Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Herbal bath with a view at Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan.

An herbal bath with a view at Bhutan’s Gangtey Lodge. Photo: Traveler Wendy Tucker

My husband and I just returned from a fantastic two-week-plus trip to India and Bhutan. Bhutan has always been on my bucket list and it exceeded expectations. We have been lucky enough to travel to many places but we both declared at our return that this was our favorite destination. Sanjay planned a perfect trip and we are so grateful to him and his local agencies for their knowledge, punctuality, kindness and seamless handling of everything. My husband had a motorcycle accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury many years ago—although he has had an incredible recovery, some challenges remain, particularly with walking on uneven surfaces and crowds where he can become easily overwhelmed. Sanjay’s guides and drivers immediately tuned into how to assist him when needed with professionalism, care and respect, which we both appreciated beyond measure.

When I initially contacted Sanjay our plan only included Bhutan. There are no flights to Bhutan from the US or Europe—you need to go through India or Thailand. We had never been to India so Sanjay suggested that we fly into Delhi (one of the cities you can access Bhutan from) and spend a few days to see the Taj Mahal. We were so glad we took his advice. We stayed at the incredible Oberoi Amarvilas which not only allows easy access to the Taj Mahal first thing in the morning but provides a dream-like view of the Taj Mahal from your room. Our guide and driver in India were outstanding.

In Bhutan we stayed at four incredible properties—each with their own flavor, beauty and charm. Overall, we found Bhutan to be peaceful, calm, clean, welcoming, safe and fascinating with people full of warmth, interest and kindness. Six Senses Thimphu was our first stay and is a beautiful, serene property. February was an auspicious month in this Buddhist country which means the sale of fresh meat was prohibited. Although hotels typically stash away meat, we so appreciated that Six Senses offered a vegetarian menu which provided a diverse and delicious selection. If you really wanted meat they happily provided it but we so enjoyed participating in this practice.

We next stayed at a new property in Bhutan—&Beyond Punakha River Lodge. We so enjoyed our luxurious tent with the beautiful sound of the rushing river nearby. More incredible food at this location. Our third and my favorite was Gangtey Lodge. Gangtey Lodge was the furthest east we traveled and is high above a beautiful valley. It snowed when we were there so we enjoyed herbal baths gazing from the tub out over the valley. The food was even better than the first two places, which already offered wonderful cuisine. Service was perfect.

Our final stay was at Zwiwa Ling Heritage in Paro. Although Zwiwa Ling did not have the intimacy of the other lodges, the traditional architecture and trove of photos and museum-like objects scattered throughout the hotel provided a perfect ending spot for our stay.

We filled our days with visits to fortresses, nunneries, temples and monasteries—we loved them all although our favorite was at Gangtey Goenpa Monastery. We spent almost three hours there participating in a tea ceremony with the monks and discussing Buddhism and life in a monastery with a senior monk.

You must use a local guide in Bhutan and Singye was stellar, as was our driver, Gembo. We spent 11 days together and throughout they were attentive, kind, intuitive, knowledgeable and on top of every detail. We are so grateful to Sanjay and his team for creating a bucket-list trip that was beyond our expectations.

Lina Obrien | January 6, 2024

Was a wonderful trip! Our guides were amazing! Rishi organized a great day in Agra. Sunrise visit to the Taj was the highlight! Rishi was knowledgeable and knew everyone and made the day seamless! Our day trip in Delhi was extremely packed and fun! The highlight for our family was visiting the Sikh temple. All the arrangements were perfect. We wish we could have had a longer trip.

Mark Finkelstein | December 4, 2023

Sanjay did a marvelous job helping us plan and execute our trip to India in October/November 2023. We were focused on Rajasthan, but after speaking with Sanjay about our interests he suggested that we might really enjoy visiting the caves at Ajanta and Elora in addition. He was so right. They are amazing! The ground operation in India was terrific too, from the manager in Delhi to each individual guide and driver; all were professional, and extremely knowledgeable and welcoming. We had a fantastic time and learned so much. Highly recommended!

Mike and Marie Keefe | November 21, 2023

Our visit to Northern India (New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Sardargarh, Udaipur and Varanasi) was extremely well planned by Sanjay Saxena and well executed by his team in India. Our guide, Shaitan Singh, was excellent—very knowledgeable and very proud of his country. He educated us on the various customs and regional attire as well as the history and culture. We were also fascinated by the traffic and street scenes as we had never seen anything like those: cars, buses, scooters, bikes, trailers on both bikes and scooters, people, cows and dogs all negotiating the same streets. We also enjoyed celebrating Diwali in a small village—Sardargarh. It was my first trip to India, but we would gladly return.

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