How to Choose Different Accommodations in Bhutan: hotels in Paro, Thimphu & Bumthang
Traveling in Bhutan is unlike traveling in any other country in the world, and it is one of the most unique experiences that you will ever have. Since it first opened to tourism in 1974, the country has created some very unique rules on tourism in the kingdom, to ensure that their tourist industry is environmentally friendly and wholly ecological.
The Minimum Daily Package means that you will only have a minimum of three-star hotel accommodation during your stay in Bhutan, although that does allow for different types of accommodations, from nice hotels to home-stay accommodation to get that authentic local experience and find out how the locals live. All accommodation in Bhutan that is available for tourists has been approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
Top 4 Accommodations in Bhutan
Hotels in Bhutan normally range from three-star to five-star, and you will only be able to stay in those that are approved for tourist use, which is actually most of them in the major cities across Bhutan. Almost all of the hotels have good Wi-Fi, provided by one of the two internet providers in the country. Only Paro, Jakar, Gangtey, Punakha, and Thimphu have five -star hotels, while across the rest of the country international standard 3-4 star hotels can be widely found. Facilities in the hotels are up to the standards of most international hotels around the world, and are clean and comfortable, mainly due to the tight restrictions on tourism that means the payment for your vacation does not go to the tour operator or the hotel until after your stay has ended. Here we offer you the detailed info on Top Luxury Hotels in Bhutan
You can choose three-star to five-star hotels in Bhutan
There are now several resort-type hotels in Bhutan, thanks to the allowance of the Bhutanese government to allow the foreign company, Aman Resorts, to open their Amankora Resorts in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, and Bumthang. Since then, the idea of resort hotels has blossomed in Bhutan, and the spa resort has become a popular place to stay. And thanks to the Minimum Daily Package, all resorts except for the luxury ones are included in the cost of your trip as standard.
Spa Resort in Bhutan
Farm stays are one of the awesome benefits of staying in Bhutan, and can be incorporated into a normal Bhutan tour. Farm stays are short stays of a few nights on one of Bhutan’s many farms that provide an authentic farming experience for visitors to Bhutan. The idea of the farm stay is to allow foreign visitors to see how farmers in Bhutan live on a daily basis, and allow you to interact with the local people in a more relaxed and non-tourist setting. All farm stay residences are included in the normal Minimum Daily Package fee, and are the equivalent of staying at a three-star hotel, with food and amenities provided. You can also spend some time working with the local farmers on the farm, and there are certain seasons when it is better to take the farm stay option.
You can experience local lifestyle by staying in farm-stays
In January and February, the farmers start the planting season, sowing the seeds in the rice fields, which are then left to grow, and transplanted to the larger rice paddies in around June and July. The rice harvesting occurs in mid-August to around mid-September, depending on the weather and the ripening of the crops, and throughout October, the rice is beaten and sorted for drying. Once dried, the rice is milled in late October, and used for all kinds of foods, including rice flour.
Similar to the farm stay, the home stay is also incorporated into your trip to Bhutan, and you can stay with a local family for a few days as part of your package. Home stay trips allow people to interact with the local population in a way that is not possible in a normal tour, and are an increasingly popular way of traveling in Bhutan.
Home-stays can make you feel at your home
The home stay houses are owned by local families, many of whom speak an average amount of English and Indian, and who open their homes to foreign visitors to show them how the real people of Bhutan live on a daily basis. Many of the homes do not have shower facilities in the house, and simple washing facilities are available for keeping clean, in the normal Bhutanese style. Meals are taken with the local family, and are normally eaten around a low table sat on the floor. Fortunately, most of the home stay houses do have western-style toilets.
On both farm stays and home stays you will still have all the services of your guide and driver whenever you require them, and booking the farm and home stays should be done at the time of booking your tour in Bhutan.
Hotels in Paro
Hotels in Bhutan are all included in your Minimum Daily Package at the three-star level. If you want to stay at higher-rated hotels, then the amount you pay for the package per night will increase. For those traveling within the Minimum Daily Package, there are a good number of hotels and guest houses that are available for visitors at the three-star level in Paro, which all have excellent services and all the amenities you require.
The Hotel Tenzenling
Strategically located, the Hotel Tenzenling offers an awesome bird’s-eye view of the Paro valley, with the stunning Paro Dzong lying in the background. A family-run resort, the Tenzenling is built on the family’s ancestral lands, and is surrounded by rice fields, apple orchards, and a beautifully quaint little village. One of the more popular hotels in Paro, the Tenzenling has a chef that trained in Thailand, and offers the best Thai cuisine in Bhutan in its on-site restaurant. Ideal for lunch after a climb to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
As the oldest hotel in Bhutan, the Olathang Hotel is also one of the biggest hotels in Paro, and sits on the hill overlooking the Paro Valley. Built for the coronation of the fourth King of Bhutan in the 1970s, its small cottages are warm and comfortable, with an authentic Bhutanese charm. The hotel also offers its spa facilities free to guests, including the traditional Bhutanese hot stone baths, saunas, steam baths, and a yoga room.
With most of its rooms overlooking the Paro Valley, including the Paro Dzong, the Khangkhu Resort Hotel is an old building converted into a hotel in the late 1980s, and is set in its own grounds with manicured lawns, delightful box hedges, and a small hedge maze for the adventurous (although you can see over the hedges and find your way out easily). The 18 beautiful wood-paneled rooms all have their own balconies, and the hotel boasts a multi-cuisine restaurant and a unique Bhutanese Buddhist Meditation center.
Hotels in Thimphu
Thimphu is the national capital, and the site of the Dechencholing Royal Palace, an amazing sight that the local people seem to take for granted, as if the fact that they still have a royal family is just part of their daily life. Located just a kilometer from the town center, the Peaceful Resort in Thimphu is just that. With its unique blend of classic local architecture and modern facilities, this contemporary hotel is set amongst green meadows and tall pine trees. Featuring classically designed rooms in a typical Bhutanese style, the multi-cuisine restaurant offers a wide selection of foods from across Southeast Asia and the west.
The Hotel Amodhara
The Hotel Amodhara is a relaxing and peaceful retreat on the outskirts of the city, yet close enough in proximity to all the attractions and entertainments the Bhutanese capital has to offer. Furnished in wooden paneling and local-made furniture, the rooms all look out over the stunning city-scape, and the large balcony windows allow plenty of natural light into the rooms.
The PhuntshoPelri Hotel in Thimphu truly lives up to its name, which translates as “Palace of Great Contentment”. The striking interior design is a unique fusion of classic Bhutanese décor and unusual spacious design, which allows for an airy and comforting atmosphere. The wooden-floored rooms have all the amenities of a five-star hotel, and the classic styles really make you feel that you are in a Royal Kingdom setting.
Accommodations in Bumthang
The Bumthang District of Bhutan is the location of the kingdom’s most historic dzongkhag, with a huge number of ancient temples and sacred Buddhist sites. Inside the district lies the Bumthang Valley, also known as Choekhor, the most populated valley in the entire district. The valley is one of the most beautiful places in Bhutan, and is believed to be the most sacred valley in the kingdom. It is also the site of the kingdom’s first local brewery, in Jakar, which made the original Red Panda beer.
The classic style and architecture of the Chumey Nature Resort in the Bumthang Valley is one of the draws of this beautiful spa resort. Looking a little like an ancient dzong, the hotel stands in its own grounds, surrounded by lush meadows and tall pine trees that are ideal for afternoon walks. The interior is decorated in a stunning local design, and the hotel has all modern amenities, including excellent Wi-Fi.
Jakar Village Lodge
Situated in Jakar, the main town in the Bumthang Valley, the Jakar Village Lodge is a quaint resort that offers modern amenities in a classic Bhutanese setting. Located close to the Bumthangdzong, a ten minute walk takes you to almost all of the local sights, saving on using fuel to get anywhere in the area. While it may be located in the midst of the main town in the valley, it is still a peaceful and quiet hotel, as the town is very quiet and peaceful too. Surrounded by rolling hills and stunning pine forests, the hotel has a delightful restaurant that serves mainly local cuisine for the discerning traveler and a well-stocked library for those that like to relax with a good book in the evening.
The Wangchuk Lodge in Jakar is as regal as its name suggests, with just 16 high quality rooms in its 3 story lodge hotel. Unlike its five-star sister hotel in Thimphu, the lodge in Jakar is rated as three-star, but with five-star styling and décor. The service is as excellent as you would expect from such a royal hotel chain, and the hotel’s amenities include a fine dining restaurant and a complimentary hot stone bath. Located on the road to KurjeLhakhang, the hotel has a stunning view out over the ChamkarChhu.