Bhutan’s first five-star hotel opens today


January 23, 2008-Thimphu: Taj Tashi, a joint venture of the Tashi Group of Companies and Taj Leisure Hotels, India, opens in the capital today to become the country’s first five-star hotel.

The Taj Tashi-Bhutan, a 66-room hotel including 9 suites, with dramatic hand-painted walls provides the perfect foothold for a visitor to discover Bhutan’s many wonders.

Reflecting Bhutan’s rich heritage and architecture, the hotel maintains a delicate balance of traditional Bhutanese design with contemporary elegance.

The rooms offer a majestic view of mountains surrounding Thimphu valley and inside guests will find every modern comfort and facility – from the spa to swimming pool, elegant conference facilities and multi-cuisine dining – in a setting that retains the charm and artistic sensibilities of Bhutan’s art and culture.

Guests can savor traditional Bhutanese cuisine at the specialty restaurant known as Chig-ja-gye (hundred and eight), reflect on the day’s experience at Rimps – the airy tea lounge, or enjoy a drink at Ara – the bar.

“The Tashi Group has embarked on an ambitious project of having the finest hotels in Bhutan. This association with the Taj Hotels is the first step in that direction. We remain committed toward promoting the best that Bhutan has to offer and are confident that this long-term partnership with Taj Hotels will enhance our efforts in marketing this unique destination,” said Wangchuk Dorji, vice chairman of the Tashi Group of Companies.

Taj has entered into a management contract with the Tashi Group to operate the property. Indian Hotels Company, a part of Taj Hotels, as a strategic market decision has been targeting a presence in virgin tourist destinations with Bhutan being the latest addition, said media reports.

Taj Tashi has been developed by the Tashi Group of Companies with an investment of Nu 500 million, according to Business Standard, an Indian newspaper.

Inspired by the dzong architecture, Taj Tashi is one of the first Taj properties in cool climate regions.

“All rooms have a mountain view. We will be able to give an essence of Bhutan to the tourists even if they do not want to step out of the hotel. This will also be Bhutan’s first centrally-heated hotel,” Jyoti Narang, chief operating officer, Taj Leisure Hotels, told Business Standard.

In the same compound, Tashi Group is also coming up with a shopping complex that will feature a bowling alley and have an underground parking. A proposal for two mini theatres inside the complex has been put up to the government. 

Vijay Shrikent, the general manager of Taj Tashi, said the hotel aims to attract tourists and business personnel. “The tariffs are between US $ 300 to 600 a day. There are no concessions for Bhutanese,” he said.

Established in 1903, Taj Hotels and Palaces is one of Asia’s largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 59 hotels in 41 locations across India and 18 hotels in the Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Sri Lanka, Africa, Middle East and now in Bhutan.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India’s premier business house.

Source: Bhutan Times