We are back from Bhutan since a few weeks now and the experiences are slowly going into our memories. Overall, it was a beautiful and very relaxing trip for us, and we felt very safe in Bhutan.
We do have some feedback to the trip, which we have tried to organize into different topics.
– The overall trip was an interesting mix of landscapes and activities.
– We would have appreciated one or two more nights in Thimphu. This would give enough time to see the sights, considering that it is the only place with “different” things to visit, e.g. the various museums. Thimphu is also the only place where you can actually walk yourself in town, and also potentially do something in the evening after dinner.
– Two nights Phobjikha was too much, considering there is not much to do in that region
– In the evening there were basically no activities, and with most hotels being out of town, there really was not much to do. We would have appreciated even a short activity, either with the guide or organized by the hotel.
Guide: Kuenzang was very welcoming and took good care of us during the entire trip. She was also good company and we had some good laughs and conversations.
She also carried Francesca’s daypack for one day on the trek when Francesca had some backpain, which was kind and wonderful.
What she could have done slightly better was, on the first day, to explain some general things about Bhutan, the culture and history. We asked a lot of questions during our trip to discover, but a short introduction would have been good.
One other minor thing was that she explained some aspects of temples or stories several times; what she could do better is to check which parts she has already explained, or ask in which aspects we would have been further interested in. (Maybe it is difficult to find the balance though between the various tourists coming)
Driver: Varun did a perfect service, excellent and safe driving, on time, and always friendly
– Haa (Lechuna lodge) : probably our favorite overall, beautiful house, warm, good service and nice food
– Druk Hotel (thimphu): very nice room, good location, excellent spa/massage
– Gangtey Palace (paro): nice service, especially at the restaurant. Room is nice, but very dark in the evening: we would have really appreciated brighter lights.
– RKPO (Phobjikha): this was unfortunately not a good experience for us. The rooms looks nice, but it was cold: the stove went out after 30 minutes each time. Both the bath and the shower leaked water onto the floor (a lot).
And we got food poisining to top it off for both of us on one evening…
– Hotel Vara (Punakha): the room itself was good and with a beautiful view, although again there were some leaks in the bathroom. (Not like RKPO though)
Unfortunately we experienced very poor service: towels took very long to bring when asked for them, the staff insisted to be paid directly for laundry & massage (instead of at checkout), but then did not having change available and made us wait while finding change.
Poor massage service & facility, not to be recommended. (Dusty pillow, people coming in during massage)
– overall the trek was great and very well organised, major highlight of the trip!
– excellent food, the best of the holiday
– the fourth day was very long, especially compared to the other days, so the segments should be rebalanced better
– every day, once arrived at the camp, it was a bit boring making the time pass between time of arrival (2-4 pm) and sleeping time (9 pm). It got cold very quickly, and we did not want to lie in the tent more than the already long night. Ideally, one could organise some little game or activity before dinner to warm up and spend time together (e.g. in the dinner tent)
– excellent packing list from Wind Horse, only suggestion: include a pair of thin gloves (for dinnertime & reading)
– in the end, we took the ski-jackets and we were very happy we did: they were definitely needed in camp. Apparently we had some colder-than-usual weather.
– sleeping bag liner: this was just a fleece blanket and not really a liner. It opened/moved during the night, making it probably less effective than a real liner.
Hopefully this feedback helps you & the Wind Horse company to improve for future guests!