If you’re the kind who’s avoided visiting some of India’s most spectacular landscapes because roughing it out is not really your style, then get set to pack your bags. The Grand Dragon claims to be the first true luxury hotel (and also an “eco-tel”, as it conforms to green architectural standards) in Ladakh, and promises to keep you in the manner you are accustomed to. The rooms have all the trappings you desire and fantastic views of all that beautiful country.
The 80-seater restaurant does Continental, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Kashmiri and Ladakhi cuisines.And, because you can’t go to Ladakh and just stay in your room, no matter how lavishly appointed it is, the hotel has tied up with Top Camp Leisure for a few tour packages that allow you to show off your outdoors chops as well.
A three nights/four days package takes two of you to Khardongla and the spectacular confluence of the Indus and the Zanskar rivers for Rs32,999; the cost for a four-member group is Rs60,999. A four nights/five days package covers Hemis, Lamayaru, Khardongla and the river for Rs45,999 (or Rs83,999 for four), or takes you to Pangong lake, the pass and the river for Rs48,999 (or Rs86,999 for four).
If you have five nights and six days to spare, do the Stok-Pangong lake-Indus-Zanskar sangam-Khardongla for Rs59,999 (or around Rs1 lakh for four). All packages include full board, accommodation in deluxe double rooms, airport transfers, transportation and all inner-line permits, though there’s an extra service charge of 10%. And if you think Qualis drives are too tame, special activities, such as treks, could be arranged on request; these will obviously cost extra.
For a virtual tour of the hotel, log on to www.thegranddragonladakh.com. You can book the packages there as well. You can also write to Baljit at topcamp@ gmail.com or call him at 09212186719.