On September 23, 2022, Bhutan reopened its borders, welcoming guests back to the kingdom after more than two years. At the same time, it revealed a new national identity tagline that demonstrates an evolution and a spirit of optimism, destined to inspire pride and spark the imaginations of citizens and visitors alike.

The new national tagline: ‘Bhutan Believe’ – is about believing in the future of Bhutan, believing in what Bhutan is doing differently, and believing in the values, the capabilities, the contributions and the potential of our citizens.

I was invited to visit Bhutan in July 2023 by Six Senses Luxury Lodges to experience Destination Bhutan, it’s sights, sounds and people. Also on the agenda was to introduce me to experience a new sense of Luxury that Six Senses brings to Bhutan by staying in their lodges and experiences in their amazing five lodges across five distinctive valleys in Bhutan, namely Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha and Bumthang.

I can assure you that when it comes to accommodation options in Bhutan, no one excels to same level of Luxury as the Six Senses Lodges. They do not just offer the bells and whistles, but also brings authenticity in its service, people, food and local experiences.

What impressed the most was Six Senses Butan’s commitment to the local environment, wildlife and communities. Sustainability is the foundation for everything at Six Senses, reflected through their management of energy, water, waste, purchasing and chemical usage and engagement with local communities. They are passionate about preserving the world’s only carbon-negative country – Bhutan.

But before I start my blog I wish to share the official visa link to apply for Bhutan e-visa and pay permit fees for Indian nationals (Six Senses can assist you this): Click here – Bhutan Visa

Druk Air is the airline I flew (flights from Delhi and Kolkata) and I strongly recommend if you plan to visit Bhutan. It is a full service airline and offers a two class configuration: Economy and Business class. All details in this link: Druk Air

I will now share my trip experiences at four of the five lodges and valleys I visited during my July’23 trip with Six Senses Bhutan. Here you will find my trip itinerary to download as a reference to help get trip ideas:

Trip Summary:

  • 09th July Arrival in Paro, Bhutan.
  • 9th & 10th July, 2 nights in Six Senses Thimphu.
  • 11th & 12th July, 2 nights in Six Senses Gangtey.
  • 13th & 14th July, 2 nights in Six Senses Punakha.
  • 15th & 16th July, 2 nights in Six Senses Paro.
  • 17th July Departure for onward travel, back to India.

But in case you are looking for more options and not essentially follow my trip itinerary then Six Senses Bhutan offers varied trip ideas and trip durations as highlighted below.


The minimum itinerary duration can be 3 nights at a single lodge/valley and it can go upto 15 nights covering all five lodges in five valleys across Bhutan. And ofcourse you can always have your own itinerary planned, curated and customised as per your dates, duration and preferences.

I must also mention that all Journeys offered by Six Senses are Private which includes stay, transport*, guide*, classic experiences* (with option of additional signature experiences at extra charge) and meals, they are booked and planned just for you, your family and your group of friends. No joining tours and No sharing group journeys or scheduled departures. *subject to minimum stay duration.

Private Journeys by Six Senses bhutan:

Based on my experience visiting Bhutan. I will recommend any one of the below combinations, with 12-nights as my preferred itinerary because of Gangtey:

Bhutan in previous years was mainly confined to Thimphu and/or Paro for travellers, then gradually Punakha was introduced to the discerning guests, but now it’s time for Gangtey to be featured as a hidden gem offering mesmerising beauty and calmness.

Bumthang will remain exclusive for a discerning few, who are true explorers and have the time and will to discover deeper and enjoy best of all that Bhutan has to offer.

  • Thimphu, Punakha & Paro (9 Nights)
  • Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey & Paro (12 Nights)
  • Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang & Paro (using one-way flight) (15 Nights)

Please download below 15-Nights Private Journey covering all five Six Senses lodges and five valleys in Bhutan: (using this itinerray as a base you can decide to pick any number of valleys and lodges of your choice and plan your 6 (two valleys) or 9 (three valleys) or 12 nights (four valleys) itineraries (assuming you agree you stay 3-nights at each valley and lodge, as against a quick 2-nights show-arounds).

You can also click on Six Senses official website link, which offers more combinations and durations of itineraries across valleys to facilitate your planning: Click here – Six Senses Itineraries in Bhutan



Six Senses Bhutan can assist to book helicopter charters and private jet flight arrangements with an additional handling fee. A Bhutanese navigator is mandatory accompany the pilot for landing at Paro International Airport.​

Minimum one week notice is required to book your flight.


With temperate weather, Bhutan is an ideal year-round destination. March to April and September to November offer pleasant weather for hiking and trekking. May to August (MONSOONS) presents lush landscapes with blooming flowers and vegetation. December to February (GETS COLD) brings sunny days and clear mountain views.

Thimphu and Paro
From December to February (winter and cold), the lodges experience sunny days with clear mountain views. March to May brings warmer weather. June to August brings light rains and lush, green landscapes. September onward offers clear skies and pleasant weather.

Punakha (lowest altitude amonst all 5 valleys)
From December to February (winter and cold), Punakha has mild weather due to its lower altitude. From June to August, summer brings warmer temperatures, light rain showers and vibrant green hues. September to November brings mild, pleasant temperatures.

From November to March (winter and cold), the black-necked cranes migrate to the valley. March to May brings mild weather and abundant flora and fauna. June to August brings light showers and rains with lush landscapes. September to November offers clear days and a cooler climate.

From December to February (winter and cold), Bumthang sees bright, sunny days. March to May offers warmer weather. June to August brings rains and lush, green landscapes. September marks the beginning of autumn displaying clear skies and pleasant weather.

Six Senses Lodges in Bhutan

Each of their five lodges, Six Senses Thimphu, Six Senses Punakha, Six Senses Gangtey, Six Senses Bumthang and Six Senses Paro offers its own character and experiences, each reflecting a sense of place and sensitivity to the local environment.

Six Senses Lodges in Bhutan offers a total of 82 spacious villas and suites across their five lodges, starting from 645 square feet for the suites and up to 3,681 square feet for the three-bedroom villas.

All Six Senses’ Bhutan lodges have been designed following the greenest sustainability standards—without compromising on luxury.

Below you will find the distribution of suite categories, specially the Villas: Six Senses Bhutan is all Suites and Villas, no rooms.

Download Six Senses Bhutan Fact Sheet for all five Lodges in Bhutan:


  • Six Senses Thimphu

Six Senses Thimphu sits 7,700 ft (2,200 m) up the mountainside, offering magnificent views of the surrounding Himalayan landscape and the shimmering lights of Thimphu in the valley below.

They call it the “Palace in the Sky” and is located opposite the mountain which is home to the world’s tallest seated Buddha (170 ft or 52 m tall). Infact you can see the seated Buddha from your upper lodge Suites and Villas.

Six Senses Thimphu offers the best of both worlds, tranquility as it is surrounded by apple orchards and pine forests, accessibility as it is within easy reach of the capital’s attractions. The lodge is a one hour drive from Bhutan’s only international airport at Paro.

Thimphu is normally not a first preference to be part of an itinerary or choice for a longer stay. It is normally overshadowed by its sister valleys of Paro and Punakha. But I would go to Thimphu for Six Senses, the property, its design, ambience, views, architecture and it’s location away from the bustling city center offering peace and tranquility.

Infact from the four lodges I stayed with Six Senses Bhutan during my July trip. Six Senses Thimphu remains my favourite.


Six Senses Thimphu offers 25 spacious villas and suites, starting from 721 square feet for the Lodge Suites and up to 3,358 square feet for the Three-Bedroom Villa.

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.

My favourite accommodation category: 3-Bedroom Villa: Nestled among pine trees, this is the only 3-Bedroom Villa in Thimphu Valley.

This secluded, spacious 3-Bedroom Villa is designed for privacy with a cozy and relaxed ambiance. Perfect for entertaining your family and friends, this villa provides indoor and outdoor living spaces as well as indoor dining for up to 8-people. It also offers you to indulge and unwind in a double spa treatment room with a shower.

Villa Size: 3,358 sq.ft. indoors and 398 sq.ft. outdoors sq. ft. (​312 sq.m. indoors and 37 sq.m. outdoors sq. m.) Click below for floor plan:

Signature Experiences at Six Senses Thimphu:

Six Senses Thimphu has something special for everyone from cultural activities to hiking and discovering nature. This is where they excel and highlight of your stay at Six Senses.

Guided Meditation with a Lama:
Rise early for a morning meditation session with a lama at the lodge’s intimate Prayer Pavilion. Discover the healing benefits and deep insights that result from a practice of breathwork and setting positive intentions surrounded by the lodge’s serene reflecting ponds with views of Thimphu Valley below.

Archery and Khuru
Test your strength and skills with a game of archery, Bhutan’s colorful national sport, or perhaps try khuru, Bhutanese darts. Challenge your guide and driver to a friendly match and don’t forget to adopt the local custom of singing, dancing, and distracting your opponent to gain the upper hand.

Make Your Own Postage Stamp
Did you know that our tiny Himalayan Kingdom has produced some of the world’s most beautiful and collectable postage stamps since it issued its first series back in 1962.! With stamps designed with dragons, yetis and the rich flora and fauna of the Kingdom, Bhutan is a philatelist’s dream destination.
Bhutan is also perhaps the only country in the world where you can have your own photo made into a real stamp, a personalized way to liven up any postcard sent home.

In-House Astrology Reading
Meet a monk trained in the ancient art of astrological readings at the lodge
for an onsite reading. Astrology is an integral part of Bhutanese life. Divinations are sought for daily activities from birth to death, from sickness to promotions and from constructing a new house to marriages.
*It is also possible to visit a school of astrology houses in a 16th century monastery in Thimphu Valley for your reading.

Lodge Loop Hike
The Thimphu Lodge Loop Hike can be customized to your fitness and energy level. Try the 45 minute loop direct from behind the lodge and wind up just below the property in its apply orchards or hike further to Talakha Goempa, a monastery situated on a ridge at 3,050 m uphill from the lodge. Rarely visited, Talakha boasts some of the best views of the valley far below. 2 hrs up and back.

Lungsigang Afternoon Tea

At the apex of Six Senses Thimphu’s “lodge loop,” Lungsigang offers breathtaking views of the entire Thimphu valley. The perfect way to wind up your hike, they will serve you afternoon tea with traditional snacks, amidst the prayer flags and pine trees.

Momo Making

Momos are a staple snack in Bhutan and across the Himalayas. Join th lodge chefs in the kitchen for a hands-on demonstration to learn to make these delicious dumplings with your favorite filling. Served up with a healthy dose of ezzay (chili paste, this is Bhutanese comfort food at its best.

Nimnub Point Cocktails

Treat yourself to sunset cocktails made with local herbs by the lodge’s in house mixologist and canapés with a view towards Paro valley at Nimnub Point.

Talakha Monastery and Tree Planting

The Talakha Monastery is a one hour hike away. Learn about daily life and participate in an impromptu football or volleyball match. Engage in a tree or flower planting activity before sitting down in the monastery’s cozy circular tea room for a relaxing break. View the three Buddha statues representing the past, present and future and soak in the beautiful 320 degree views of Thimphu Valley.

Private Villa BBQ
Relax by the bonfire on your villa’s terrace while the chef prepares dinner just for you using vegetables, and herbs from our organic garden for an unforgettable meal under the moonlight.

Other Touring Highlights of Thimphu City:

  • Thimphu, being the capital, is home to many attractions. The National Textile Museum and Folk Heritage Museum, where Bhutanese craftsmen continue to pursue traditional art forms, all offer insights into Bhutan’s culture.
  • Visit the Changangkan Temple, a sacred pilgrimage site overlooking Thimphu Valley. The temple is visited by new parents who bring their children here to be named, this is always an active place of worship.
  • Visit Thimphu’s major attraction, the 52-meter-tall Buddha Dordenma. Step inside and discover the 125,000 smaller Buddhas within. Afterwards you can join Thimphu residents for koras, circumambulations, at the Memorial Chorten.
  • Further up the valley the Tashichho Dzong (fortress) houses the seat of government and religion. Nearby, one can visit Pangri Zampa, a monastic center that is home to an astrology training school.
  • At the head of the valley, a walk across one of the country’s oldest cantilever bridges leads to Cheri Goemba where the Kingdom’s first Buddhist community was based. Closer to town, Thimphu’s main street provides the opportunity to browse Himalayan jewelry and Bhutanese handicrafts and textiles.


Six Senses Thimpu offers extensive spa facilities, which are housed in a set of pavilions below the main lobby. This Spa is the largest one across all the five Six Senses lodges in Bhutan.

The hotel spa offers full-body massages along with Bhutanese healing practices such as the Hingsangsa Zoni bathing ritual, where you’ll be scrubbed clean with Himalayan salt and left to soak in a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath. The spa also features a state-of-the-art gym, sauna, steam bath, mediation & yoga room, and a glorious glassed-in swimming pool (located in a stand-alone pavilion).

Spa facilities

  • Hot stone bath
  • Five treatments rooms including two couple rooms
  • Steam and sauna
  • Indoor Yoga Studio
  • Fitness Center
  • Indoor pool
  • Herbal Garden
  • Alchemy Bar
  • Manicure and pedicure room

During my stay I tried the traditional DOTSHO (hot stone bath) – This is a “must experience” when visiting Bhutan. Mineral-rich stones from riverbeds are heated for several hours and added gradually into the water in a traditional stone bath. Heating the water in increments allows the body to adjust to the changes in temperature and encourages the purification process. Minerals released by the stones with the addition of Khempa, a Bhutanese medicinal herb, work together to release muscle pain, joint stiffness and travel sickness.



Six Senses Gangtey is a hidden gem and surpassed all my expectations, which makes me a hard-core advocate of including Gangtey in all visits to Bhutan, for first timers or repeat visitors. You will be surprised with the beauty of Gangtey and the mesmerising views of the valley from Six Senses.

Gangtey is not just about the rare black-necked cranes migration during winters, but a great year round destination with nature at it’s best. It’s referred by locals as the Switzerland of Asia and I would second that.

Six Senses Gangtey is located in the Phobjikha Valley, which is a charming area in central Bhutan. It is well-known as the winter residence of the spiritual black-necked cranes arriving from Tibet each October. The glacial valley is a fantastic playground for Bhutan activities, day hikes and cycling adventures.

The quaint village of Gangtey is home to the 16th century Gangtey Goempa monastery, which is the venue for the celebrated Black-necked Crane Festival each November.

Six Senses Gangtey Lodge is strategically positioned above the black-necked crane conservation center boasting 180 degree views of the valley – this is a must-visit for any wildlife and nature enthusiast. In fact, the lodge’s main building, the “Traditional Bird Watching Bridge” provides the perfect place for crane spotting.

The lodge features spacious 8 suites and 1 large two-bedroom villa which is perfect for groups or families. There’s a grand arrival terrace where guests can catch their first glimpse of Gantey’s unique views.

A completely sophisticated and contemporary design that embraces nature and the surrounding cultural identity wholeheartedly. Massive picture windows seem to lure you to the outdoors. From the hotel’s elevation the spectacular views go on for miles, the rugged land appearing smooth and wistful as the clouds cast a constant moving shadow of light and dark.


The eight suites at Six Senses Gangtey resort each have a Phobjikha Valley-facing, panoramic view and private outdoor balcony equipped with daybeds as well as binoculars for bird watching.

There is also a two-bedroom villa with its own private spa treatment facilities designed to pamper and relax. The architectural design draws on the local hemlock wood and ashlar stone. Interiors are warm and cozy with log fires and beautiful hand-woven rugs which depict the endangered cranes.

My favourite accommodation category: 2-bedroom Villa:

Exclusivity and generous living space with spectacular views of the Phobjikha valley.

This is lodge’s only villa and offers a spacious living area with dining areas and a butler’s pantry. It offers ultimate privacy with its own spa treatment room and each bedroom has a bathroom equipped with oversized bathtubs with a view of the valley below. You will enjoy sweeping valley views from Villa’s terrace which is the hotel’s highest point.

Villa Size: 2,400 sq.ft. (225 sq.m.) indoors and 365 sq.ft. (35 sq.m.) outdoors sq. ft. Download floor plan below:

Signature Experiences at Six Senses GANGTEY:

Set out to explore the valley’s many small temples, sacred monasteries and rural villages on foot or hop on a bike to reach the little-visited villages for a traditional dinner or a buckwheat lunch in a traditional farmhouse.

Picnic Lunch at the Buckwheat Hut
Depart from the lodge by bike for a short ride before reaching our buckwheat hut, where you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch with a buckwheat-inspired menu in a traditional setting.

Hot Chocolate & Hot Toddy Break
Hike Gangtey’ s Nature Trail, ending at the perfect crane-spotting site with the valley spread below and Six Senses Gangtey across the way. A rewarding break of hot chocolate, hot toddies and snacks enhance the view.

Karma the Crane Visit
Pay a visit to the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN) where Karma the Crane will greet you. Karma was injured and unable to join his flock for the migration. Now he’s being cared for at the RSPN Centre in Gangtey. Don’t miss the informative documentary inside.

Damchen Lhakhang Blessing
Light a butter lamp during evening prayers and receive a blessing from the monks at neighboring Damchen Lhakhang, one of the Kingdom’s oldest temples built in the 14th century.

Cow Shed Dinner
Step back in time and discover the rural charm of Phobjikha valley with this truly unique dining experience. Set in the living quarters of a century-old traditional dwelling, the Cow Shed offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in Bhutanese history. Enjoy an intimate meal cooked over a clay oven by candlelight. *The Damchen Lhakhang Blessing is included in the Cowshed Dinner experience.

Nature Trail Biking
Explore Phobjikha’s Nature Trails by bike. Take the lodge bikes out for a jaunt around the valley through its expansive network of trails.

Visit Gangtey Goemba

On an afternoon you can visit the Gangtey Village to explore the quaint shops of this one street town and also visit the 16th century golden-topped Gangtey Goemba at the head of the valley. The monastery encompasses a school, meditation facilities and living quarters for its resident monks and is also home to the mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa, one of the region’s most important “treasure discoverers.” *Can also join the monks for prayers or meditation at Gangtey Goemba.

Fire Purification Ceremony:

Participate in a fire purification ceremony called Riwo Sangcho. This ritual combines the offerings of sang (smoke), sur (smell) and jinsek (flame). The combination of smoke, smell and flame purifies the mind, body and spirit and helps to dispel any negative energies. The ceremony is believed to be one of the most powerful practices to gain merit for the living and deceased.

Loma Longtey Trail

This morning head out for one of the Kingdom’s classic hikes, the Loma Longtey Trail, which begins at Pele La Pass and winds through a small village where yak herders put up their camps during winter. The trail carries you up to Kayche La Pass at 12,140 ft. (3,700 m.) where stunning views of Phobjikha Valley and Gangtey Village await. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you explore the valley’s natural beauty.

Other Recommendations:

  • See the statues of past, present and future Buddhas at Khewang Lhakhang and visit the old part of the monastery to see breathtakingly intricate paintings
  • Receive a blessing at the magical Nyelung Dechenling temple
  • Take a two-hour stroll along the Gangtey Nature Trail, which descends to a small village before revealing an incredible valley viewpoint
  • Local beer tasting session in the privacy of your private Villa.


Six Senses Gangtey boasts a dedicated spa featuring two swedana rooms designed specifically for herb-infused steam therapies. Every treatment starts with a journey of discovery and the inclusion of a sodalite crystal to set positive intentions through breathing and meditation. This is followed by Bhutanese chanting and singing bowls, promoting stillness, happiness and well-being.

Below are the two recommended treatments unique to Six Senses Gangtey:

This locally inspired journey starts with a foot ritual and is followed by Swedana which is also known as a steam therapy. It concludes with a personalized massage.

This special herbal steam therapy starts with a foot ritual and is followed by Swedana and a relaxing head massage. A detox drink is given to guests at the end of the treatment.

six senses punakha:

They call it the Flying Farmhouse Amidst the Rice Fields. This beautiful lodge has a rustic feel inspired by the valley’s farmhouse architecture and is blessed with a warmer climate.

Punakha has a lower altitude (4265 ft or 1300 m) and temperate climate. It is referred to as the market garden of the country. Produce grows year-round and it is also a preferred winter destination of the Bhutanese.

The road from Bhutan’s capital Thimphu to Punakha takes around 3 hours and winds and climbs through stunning scenery, rising to Dochu La Pass with its striking cloud-capped valley views and 108 hillside chortens (Buddhist shrines).

Punakha is a must and should not be skipped on any trip or journey to Bhutan.

Six Senses Punakha offers excellent leisure and wellness facilities. At the heart of the lodge is a beautiful infinity pool with majestic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.


Six Senses Punakha offers 19 spacious villas and suites, starting from 721 square feet for the Lodge Suites and up to 2,949 square feet for the Three-Bedroom Villa.

Keeping with Punakha’s traditional farmhouses, the rooms are decked in warm woods and feature traditional bukhari stoves, giving them a chalet like feel that blends perfectly with the mountainous landscape.

Their best accommodation is the 3-bedroom Villa, designed to offer you the ultimate in relaxation and privacy. This secluded and spacious villa features a private plunge pool and outdoor terrace and draws subtly on traditional architectural forms with local decor highlights.

It is ideal for entertaining family and friends, you have choice to relax and unwind in either the indoor or outdoor living room. Private dining can be arranged with Lodge’s private Chefs for up to eight people. It also offers a double spa treatment room inside the Villa to complete your indulgence.

Villa Size: 2,949 sq.ft. (274 sq.m.) indoors and 969 sq.ft. (90 sq.m.) outdoors sq. ft.

Link to download floor plan:

Signature Experiences at Six Senses PUNAKHA:

There’s something for everyone to do in Punakha: Jump on a bike to take in the sights and attractions, or take a stroll to the Punakha Dzong or Choten Nyingpo, open your mind and recharge your body with guided meditation and a spa session, reconnect with nature over riverside cocktails, or learn how to brew your own ara.

Breakfast with the Monks
Rise early for a spiritual morning with the monks of an ancient monastery. Start with a hike through rice paddies past villages and farmhouses to reach this 16th century hilltop enclave. Join Lama Nado and the young novices and monks for breakfast. Afterwards, you might enjoy interacting with them while the play volleyball or attend English classes.

Momo Making:
Momos are a staple snack in Bhutan and across the Himalayas. Join Six Senses Chef for a hands-on demonstration to learn to make these delicious dumplings with your favorite filling. Served up with a healthy dose of ezzay (chili paste, this is Bhutanese comfort food at its best).

BBQ Dinner Poolside
Enjoy a barbeque dinner with a view over Six Senses Punakha’s infinity pool and Flying Farmhouse. Savor fresh dishes grilled in front of you as the sun sets and the mountains in the distance begin to change color.

River Rafting
Take advantage of Punakha’s subtropical climate with a day out on the Mo Chhu, the mother river. An exciting way to take in the lush natural surroundings of Punakha Valley. This is a gentle rafting experience but is still seasonal subject to river conditions.

Riverside Pomegranate Martinis
Canapés and pomegranate martinis at the confluence of the thundering Mo Chhu and Po Chhu rivers, in the shadow of Bhutan’s second oldest Dzong. Enjoy the peaceful sound of
rushing white water in an iconic location.

Ara Making (Local Alcohol)

Learn the ritual of making ara with a local farmer in this home at the nearby Village. Made from rice, millet or wheat, ara can be fermented or distilled. Enjoyed at all social functions in Bhutanese life, this much loved local tipple is carried and stored in handcrafted wood and silver containers. Learn about his daily life and discover his secret to producing top quality ara.

Bike Ride and Punakha Dzong
It’s an easy bike ride to the river and the Punakha Dzong. Your guide will tell you about its design and significance as the second oldest dzong in Bhutan, referred to as “The Palace of Great Happiness” and hosted the royal wedding. Relax with riverside tea and refreshments then take a 20 minutes walk across the famous steel suspension bridge lined with prayer flags blowing gently in the breeze.

Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten Temple:

One of the afternoon’s hike alongside the river climbing up to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, a temple built by Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdom to bring peace to the world. Just a short drive from Punakha Dzong, it takes about 50 minutes to climb from the road through beautiful, terraced rice paddies to reach the chorten which was completed in 1999 after eight years of construction. You will be rewarded with stunning views of the valley below.

Visit Chimi Lhakhang:

A short drive (30 mins) from Punakha, can also viist enroute when driving to Punakha from Thimphu or Gangtey. You stroll across the rice paddies to Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple, to learn about Drukpa Kinley, the revered ‘Divine Madman’ and Buddhist ‘crazy wisdom’. The adjacent village has some surprisingly graphic phallus paintings in honor of the saint on its homes and shops.


The spa is laid out like a miniature village, with each treatment room housed in a cosy, pitched-roof hut. The relaxation process begins before you even set foot inside, as your therapist lead you there on a walking meditation.

The menu reflects Bhutan’s rich wellness traditions, particularly Ayurvedic medicine, practiced in these mountains for centuries.

Their must try signature treatment is the Sleep Well Journey. This signature journey is based on clinical research and ancient practices to alleviate sleep concerns.

It begins with visualization and deep breathing which positively impact the flow of energy. A full body massage brings the body’s rhythm back into balance, while the facial marma massage stimulates the pineal gland using potent active ingredients. It concludes with the nasya (nasal oil application).

Spa facilities:

  1. Four treatment rooms
  2. Fitness Center
  3. Outdoor pool
  4. Two meditation salas
  5. Herbal garden
  6. The Alchemy Bar

Download Full Spa Menu:


Six Senses Paro enjoys a spectacular mountainside location at an elevation of 9,500 ft or 2,900 m, next to a 15th century ruined fortress. The ‘dzong’ ruins (from which it gets its name ‘Six Senses Stone Ruins’) and the sweeping views across the forested valley to dramatic mountains beyond provide a phenomenal backdrop to any stay. There are pleasant walks through pine forests as well as small and little-known monasteries well worth a visit just a few minutes’ walk from the lodge. The Paro lodge is a 30 min drive from Paro airport.

The property has been designed to mimic the old style of the fortress and built using locally-cut stone. Inside the decor is calm and serene with simple, contemporary wooden furniture finished with fabrics in rich earthy tones.

There’s a heated indoor pool overlooking the Paro Valley and its forests.

Bordered by forested mountain peaks, Paro Valley is one of the most scenic settings within the Six Senses Bhutan journey. It is a mix of small villages and ingeniously terraced crop fields and is home to Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most revered pilgrimage site.

Six Senses Paro is the final stop of most guests who book a Six Senses journey due to it’s proximity to Paro airport since most flights depart in the morning, and having Paro in the end of your Journey facilities last minute shopping and of-course better acclimitisation to hike the famed Tiger’s Nest.

Advisory Alert: Six Senses Paro’s mountain-top location affords fabulous views, but getting there does require some efforts. From the valley floor, it’s a 20 min drive up the mountain on a badly maintained and winding dirt road (the lodge is currently negotiating with Bhutan’s authorities to pave the road with asphalt). So every time you leave the lodge for an excursion, you’ll have to pass this bad road twice (going down and back up), which is an unpleasant experience.


Six Senses resort in Paro offers 20 spacious villas and suites, starting from 646 square feet for the Lodge Suites and up to 3,681 square feet for the Three-Bedroom Villa.

The suites are designed with large windows and awe-inspiring valley views in mind (no terrace or balconies in Suites). The neutral, relaxing tones are complemented by the simple lines of natural timber furniture and the presence of local touches such as bukharis (traditional wood-burning stoves) and vegetable-dyed, antique-washed Himalayan rugs.

The accommodation highlight of this property is it’s 3-bedroom Villa, The only three-bedroom villa in Paro Valley. It offers generous indoor and outdoor spaces, designed for relaxation and privacy. Decorated in muted tones, it’s perfect for entertaining family and friends with an indoor and outdoor living room.

Local, hand-chiseled stone is featured on some walls. Private dining for upto to six guests can be arranged by the Six Senses chefs. The deck offers stunning views of Paro Valley and all its natural beauty.

Villa Size: 3,681 sq.ft. indoors ​(342 sq.m.) and 1,055 sq.ft. (98 sq.m.) outdoors sq. ft. Download floor plan below:

Signature Experiences at Six Senses PARO:

There’s a whole range of places to visit in Paro – A sunrise hike to Tiger’s Nest or sundown lamp lighting at Samtenling Monestry are a great start and ending to your day. And there’s a whole day in between with time to visit Jele Dzong, join mushroom foraging or head to the spa for a locally-inspired treatment.

Samtenling Monastery Blessing
Located a stone’s throw from our Paro Lodge, Samtenling is a tiny yet important monastery that dates back to the 14th century. Light 108 butter lamps in the Bhutanese tradition to begin or end your journey on an auspicious note and dispel darkness in the universe. Follow this with a Tshewang blessing ritual for health and long life from the
resident monks.

Guided Meditation with a Lama
Rise early for a morning meditation session with a lama at our lodge and discover the healing benefits and deep insights that result from a practice of breathwork and setting positive intentions.

In-House Astrology Reading (available in Thimphu & Paro)
Meet a monk trained in the ancient art of astrological readings at our lodge for an onsite reading. Astrology is an integral part of Bhutanese life. Divinations are sought for daily life activities from birth to death, from sickness to promotions and from constructing a new house to marriages. Find out what the stars have in store for you!

Archery and Khuru (can do in Thimphu, Punakha & Paro)
Test your strength and skills with a game of archery, Bhutan’s colorful national sport, or perhaps try khuru, Bhutanese darts. Challenge your guide and driver to a friendly match and don’t forget to adopt the local custom of singing, dancing, and distracting your opponent to gain the upper hand.

Lodge Loop Hike
The perfect way to stretch your legs after a long plane or car journey, this 45 minute guided hike will take you from the lodge’s front door along trails lined with blue pine with expansive valley views before winding back up near the lodge in the shadow of the ruined stone dzong which sits adjacent to the property.

Chubjakha Ruins Regale
Travel back to the medieval Kingdom with our Chubjakha “Ruins Regale.” Dine by candlelight as the bonfire glow reflects off the majestic stone ruins. Don traditional national dress, the kira and the gho, as you take part in the cultural tshechu performances with masked dancers in colorful costumes. Specially crafted cocktails paired with a Bhutanese menu cooked over an open fire complement a night of
unforgettable drama and mysticism.

Farmhouse Dinner
Enjoy a family-style meal prepared over a traditional Bhutanese clay oven in the company of your gracious hosts. The owners of this simple earthen farmhouse migrated from Tibet, settling in this small community situated just above our lodge. The farmhouse is now in the care of their relatives who will share their stories with you while
tshechu musicians perform traditional folk songs in the atmospheric living room.

Private Villa BBQ
Relax by the bonfire on your villa’s terrace while our chef prepares dinner just for you using vegetables and herbs from our organic garden for an unforgettable meal under the moonlight. *In Paro this is available in the one, two and three bedroom
villas only. A private BBQ dinner fireside can also be arranged outdoors on the Stone Terrace, weather permitting.

Sunrise Hike to Tiger’s Nest
It’s a 3 hour hike to famous Tiger’s Nest. Your guide shares the history and significance of this mesmerizing cliff-side monastery. Hydrate and energize with homemade energy bars along the way then relax and enjoy your achievement. For those not interested in hiking, a horseback ride to a viewing point halfway up the trail to the Taktsang Goemba is a wonderful alternative otherwise Six Senses can arrange a private helicopter aerial flight around Tiger’s Nest from a distance (cannot land and cannot fly over or close to the Tiger’s Nest, this is to avoid any noice or inconvenience to the meditating monks inside the monastery).

Hike to Jele Dzong
After a hearty breakfast, it’s a 2 to 3 hour hike to Jele Dzong through pristine forests and valleys traversed by yak herders. Strategically located on a ridge, Jele Dzong is a small fortress built several hundred years ago to cater to travelers between Paro and Thimphu. Take a moment to hang your own prayer flags.

Guided Mushroom Foraging
Join a mushroom foraging expedition in the forest as you hunt for different varieties. Inhale the fragrance of the forest and the smell of the earth. Foraging is hungry work so select how you want your prize ‘shrooms prepared or make them the highlight of the menu in a cookery class arranged just for you.

July and August: See Shamu (chanterelles).

August and September: Matsutake.

Prayer Flag Making & a Farmhouse Lunch.

Drive to the home of a local family that has been making prayer flags by hand for generations. Situated in the center of expansive paddy fields, a visit to this three-story earthen farmhouse offers insight into rural Bhutanese life. Learn the secrets of their craft making your own prayer flags before a hearty lunch of local favorites.

Visit Kyichu Lhakang:

Kyichu Lhakang is a 7th century sanctuary located nearby and one of the oldest religious
structures in the Kingdom. An absolute gem for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike, it is said to have two magical orange trees that bear fruit throughout the year.


At Six Senses Spa Paro, which may be your last location on your Bhutan Journey, the focus is on setting intentions for going back to life at home and for the future.

This includes writing your intentions on Bhutanese prayer flags, barefoot walking meditation and the inclusion of the Tiger’s Eye crystal in the opening treatment ritual are some of the practices you will experience at this location.

The spa has four treatment rooms for rituals including deep-tissue, Marma and holistic massages, and detox scrubs. Private yoga and meditation classes can be arranged.

Paro Spa facilities:

  • Four treatment rooms
  • Yoga Studio
  • Private meditation cave
  • Fitness Center
  • Indoor pool
  • Outdoor sauna and cool dip
  • Alchemy Bar
  • Herbal garden

Their signature massage and recommended for this location is the ‘Memories of Bhutan’
120 minutes: – This journey starts in the private meditation room where we reflect on the unique gifts the pilgrimage has had to offer. After a mindful walk to the treatment room, the experience is deepened with a personalized full body massage using warm and therapeutic oils, leaving you with clear intentions on what to take home.

Download Full-Spa Menu:


I did not visit Bhumthang during my trip, but my blog will be incomplete without mentioning Six Senses Bhumtang which is unique but also hard to reach as it involves long distance road travel. I will recommend a flight (35 mins) atleast one way.

Six Senses Bumthang at an elevation of 8,575 feet (2,615 meters) is set at the heart of Bhutan’s most spiritual region. Bumthang is home to many ancient monasteries and sacred monuments.

This extremely eco-conscious hideaway is at one with its picturesque environment, so much so that a tree grows through each suite, pines penetrate other parts of the building and regional dishes are made using kitchen-garden crops and foraged finds.

It is referred to as “Forest in a forest” set in pine forest above a bubbling, trout-filled stream. It immerses guests in the natural beauty of its surroundings.

The area around the hotel gives guests the chance to learn more about Bhutanese culture and visits to the nearby Wangdicholing Palace, a wonderful example of traditional Bhutanese architecture, are recommended.


The lodge offers 8 beautifully-appointed suites immersed in the surrounding forest and a 2-bedroom villa with private spa treatment facilities.

Following the theme of a “Forest within a Forest”, wood is a major feature inside out, and each suite at the hotel has its own courtyard with a tree planted in the center. All suites and villa face across the valley and offer panoramic forest vistas.

The two-bedroom villa gives guests large living and dining areas, plus a private spa room. Each bedroom is equipped with its own spacious bathroom with oversized bathtub and at the center is a garden where pine trees grow within the forest.

Villa size: 2,422 sq.ft. (225 sq.m.) indoors and 366 sq.ft. (34 sq.m.) outdoors sq. ft. Download floor plan below:


The area around the hotel gives guests the chance to learn more about Bhutanese culture and visits to the nearby Wangdicholing Palace, a wonderful example of traditional Bhutanese architecture, are recommended. There’s lots of activities around the lodge including full day treks to the valley’s most important sites as well as opportunities to bike and horseback ride. Other activities include visits to local villages, archery lessons and mushroom foraging. Bumthang is home to some of the Kingdom’s most revered pilgrimage sites and Kurjey Llakhang is believed to have been the resting place of Guru Rinpoche.

Upper Valley BBQ
The beauty and magic of Bumthang is in its connection to the rivers and forests that line the valley. A short drive from town transports you to an isolated riverside location that leaves civilization behind. Dine by fire light with the sound of the river torrents in a secluded location with romance and charm.

Bumthap Farmhouse Dinner
The heart of every home is said to be the kitchen and nowhere is that more evident than at Dechen’s Farmhouse in Jakar Valley. Visit Six Senses Lodge’s Sous Che Dechen Yangzom’s family home to experience “a day in the life” of a modern Bhutanese family with traditional Bumthap (of Bumthang) cuisine in a cozy atmosphere. Try your hand at
noodle making and sample homemade ara.

Horseback Riding to Ogyen Choling Manor
Saddle up and test your equestrian skills on a horseback ride at Wobthang horse ranch in Tang Valley. Experiences how Bhutanese aristocrats traveled in the past before roads arrived in Bhutan with a three hour ride to Ogyen Choling Manor, where you will visit the museum to learn about the history of the manor and traditional Bhutanese culture. *Additional trails of varying lengths are available on request and pricing varies.

Momo Making
Momos are a staple snack in Bhutan and across the Himalayas. Join our Chef for a hands-on demonstration to learn to make these delicious dumplings with your favorite filling. Served up with a healthy dose of ezzay (chili paste, this is Bhutanese comfort food at its best.

Nature Trail Biking
Explore Jakar Valley by bike. Take the lodge bikes out for a jaunt around the valley through its expansive network of trails.

Red Panda Brewery
Stop by the Red Panda Brewery to sample the local beer and cheese. Khown for its small batch Hefeweizen beers, the brewery also serves locally made Bumthang Emmenthal and Gouda.

Other Touring Highlights in/around Bumthang:

  • Travelling along the East West highway from Gangtey to Bumthang amongst striking
    landscapes of natural beauty. Along the way, stop in Trongsa, the original seat of the Royal Family. Visit Trongsa Dzong, the largest dzong in Bhutan and the nearby museum before strolling through the charming town.
  • Pay a visit to Jakar Dzong, the district’s main fortress next to Jakar Town before embarking on a Bumthang pilgrimage on foot or by bike. First Jambay Lhakhang, where you can circumambulate the temple with locals. Continue to Kurjey Ljakhang to drink holy spring water to cleanse your body, speech and mind. Your last stop of the pilgrim’s route will be at Tamzhing Lhakhang, built by Terton Pema Lingpa, the great treasure discoverer.
  • Stop by the recently renovated Wangdichholing Palace for one of the best examples of 19th century Bhutanese palace architecture. The Bhutan Foundation has spent years restoring the palace’s interiors and paintings to their original splendor. With special permission you can visit the shrine room in the inner sanctum of the palace. Light a butter lamp as an offering to dispel ignorance for all beings.
  • Drive to the base of Zhugdra Lakhang, also known as ‘Mini Tiger’s Nest. Take a short hike (40 minutes) to the temple to visit the altar room and its enchanting surroundings.
  • On one day you can start with a visit to the 5th King’s Temple to pay your respects before heading to Membertsho (the Burning Lake), where Terton Pema Lingpa dove into the river carry a burning lamp in his hands and returned with treasures and relics with the lamp still burning.
  • Bushman Hike: The hike begins in a lovely village before winding through a pristine forest with mountain and farmland views along the way. It finishes at the small hamlet of Pemacholing, which has a beautiful nunnery that serves as a center for learning for the female monastic body. 8km with an altitude increase of 400 meters reaching up to 3,107m. (2-2.5 hrs). *If time allows, the lodge will arrange a special photo opportunity here or in a nearby private temple.
  • Visit Ta Rimochen Lhakhang, known for its foot, hand and body prints of Guru Rinpoche.


The spa has just two treatment rooms and a hot stone bath facility. Each treatment starts with an opening ritual wherein you’ll be invited to hold an Amazonite crystal in your hands, while setting positive intentions through breathing and visualization techniques, and bringing your body into harmony with its surrounding environment. This is followed by Bhutanese chanting and singing bowls before the ritual concludes with a hot foot compress and palm walking. If you wish, you may continue to hold onto the crystal during your treatment.

De-stress and invigorate the body and mind with this locally inspired ritual starting with an exfoliation treatment during which Himalayan salts are used to gently cleanse and stimulate the circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage. This is followed by a traditional stone bath to encourage the body to release toxins and a luxurious, personalized full body massage.

My Bhutan Journey in Images across four valleys

how to book:

You can book Six Senses Journeys in Bhutan with the Delhi based Boutique Luxury Travel Design Company – Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd. They are one of the preferred sales agents for Six Senses Lodges in Bhutan and have local expertise and connections to execute once in a lifetime trip experience to Bhutan.


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