Bridge, Bhutan
Mountains, Bhutan
Punakha Dzong, Bhutan


River Deep, Mountain High

A Six Senses Journey Through Bhutan

The enchanting kingdom of Bhutan, shadowed by the eastern edge of the Himalayas and bordered by Tibet and India, has always had mystical allure for travellers seeking to immerse themselves in a culture vastly different from their own.

The spirit of Buddhism pervades Bhutan, where the guiding philosophy is governed by an index that measures the population’s happiness. Indeed the Bhutanese are a very peaceful people, and Western visitors to this land-locked country often seek to emulate their calm spirituality. With the launch of four new Six Senses lodges, and a fifth on the way, travellers to Bhutan now have an unrivalled opportunity to get under the skin of this fascinating country.

"Expect to be wowed by a ‘palace in the sky’, a ‘flying farmhouse’ and a ‘bird-watching bridge’ on a journey with Six Senses hotels."

Punakha Dzon, Bhutan

Bhutan with Six Senses

The lodges are spread out across the width of Bhutan and offer the chance to explore different areas while staying in 5-star luxury every step of the way. Each lodge has its own distinct identity, with unique design concepts that fit seamlessly into their environment. Expect to be wowed by a ‘palace in the sky’, a ‘flying farmhouse’ and a ‘birdwatching bridge’.

This journey across Bhutan, visiting Six Senses properties in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Paro, will show a land shrouded in mystery, where the sun rises over sky-scraper mountains, forested gorges and monasteries wrapped in prayer flags that cling unfeasibly to cliffs. On your way, Bhutanese people and orange-robed Buddhist monks will warmly welcome you and open your eyes to their ancient way of life.

Six Senses Thimphu, Bhutan
Six Senses Thimphu, Bhutan
Six Senses Thimphu, Bhutan
Bridge in Thimphu, Bhutan
Buddha Point, Six Senses Thimphu, Bhutan

The Palace in the Sky

"Bhutan is a land that rewards you at every step, creating memories that will stay with you forever."

Start in the capital, Thimphu, where government ministers still wear traditional national dress known as gho.

Six Senses Thimphu, the largest of the Six Senses properties, is located here, perched on a hillside among apple orchards and pine forests, looking out across the valley to a 170-foot-high statue of the Buddha. It’s this elevated position, together with the outdoor ponds that reflect the sky above, that have earned it the nickname the Palace in the Sky.

Be sure to take an early breakfast at the lodge’s Apple Shed to watch the sunrise over Thimphu. Then before you leave for Punakha, receive prayers and blessings from Six Senses’ resident monk, who will wish you a safe and enlightening passage along your journey.

The Flying Farmhouse

On a clear sunny day, the drive to Punakha over the Dochu La Pass offers breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks, cloud-capped valleys and Buddhist shrines that flutter with prayer flags. The lodge at Punakha, known as the ‘flying farmhouse among the rice fields’, overlooks lush green vegetable terraces, with rustic-luxe interiors and wicker furnishings nodding to the agricultural setting.

In summer, warm weather in the Punakha Valley means you can relax by the outdoor pool, try the traditional sport of archery, or hike to the 17th century Punakha Dzong before returning to the lodge for an evening of meditation and a footbath at the spa.

Punakha, Six Senses Bhutan

Bhutan's Bird-Watching Bridge

From Punakha, continue east past steep-sided ravines to the picturesque settlement of Gangtey on the western slopes of the Black Mountains.

At an elevation of almost 10,000 feet, the glacial valley is a designated conservation area and the winter residence of black-necked cranes, which arrive from Tibet each October. Six Senses Gangtey even has a glass observation deck – or bird-watching bridge – to help you spot them.

When not birding you can stroll through quaint Gangtey Village, join the local monks for prayers and meditation, or trek Himalayan ridgelines and through forests of rhododendrons.

Tiger's Nest Temple, Bhutan
Six Senses Paro, Bhutan
Six Senses Paro, Bhutan
Six Senses Paro, Bhutan

A Tiger's Nest

Continue your journey through Bhutan in the peaceful Paro Valley, home to the best-known of all the country’s monasteries, Takstang, or Tiger’s Nest. Be sure to hike the steep steps to the monastery gates, following colourful prayer flags through scented pine forests and past tumbling waterfalls. You’ll need an early start to beat the crowds, but when you reach the top you’ll be in no doubt it’s worth it.

Six Senses Paro offers 20 spacious villas and suites, whose large windows make the most of the awe-inspiring views. If a hike to Tiger’s Nest is the perfect start to the day, then a lamp lighting ceremony at Samtenling Monastery is a great way to end it. In between, you could hike to Jele Dzong for views across to Tibet, join a mushroom foraging trip or head to the spa for a locally inspired treatment.

Six Senses Bumthang, Bhutan
Six Senses Bumthang, Bhutan
Six Senses Bumthang, Bhutan
Paro Valley, Horse Riding Bhutan

End in Bhutan's Cultural Heart

"Ride horses to the Kencho Sum Lhakhang monastery, one of the most beautifully decorated in Bhutan, then return to the lodge for a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath."

The fifth Six Senses lodge is located amid the forests of Bumthang in the remote far east of the kingdom. With just eight spacious suites and a two-bedroom villa, Six Senses Bumthang offers an exciting extension to this Six Senses journey, especially as you can fly directly to Paro from Bumthang, removing the need for a long overland journey back.

Bumthang is the cultural heart of Bhutan, home to some of the country’s most spectacular scenery and most prominent temples and monasteries. The lodge’s roster of activities promises to take full advantage of this fact, with excursions available to the 16th century Tamzhing Lhundrup Lhakhang temple, to the hilltop fortress of Padseling Goemba, and to Burning Lake, a quiet riverside spot where you can ponder all you’ve seen amid the splendour of the Himalayas.

Have questions? Our knowledgeable team of experts are on-hand to take your call or if you prefer by Zoom. Talk to us about your holiday dreams or challenge us with your travel conundrums.

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