Risum Resort

Risum Resort, surrounded by mountains in Haa valley in the far west of Bhutan, offers modest and clean accommodations with modern amenities in an area of the country that remains relatively undiscovered (only in 2002 did the government open the district to foreign tourists). Risum has exteriors constructed in traditional Bhutanese style and 26 guest rooms (12 standard and 14 newer cottages), some with great views over the valley and Meri Puensum, the three sister mountains held sacred by locals.

All guest rooms have wood walls and floors, en suite bathrooms, choice of twin or double beds, heating, room service, and complimentary coffee/tea. Risum's staff is friendly and caring, their restaurant's Bhutanese food is especially good, and there's a bar serving local beers and whiskeys. The environment feels homey — there's even a wood stove in the main lodge for gathering together on chilly nights.

The resort is positioned well as a jumping off point for discovering the Haa region. Many short hikes close to the lodge soon get you out in pristine nature. A few sacred attractions are also within striking distance, including Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Nagpo (White and Black temples) constructed by King Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century; Chhundu Lhakhang, dedicated to the protective deity of Haa valley, Ap Chhundu; and cliffside Juneydrak Hermitage, where the great female adept Machig Labdron (1055-1132) left her footprint in rock.