Called the Taj Tashi,
it will be set up in Thimphu at an investment of Rs
Taj Leisure Hotels, the strategic business unit of Taj
Hotels Resorts and Palaces will launch Taj Tashi, its
new property in Thimphu, the capital of the neighbouring
state of Bhutan on January 23.
The Taj Tashi is developed by the Tashi Group of Companies,
one of the large industrial houses in Bhutan with an
investment of Rs 50 crore.
The Tashi Group also owns the Druk Group of Hotels and
has diversified businesses in Bhutan. Taj has entered
into a management contract with the Tashi Group to operate
Indian Hotels Company, a part of Taj Hotels, as a strategic
market decision has been targeting a presence in virgin
tourist destinations with Bhutan being the latest addition.
One of the most stable small states neighbouring India,
Bhutan is a cultural destination for western tourists,
the surviving Buddhist culture being a major draw.
Bhutan is not a major tourist destination, total tourist
inflow is about 14,000 annually as the government as
a policy does not encourage aggressive promotion of
However, of late, the government is looking to leverage
Bhutan's rich cultural heritage and Taj in that aspect
would have a first mover advantage, once the market
"We are in Bhutan because it is one of the last
Shangri Las left in the world. Taj Tashi will be the
one of first Taj properties in cool climate regions.
It is inspired by Bhutanese Dzong architecture and all
its rooms have a mountain view. We will be able to give
an essence of Bhutan to the tourists even if they do
not want to step out of the hotel. This will also be
Bhutan's first centrally-heated hotels," said Jyoti
Narang, chief operating officer, Taj Leisure Hotels.
The hotel has 66 guest rooms with seven suites for the
seven heads of states of the SAARC countries if and
when the SAARC Summit is held in Bhutan. The tariffs
are between $300-600 per day.
Taj aims to attract a mix of Indian as well as US tourists
with an accent on the latter as Bhutan is of great cultural
interest to the American tourist. Indian tourists are
mostly leisure tourists or honeymooners.
Taj Leisure Hotels last year had forayed into Malaysia
and entered into a management contract with Rebak Island
Marina Berhad for operating a solitary resort on the
privately owned 390-acre Rebak Island, one of the 99
isles of Langkawi.
In India, the company has signed contracts for new properties
in Bekal in North Kerala and in Pondicherry, it will
also launch two more wildlife lodges in Madhya Pradesh.