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Monday, January 06, 2014

Bumthang’s Swiss Guest House: Tucked amidst Apple and Pear Orchards

This is the oldest guest house in Bumthang and has prime location, but I dig this place for its amazing setting. It is set amidst lush apple and pear orchards. When I went there this winter, the orchard was dry, but I am sure it will be a sight to see during the monsoon months when the orchard is in full fruiting bloom. And I am so keen to stay here then. During my recent stay here, I stayed here for 8 days and 7 nights and the below review is based on this experience.

Swiss Guest house - Bumthang, Bhutan 
1) This place enjoys cult like status with tourists from the western world and especially Switzerland owing to its close connection with Swiss cheese and food.

2) This place is set in typical Bhutanese style a little away from the Chamkhar town and with a great view of Bumthang valley.

3) Each room is very comfortable with running hot water, a bukhari (wood based fire stove), a room heater and a complete pine wood design to keep you warm during the cold nights.

4) The people running this place are a family and take great care of their guests. They help with directions, planning, give tips and much more.

5) Most of the tourists to this place love the western styled food and wine here. In my case, I found the food a bit bland as it caters to a Western palate and not an Indian one. However, if informed in advance, they can dish out Bhutanese and/or Indian dishes, which are generally more spicy.

6) The rooms (for Indians) cost INR 1500 per night, but if you stay for longer durations, like how we did, you can pay a discounted rate of INR 1200 per night for the very comfortable room. Lunch and dinner costs between INR 350 to 500 depending on vegetarian or non-vegetarian food.

7) The guest house comes with internet connectivity that is fairly reliable and fast, which is a rare commodity in Bhutan.

8) One of the best things about this guest house are its open lawns surrounded by apple and pear orchards. This place is great to read a book with a hot cup of tea in the warm winter sun during the day time. In fact, I liked this place so much that this is what I ended up doing almost on all days.

9) If you are a dog lover, you will like this guest house as they have dogs in all sizes, about 6 or 7 in total and they give great company especially when you are in the holiday mood and feel like relaxing.

10) The only drawback of this place is that it is located a bit away from the Chamkhar town. While this is a problem if you like to go to the town often, it is a blessing if you like to be away from the hull-a-boo. Having a vehicle is advised else be ready to spend a lot of time walking like how I did.

11) The place is located close to the Cheese factory and the Red Panda beer factory as both of them are managed by the same management and it is easy to gain access to these establishments.

12) The property is also perfect for those hikers and nature lovers as it is set next to hills and lush forests.

Overall, this is one place I would love to go again and again and hopefully, I will get a chance when the orchards are in bloom. Those big orchards in bloom will be a sight to behold. I am so sure about that. I would recommend this place with many thumbs up!



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