The mountains called to me through an invite from Hyatt Regency. And thus, began my first trip of 2020 to the home base of Dalai Lama. Dharamshala had always been an enigma to me – largely due to its cultural diversity. My visit showcased not just the cultural charisma of Dharamshala but also, the serenity and beauty of the Himalayas. What added to the experience was the warmth and comfort of my stay at the Hyatt Regency Dharamshala. Here is what appealed to me about this property and why you should consider it when you visit Dharamshala.
Dharamshala is considered as the 2nd capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It is encircled by the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. The place was a part of the Katoch kingdom for centuries. It was known as Kangra until the British annexed it. They stationed an army near a Hindu temple and resting place. Thus, came the name Dharmsala or Dharamshala ( a religious resting place). After the Tibet Government went into exile, they set up a center in Dharamshala – specifically in a suburb called McCleodganj. That is what adds to the cultural diversity of the place.
There are just tons of things to do in Dharamshala. From exploring old forts to discovering the Tibetan culture, birdwatching, nature walks and hikes – the list can go on. Naturally, it merits a separate post. For now, I want to share how Hyatt Regency Dharamshala played a role in helping me discover this quaint town.
Introduction to Hyatt Regency Dharamshala
The first thing that is going to mesmerize you about Dharamshala as a place is the looming Dhauladhar peaks. I could not stop clicking pictures on the plane and did not get enough when I landed at Kangra Airport. I thought they would probably disappear from sight as we twisted and turned towards Dharamshala town. To my delight, they just loomed closer and closer until we stopped at the reception of my warm abode – the Hyatt Regency Dharamshala.
The 5-star hotel is conveniently located by the very mountains I was in love with. It is just 10 mins by road from the McCleodganj Taxi Stand – a bustling area with temples, Tibetan markets, and restaurants. The property is spread over 6.5 acres and has around 80 rooms. It is a fairly new resort with a characteristic Indo-Tibetan theme – one that you can trace in the decor as well as the hotel offerings. A swift check-in and we were all set to explore the property.
The Ambiance & The Hospitality
There are luxury hotels that somehow seem a little distant. The decor tends to be classy but formidable. Hyatt was a pleasant departure from that. The warm soothing interiors instantly put me to ease. It seemed perfect for not just a solo luxury traveler but families and friends too. The warm lighting with the wood-paneled walls and the Buddhist signs of infinity tends to instantly calm one’s senses. Add to that, the cozy corners with fireplaces and books make you want to snuggle into the warmth.
The gentle and courteous staff further adds to the inviting warmth of Hyatt Dharamshala. The way they fuss over you – whether during the meal times or somewhere in the premises, makes you feel wanted and cared. No doubt a lot of hotels have trained staff to do this but there is a certain genuineness when it comes to the people in Hyatt. Maybe it is the humble atmosphere of the mountains and Himachal Pradesh. Whatever the case being, they definitely magnify the warm ambiance.
Rooms at Hyatt Regency Dharamshala
Every room exuded the same cozy feeling that I got upon my check-in . There are basically regular luxury rooms,10 regency rooms. 3 suites and 4 private residences that Hyatt Regency Dharmashala offers. Let me start with my regular room and explain the differences.
I had to resist the urge to flop onto my King-Sized bed from the moment I entered my room. Included within it was a balcony with a view of the property. If you are all bundled up, you will love a cup of tea in the balcony. Alternately, you can still get the view by sprawling on the large Diwan in the room, by the French windows. The room is well equipped with a smart TV, an electronic safe, electric kettle and a comfortable work desk.
The toiletries in the rest-room are branded botanical treats. Most of them were by Ma Botanicals with natural ingredients that smelled heavenly. Frankly, I doused in that shower more than once a day, just to use those treats. Besides the perfumed goodies, the team had left chocolate goodies in my room – I wonder how they knew that I loved Chocolate.
Now, coming to the other rooms, there are similar rooms without a balcony and ones with a twin bed instead of the King-sized ones. However, the next category of rooms is the ones with the view of the Dhauladhar. Now that can be quite a delight to wake up to. 😀
Next comes the regency rooms with a walk-in garden area and a small seating area within the room. And finally, the suites, with the extra living space and balconies facing the Dhauladhars.
The Hyatt Regency private residences are a class apart. There are two types here. One with three bedrooms and one with five bedrooms. The rooms are decorated in a similar manner as the other suites but it is the whole decor of the living and dining room that makes it classy. These are perfect for a group or a large family with kids.
The Food at Hyatt Regency Dharamshala
The food at Hyatt let me experience freshness in every bite. Naturally so, as they follow a Farm to Table concept. The resort has tied up with organic farms around Dharmshala and get their produce straight from there. The Chef explained to us the stringent dos and donts that are handed out to the farms – some including basics like no pesticides. The main restaurant at the hotel is called Thym and is all-day dining. Over the course of two days that I spent here, I was treated to a variety of cuisines – starting with the yummy Himachali Thali to a Tibetan fare and North Indian Food.
The breakfast spread includes fresh bakes from their own bakehouse. From a variety of rolls to Blueberry cakes and donuts, it was an absolutely sinful experience. Besides these, one can indulge in the typical continental fare with eggs or go Indian with the parathas, idlis and more.
The 2082 is a classy bar with a huge indoor fireplace. What is unique about its offerings are the special concoctions made with the local ingredients. The warm Khata with apple and the Himachali herbs was quite a surprise – a little like apple cider but with a punch of its own. The bar gets its name from the altitude at which it is situated – 2082 meters above the sea level.
Facilities at the Hyatt Dharamshala
There is plenty to keep you and your family entertained at Hyatt Regency Dharamshala. Let’s start with the heated indoor pool. The pool with its glistening blue tiles has two sections – one for the kids and the other for the adults. For those who do not want to get wet, you can just use the lounge chairs and just enjoy the warmth around.
Next there is the Spa – which Hyatt treated me to. They have a variety of treatments to pick from – Swedish massages, deep tissue ones, Ayurvedic and their signature – Tibetan massage. You can even opt for facials and foot massages as well. I tried their Swedish massage and boy, did I fall asleep and relax with it!
The indoor theatre plays movies on demand as well as has a special show everyday. And then, there is the gym for the fitness conscious. For the kids, you have the Camp Hyatt. This is an indoor building with a play area for the toddlers, a toy library for the older kids that can even include teens. I did find some of my favorite games like Pictionary here.
So, if you are not in a mood to go outdoors, Hyatt has it all sorted with their indoor and in-house options. However, if outdoors is what you are keen, take a pick from some of their curated experiences and go explore Dharamshala.
Curated Experiences by Hyatt Regency Dharamshala
The Hyatt experiences are ideal for you to explore the best of Dharamshala. We were treated to quite a few of them. The simplest ones are the guided tours of Dharamshala and McCleod Ganj. You can opt for “All things local” to explore the Tibetan markets, the church that survived an earthquake and the Tsuglagkhang Monastery (the home of Dalai Lama).
Don’t miss the Nature Walk to Bhagsu Nag Waterfalls in the morning. Once you have hiked to the spot, you can try some yoga by the falls. The team treats you to a light breakfast after you are done.
Then there is the Tibetan exploration that takes you not just to the Dalai Lama monastery but also, includes the famous Norbulingka Institute and Gyuto Monastery.
And then, there is my favorite – Hi-Tea at the Kangra Fort. The team takes you there at sunset and you get a perfect dose of history and nature with some yummy snacks.
Besides these experiences, Hyatt also, offers day trips to places like the Masroor Temple, the Baijnath temple, Paragliding at Bir Billing and the Andretta Village in Palampur. I would have loved to even try the birdwatching expedition to Pong Wetlands. Of course, nothing would have been more amazing than being able to do that Triund hike – one of the key reasons that people get to Dharamshala. That too, is arranged for by the hotel. 🙂
Not only does this hotel offer you a comfortable stay but also, gives you a well-rounded experience of the destination. It is perfect for luxury travelers who want to do more than just stay indoors. So, are you all game to check into the Hyatt Regency Dharamshala?
How to reach Dharamshala?
- The nearest airport to Dharamshala is the Kangra airport. There are quite a few domestic flights, especially from Delhi that will get you here.
- Kangra also, has a railway station. The station is famous for its toy train that takes you along some gorgeous valleys and hills.
How to book Hyatt Regency Dharamshala?
- There are two ways to book the Hyatt Regency Dharamshala. The first is through their own website. Booking through their website allows you to become a part of their membership program. The program opens up the world of Hyatt to you, allowing you discounts and special offers across the various destinations they are located in.
- The 2nd way is using sites like Booking.com and Tripadvisor.com. You can use the links shared to book your stay here.
P.S: Though I was invited by the Hyatt Regency Dharamshala to experience their property, the opinions expressed in this post are truly and honestly my own.
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this.
Popularly referred to as a Restless Ball of Energy. My Mom refuses to entertain my complaints about my equally restless daughter & assures my husband that I was born with a travel bug.
I am a Post-Graduate in Marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, I enjoy photography and if you don’t find me at my desk, I would be out playing badminton or swimming or just running. I believe in planning for every long weekend through the year. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through this travel blog. My travel stories have also, got published on various websites and magazines including BBC Travel, Lonely Planet India and Jetwings. I have recently published my first book – When Places Come Alive – a collection of stories that are based on legends, landscapes, art and culture of a place which is available in both ebook and paperback format.