The well-regarded Six Senses hotel group is the latest company to offer a circular itinerary in western and central Bhutan with stays at five distinctive lodges. The newest of these, Six Senses Bumthang, opened in March. It comprises eight spacious suites and a two-bedroom villa, set within blue pine forests close to the trout-filled Bumthang River. The “forest within a forest” design was intended to have minimal impact on its surroundings, and to reinforce a respect for nature, a pine sapling was planted in the open-air vestibule of each suite. The signature restaurant, Tongtshang, has an outdoor terrace, as well as a cozy dining room with an open fire.
The menu features local dishes employing the buckwheat, barley, hazelnuts and mushrooms grown and foraged nearby. The resort’s spa offers a Bhutanese-inspired Hingsangsa Zoni bathing ritual using Himalayan salts, which is followed by a traditional dotsho (hot stone bath). The Bumthang region is the gateway to the remote east of Bhutan and is home to many of the country’s most ancient and sacred Buddhist monasteries. Activities include half- and full-day treks, biking excursions, village visits, archery lessons and a tour of the local Red Panda brewery.