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A Trip To Magical Bhutan
I proceeded to visit Taiwan after Bhutan and just got back recently.
The trip, as I have been telling my friends and colleagues, was simply "MAGICAL"!!!!!!!
Albeit being rainy, the weather was actually cool and enjoyable.
I would like to commend the guide Kuenzang, and the accompanying driver. Kuenzang was knowledgeable, patient, friendly, attentive and very helpful. I recalled on certain nights, we wanted to go out for drinks, and he arranged the driver to pick us up at 1045pm at night, waited for us till 1245am, and sent us back to the hotel! On another occasion, he had the driver sent us to Uma Paro for dinner, and had the driver waited for us to finish and send us back to the hotel. All these were free of charge, "as a form of service", to quote Kuenzang. We also made some changes to the itinerary on one of the days to meet up with a friend ( who works with the King and played soccer with him...) Kuenzang readily accommodated our requests without fail.
Now for the hotels.
Namgay heritage hotel at Thimpul - The room is clean with good facilities, and there are the gym, spa, and pool. However, with no fan, the room felt stuffy as it was not well-ventilated. My friend's room had some issue with the drainage which got choked.
The staffs were very friendly, and extremely attentive, delivering the breakfast personally not once, but twice, to my room as I my stomach was not feeling well. Unfortunately, I wanted to bring it along with me to eat but the hotel could not provide me with any cutlery. I left the food at the front desk eventually.
Hotel Lobesa at Punakha - I would rate this best hotel during my whole stay. The room is clean, spacious, and the bathroom simply awesome! The view out of the room was beautiful and magnificent. The only shortcoming is that the balcony is shared, and you can walk to your neighbors' room, hence, compromising on privacy. The portable fan in the room was a plus point.
Of all hotels we stayed, we had the best meal here, in terms of quality and variety. We also have the most attentive service staff was here at this simple little hotel! Each time a service staff walked past our table, we were offered more food, repeatedly! We don't even get this in a 5 star hotel in Singapore!
Tashi Namgay at Paro - This hotel has the most spacious room throughout our stay, but the toilet looks dated and in need of upgrading. There was no fan in the room. However, it didn't feel stuffy and ventilation was good. The landscaping tops the list. The river fronting the rooms is therapeutic, soothing, and calm. I commend the whole hotel environment and ambience for being relaxing and peaceful.
There is a comprehensive spa, with gym, and many facilities. Unfortunately, the steam room was not working and hotel guests need to pay USD15 for usage of the gym, limited to one hour, which I find it to be unacceptable.
The staff was as usual, friendly. However, we requested for ice on one night, and was told by the front desk that no ice was available. There was a restaurant and bar in the hotel so we could not understand this.
We needed a cab to visit the local town for drinks on one night and were told no transport could be arranged. Fortunately, our guide got the driver to assist.
The trip was overall very rewarding, and I highly recommended to all my friends, to engage drukasia. A trip to magical Bhutan must be made in one's lifetime!!!!