We spent our first night in Bhutan in the capital and major commercial city, Thimphu. While hotels are included in the minimum daily rate for tourists, for one night I opted to use Marriott points for the Le Meridien Thimphu. I always have enjoyed Le Meridien properties, so I thought this might be worthwhile. The hotel is centrally located in Thimphu. I booked this with 35,000 points, finding a better value than $350 or so for a cash rate.
Le Meridien Thimphu Bhutan
We met our guide in Paro, then drove to Thimphu. While the distance is not great, we stopped several times along the way for sightseeing. Without stopping it is probably an hour from Paro to Thimphu. Once in Thimphu, we went to the hotel and checked in. Knowing July is not high tourist season, I didn’t bother using a Suite Night Award, but at check in, the agent informed us we would be upgraded to a suite. In fact, we received a named suite.
We reserved a double room, but the suites only have king beds. No problem, we’d trade ideal sleeping arrangements for additional space. I just slept in the living room, as it was time for my friend to take the bed.
Waiting in our room were a few welcome amenities, including some sweets and fruit. The living room has a couch, table, as well as a dining table and a guest bathroom. We didn’t spend much time here after checking in, as we just dropped bags, and then headed back out to explore Thimphu.
A view of the city shows the cloudy monsoon season. Rain never prevented us from doing anything, but it was not as pretty as the hotel stock photos.
Here is the king bedroom in our suite. Perfectly nice, although other than the windows and the exterior view, nothing seems very Bhutanese, more just generic modern. That’s not a complaint, since Bhutanese architecture is seemingly everywhere else we visited.
The bathroom is white marble with a separate bathtub and a nice glass shower. There are dual sinks.
In all, this is a very nice room, especially to more than double the size of the room we originally booked. We basically only spent time in the room sleeping, but I’m content with the value we received.
Public areas of Le Meridien Thimphu
Across from the elevator lobby on our floor is what appears to be a club lounge, but oddly, this isn’t used. Instead, breakfast is served in the lobby restaurant, called Latest Recipe, as it is in many Le Meridien hotels. There were only a few other people in the restaurant, and there was a small but diverse buffet available along with various items made to order, plus the signature eye opener shot of fresh juices offered.
In the evenings, there is a free happy hour for Platinum and higher guests. We didn’t have much time for this, but did enjoy some local beer after a full day exploring the area. The bartender was very friendly, and seemed bored given we were the only guests in the bar, so we had a nice chat with him while we .
While it was low season during our visit, there really didn’t seem to be many guests at this time. Most tourists to Bhutan are on organized tours, as it is required for all visitors except Indian residents, this hotel seems to be a little unique. It is fancier than the typical 3-star hotels used for tour groups, but not over the top like some luxury options available. I enjoy my visits to Le Meridien hotels, and this is a nice member of the chain. Design wise, it is familiar to others in the brand, but not much seems local to Bhutanese culture or design. I feel this is a good use of points, especially for the excellent treatment as Marriott Platinum guests.
Next up will be of our time exploring Bhutan