WRITTEN BY
Editorial Team

PUBLISHED ON
January 23, 2018

LOCATION
India

Whether you’re on the trail of snow leopards or just enchanted by the majesty of India, Leh is one of the most fascinating places in all of the Himalayan range. Bharals bounce on the mountain sides and the culture of the highlands permeates every valley. That said, there’s no reason to think this land of altitude and authenticity lacks luxury.

Chamba Camp Thiksey

Designed to meet the needs of an explorer by day and a sybarite at night, Chamba Camp Thiksey offers the ultimate in luxury camping experience for backpackers in Leh. Surrounded by stunning landscapes of snow-capped mountains and lush valleys, white deserts and aqua blue lakes are filled with echoing voices of prayer at the monasteries.

Beneath the shadows of the Thiksey Monastery, the camp sits in an area now converted to a green zone with three lakes and an organic garden. Aesthetics and décor inside the tents provide a blend of traditional and new-age ergonomic designs made to cater to changing lifestyle demands; it’s rustic, but not rugged.

ABOVE: The inside of the luxury tents at Chamba Camp Thiksey.

The triple-layered luxury suite tents provide natural insulation to keep travelers warm and comfortable during the cold nights. Presidential suite tents can be converted into an en-suite lounge or an annex room to accommodate two beds. A private butler is available 24/7 on call to cater to guests needs.

ABOVE: Night of celebration at 11,700 feet at Chamba Camp Thiksey.

The triple-layered luxury suite tents provide natural insulation to keep travelers warm and comfortable during the cold nights. Presidential suite tents exude opulence and can be converted into an en-suite lounge or an annex room to accommodate two beds. A private butler is available to cater to guests’ needs.

Hotel Grand Dragon

ABOVE: Dining at the Grand Dragon.

Drawing inspiration from Ladakhi architecture, the Hotel Grand Dragon is found 11,500 feet above sea level. Found less than 2 miles away – approximately a 10-minute drive – from Leh airport, the hotel boasts 50 guest rooms with panoramic views of Stok Mountain and the region’s snowy peaks. With an A+ rating from the State Tourism Department of Jammu and Kashmir, this boutique hotel is in a prime location for convenient accommodation.

ABOVE: Exterior of Hotel Grand Dragon.

Guests can engage in indoor activities such as pool and table tennis; yoga and meditation classes are available in or outdoors, as weather permits. Sojourners can participate in sunset barbecue dinners and bonfires or participate in in-house Thangka exhibitions and Ladakhi cuisine workshops.

ABOVE: Intimate dining experience at Hotel Grand Dragon.

Tusrabs – a restaurant inside the hotel serving – serves Asian cuisine, and a well-maintained garden is available. Fully furnished banquet halls and boardrooms can also be booked in advance for corporate meetings. Seasonal packages, such as the summer package, include visits to the spiritual centers of Sindhu Ghat, Shey, Thiksey, and Hemis and a trip to the Alchi Monastery at Lamayuru.

Stok Palace Heritage Hotel

ABOVE: Exterior of Stok Palace Heritage Hotel.

The Stok Palace Heritage hotel is set amid the valley of Singey Sangpo, more popularly known as the Indus River. The structure of the royal palace is a testament to local architecture and a museum displays the royal family’s collection of 400-year old thangkas, ceremonial dresses of past kings, and queens, and a modest collection of weaponry.

The hotel is located nine miles outside Leh and its roots trace back to the Namgyal Dynasty, founded by Lhachen Palgygon in the early 10th century. The palace stands 197 years old, built entirely by Ladakhi craftsmen in 1820. Every detail inside the royal residence has been handcrafted, from the Tibetan and Ladakhi rugsto to the brightly-painted woodworks, and a museum features heirloom jewels passed down from generation to generation.

ABOVE: Inside the Stok Palace Heritage Hotel.

The palace opened its gates to the public in 1980 after a complete renovation and blessing from the Dalai Lama. Since then, the current living quarters of the King Raja Jigmed Wang­chuk Namgyal has remained a popular destination. The hotel offers discerning guests a choice between the Queen’s Bedroom, Royal suite, and four other suites, all adorned with Tibetan-style murals and a mixture of pastel hues.

The Heritage hotel organizes cultural shows for residents on request, and as part of the community initiative, all performers are from the local village. Visitors can also enjoy other outdoor activities at the palace such as horseback riding, camel rides, and rafting on the Indus River.