As we flew (on one of the only two Bhutanese planes of Druk Air) into this last Shangri-la over Mount Everest into the lush, green Eastern snow-capped Himalayas we knew immediately that we had entered into a fantasy fairytale, exclusive and rarely seen destination.
Due to the mountainous terrain, one can not even see the runway until you are almost on it. Even the airport was like no other in this world and we delighted in the colorful, hand-painted architecture, pristine nature and unique traditional dress that is Bhutan.
The beautiful five star Taj Tashi Thimpu (number 1 on Trip Advisor for Thimpu) was our first stop in Bhutan and I think it is the perfect place to begin a trip to Bhutan.
Some people do their whole Bhutan vacation based here in the heart of this small capital city. The 66 elegant rooms are gorgeous with heated floor bathrooms, high ceilings, lacquered wood floors, and the building is built in the traditional Bhutanese style with swirling dragons.
The views are breathtaking of the mountains that surround Thimpu valley and the service is impeccable. We were greeted upon arrival with silk scarves, then presented with traditional healing tea and warm towels.
What was really special is they had a young Bhutanese Buddhist monk do a blessing ritual for our jouney into Bhutan, wishing us a safe journey and using incense, holy water and a yellow string to tie around our wrists for protection. It was very touching and sets the stage for this sacred land of prayer and spirit.
We had a fantastic lunch in the hotel with both delicious Indian and Bhutanese dishes. The chef was especially gracious and helpful to me as I had a lot of special needs at that time due to digestive problems that I some how picked up in Penang. Our ten year old went crazy over this amazing chocolate dessert!
The location of the hotel is excellent and convenient. You have views of the mountains, but one is in the center of the largest city in Bhutan ( which still seems like a small town with no towers like one usually sees in Asia) so one can just cross the street to buy handicrafts, change money at a bank, buy stamps at the post office.
The amazing Thimpu markets are close by and one is also near by Paro, the airport and the famous Tiger's Nest, with excellent roads in this area. One can even do a trek on foot through the wilderness over four days from Paro and then luxuriate in this hotel.
Every evening they have a bonfire near the prayer wheel where we did the blessing ritual and indigenous Bhutanese do dances and songs similar to what is done during the festivals, like a mini- tsechu.
We at Soultravelers3 are very proud to be the first travel bloggers to be hosted by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and our stay here was sponsored by them and this Taj Hotel. We were very happy to meet Mr. Bikramjit S. Bhangoo who is the assistant Sales Manager at the Taj Tashi Thimpu and he and his staff made our stay there an exciting and comfortable way to arrive in Bhutan.
It was our first stay at a Taj Hotel and if they are all as wonderful as the Taj Tashi Thimpu, we are really looking forward to experiencing more! Have you been to Bhutan or a Taj Hotel?