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Stok Palace Heritage Hotel, Ladakh

A genuine Himalayan palace built by Ladakhi craftsmen in 1820 and perched atop a ridge with sweeping views of the Indus Valley, the Stok Palace Heritage Hotel is a truly special place to stay.

A series of royal apartments, shaded corridors, multi-level courtyards, precious artefacts and brightly painted woodwork, the Stok Palace Heritage Hotel will transport you a bygone era. Still the abode of the Namgyal dynasty, guests can choose to stay in one of six beautifully restored palace rooms, each individually decorated but still exuding historical charm. Of these, the Queen’s Room is the most impressive, its walls adorned with exquisite 200-year-old frescos and a private wooden balcony where you can contemplate undisturbed Indus Valley views.  

For those seeking complete privacy, the property also has three individual villas set amidst walnut and willow trees in the old apricot courtyard 10 minutes away from the main building. Built by hand from wood and mud, they offer two bedrooms and a kitchenette, as well as a sitting area with serene orchard views. 

Whether you want to experience the region’s colourful festivals, unique wildlife or local villages, the property can create a totally immersive Ladakh experience for its guests. Guests also have exclusive access to the palace’s Lhakchung Temple where you can quietly observe the resident monk performing his daily prayers.

Stok Palace Heritage Hotel, at a glance

  • Stunning 200-year-old palace hotel built by Ladakhi craftsmen for the Namgyal royal family who still own the property 
  • Sympathetically converted into a heritage hotel and opened to the public in 1980 
  • Beautiful features include decorated balconies, royal apartments, interlinked courtyards and a prayer chamber on the upper floor 
  • Four standard suite rooms, one Royal Suite and one Queen’s Room
  • Features include writing desks, wardrobes and elegant ensuite bathrooms 
  • Three elegant orchard villas with two bedrooms each, a private sitting area and a well-appointed kitchenette 
  • No Wi-Fi and TVs throughout the property ensure an authentic stay 
  • Dine on traditional Ladakhi, Tibetan and Indian cuisine in the restored Old Royal Kitchen 
  • Breakfasts are served on the palace rampart with enchanting valley views 

For leisure and pleasure

  • Observe the daily prayers and rituals in the Buddhist temple on the palace’s top floor 
  • Visit the nearby 14th century Stok Gompa 
  • Have a personalised amulet made by the resident monk 
  • Visit the isolated villages scattered across the landscape 
  • Enjoy wildlife viewing expeditions to Hemis National Park or the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Browse the precious artefacts, royal seals, jewellery and photographs in the Palace Museum 

Other itineraries in India

  • I do not think that we have ever had so much care and attention from a travel company, which just goes to show that (in a good way), you do get what you pay for.

    DL, Morocco