Naksel Boutique Hotel & Spa
Naksel Boutique Hotel & Spa is a simple, yet charming hotel located about ten minutes above the Paro Valley in Bhutan, blending Bhutanese architecture with modern facilities. Naksel offers superb views of Mt Jumolhari and Tiger's Nest Monastery.
Naksel Boutique Hotel & Spa is located above the Paro Valley, about 8kms from Paro itself and accessed along a very bumpy dirt road, passing apple orchards, rice paddies and potato fields before reaching the small Bhutanese village of Ngoba. The construction carefully involved the local community, and uses traditional architecture in its main house and cottages spread throughout the hotel grounds. Expect traditional windows, wood-carved finishes and the odd mud-brick to ensure you really feel like you are in Bhutan.
The main house contains the main communal areas such as the restaurant and bar, and also some of the rooms. The rest of the rooms are housed in four cottages in the hotel grounds.
The rooms are nicely proportioned, feature a lot of wood, from pine-clad flooring to lovely Bhutanese carved wooden windows. They have incorporated some nice touches such as local artwork and Bhutanese rugs. The bathrooms have under floor heating. All rooms have flatscreen TVs, mini bars and views of the valley. The rooms generally get larger as you move up the categories, with better views and the addition of a separate bathtub and shower (great for a soak after a walk up Tigers Nest, and then looking out from your private balcony at the walk you have just done!). If anything, we thought the Signature Suites weren't worth the upgrade and thought the Deluxe Rooms in the upper floors of the cottages to be the best rooms at Naksel.
The Olive Restaurant offers a range of Bhutanese, India and Western cuisine and generally serve buffet options. If you want to order a la carte, this can be prepared, although we suggest ordering and then going to the bar as it can take some time to arrive. The Chabchu Bar has a range of options, including the local favourite - Ara. The Coffee House is located in the grounds, and has great mountain views, fresh espresso and pastries.
There is also the Menchu Himalayan Herbal Spa providing a range of treatments to sort out those trekking aches and pains.
The service at Naksel is friendly and efficient, although very Bhutanese.
When to visit
Nak Sel affords stunning views over Paro valley and to Tigers Nest, make use of the hotels telescope and have a good look through it!
Day Trip to Chelela Pass and Hike Kila Goenpa
Chele La Pass is known to be the highest motorable pass in Bhutan and provides wonderful views over Ha Valley and Paro District, which you have the chance to view today before taking a scenic hike and visit to Kila Nunnery.
Dressing up in traditional Bhutanese dress
Anyone who works in Bhutan must wear traditional national dress, and you can have the chance to dress up for a few hours to see how it feels. The Bhutanese absolute love visitors doing it!
Evening Prayers at a Buddhist Monastery
Evening prayers at a Buddhist Monastery is something you should do at least once on a tour of Bhutan. You will witness monks chanting traditional prayers, helping them prepare for meditation.
Farmhouse Visit & Home-Cooked Dinner
Visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan dating back to 7th century before meeting with local community members in a nearby farmhouse to enjoying a home-cooked dinner.
Enjoy an excursion into one of the Bhutanese rivers and try your hand at fly-fishing.
The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, dating from the 7th century and constructed by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsan Gampo.
Local Archery Experience
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen played throughout the Kingdom. Traditional bows are made from bamboo and witnessing an archery competition is an absolute highlight. We can easily arrange for you to have a go should you wish.
Paro Dzong & National Museum
The Paro Dzong, or Rinpung Dzong as it is otherwise called, looms above the town of Paro. On the hill above the Dzong in the former watchtower you can visit the National Museum.
Paro Sunday Market
If you are in Paro on a Sunday then absolutely visit the local market. See a variety of vegetables on offer from 0630 until about 1000, and you can then see the archery ground following your visit.
Punakha Drubchen Festival
Held annually on February in Punakha, local militias dress up as Bhutanese warriors in this festival to re-enact the famous battle between Bhutan and Tibet.
Tea with a local family
Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.
The Haa Valley
The unspoilt Haa Valley is located close to Paro and offers a fantastic day out. Drive over the Chele Pass, Bhutan's highest road, and choose to free-wheel on bikes into the Haa Valley. Explore the local monastery, have a picnic and return to Paro.
Tiger's Nest Monastery
The Tiger's Nest Monastery is spectacular; legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. Set off for the 2-hour walk to the viewpoint before continuing onto the Monastery.
Zurig Lhakhang Hike & Archery
Hike through the scenic Paro Valley, visit historic Buddhist fortresses and try your hand at Bhutan's national sports - archery.