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Destinations

Where to stay in Bhutan - Land of the Thunder Dragon

Arguably the most famous spot in Bhutan, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s nest), Paro

Arguably the most famous spot in Bhutan, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s nest), Paro

As part of my work arrangement with Breathe Bhutan, I had the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in Bhutan travelling through central and western parts of the country. As a result I also got to stay in a fair few hotels and home-stays there. This is a list of places that I enjoyed staying at and therefore recommend.

P a r o

Gangtey Palace

Originally built in the late 1800s, the palace offers breathtaking views of Paro valley. It also sits opposite the Paro Dzong, across the valley, so at night when lights come up at Paro Dzong, the views are mesmerising. The rooms are decently sized with attached bath and shower. Courtyard has lush green plants and you could hear birds singing in the mornings. Wonderful way to wake up I must add.

Altar room, Courtyard, Breakfast, View of Paro Dzong from  Gangtey Palace

Altar room, Courtyard, Breakfast, View of Paro Dzong from Gangtey Palace

They have an in house restaurant and freshly prepared hot food is served for breakfast and dinner. I particularly enjoyed the fusion breakfast they offered during my stay : Bhutanese fried rice, Eze, Omlette, with toast, jam and fresh honey.

Why Stay? - Great views of Paro Valley, Historic place, Altar room is a must visit

P u n a k h a

Dhumra Farm Resort

An idyllic resort that sits on top of one of the many hills adorning Punakha Valley. From here, you get a clear view of the Punakha Dzong and most of the valley itself, which makes it an ideal location for photography enthusiasts. If you’re not one of us do not worry; as their hospitality and farm-to-table philosophy in food would make it a memorable stay nevertheless. Food tasted fresh and flavourful. They cater for western tourists, (less spicy, continental food) and also for adventurous eaters with authentic bhutanese cuisine. I also enjoyed sunrise over Punakha Valley from their front garden :)

Why stay? - Good amenities and rooms, Superb Breakfast and Gorgeous views of Punakha Valley

Punakha Dzong from  Dhumra farm  resort

Punakha Dzong from Dhumra farm resort

W a n g d u e

Eco Lodge

Has to be the best hotel I stayed at in the country. The lodge features 8 rooms, all overlooking the Wangdue valley and Dzong. Every room has a beautiful view of the valley, including bathrooms which are in luxurious proportions.

Eco Farm lodge focus on a sustainable working model. They practise rainwater harvesting, bio gas and waste recycling. The lodge was built with raw materials available in and around the area by Bhutanese people. The menu is driven by what’s grown in their garden, which is right in front of all the rooms. When you stay here, you are sure to come away rejuvenated.

Why stay? - Great food, Massive rooms with great amenities, and participate in a sustainable effort while promoting tourism

Eco Lodge  Rooms, View of Wangdue fortress, Breakfast, Courtyard

Eco Lodge Rooms, View of Wangdue fortress, Breakfast, Courtyard

T a n g V a l l e y

Ogyen Choling

Ogyen Choling has been home for the religious nobility since 15th century. The family that owns and looks after the Ogyen Choling Museum and the guest house is their 20th generation descendants. They were the governing family until mid 20th century when Bhutan moved under one unified sovereign and all regional rules were dissolved.

Currently the Ogyen Choling complex consists of the Ogyen Choling Museum, a temple and a guest house where visitors could book their stay. Kunzang Choden (current generation of the family) was kind and friendly, explained to me the history of her family and showed me around the museum itself. I highly recommend making a visit here.

Food here was fantastic as they serve authentic bhutanese dishes. I tried and succeeded in finishing everything that was served in front of me (I’m quite proud of my ability to stuff my face with food, I must admit). If you enjoy authentic, one of a kind experiences, it doesn’t get better than Ogyen Choling.

Why stay here - unique experience of staying in a place that holds significant religious importance in Bhutan, great food and hospitality.

Ogyen Choling  Museum with temple in the far, Paper cranes, Sumptuous breakfast, Me with Mrs Kunzang Choden

Ogyen Choling Museum with temple in the far, Paper cranes, Sumptuous breakfast, Me with Mrs Kunzang Choden

P h o b j i k h a

Dewachen Hotel and Spa

Since I witnessed the vast Phobjikha valley on a brisk winter evening for the first time, I fell completely and utterly in love with it. Sound of black neck cranes, winds chiming through the trees and monks making their daily rounds back and forth gangtey monastery all make it one of the most, if not the most, endearing memories of Bhutan.

Dewachen is located at Gangtey Goenpa with a stone’s throw away from pine forests. The staff were quite friendly and helped with the Bukhari (wood burning heater) in the room, which was quite spacious and had floor to ceiling windows. Beautiful views during the day guaranteed. They have a restaurant, also offer room service. They provide a variety of breakfast options, including continental, and asian meal options for dinner.

Why you must stay here - Great views, massive rooms and perfect location

Breakfast hall, Snow covered pine forests, Gangtey Monastery, View from  Dewachen

Breakfast hall, Snow covered pine forests, Gangtey Monastery, View from Dewachen

Let me know if this was useful in the comments and also if you book with any of them, please share your experience :) Happy travels!