (all with private baths). It was renovated in 1999, is largely Chinese-run (except for the local Tibetans lucky enough to have menial jobs), and is modern enough to take credit cards and offer supplementary oxygen!
As to the rooms themselves, the Western rooms (they also offer Tibetan-decor rooms) are fairly standard mid-class American hotel rooms. In fact, though I know this doesn't help non-Americans, picture a typical Holiday Inn. Very clean, very nice. No more.
The sidewalk next to Lhasa Hotel has a big bazaar
"My Friend" can always be seen next to Lhasa Hotel
Has anyone stayed at the Kyichu Hotel in the Tibetan quarter in Lhasa? If so, can you tell me what it was like?
How many days seems like a good amount for Lhasa? What trips outside Lhasa do you recommend? This is for a trip in July.
Re: Lhasa hotel
I know this is really late from when you posted your inquiry but I just came back from my travel (a month in Tibet and a month and a half in Hong Kong).
I did stay at the Kyichu Hotel Tibet and it was really really nice -- folks and facilities. The bathroom plumbing has much to be desired but it's nothing that you can't handle. There's internet access on the premises and the hotel is very close to the Barkhor Square; maybe two blocks away. I would stay in this hotel when I go back to visit East Tibet.
I have fallen in love with Tibet. I was there for 28 days, doing the city tour around Lhasa for 2-3 days and then jumping into Landcruisers to head west to Mt. Kailash for the remaining days. (After doing the kora, we headed back towards Lhasa but down to Zhangmu to cross the border to Nepal). Many people may feel 28 days is WAY too long but I could have stayed in the Tibetan Plateau for another month, at least.
Our tour was a trek, thus, we did the kora (aka. circumambulation) around Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. We camped along the way and back which was really fun. Time flew by, and there's so much to absorb along the way and reflect from our busy daily life.
I don't know what to recommend to you about trips outside of Lhasa as I just went with the tour itinerary that suited what I wanted to see (SAGA DAWA festival; cultural interaction). West Tibet is definately beautiful even though the environment is on the dry side; however, you see lovely landscapes from sand dunes, glaciers and turqouise lakes. Our Tibetan tour guide recommended to see the opposite landscape in East Tibet, where it is green and lush; this will be my next desired trip.
I hope you had an amazing experience as I have. I know I've talked my friends' ears off about Tibet; please let me know what you thought... I had a very very difficult time leaving Tibet . Talk about culture shock, being back in New York City!!