Bhutan is a small Kingdom nestled deep in the Himalayas. Bhutan is regarded as the land of happiness blessed with a pristine environment, unique culture and glorified medieval architectural heritage. The slow-paced lifestyle, friendly locals and secluded mountain villages are known to rejuvenate visitors. To ensure guests comfort and reinforce the therapeutic experience, these hotels and resorts spread across Bhutan have curated their design to blend in with nature and promote simplicity while offering world-class service.
Thanks to restrictions on independent travel, the idea of exploring Bhutan carries an air of exclusivity. Add some of these gorgeous luxury resorts into your itinerary and you’ll feel as royal, while traveling around this beautiful Himalayan kingdom.
THOSE SEEKING ADVENTURES OF A MORE MYSTICAL ORDER WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH BHUTAN’S TEMPLE-SCATTERED ALPINE FORESTS, SOARING HIMALAYAN PEAKS, AND CLIFF-HUNG MONASTERIES.
Gangtey Lodge, Gangtey Valley
Nestled away in the heart of the beautiful Gangtey Valley near the centre of Bhutan, the Gangtey Lodge offers the ideal luxury abode from which to explore the stunning surroundings. With the interior exclusively designed by award-winning designer Mary Lou Thomson and with only 12 guest rooms, the lodge offers an intimacy that is difficult to match and really allows you to unwind and soak in the scenery at your own pace.
This cosy, rural farmhouse epitomises Bhutan’s serenity. With its soft lighting and underfloor heating, Gangtey Lodge is a lovely place to linger—particularly when admiring panoramic views of the pristine Gangtey Valley from the comfort of a roll top bath. Beyond the hotel, be sure to venture to the nearby monastery, where you’ll receive a blessing from the Tulku (master) followed by a sumptuous private breakfast.
Como Uma Punakha, Punakha Valley
COMO Uma Punakha is an intimate, luxury lodge located at the far western end of the lush Punakha Valley. From our picturesque base overlooking a snake-like bend in the Mo Chu river, Uma Punakha is ideally located for those who wish to explore this remote Himalayan Kingdom.
Overlooking the scenic Punakha Valley and Mo Chu River, this is the sister property of Como Uma Paro – and it is every bit as appealing. The intimate hillside resort consists of just two private villas and nine rooms, every one with panoramic views. Much of the produce at Bukhari, the resort’s partly alfresco restaurant, named after the Bhutanese word for fireplace, is sourced from the organic farmers in the fertile valley below. Nearby to the resort is the magnificent Punakha Dzong, a vast 17th-century white-washed temple fortress that was once the home of Bhutan’s government. Many of Como Uma Punakha’s guests sensibly combine a stay here with one at Como Uma Paro, and vice versa.
Zhiwa Ling Heritage, Paro Valley
The five-star Zhiwa Ling Heritage is located on ten acres in the Paro Valley. The in-house temple, meditation room, yoga classes and peaceful tea house add extra serenity and spirituality to the hotel. Under-floor heating adds comfort. The temple was made with 450-year-old timbers that were originally part of Gangtey Monastery. There’s also a spa, and a sister property in Thimphu, the Zhiwa Ling Ascent. Set among tall cypress trees, this property showcases the paradigm of contemporary designs and style.
Sharing the serene Paro Valley with Bhutan’s famed Tiger Nest Monastery, Zhiwa Ling Heritage is aptly described as a ‘place of peace’. Locally owned and run, its suites offer panoramic views across the pine forests, and its colourful in-house temple, constructed from 450-year-old timber beams, places it high on the list of Bhutan’s best luxury hotels.
Dhensa Boutique Resort
Set amidst tall lush pine trees, the Dhensa Boutique Resort overlooks the gorgeous Punakha valley. It was built keeping adventurous travelers in mind and is conveniently surrounded by many hiking trails, the most prominent being a mild hike to the Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery Lhakhang located at a five minutes’ walk from the resort. The resort is a blend of contemporary design and ancient Bhutanese architectural style. Dhensa Punakha believes in simplicity when it comes to food.
Their aim is to serve nourishing and nurturing foods which are unapologetically simple. They serve an assortment of specials including western classics, traditional Asian and authentic Bhutanese taste. An entire cottage is dedicated just for wellness like spa, yoga and a unique outdoor wood-fired bath because, at Dhensa, they strive to help you rejuvenate and reconnect with your soul. They also offer a variety of treatments and therapies with their hand blended essential oils. You can be simply letting yourself go and let the magic oils do their thing while you enjoy the view from the window.
It’s little wonder that Dhensa literally means ‘Heavenly Abode’ in Bhutanese, something that’s brought to life in their magnificent spa which contains its own hand-blended Bhutanese oils.
COMO Uma Paro
With a philosophy of providing each and every one of their guests with a unique and spiritual experience of Bhutan, The Uma Paro boasts sleek modern style interiors with jaw-dropping views of the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains and exquisitely prepared gourmet Bhutanese local cuisine. When it comes to Bhutan, one of the experiences that you simply cannot miss out on is the hike to the Tiger’s Nest and there is no hotel better placed as your base camp than Como Uma Paro.
It offers its guests an advantage of being at a distance from the country’s greatest landmarks like Paro Dzong and the National Museum which are all prominent attractions. The luxury property amalgamates Bhutan’s local architectural designs with COMO’s contemporary style. The hotel presents the guests with wellness activities like Yoga and camping adventures to name a few. The dining experience at COMO Uma Paro explodes with flavors from organic produces that are grown in their own kitchen garden and specialty dishes from India and International cuisines are also served.
For ultra-luxury, you can’t beat this renowned international chain. The Amankora lodges are situated throughout the country, in Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey, Bumthang, and Punakha. If you’re looking for consistent luxury throughout your whole stay in Bhutan, the Amankora lodges should be on your radar.
They all combine traditional elements and contemporary design, and they feature beautiful onsite spas, restaurants featuring interesting fusion cuisine (yak carpaccio, anyone?) and personalized events, such as picnics around the bonfire. Rooms at all lodges come with traditional wood-burning stoves, ideal for cold mountain evenings. The lodges are also eco-friendly.
TAJ TASHI, THIMPHU
Despite being Bhutan’s unprepossessing capital, Thimphu is not oversupplied with first-rate hotels (and, for that matter, traffic lights – there are none). In fact, excluding resorts, the imposing 66-room Taj Tashi is one of just a few genuine five-star establishments. Part of the Taj group, the respected upscale Indian accommodation brand, guests receive a blessing from a Buddhist monk on arrival with free cultural performances held in the early evenings. As befitting the Taj brand, every aspect from the service to food is top-notch.
The Taj Tashi combines traditional Bhutanese dzong (fortress) architecture with modern design. There’s a wide range of room choices here, from deluxe rooms to luxury suites. Some even come with balconies and marble bathrooms. There are four onsite restaurants, serving everything from traditional Bhutanese cuisine to European classics, and a spa, heated indoor pool, and fitness center. As a premiere Indian hotel chain, this place is popular with VIP Indian guests.
Le Meridien, Thimphu
The 5-star Le Meridien Thimphu is located in the center of the capital. The 78 spacious rooms are both traditional and contemporary in design, and come with views of the city or the surrounding hills.
There are two onsite restaurants at Le Meridien Thimphu: Sese Shamu, serving pan-Asian cuisine, and Latitude 27, serving bar snacks. There’s also a fitness center, spa, and heated indoor pool. The personalized service garners high praise.
Le Meridien, Paro Riverfront
Located close to Paro International Airport, the luxurious Le Meridien Paro is a fine choice if you have an early or late arrival or departure. The large hotel building is reminiscent of a traditional Bhutanese palace or temple, and is situated on the banks of the Paro River.
The corner suite rooms are particularly gorgeous, with open floor plans and floor-to-ceiling views of the river and the farmland outside. All rooms have stylish dark hardwood floors and gold embellishments. There’s even a dedicated Altar Room with traditional rugs, scrolls, and paintings, in case you’re craving some contemplative time, as well as an “Arts & Crafts of Bhutan” installation.
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