The suggested hotels in the itinerary are 3 star properties (by local standard) in the cities, however, we have some nights in basic guest houses where there are no choices and for an experience, we have also planned one or two nights in private homes and lodges as we travel the far corners of Eastern Bhutan where facilities are limited. The hotels are usually small, in average with 15-20 rooms, built in local architectural style with traditional decor and provide utmost comfort. But there is often disparity in rooms and sometimes, members of the same group may end of getting different types of room. You may get a better room than other group members or vice versa. Except in the private home, you will have a private bathroom with running hot and cold water and with heating and cooling facility with few exceptions. But sometime there can be power outage and there may or may not be hot water. While the hotels ensure fundamental comforts, hair dryers, iron and ironing tables may not be available in some hotels. We have to be prepared to adjust our normal routine and mentally be OK with things that may not work or be available when we want them to.
As there are limited hotels in Bhutan, the hotels listed in the itinerary are suggestions only and there will be huge demand of accommodations during October and again in April and in case we fail to secure reservation in the suggested hotel, we will book you in the next best available property. Your final trip dossier that we send you about a month ahead of the trip will contain the final list of hotels.
There are some international chain of resorts such as Uma, Taj and Aman which are luxury properties and our tour cost does not include them. However, if you are interested in staying in these properties, certainly we can book you in any of the resorts with additional cost.
Food staples for the Bhutanese include rice and, increasingly, corn. They also eat beef, pork, poultry, goat, yak, and fish. Yak and cattle cheese is part of the diet of upland people. Meat soups, rice or corn, and spiced chilies comprise daily food; beverages include buttered tea and the famous red panda beer unfiltered from cereal grains. Menus in Bhutan are a fantasy concocted of the ingredients a restaurant would like to have and what is actually on their shelves. As your trip will be an all-inclusive package, expect to eat most meals at your hotel (buffet fans are in for a treat). Your guide can arrange dinner at tourist standard local restaurants but beware: traditional Bhutanese food always features spicy chilies and the most popular dish is ema datse made with large, green or red hot chilies in a cheese sauce. Though there is plenty of white rice, Bhutanese prefer a local, slightly nutty, red variety. At high altitudes, wheat is the staple. Several Tibetan-style dishes are common, including momos (dumplings), and thukpa (noodles). Pork fat is popular in the wilds because of its high energy content – visitors find it almost inedible because it’s usually stale. There are no slaughterhouses in Bhutan, and only a few cold storage facilities, so even the keenest carnivores should consider going veggie for their stay.
In many cases you will eat breakfasts and dinners in your hotels. In the countryside and on long drives, we often have picnic lunches. In some cases, we will stop at roadside restaurants which can be an adventure. Please do not overeat and stay in the limit if you consume alcohol.