Thimphu, Bhutan

Six Senses Bhutan Thimphu Lodge

Style

Peacefully palatial

Setting

Forested foothills

Six Senses Bhutan Thimphu Lodge is a Bhutanese bolthole in the shadow of the Himalayas, with dzong fortress-inspired design and spirit-lifting views across the valley. Luxury is laid on with a local flair – the light-flooded rooms feature Bukhari wood-burning stoves and antique-washed rugs, alongside local artwork and the natural textures of timber and stone. Divide your time between the yoga pavilion, the organic restaurant and the signature Six Senses spa – or pick a perch above the soul-stirring reflective pools, and plot your path to ancient monasteries just a walk-in-the-woods away.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Your choice of a 30-minute foot massage for two or a body scrub for two

Facilities

Photos Six Senses Bhutan Thimphu Lodge facilities

Need to know

Rooms

25, including 20 suites.

Check–Out

Noon; late check-out is available until 6pm, but you’ll have to pay half the nightly room rate. Check-in, 2pm.

Also

If you’d like a lift from your room to the restaurant, just call for a guest experience maker, who will arrive at your door with a buggy.

At the hotel

Free WiFi. In rooms: TV, Bose speaker, wine fridge, minibar with free snacks and bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine and tea.

Our favourite rooms

Each Lodge Suite has a balcony with 180-degree views over Thimphu Valley, and a freestanding bath tub by the floor-to-ceiling windows. The two- and three-bedroom villas come with space for entertaining and private spa treatment rooms.

Poolside

As tempting as those reflective ponds are, stick to swimming in the 25m heated indoor pool.

Spa

Six Senses spas are revered worldwide, and this one lives up to expectations and then some. Work your way down the treatment menu, starting with the signature Bhutanese hot-stone bath.

Packing tips

Bring some thick socks – they’ll be good for hiking, and for keeping your feet toasty on cold temple floors.

Also

The lodge isn’t set up for wheelchair users.

Children

All ages welcome. Cots can be added to all rooms. Babysitting is available for $25 an hour; the first two hours are free.

Eco‐friendly

The resort’s entire energy supply comes from hydropower, and staff work tirelessly to recycle products and protect the local environment. Water is bottled at the on-site reverse-osmosis facility, and there’s an organic garden where vegetables are grown for the restaurant.

Food and Drink

Photos Six Senses Bhutan Thimphu Lodge food and drink

Top Table

Pick a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows, for the best views over the valley.

Dress Code

Be at one with Bhutan: gents wear a gho robe, while ladies rock a kira.

Hotel restaurant

Cloud-inspired and hand-crafted wooden panels curl across the ceiling at Namkha, while the floor-to ceiling windows look out on a skyscape of valleys and mountains. In the kitchen, chef John Bakker plucks produce from the organic garden and magicks it into a daily changing menu of local and international cuisine; the house specials are the chilli-laden shakaam ramen with wild mushrooms and crow beak, and the cordycep-infused chicken with grilled chayote and confit ginger. There’s a children’s menu too, and highchairs on request.

Hotel bar

Get contemplative with a cocktail in the cosy bar, which also serves a snack menu of canapes, smoked local trout and chicken tikka. The signature drink is the Butterfly Pea Daiquiri – enough to make anyone’s heart flutter.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am until 10.30am, lunch is from noon until 3pm and dinner is from 7pm to 10.30pm.

Location

Photos Six Senses Bhutan Thimphu Lodge location
Address
Six Senses Bhutan Thimphu Lodge
Chunimeding, Babesa, Chang Gewog
Thimphu
Bhutan

The hotel is perched in hillside forest above Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu.

Planes

Paro International Airport is 50km from the hotel, which takes around one hour and 15 minutes by car; free private transfers are provided for all guests. To get to Paro, first fly to Delhi, Bangkok or Kathmandu, then take a connecting flight with Bhutan’s national airline, Druk Air.

Automobiles

To drive a car in Bhutan, you have to arrange a special permit (international licences aren’t valid), and be very comfortable on hair-raising mountain roads. Basically, it’s far, far better to leave the driving to the local experts.

Worth getting out of bed for

The best activity is inactivity. While away the afternoons contemplating the beauty of the reflective ponds from the prayer pavilion, or ambling around the apple orchards in the grounds. Try your hand at a game of khuru (Bhutanese darts), swim in the pool, or work up a sweat in the gym; afterwards, soak up serenity at the stress-busting spa. Afternoon tea is served in the main lodge, and you can look forward to cocktails and haute cuisine at Namkha. Check the calendar for cultural performances on the sunken garden stage.

Start with a stroll around Thimphu (say tim-poo) – the quaint riverside city on the valley floor, and still the world’s only capital without a single set of traffic lights. Scour the crooked streets for handicraft workshops and jewelry boutiques, or get clued up at The Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage Museum first. Xylography (the art of carving wood blocks to print manuscripts) is still alive and well at The National Library. The Philatelic Center (in the General Post Office) displays some seriously unusual stamps, if that’s your sort of thing. The must-see in town is the iconic Tashichho Dzong, the traditionally constructed nail-free fortress which houses both the government and the royal throne room.

Up the valley, cross the cantilever bridge to Cheri Goemba, Bhutan’s first monastery (formed in 1620). Rub shoulders with the stars at the Pangri Zampa astrology temple – you can sign up to a private astrology reading or fortune telling session with one of the in-house monks. Hiking trails lead from your doorstep across the hills – ask for a map, and off you go. You can catch eyes with Dordenma by gazing across the valley from the hotel, but it’s well worth getting a closer look at the 170ft golden Buddha. Hidden inside the statue, by the way, there are 125,000 mini Buddhas. Fact.

Local restaurants

There’s only one place you need to know about in Thimphu: Cloud 9. This Australian-Bhutanese burger joint has a multi-talented menu – from fresh-fruit smoothies and wood-fired pizza, to weekend brunches and those specialty brioche-bound patties. 

Local bars

Nobody comes to Bhutan for the nightlife, but if you’re craving a cocktail, drop into Latitude 27 – the bartenders know their way around mojitos and margaritas, and the cream-stuffed eclairs are none-too-shabby either.

Reviews

Photos Six Senses Bhutan Thimphu Lodge reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this mountainside hotel in Bhutan and unpacked their mandala paintings and prayer flags, a full account of their Himalayan break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Six Senses Bhutan Thimphu Lodge…

‘Palace in the Sky’ might sound like the lyrics to a song by Gareth Gates (ahem, we mean Norman Greenbaum), but it’s actually the nickname given to Six Senses Thimphu, with its dzong-inspired design and 8,700ft high perch. Anyone going up this far deserves a good rest, and luckily the lodge is the perfect place for it. In your room you’ll find organic linens, local artefacts and a Bukhari-style log-burner; the bathroom gives you an enviable choice between the rainfall shower and deep-soaking windowside bath tub. Your taste buds are treated to homegrown organics at the restaurant, you’ll get to know the spa of course (this is Six Senses, after all), and you can fill your time with yoga and khuru (a Bhutanese dart game) in the landscaped gardens. In short, this is no ordinary getaway – it’s just about the ultimate escape for mind, body, spirit and anything else you can think of. In fact, the only thing you can’t escape are the views.

The Guestbook

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