Blue Sky Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Ulaanbaatar

After a long journey on the Trans-Siberian, Anna Smith checks into five-star bliss at Mongolia’s Blue Sky Hotel & Tower. A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the Blue Sky stands proud as one of Ulaanbaatar's tallest buildings, cutting curvaceously into the sky overlooking central Sukhbaatar Square.

First impressions

Blue Sky's iconic building is easy to spot as soon as you near the city centre, so communication with our taxi driver soon becomes a simple question of pointing into the sky. As we enter the building, we're immediately aware of the hotel's business credentials: not only does it host working visitors, it also doubles as an office block: offices occupy several floors. The lobby is spacious and brightly-lit with an upscale tower block feel, whilst check-in is brisk and helpful. We're permitted early check-in as we arrived by the Trans-Siberian train at 6.30am – very useful to be able to freshen up and sink into bed for a quick power nap!

Ideal for…

Americans and Asians working in Mongolia are well-served by the Blue Sky Hotel, as are well-heeled tourists from all over the world. During hunting season, you might even be sharing breakfast with licensed high-end hunters. Europeans are scarce but welcome; most staff speak English. This is also an ideal option if, like me, you're a tourist looking for a quick burst of luxury before heading out into the desert for a few days, where you'll be thinking wistfully of hot showers and flushing toilets.

The room

Blue Sky roomGaze out over the city from one of the top floor rooms
Blue Sky hotel
Standard rooms combine warm tones with sleek design and views of Ulaanbaatar. All the usual amenities are included, from hair dryer and bathrobe to Wi-Fi and minibar, and families can request connecting rooms. Our Urban Suite on the 18th floor has a great view and a separate living room – space and height are definitely two of Blue Sky's selling points. If you're feeling flush you can trade up to all manner of spacious suites. Mountain suites have views of the – you guessed it, mountains – while the 58-sq m Presidential Suite has two bedrooms, an office, a dining room, a kitchen, a dressing room, two bathrooms and no less than three powder rooms.

Best room?

The Sky Superior Rooms all have views of the cityscape from various angles, so you can look down on Ulaanbaatar's fascinatingly diverse landscape: grand municipal buildings, designer stores and office blocks are interspersed with crumbling temples and blocks of wasteland.

Eating and drinking

Blue Sky Zen restaurantZen restaurant serves excellent Japanese cuisine
Blue Sky hotel
The jewel in the hotel's crown is the Blue Sky Lounge on the top floor, accessible via a cool glass lift. Food, drinks and cigars are on offer in a sleek modern setting and live bands play regularly. On the ground floor, the large nightclub Club Vegas has DJs seven days a week as well as the occasional theme night. There's a choice of four restaurants: Zen, a sleek Japanese restaurant; Signature, which offers French and European cuisine overlooking the Blue Sky Lounge from a mezzanine; stylish Korean restaurant Le Seoul, a Chinese restaurant; and Seasons, which serves both Mongolian and western dishes to a mix of guests and locals. Seasons also serves guests a hearty breakfast buffet and a range of cooked dishes including omelettes to order.


Blue Sky poolA few laps in the hotel pool is a great way to relax
Blue Sky hotel
Conference facilities include two ballrooms and various meeting rooms for a broad range of clients: an evangelical Christian gathering is taking place when we visit. There's a fitness club, gym, swimming pool, sauna, outdoor golf range and a small shopping arcade on the ground floor.

Room for improvement

Mongolia is catching up with its neighbours on the hospitality front but if you're used to very luxurious five-star hotels, you may find this slightly less impressive.

Out and about

Blue Sky is bang in the centre of the city and a short walk from key attractions such as the imposing Sukhbaatar Square, the attractive Gandan Monastery and various museums (of varying quality) including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery and National History Museum. Try to catch a local performance in one of the nearby theatres: Ghenghis Khan the Opera is a fun watch full of local colour, even if we couldn't understand a word of it. It's also a steal at around £4. As mentioned, Blue Sky is a good starting point for a trip out to the desert, where you can stay in traditional gers and go horseriding with nomads. It's generally cheaper to book these via local hostels: we had a great private tour with local guide Bimba at LG Hostel tours.


Peace Avenue 17,
Sukhbaatar District,
1 khoroo,
Ulaanbaatar 14240
Tel: +976 7010 0505.
Prices start from $296 per night for two sharing a standard room.

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