Destination Guide

Mongolia

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Mongolia is the world’s least-densely populated country wedged between Siberia and northern China. For a place with such a storied history and singular culture, the country feels wild and the vast majority is hauntingly empty. Mongolia is home to unique natural charms, from the oldest national park on the planet to the extremely rare Bactrian camel.

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Lounge at Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia

Three Camel Lodge

Located on the steppe of the South Gobi Desert, this unique 40-room camp is the most luxurious ger accommodation in Mongolia.

Suite  at Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar

Upon opening in June 2015, the Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar instantly became the city’s top hotel choice for business and luxury travelers. Everything about this sleek, glass high rise is big and glaringly new, but the creature comforts are welcome in a city lacking for great hotels. It’s oddly thrilling to see such conspicuous design – prominent marble pillars, glittering chandeliers – juxtaposed against the traditional Mongolian aesthetic; this hotel is a symbol of Ulaanbaatar hurtling into the future, propelled by a booming (and controversial) mining industry. Triple-height ceilings dwarf the front desk and all who enter the cavernous lobby, but a welcoming Mongolian staff warms the soaring space.

The 290 guestrooms are perfectly plush and luxurious, well appointed if somewhat nondescript. Warmly painted walls and muted jewel toned silks cocoon rooms, with dark wood and steel fixtures adding a sleek finish. Most notable are the city and mountain views from the higher floors, which are striking and stretch on for miles.

Thanks to such a grand entrance on the scene, the hotel attracts many local professionals to its restaurants and playful, hot spot bar. There is a Mongolian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and an all-day Western café, serving sandwiches and salads that the hotel will gladly pack up for guests going on a day trip to the nearby national parks. Though still working out a number of quirks (on a recent stay, hot water was not reliable), the Shangri-La is far and away the best option in Ulaanbaatar.


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