The St Regis Hotels & Resorts chain has opened the world's tallest spa in Tibet.
Part of the St Regis Lhasa Resort in Tibet's capital, the Iridium Spa features a gold-tiled heated swimming pool and boasts views of the surrounding Himalayas and Lhasa Valley. Opened by the chain in November 2010, the resort is situated 12,000 ft above sea level. It is Tibet's first international luxury hotel, with 162 guest rooms and villas.
With Chinese authorities eager to market Tibet as a tourist destination, hotel brands and groups are keen to capitalise on tourism to the controversial and autonomous region, which is being driven largely by domestic demand. In 2012 Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will open a 350-room urban resort in Lhasa, while the InterContinental Hotels Group aims to install a 2,000-room hotel within the next three years.