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September 18, 2010updated Feb 08, 2013

Shangri-La Breaks Ground in Diqing, Yunnan Province

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Hong Kong – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announced the development for a new city resort, the 230-room Shangri-La Hotel, Diqing in Shangri-La county, Yunnan province during a ground breaking ceremony today. The property is targeting to open in early 2013.

Shangri-La is the “Eden in dream.” Since it first appeared in British novelist James Hilton’s Lost Horizon in 1933, it has been associated with the mystique of a place which could not possibly exist here on Earth. In Tibetan, Shangri-La means the “sun and moon in heart,” an ideal home only found in heaven.

Coming to its namesake region Shangri-La Hotel, Diqing is located in the centre of town which has a permanent population of 345,000 and retains its fabled and charming character. The low-rise urban resort will offer 230 guestrooms with an average of 40 square metres in size. Public areas feature an all day dining venue, Chinese and speciality restaurants, a Grand Ballroom and meeting facilities as well as a VIP room. Recreational facilities include a health club, spa with beauty salon and an indoor lap pool.

Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is located in the northwest of Yunnan Province, on the southward expansion of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at an average altitude of 3,380 metres in the heart of the Hengduan Mountains.

Diqing and Shangri-La County are popular with leisure travellers wanting to experience the beauty of nearby Padacuo National Park and the famed Tiger-leaping Gorge and Meili Snow Mountains. Blue Moon Valley and the Thousand Lake Mountain scenic area are within 100 km from Shangri-La town centre and are part of the UNESCO world heritage site of the “Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected areas.” Geographical reference points include Kunming approximately 600 kilometres to the southeast, and Lijian or Dali about 200/300 kilometres respectively to the south.

The area presents year-round recreational opportunities with a typical high plateau climate and an average annual temperature of 6 degrees Celsius. Diqing Xianggelila airport offers direct flights from Lhasa and Kunming. Flights from other main cities generally transit through Kunming.

“Together with the opening of Shangri-La Hotels in Chongqing and Lhasa at the end of 2011 and 2012 respectively and the existing property in Chengdu, we are extending our portfolio into the western regions of mainland China,” said Greg Dogan, Shangri-La’s president and chief executive officer. “Diqing is famous for its natural scenery and we are especially pleased to enter Shangri-La county with its beautiful name and mythical background for which our company was named.”

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