Need to know
Nine, including one two-bed villa.
12 noon. Check-in, 12 noon. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Travel in Bhutan is a little different from elsewhere. The government requires tourists to spend a Daily Sustainable Tourism Royalty fee (ask your Smith specialist for details). It’s used to keep tourism in check and goes towards protecting the environment, funding free education and healthcare, and alleviating poverty – so, it’s for a good cause. If you stay at Six Senses’ Bhutanese lodges for five consecutive nights you’ll get a free English-speaking driver, guide and vehicle; stay for six consecutive nights and you’ll get a free 60-minute spa treatment for each guest; and if you stay for nine nights or more, you’ll get a free one-way business-class flight from Paro to Bumthang (or vice-versa) for each guest.
At the hotel
Spa and wellness centre, living room and lounge, bikes to borrow, kitchen garden, laundry, free WiFi. In rooms: view-blessed balconies, TV, minibar, plug adaptor, and locally sourced bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Each of the eight suites are created equal and are party to glorious green views, so we’re rather taken with them all. If you’re arriving with a posse, or the children/grandparents in tow, the two-bedroom villa gives guests large living and dining areas, plus a private spa room.
The spa is petite, with just two rooms for treatments, but still shows off Six Senses’ wellness clout. Each treatment starts with a singing bowls ritual, before the traditional dotsho (hot-stone bath) is filled with fire-warmed river stones that crackle and steam, releasing soothing minerals into fresh spring water. Or, you can take this tonic as part of the signature Hingsangsa Zoni bathing ritual, which includes an additional scrub with Himalayan salts and a restorative full-body massage.
An array of activewear will come in handy: adequate hiking and biking gear, yoga kit, a swimsuit for spa bathing. The Bhutanese tend to dress in quite modest style, so some elegant threads and svelte layering will help with both local custom and changeable temperatures.
Bhutan hasn’t quite embraced contactless – or cards, for that matter. Stocking up on local ngultrum currency and a few US dollars will see you through your trip.
Four-legged friends are welcome and can stay for free; however, keep a tight hold on their leash when they’re outdoors – wild animals roam these parts. See more pet-friendly hotels in Bumthang.
Young ‘uns are very welcome. Spa treatments and meals can be tailored to their tastes and staff will create a bespoke activity plan if needed. There’s four hours of babysitting free, each day; additional hours are charged at US$20 each.
The Six Senses group prides itself on its sustainable initiatives and this lodge is no exception. The structure was built around the trees to make as little impact as possible, and food is sourced from the kitchen garden or foraged from the forest. And staff have partnered with HEROES (Himalayan Environmental Rhythms Observation and Evaluation System), an organisation that works with schools across the country to collect climate-change data; guests can visit one of these schools to learn more.