Experience

Nepal & Bhutan: A Luxury Spiritual Discovery

Crisp mountain air; the burning smell of incense; the soft hum on a monk’s chanting. Nowhere on earth brings a sense of spiritual calm like Nepal and Bhutan. Flanked by the mighty peaks of the Himalayas and scattered with stupas, dzongs and monasteries, spend ten-nights between the two and come away with a renewed sense of peace you never thought possible. In Nepal, you’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with saddhu holy men and a living goddess, before jumping in a helicopter for a breakfast like no other, up above Everest Base Camp. Then, in Bhutan, we’ll take you behind-the-scenes of temples, dzongs and monasteries to learn from monks, incense makers, meditation masters and Olympic archers. Dusted off with a generous helping of world-class spa treatments and ayurvedic bliss, you’ll return without a care in the world.

Awaken Your Spirit

Flying into Kathmandu, you’ll dive headfirst into spiritual immersion as you journey alongside Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims to circle the city’s Holy Stupa. Breathing in the wafts of incenses and listening in to the hypnotic chanting of prayers and the pealing of the bells, any pre-trip stresses will soon melt away. Spin the prayer wheels at Boudhanath before heading up to Swayambhunath, bypassing the monkeys who guard the entrance, and soak in panoramic views over the city. Laid out before you in this way, this is a trip that promises no shortage of wondrous moments.

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Continue on past Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple, through the maze of backstreets that lead to the markets of Durbar Square, paying your respects to the saddhu holy men dressed in their iconic orange and white robes with dreadlocked hair and painted bodies on the way. Tomorrow morning, you’re in for a divine encounter as you visit the Kumari Ghar, the home of the Royal Kumari of Kathmandu, a living goddess manifested in the body of a young girl. Intensely private, visitors are seldom permitted to visit the Kumari however you will have privileged access to be able to witness her private worship before spending time talking to Kumari about life as a goddess.

Breakfast on Everest

Tomorrow, you’ll leave Kathmandu early in the morning in preparation for a breakfast you won’t soon forget. Boarding a private helicopter, you’ll fly north over the Gokyo Valley to land just above Everest Base Camp. Touch down amid the prayer flags that mark the start of the world’s most famous ascent to walk just a few metres to a secluded spot where we’ll have laid out a gourmet breakfast for just the two of you. At over 5,000 metres above sea level, you’re in for one of the best breakfast views imaginable.

Once you’ve caught your breath from this incomparable start to the day, you’ll jump back in the helicopter and head back down the valley to your next stop at Dwarika’s Resort in Dhulikhel. Committed to wellness and drawing on the holistic lifestyle of the Himalayan region, join ayurvedic experts, meditation and yoga masters and visiting monks to discover a sense of complete harmony between body and mind. How you achieve this balance is entirely up to you, whether it’s yoga on your private terrace, pottery with local artisans, a visit to the painting atelier or an organic hand-picked lunch served ifarmhouseic farmouse.

Heli-Hopping and a Meditative Masterclass

After two days at Dwarika’s, we’re certain you’ll feel utterly at ease and ready to move onto Bhutan. Arriving in Punakha, you’ll head off on a rafting adventure down the Mo Chhu river off to a picnic lunch overlooking the famous riverbank Dzong. In the afternoon, we’ll then arrange a behind-the-scenes visit to the fertility temple where you’ll be able to meet the local incense maker and join him for a walk to gather ingredients to make the incense for the temple. Spend tonight in utter bliss at Six Senses Punakha, being sure to stop by their spa for a soothing treatment or two.

Tomorrow’s heli-hopping adventure will take you through the hilltop villages of Laya and Gasa, to meet with village elders and soak in some intensely relaxing hot springs before continuing onto the Phobjikha Valley, where you’ll check in at Gangtey Lodge, a luxurious hotel boasting some of the most spectacular views in the valley.

An early start beckons in the morning to take you up to Gangtey Monastery at dawn where you’ll be drawn in by the soft lull of monks chanting, before enjoying privileged access to visit parts of the temple usually off-limits to the public. From the temple, you’ll then begin the hike up to the meditation huts with the rare chance to visit His Eminence Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche, an emanation of the Patron Saint of Bhutan, if in residence. After listening into his words of wisdom, you’ll come to a private picnic spot with 360-degree views of the valley below. An intensely peaceful spot, follow up your lunch with a lesson in meditation before hoisting your very own prayer flag.

Freewheeling

Before continuing onto your final stop in the lush valley of Paro, you’ll take a morning helicopter flight up the famous Chele La Pass where you’ll have the ultimate Bhutanese ‘we were here’ moment as you to tie a prayer flag alongside those already there and leave it to fly in the Himalayan winds. Once you reach Paro, we’ll arrange a visit to the Kila Nunnery where you’ll receive a traditional Buddhist blessing, leaving you to feel grounded and at peace with your surroundings. Spending the next two nights at Six Senses Paro, the sense of serenity continues – though, for those looking to amp it up a notch, there’s always the option of arriving by freewheel mountain biking down the valley. The spa will be there waiting with open arms when you’re down.

Namaste

As you wake up on your final morning of this spiritual adventure, don’t feel blue at the thought of leaving the wonder of Nepal and Bhutan behind – for we are making sure you end your trip on a high with one of the best experiences saved ’till last. Jumping in a helicopter, you’ll head up the valley, past the famous Takstang Monastery – or Tiger’s Nest, to land in a secluded spot just above it. Here, you’ll enjoy one last breathtaking breakfast in the clouds, enveloped in total peace with only the low hum of monks chanting in the distance to be heard. Taking one last breath of the crisp mountain air, you’ll then begin the hike down to Tiger’s Nest. With most people hiking up the monastery, you’ll have the privileged feeling of having your own private entrance. A place that defies words, we won’t spoil it for you and leave your eyes to take it all in when you get there.

After a final lunch at a local farmhouse, we have one last trick up our sleeve for you to enjoy as you are joined by an Olympic archer for a private archery lesson in the woods of the valley. An experience few can say they’ve had, it’s the perfect way to tie up this cultural immersion. Cement your newfound sense of peace with one last spa treatment before flying home, blissed out and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.