review: Hylandia Shangri La (Part II)
If there is one hotel on the earth that I will always return in a heartbeat then the Hylandia would be it.
Hours after landing, I noticed a few symptoms of altitude sickness: nausea, shortness of breath and fatigue; the short walk to the reception felt like running a quarter marathon. Luckily, I got used to it quickly.
The next day we signed up for the "early market visitation" that started at 7:30 am. Lotus Baima - a concierge member - awaited us with umbrellas in the lobby. She was one of a few staff who could explain things perfectly in English.
Just behind the hotel, there were several local markets selling from the freshly picked vegetables to gigantic pieces of meat on the counter; it felt a bit like my hometown in Vietnam. It was exciting for me to experience in person.
After the quick tour, we headed back for breakfast. The buffet was not less impressive than previous hotels considering it was located more than 3000 meters above the sea level.
On that day, we walked to the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery but ended up going back home due to having not enough money. So we had lunch at the Ani's Kitchen instead. Two typed of club sandwiches were ordered and they both were delicious. Interestingly, we were brought a plate of fresh fruits as an appetiser.
In the evening, we stopped by the Shambhala Lounge for some wine and appetiser.
Each Monday, Golden Circle members received 50% off the dinner buffet (CNY 70 (EUR 9) instead of CNY 135 per person). I thought it was an amazing deal for a dinner buffet in a luxury hotel. The buffet consisted of cold dishes (sushi, salad, fruits) and hot dishes (fried rice, noodles, porridge) as well as freshly grilled meats and seafood.
The next evening, we wanted to try the hotel's hot pot restaurant. Hotpot was one of many things in Chinese cuisine we both loved. A dish that was simple but so complex at the same time. It consisted of a soup of choice, rare vegetables, meats and dipping sauces. I was surprised to see that most tables were occupied by the locals even though the price was quite high. Much like other time, we ordered way too much. The food kept coming and filled our table quickly; everything tasted as good as it looked.
To sum it up, Hylandia was an amazing hotel with stories and personalities and so was Lotus Baima, on of the most fascinating persons we had met during our China journey.