Ladakh, the first thing that comes to mind is mountains or naked mountains as termed by the locals since there is no vegetation in the cold desert. Wherever you look, you see barren and untamed landscapes. If you’ll ask Indians what is there dream holiday destination, most likely their answer would be Ladakh. Thanks to films like 3 Idiots, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and many more, Leh Ladakh is the quintessential destination for motorbike trips, jeep safari or even a trek. Thinking about a luxury stay in Leh Ladakh seems like a farfetched dream, but the Grand Dragon Ladakh made luxury possible. I have been to Ladakh a couple of times and have stayed at all sorts of accommodation be it guest houses, tents or budget hotels, but the Grand Dragon Ladakh exceeded my expectations with its impeccable service, luxurious rooms, unbiased views of the landscapes and scrumptious meals. The Ladakhi Hospitality goes beyond its limits to make you feel warm and comfortable in a strange land.
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About the Grand Dragon Ladakh
It was started by the ABDU family and is still managed by them. Built in 2007 it was the first ever luxury hotel in Ladakh. The best part about thsi hotel that makes it so unique is it maintaining the Ladakhi tradition and culture alive in every corner of the hotel. The beautiful paintings on the walls of the hotel are a work of Mr. Ghulam Mustafa.
Why choose the Grand Dragon Ladakh?
The Grand Dragon Ladakh is centrally located in the old city of Leh. Leh is the largest city and it populates approximately 3 Lakhs humans. This hotel is at a height of 11562 ft . It holds a significant place to the people of ladakh as The Grand Dragon Ladakh was the first ever Luxury Hotel built in Leh. You can never miss a flight as you are just 4.5 kms away from the Leh Airport if you stay at The Grand Dragon. It is just half an hour drive away from touristy points like Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Hemis Monastery and Thiksey Monastery. It is walking distance away from the market, where you can easily spend the day browsing the architectural and artistic crafts. Leh market is a hub of all the things you need, which is quite impressive because it is located at such an altitude and is remotely connected to the rest of India.
Zasgyath (The Coffee Shop)
Zasgyath is a huge Dining area on the ground floor of The Grand Dragon Ladakh. It has indoor as well as outdoor seating. The dining area provides majestic views of the snow clad mountains. You can sip on a coffee or grab a bite overlooking the beautiful view. The Dining area is huge and can accommodate huge groups of people. The tables are impressively arranged with a range of cutlery, in line glasses and table cloth. Attention to every detail is given. Zasgyath is a multi-cuisine restaurant and the buffet displays a variety of cuisines from around the world such as continental, Tibetan, Ladakhi, Chinese and North Indian. Servers are well trained and attentive, and they always greet you with a big smile no matter what.
Tusrabs (Oriental Cuisine)
Tusrabs is a cute restaurant overlooking the garden area. With its wooden chairs and tables, it lays out a beautiful seating. It serves flavours of authentic Ladhaki, Tibetan and Chinese Cuisine.
Solja (In House Bakery)
If you are craving some freshly baked bread or pastries, you can head over to Solja to satiate your cravings. Enjoy some tarts, truffles and cheesy savouries pairing it with your favourite beverage.
Ladakh has everything to offer for all sorts of travel enthusiasts. Be it adventure sports, cultural heritage or even ladakhi tradition. Book the Grand Dragon Ladakh and forget about your itinerary woes. Yes, you heard it right. They customize your Leh itineraries as per your likes, interests and also as per your suitable schedule. Be it 5 days or a 2 week plan, they have it all covered. They take care of everything starting from your stay, car booking, sightseeing till your food. My stay at the Grand Dragon was a smooth ride. They had everything planned pretty systematically for me and trust me, it was unlike those tour packages which do not even give you a breathing space. For long duration rides, enough food and beverages accompanied us, giving us no reasons to complain. The planning is so good that you need not have to worry about the timings, the halts to be taken or the places to be eaten at.
What you get?
Let’s talk about some facts about the Grand Dragon Ladakh Rooms. They have in total 76 spacious rooms:
- 6 Luxury suites (950 sqft) – Luxury suites have a living room with a master bedroom. It offers majestic views of the Stok-Kangri glacier
- 6 Family suites (750 sqft) – Coming with your family, Grand Dragon has it covered. Family suites have a living room with a master bedroom as well. It is overlooking the garden area and offers views of Leh Palace.
- 28 premier heritage rooms (350-450 sqft) – These rooms showcase the traditional luxury and aesthetics of ladakh in the interiors. They are overlooking the garden as well and provide views of the Stok Kangri glacier, Leh palace and shanti Stupa.
- 36 Deluxe rooms (350 sqft) – These deluxe rooms have the largest windows to give you uninterrupted views of the mountains
These rooms display art and culture of Ladakh. The rooms are extremely spacious accompanied with a cupboard, writing desk and a chair as well as a medium sized sofa with a small dining table. The flooring is that of the teak wood and hard wooden furniture has carving details inspired from that of the monasteries. A lot of thought and detailing has been put behind designing these rooms. All amenities in the rooms are ammonia free and nontoxic. In addition to central air conditioning, they have installed fresh air systems with humidifiers that infuse fresh air and moisture in the rooms. It helps guests with the low oxygen levels and dry climate. Every toiletry has been placed thoughtfully; I mean they had put a lip balm in it, how impressive is that! No one thinks of a small thing like a lip balm, but grand dragon thought of it and it helped me throughout my Leh trip.
Outstanding Service and humble staff
Ladakhi hospitality is the best. As soon as we entered the hotel, we were greeted by a lady dressed in Ladakhi traditional dress and she presented us with a white scarf known as Khata or Khatag. It is a traditional scarf used in Tibetan Buddhism. It symbolizes purity and is presented at occasions like births, weddings, funerals and arrival or departure of guests. After we were seated comfortably, we were given camphor which helps in reducing the dizziness caused by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) followed by a beverage of our choice. The hospitality followed us back in the room with a bowl of garlic soup which again helps in the acclimatization process. We rested the whole day with an availability of 24 hour room service.
Talking more about service, the service was always prompt, you name it and you have it. During my stay, I felt a little sick and a doctor on call came in immediately to check up on me. I was provided with necessary medication by the Reception desk and plenty of water to drink. Every staff member will greet you, no matter what time of the day or night it is. They made sure that our needs were catered to. The Staff is really humble and down to earth, always ready to help.
- A 200 seated conference and banquet hall
- Well-equipped gym
- Sauna and steam rooms
- Recreation area for kids
- Billiards room
- Gift Shop
- 24-hour room service
- Dry cleaning-Laundry service
- Free Wi-Fi
- Complimentary airport pick-up/drop on the booking
- Centrally heated
- LED Satellite TV
- In-room Electronic Safe
- Outdoor gardens
- On-call doctor
How to Book?
You can either book The Grand Dragon via their website or through a third party vendor like MakemyTrip, Tripadvisor or Booking.com
How to reach there?
There are daily flights to Leh from Srinagar, Delhi, Mumbai and Jammu. Once you get down at the airport, the hotel is just 4.5 kms away. It will hardly take you 7-8 minutes to reach the venue. Google Maps will guide you here!
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Nikita Panchal travelled on the behalf of Travel See Write to Leh Ladkh on the invitation of Grand Dragon Ladkh. Everything expressed above is based on writer’s personal experience she had in the region. All images used were either shot by her or provided by the hotel. Please don’t use any image or text without written permission.