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doctorbobster
Gainesville, Florida

Avoid This Hotel and This Part of Town for A Peaceful Night

Review of Hotel Galingkha
1.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 17 Dec 2016
The short: for a restful night, re-read the review title. For details, read on.

Selected by our Bhutan travel guide, the Hotel Galingkha is located in a part of town with a nice local vibe. The staff was wonderful, gracious and helpful with them wrestling your luggage away from you if you attempt to carry it up the stairs in this elevator-free hotel. (A slim elderly man ran several laps from the lobby up the 63 steps to our room with several 40-pound pieces of luggage.) The dining room service was excellent, as was the food. On the other hand...

..after a long day, including the Tiger's Nest climb, additional stairs were not on our agenda. The rooms, which were spacious, are poorly designed for guests. There are not bedside lamps and no way to illuminate one side of the bed and no light switch at bedside. The makeshift desk by the bed had a non-working lamp.

The room was cold with a heater that was not up to the task in December. Worse, the bathroom was colder. Worse still, the hot water quickly ran out leaving us with cold showers in a cold room.

Just as bad, the WiFi was barely usable in the room and only slightly better in the lobby

The bed and pillows were pleasantly firm and up there with the most comfortable hotel surfaces I can recall, but the bed and pillow could not compensate for the cold and THE BARKING OF THE DOGS.

All night, throughout the night, stray dogs, some single, some in packs, responding to each other over the distances, maintained a sustained dysharmonic cacophony of noise that permeated our top-floor room. It was miserable. Most other reviews concur on this doggy issue.

While the Hotel Galinkha has some nice features, they are diminished by the poor WiFi, cold rooms, cold showers and the dogs, the barking of the dogs. Stay in an other part of town unless you want to awaken dog-tired.
Date of stay: December 2016
Trip type: Travelled with family
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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View more hotels in Thimphu
Reviews (128)
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25 - 30 of 128 reviews
Reviewed 1 November 2016

This central hotel has nice rooms, with good showers and shampoo and soap. Nice pillows too. If you ask for asian food, like aloo paratha for breakfast it will come. Dog howling at night is a problem in all hotels in Thimphu, and this one is just the same. If in Thimphu expect to hear the dogs serenading.

Room tip: The stairs are steep so first floor is better if you are unfit
Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Carolineoperalover
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 31 October 2016

This hotel is right in the centre of down town Thimphu, close to the market and shops. Our room on the 2nd floor had a view of the police box "traffic light". The room was spacious and comfortable, the breakfast and evening meals were good, equal to most similar accomodation in Bhutan, staff were excellent and service was prompt. The only issue which is no fault of the hotel is the large number of stray dogs which rule the streets from 10 pm to 08 am, they bark and fight incessantly, so you will need to use ear plugs in order to obtain a decent nights sleep.

Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Richmond G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 October 2016

The hotel offers spacious and tastefully done rooms and very comfortable bathrooms. Our room offered good view of two lively streets. However, stray dogs ensured that sleep would be fitful. In fact on the second night of our stay, the dogs seemed to be having some raucous assembly of their own, ensuring that sleep could not be had at all. Visitors are advised to carry good quality ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones.

The service was good with the chef even preparing a slightly early breakfast for us. Indian vegetarian options though are limited and not very great.

Date of stay: September 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank VineetBh
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 16 September 2016

If you visit Bhutan as a tourist your hotels are selected for you by your tour group as part of your daily payment. As such, you don't have a great deal of control over where you end up staying unless you ask for a place before you set off. We didn't know we could request specific hotels and, as such, were at the mercy of our tour provider, Bhutan Travelers. Our first hotel was Hotel Galingkha, a centrally placed location only a few metres walk from the famous human traffic light that Thimphu is famed for.

The double room we were allocated was spacious and had a large window offering a decent view of the surrounding capital. The decor of the room was somewhat basic but adequate. Beds were comfortable and amenities were sufficient. We were provided with a small table, two chairs, plenty of storage, a TV (with a surprisingly good selection of channels, actually) and – strangely considering the country's supposed tobacco ban – an ashtray! The bathroom was a good size and the shower had continuous hot water which was a blessing after some of the cold washes we were forced to endure during visits to other countries earlier in our trip!

After a pretty poor meal at the Folk Heritage Museum earlier in the day we were apprehensive about the quality of food we were to be served throughout the rest of our Bhutan trip. Thankfully, the food at Hotel Galingkha was a vast improvement over our earlier fare. The Bhutanese offerings were of far superior quality (the ewa dashi was particularly nice here) and there were even a few dishes with an Indian bent which sat particularly well with me. The naan breads provided for us were absolutely delicious so ask for second helpings if you can!

One obvious negative for this hotel is its proximity to the capital's huge roving dog population. Nightly hundreds of stray dogs will kick up a noisy chorus of barks which can easily disrupt your sleep. Luckily, I brought earplugs to block out some of the racket but residual noise still managed to make its way to my ears, such was the cacophonous volume! Although this issue is beyond the hotel's control, these dog packs can still pose a real nuisance and should be considered if you plan to stay here, especially if you are a light sleeper.

Overall, I was quite pleased with my stay at Hotel Galingkha. The room was comfortable enough and the food was a pleasant surprise. It's just a shame that Bhutan's stray dog problem might make your stay here a noisy and unrestful one.

Date of stay: September 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Susan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 8 September 2016

Its a average hotel but in the heart of the city. You can take a stroll in the evening down the lane.
Bu the services are average. the breakfast was ala carte and average. Beware of the rooms facing the street, the dog howls dont let you sleep:)

Room tip: There is no lift, so better take a room on the first floor, and dont take the room facing the street
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank tamangraju
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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