Bhutan is a magical destination. Although Bhutan's early history is rich in mythology, much of it remains unknown. The country opened its doors to tourism in 1974, with the number for tourists kept to an environmentally manageable level through government regulated tourist tariffs. Bhutanese are renowned for their happiness and are a proud people who wear their national costume with pride.
Six Senses has designed a project that is actually five individual satellite resorts in five separate locations, but all under the umbrella of one all-encompassing name: Six Senses Bhutan. It is five unique experiences crafted into one enchanted journey through the Kingdom. With a total of just 82 guest suites and villas distributed between the intimate lodges, guests will experience the heritage and hospitality of Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, and Paro. Each of the five locations has been identified with a theme, so guests can move freely between them and experience a journey through all senses.
In the capital city Thimphu, the design emphasis is on culture. Situated within beautiful apple orchards to the north and young pine forests to the south, the property is strategically located with spectacular views looking up the Thimphu Valley and across the 170-foot high giant Buddha. The location provides a comfortable escape from the bustling capital of the Kingdom yet close enough to easily access the many attractions.
Punakha Valley is the warmest of the Six Senses Bhutan destinations. Summer temperatures can reach 86°F (32°C). Punakha has an interesting history; it was the capital of Bhutan for a period of 300 years until Thimphu was declared the official capital in the 1950s. It is the site of one of Bhutan’s most historically important dzongs, the magnificent 17th century Punakha Dzong. Six Senses Punakha, where is the design emphasis is on tradition, is located a short 15-minute drive north of the Punakha Dzong.
The nature-inspired Six Senses Gangtey has beautiful 180-degree views of the western valley. One of the most exciting attractions are the Black-Necked Cranes; the lodge is within walking distance to the Royal Society for Protection of Nature’s Black Neck Cranes. Throughout the winter, cranes can be viewed from the lodge, the nearby Crane Center, or a viewing spot situated near the main nesting and feeding grounds. A stay in Phobjikha Valley begins with a casual stroll through the quaint Gangtey Village, taking in the simplicity of life in this remote mountain hideaway before visiting the ancient altars and ramparts of the dominating Goemba.
The drive to Bumthang takes guests over the picturesque Yotong La and down into the Chhume Valley, home of Bhutan’s famous Yatra weaving. Located directly within a pine grove, Six Senses Bumthang has been carefully designed and built within the forest, thereby taking on the name Forest within a Forest.
Bordered by forested mountain peaks and perched directly above the National Museum of Bhutan, Six Senses Paro is surely one of the most scenic settings. To complement such an amazing site, once again the lodge has been uniquely designed to maximize its surrounding history and incredible valley views. Known as Stone Ruins, the Paro lodge has some wonderful destination dining and spa experiences.
Six Senses Bhutan is now scheduled to open in August 2018. Contact a Sodha Travel Bhutan Specialist to plan your luxury, hand-crafted journey through the Kingdom.