Nestled in the Raidak River valley, the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, is an alluring destination in the Eastern Himalayas. Brimming with religious buildings and fortified monasteries or dzongs, the only country in the world to officially measure national happiness – and not have traffic lights – offers evergreen landscapes, colourful markets and cosy cafes. Explore from your base in one of the best hotels in Thimphu, all bookable via Culture Trip.
Five minutes from the centre of Thimphu, on the outskirts in Langiophakha, this family-owned hotel offers spacious rooms with neutral decor and amazing views of the Thimphu Valley. They also use solar energy and other energy-efficient measures. After a relaxing session at the spa, enjoying the steam room or sauna, sip your favourite cocktails or a Bhutan Glory amber ale at the rooftop restaurant and bar where guests gather every evening to watch the shimmering sunset.
Close to major local landmarks, such as Memorial Chorten which is a seven-minute walk away, this sophisticated hotel is for you if you like modern, colourful rooms and suites with cosy seating areas and mountain views – the Royal Suite adds a dining room. After a day of exploring, relax in the indoor heated pool – one wall is floor-to-ceiling windows – with a soothing water feature and jet-lag blasting saunas and steam rooms. If you’re not a foodie, dine in Latest Recipe; if you’re keen to try Bhutanese dishes such as red rice book into Sese Shamu, the on-site restaurant.
You’ll love the views of the mountains, the sitting Buddha and the famous Tashichho Dzong at this smart white hotel in the heart of the Thimphu Valley, only minutes from the main road. There are comfortable and contemporary rooms, while the suites add living rooms, kitchenettes and a dining area, plus balconies and baths set by windows. Eager to taste seasonal Bhutanese cuisine? Dine outside or stay in the cosy cafeteria.
Close to local attractions, such as Dechencholing Palace, the Textile Museum and Tashichho Dzong, you’ll be well placed to explore all aspects of Thimphu here. Simple rooms have wooden floors, beds and cosy rugs – ask for a room with a hillside view. Start every day with a hot, strong coffee from the cafe before heading into those hills on a guided exploration.
A variety of rooms, suites and apartments – with a dining area, living room and a kitchenette – are relaxing spaces combining wooden floorboards, screens and brown and cream decor. The Coffee Café in the lobby is well stocked with sugary pastries and teas, while the restaurant dishes organic Bhutanese, Indian and Chinese dishes. Keep an ear out for the live music in the bar each Saturday as you sample a refreshing Bhutanese beer.
With walls painted a sunshine yellow and colourful throws and rugs, you can get comfortable in your room and gaze out at the hillside views. The restaurant will warm you up after a day of sightseeing – you’re not far from the Buddha Dordenma – with exquisite dishes and friendly service.
Around 7km (4.3mi) from the city center, this small hotel is surrounded by soothing, rolling landscapes in rural Lungtenphu. Respecting nature is a core part of the owner’s ethos, with ecofriendly measures including reducing and managing waste, creating compost for the kitchen garden and conserving water and electricity. Woodsy rooms have prettily layered soft furnishings and rugs – request one with a balcony or garden view. If you like cycling, bike rental is available for exploring the hillsides – after a gentle or a more exhilarating ride, you’ll deserve the tasty Bhutanese, Indian and pan-Asian dishes served on site.
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