Nothing is quite as pleasant as picking up your key card at check-in and hearing those two magic words: “welcome home”. It may not sound like much, but after commuting for over 20 hours, those were exactly the words I needed to hear. Paired with the unmistakable scent of vanilla, sandalwood, bergamot and tea (all of which make up “The Essence of Shangri-La” perfume) … I felt right at home. The Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar is to Mongolia’s Capital city what Time Warner Center is to New York: it is sleek, modern, luxurious and a staple of shopping and accommodation alike. Located in the center of the Capital and largest city of Mongolia, The Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar attracts some of the most discerning travelers of the world: including politicians, businessmen, celebrities and tourists.

Although it’s the coldest capital in the world, Ulaanbaatar offers pleasantly warm summers and very little rainfall. Mongolia as a whole has a beautiful population and hospitality is a fundamental fiber of it’s cultural nervous system. Mongolia’s complex history as the worlds largest land empire is carefully intertwined with the simplicity of daily life led by over 50% of the population: the Mongolian nomads. Therefore, you could expect nothing less than stellar hospitality, high attentiveness and personalized service at the only 5-star hotel in Ulaanbaatar.

The rooms are spacious with floor to ceiling windows that show off eye catching views of the National Amusement Park and the Bogd Khan Mountain. If you are lucky like me and experience all four seasons in one day, then you’ll see the Bogd Khan Mountain under a thin layer of snow and it’s quite the sight to see!

Although I stayed in a Deluxe category room, I was lucky enough to sneak a peak at the very special Shangri-La Suite.

The largest indoor sports club in Ulaanbaatar is unsurprisingly at the Shangri-La Hotel, boasting dozens of pieces of equipment, a 25meter heated pool, a sauna, a steam-room, and a cold plunge pool.

For an even more exclusive experience, I highly encourage you to try the benefits of the Horizon Club (a unique value prop of the Shangri-La Hotel Group), which offers everything from hotel transfers to a private check in process. At the Horizon Club lounge there are a number of perks such as breakfast, drinks and hors d oeuvres throughout the day. Its the perfect place to unwind in privacy and enjoy local treats and beverages!

There are three restaurants at the hotel. My favorite is Naadam, which serves delicious Mongolian Khuushuur (fried dumping) with many Western touches like fries and wings. Naadam has a large outdoor terrace with sweeping views of Ulaanbaatar. Inside the restaurant there is love music, a bar and even a pool table. Many locals come there for its fun and entertaining aura!

In the Area:

The Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar is centrally located in the heart of the city center. The hotel is part of a larger Shangri-La complex which includes a massive mall with shopping, dining and entertainment right next door to the hotel.  The hotel is also walking distance Government House, Great Chinggis Khaan Square and main offices and embassies.

National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Mongolia

The Zaisan Memorial

Great Chinggis Khaan Square

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park