This place was amazing - right in the middle of Leh when the whole town has shut down and the tourists are all gone - this place is a spotless oasis of warmth and comfort. Beautifully and tastefully decorated rooms in Ladakhi style with gorgeous views of the valley.
A great dining room serving up hot breakfasts of not only Indian and Continental varieties, but also fresh gourmet croissants, pastries and baked goods?! We were wondering how this was even possible, given that the whole region is totally snowbound and the only way in or out is by air?
But I digress, smack in the middle of the high himalayan isolated valleys, this place is centrally heated, has running hot water, cable, wifi, a great restaurant and awesome staff.
Oh and don't even get me started about the staff - amazingly polite and extremely helpful and were able to arrange trips around the area at short notice. The hotel even gave the driver a flask of hot tea and cookies in case we needed it.
The bed linen was spotless and of impeccable quality and the fixtures and details in the room were on par with some of the best hotels I have stayed at around the world. FWIW there is a room safe to store your passport and valuables. In addition the hotel boasts of a rather good a souvenir store. a library with books of Ladakh and a computer room with iMacs. Do not miss the gorgeous B&W vintage photography all over the hotel (especially the dining room).
If I were to offer minor nitpicking suggestions for improvement:
- A better map of the Leh town. (The area map is excellent)
- There is no place/activities for guests to mingle or meetup. I do wish there was a calendar of daily activities posted at the reception (or online). Apparently there were bonfires in the evenings which I never got to attend as I had no idea they were taking place.
- The trips that the hotel arranges are solo trips - so one does not get to join a group (hiking, visiting monasteries, palaces) unless you arrive to the hotel as a group and book as that group. It would be nice of they could have trips daily posted that one could join in.
- One last thing, I would warn folks stepping out of the dining door to watch out for an unexpected step into the corridor. Maybe a strip of yellow or better lighting or something.
One other thing, for visitors to Ladakh (unrelated to the hotel) - give yourself at least two full days to adjust to the altitude before trying a strenuous activity like hiking. During this time do drink a LOT of water and try slow short (uphill) walks up to the town and maybe even attempt the Shanti Stupa or the Leh Palace slowly. Within two days you should be fine and feel normal. Otherwise Diamox to the rescue ;-)
enjoy your stay - it is a wonderful place.
We stayed in grand dragon for 4 nights during our Leh trip. The hotel cannot be compared to a typical 5 star hotel, because operating in Leh has its own challenges. However, grand dragon manages to provide a semblance of essential luxury in inclement winters of Ladakh. The interiors are tasteful and the rooms are well equipped. The breakfast spread was good and the dining menu was quite expansive. The service and the attitude of the staff was extremely delightful. Would recommend anyone and everyone to stay here if planning a winter trip to Leh. All the best Grand Dragon!!
My initial booking experience with the hotel was not too good due to a missed connection which almost made me cancel my stay here and book another hotel but from the moment I reached the hotel made all attempts to make my stay here amazing .... had booked a higher category room for the last 3 days of stay and landed up getting upgraded for the entire week which was super awesome !
Was given a choice of room as the lower category room has fabulous views but no sit out while the Premier category has a sit out with okayish views. Chose the sitout as it is was so worth the breath of crisp fresh mountain air. If u are here for a day or two choose the deluxe category for the views of longer the premier category.
Rooms and hotel lobby are luxurious. It wasnt what I had in mind at all given I had read reviews that there was no water in Leh and heating is a challenge. The hotel has beautiful art filled corridors and lobbies. Good sitting areas with a tiny library and souvenir shop in the hotel lobby where I ultimately shopped because Leh Market was shut on the last two days of my stay.
Rooms are well appointed. There is no compromise on anything given the absolute lack of competition in Leh. Its a delightful luxury hotel. Good tapestry, welcome cookies and dry fruits, tea coffee maker, super comfortable clean beds and bathrooms. Central floor heating, double glazed windows, Tibetan jewellery showcase in rooms. Television, 24/7 room service, hot water, electricity. Putting this as that was a huge concern given the time of the month in Leh where the temperatures are below freezing point and the town has mo water due to frozen pipes and electricity is there for just a few hours every day. So to have all the creature comforts in a high altitude desert was actually what amazed me.
Service levels are outstanding. Everyone is always ready to help and go the extra mile. Special mention to Layak from room service who took care of my me like a grandmother. Admonishing me for going out on day one. Telling me to cover myself, sending ginger lemon honey water with garlic and kichdi to help me recover when due to my own lack of precaution I had AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). I never thought that I would like garlic soup but it was absolutely delicious and highly recommended for feeling healthy and preventing fevers and the like in Leh. I pretty much had it every single day here.
Bathrooms have running hot water and rain showers and well stocked toiletries. Breakfast spread was decent. Lack of fresh fruit in buffet barring apples and bananas are made up by way of a large selection of dry fruits. Room service is great too. Mutton Biryani, Momos are highly recommended. Had Indian veg one day - Rajma , Palak Paneer and Phulkas and it was delicious
Did all sightseeing with the local travel desk and it was very good. Driver Karma deserves a special mention as now Im pretty sure he has an alternate career as a photographer given the pictures I made him take of me in yoga poses in my Dslr! Patient as ever. Hotel sends cookies and tea with water in the car which was quite welcome ! The ginger cookies and Choc cookies are delish!
The artwork in the hotel is beautiful and I mentioned it to the hotel manager and showed my desire to pick up some the prints and was informed it wasnt for sale and that all the art was by the owner- Mustafa. Sad that I couldnt pick up the prints he proceeded to gift me a set of postcards which had all the prints of the art work of the hotel. What a sweet gesture!
There are many mentions of service delivery by front office, restaurant, housekeeping and room service and difficult to list each and every one as there were so many!
Kudos to the door men standing in sub zero temperatures welcoming guests with warm smiles .
Hotel is under renovation but it wasnt on the floor I was in and the renovation noises etc did not disturb.
Hotel had a gym and steam/ sauna which Id didnt use so cant say much . Wish they had a yoga room with mountain views though! landed up doing my yoga in the room sitout for a brief bit which was cold (-15 centigrade)
Only negative is the lack of a clear view from the higher category room and the eyesore of brick houses in the front of hotel and views into other rooms.
But thats a minor and inconsequential complaint.
All in all if you have to stay in Leh- this is it this is it this is it!
Kudos to the management team for making and maintaining this awesome property !
Thanks to everyone for making my stay a pleasure !
We stayed at the Grand Dragon initially for 2 nights before a 12 day trek in Hemis NP. My partner however began to suffer from high altitude sickness badly so we stayed an extra night with no hassle from the hotel in booking. They assisted us with a Dr in fact the next day and oxygen cylinder.
Take advantage of their small but great small book shelves near reception, and visit the souvenir shop - some incredible pieces in there, though expensive.
They assisted us with taxi's called guides for us to speak to (as were trekking alone in Hemis) and looked after our extra luggage for no charge whilst trekking. we then stayed another night on our way back to Delhi after our trip.
Food for dinner was good, felt could have been better given 5* rating, though the breakfast was fantastic. Staff were all very friendly and helpful always.
Its walking distance from the main 'tourist' area though going downtown is worthwhile.
Jilley Grand Dragon team!
This is a lovely and with beautiful setting. We stayed here 4 nights in total and the service throughout the hotel was first class - front desk, restaurant and housekeeping. The rooms are also spacious and nicely furnished. The food choice in the main restaurant for both breakfast and dinner is vast, and vegetarians have a good choice as well. If in Leh, I would recommend staying here.