Six Senses Bhutan

Six Senses Bhutan
Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan

Six Senses Bhutan is located within the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan known for its rich diversity of flora and fauna along with omnipresent spirituality and colorful culture. Scattered throughout the western and central valleys of Bhutan are five lodges, collectively referred to as Six Senses Bhutan. Each of the lodges and valleys offers its own character, environment and experiences. 

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Guests may visit one of the lodges or can plan a tailor-made journey that will include a combination of the lodges located in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro. The lodges range in size and facilities, however all embrace the Six Senses guiding principles which include wellness, healthy eating, comfort in sleep in addition to providing a journey of self-discovery. 

Accommodation

Thimphu: 10 Lodge Suites, 10 Upper Lodge Suites, 3 One-Bedroom Villas, 1 Two-Bedroom Villa, 1 Three-Bedroom Villa

Punakha: 8 Lodge Suites, 8 Upper Lodge Suites, 1 One-Bedroom Villa, 1 Two-Bedroom Villa, 1 Three-Bedroom Villa

Gangtey: 4 Lodge Suites, 4 Upper Lodge Suites, 1 Two-Bedroom Villa

Bumthang: 4 Lodge Suites, 4 Upper Lodge Suites, 1 Two-Bedroom Villa

Paro: 8 Lodge Suites, 8 Upper Lodge Suites, 2 One-Bedroom Villas, 1 Two-Bedroom Villa, 1 Three-Bedroom Villa

Facilities

Thimphu: Restaurant, Private Dining Room, Bar and Lounge, Six Senses Spa and Wellness Center, Gym, Indoor heated pool, Boutique, Prayer Pavilion, Sunken outdoor terrace

Punakha: Restaurant, Boutique, Six Senses Spa and Wellness Center, Gym, Yoga Facilities, Outdoor heated pool

Gangtey: Restaurant, Fire Pit Relaxation Area, Six Senses Spa

Bumthang: Restaurant, Six Senses Spa, Hot Stone Bath Facilities

Paro: Restaurant & Bar, Banquet facilities, Six Senses Spa, Gym, Outdoor Sauna, Yoga Room, Indoor heated pool, Library

Activities

Hiking
Biking
Festivals
Astrology readings
Breakfast with the monks
Spa and Wellness activities
Guided meditation with a lama
Sightseeing at local historical sites
House talks (sustainability, Gross National Happiness, history)

Sustainable Focuses

Clean Energy
  • The heated swimming pools at Six Senses Thimphu, Punakha and Paro use heat pumps, which require less energy and have a longer lifespan than typical gas-powered pool heaters. Low power pool filtration is used in all lodge pools. By monitoring the energy and chemicals used for the pools, the resort ensures low environmental impact.
  • The floor to ceiling feature windows throughout all lodges is argon double glazed. Argon has a 34% lower thermal conductivity than air, which is excellent for increasing energy efficiency. 
  • LED lighting and landscape lighting timers are used to provide additional energy savings. The landscape lighting timers save approximately 15-20% on average.
Community
  • Support local projects in each of the valleys in which they operate. This includes the RSPN (Royal Society for the Protection of Nature) in Gangtey and the HEROES (Himalayan Environmental Rhythms Observation and Evaluation System) project in Bumthang via the Bhutan Foundation.
    • RSPN established the Crane Center in Gangtey for the vulnerable black-necked cranes with 7,000-10,000 in the wild and 500 that come to Bhutan in the winter. They also work with Gangtey Goempa to put on the crane festival in November to celebrate and educate on the species. They encouraged the government to install an underground power grid to avoid power lines that can disrupt migrations patterns. 
    • HEROES works with schools and nature clubs across the country to collect data about climate change in the Himalayas. Students take photos and measurements of specific plants and trees chosen by the project to see year over year changes. The property works with a school in Bumthang that guests can visit to learn more from students and administrators.
  • In Punakha they work with a monastery where guests can join the young monks for breakfast and conversation to better understand monastic life in Bhutan. The donation to join helps to support the monastery with funds to educate and provide food for the novice monks. 
  • Partner with Bhutan Foundation to sell animal crafts at the properties made by local artisans. Half of the proceeds go to the foundation to support wildlife initiatives for the specific animals and the other half go to the individual artisans. 
  • The boutique mainly offers Bhutanese and Himalayan-made items to support local businesses.
  • Due to Bhutan’s high value, low impact approach to tourism, all guides in Bhutan are local Bhutanese guides who act as a cultural liaisons to ensure guests have a full, enriching experience during their stay.
  • Six Senses Bhutan, whenever possible and feasible, employs local residents by generating meaningful employment opportunities, sourcing of local products and services which results in the elimination of adverse effects for the lodge operational activities, viability and environmental and social impacts.
Education
  • Offer guests the opportunity to contribute to Bhutan’s already-high forest cover by planting trees at lesser known monasteries, such as Talakha. 

Fair Food
  • Have organic gardens on each property that they source from for meals (restaurants and host canteens) as much as possible for the most local farm-to-table food. Also help local monasteries with plantation and preparation of their gardens when possible. When onsite sourcing is not possible, they work with nearby farmers to source produce that is as local as possible.
  • Their rice paddies in Punakha are maintained as a joint effort between the team and a local farming family. In Paro, the team maintains gardens and shares their harvested bounty with the local Chubjakha community.
Natural Design
  • All materials used in construction were from Bhutan. The lodges feature internal walls, ceilings and floors of oak, hemlock and champ wood. Before installation, all wood was carefully seasoned to enhance the color and increase the strength to reduce the time and costs associated with maintenance. 
  • Extra wood leftover from the construction of the lodges has been repurposed to build structures in the nearby farming project in Paro as well as the destination dining facilities in Thimphu, Punakha and Paro. All stones, sand and slates are locally sourced.
Waste Control
  • Bottle their own drinking water at each lodge to ensure they aren’t using single use plastic bottles. 
  • Aiming to be completely plastic-free by 2022 across the Six Senses group.
  • The team does “pliking” (plastic and hiking) on the trails and roads in the valleys to collect rubbish while exercising.
Water Management
  • All wastewater is treated onsite for crop irrigation. Solid waste is sorted and recycled and organic waste is composted onsite. 

Climate

From December to February, Bhutan experiences sunny days with clear views of the incredible mountain ranges.
March to May brings warmer weather and beautiful, blooming flowers. During this time, there are many varieties of birds to watch.
June to August brings light rain and lush, green landscapes.
September to November marks autumn displaying clear skies and mild, pleasant weather.

Good to Know

All foreign nationals visiting Bhutan (excluding Indian, Maldivian, and Bangladeshi nationals) must apply for a tourist visa and pay the corresponding Bhutanese government fees. In addition, all tourists must be accompanied by a licensed guide at all times when traveling within the Kingdom as mandated by law. 
Six Senses Bhutan is able to handle the entire booking process, which includes government formalities and flight reservations via Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines.

Wellness

Six Senses Bhutan provides opportunities to improve your health and continue on the wellness journey post departure. There is a strong focus on boosting the immune system and helping to open the mind and expand consciousness to aid spiritual healing. A combination of massage and relaxation therapies, yoga and meditation programs as well as fitness facilities that include heated pools, gyms, hot stone baths and a sauna are available, helping to promote happiness and well-being. Each lodge offers its own treatments, ensuring the path to wellness is as varied as the journey itself. 

Directions

Guests will arrive at Bhutan’s only international airport, Paro Airport, which offers flights from India, Singapore, Nepal and Thailand. Travel within Bhutan is done by road on the nation’s East – West highway. If visiting Bumthang, one can take the short and scenic domestic flight to or from Paro.

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