The first time my friends and I travelled to Bhutan was in June 2019. We had always heard of Bhutan as the country that measures its prosperity from its Gross National Happiness (GNH), not to forget the enormous fortresses and the abundance of flora and fauna. It did not take long as we landed in Paro and realized the truth in our anticipation, the country was so beautiful, clean and green. The air was fresh, and the people were the friendliest we had ever come across. It was like everyone had an infectious smile!

We had the luxury of experiencing different properties throughout our trip. On our last night in Bhutan, we stayed at the Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary in Paro, one of the most important reason being how close it was from the airport and we could save time driving to the airport. True to its name, it is a luxurious well-being Sanctuary for Body, Mind and Spirit.

Having done the much-awaited must-do Taktsang Monastery hike that morning combined by some Paro town exploration, I was tired and weary and decided to call it a day. It took us about 30 minutes from Paro town to reach Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary. As we arrived, we were welcomed to the serene abode with silk scarves or ‘khadas’, a sign of auspiciousness and greeting. The enormous gates opened to a courtyard where we walked around circumambulating the Buddhist prayer wheels which added to the spiritual and peaceful environment. At the other end of the courtyard was another huge door that brought us to the main building.

Upon entering the building, we were asked to light a butter lamp each as an offering of light to the deities. Lighting butter lamps is considered one of the most common means of making merits in Buddhism.

We were then met by the lodge manager who generously briefed us about the property, their facilities and wellness programs. Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary is one of the only properties that incorporate all unique and wellness activities for all their in-house guests. From cooking demonstrations, pottery classes, yoga and meditation, Signature massages, they provide the most exclusive offers with such refined service.

We sat in the lobby sipping our welcome drinks, unwinding from our tired day and mesmerized by the place. The manager was kind enough to quickly show us to our rooms and offered us a one-hour session of their Signature Massages.

The rooms were big and spacious with a separate bath, closet and balcony that overlooked the Paro valley. Some fruits and snacks on the table with the message “Welcome Home” added the cherry on the cake.

We quickly freshened up and headed to the spa. The entire place had a pleasant aroma of various herbs and flowers. As we spent the next hour, healing both our body and souls, the experience was both soothing and invigorating. It was such a treat!  

Soon after, hunger followed relaxation. A scrumptious 6-course dinner was prepared for us so enthusiastically by the chef in the open dining area. We had a hearty meal and chatted through midnight.

Early next morning, our breakfasts were packed and ready for us to take to the airport. We were overwhelmed by the Bhutanese hospitality as they bid us farewell with the auspicious silk scarves again wishing us luck and safe journey.