Leh, the capital of Leh District, has more than 200 guesthouses and hotels. Out of which only seventy nine (79) properties have web presence. There are no known hotel chains in the town. There are no hotels of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (J.K.T.D.C.) that offers accommodation in other parts of the state either. Luxury hotels (3 star or Deluxe A class) are very limited in number. Mid-end and budget accommodation options are plentiful.
The tariff varies from ₹ 450 per night, per person for a room with a common bath in a guesthouse to more than ₹ 20,000 for an executive suite in a high-end hotel. An extra bed usually costs 40% of the actual room tariff. Most of the hotels collect a service charge (10%) in addition to the tariff.
Booking is possible via websites and travel booking sites for some hotels. Most of the guest houses do not have online booking options. Send an email and contact over phone. Both high- and mid-end hotels accept major credit cards. Small hotels or guesthouses prefer cash in Indian rupees. Advance payment terms vary from establishment to establishment. The payment could be 50% of the tariff. Our advice is that pay just a token amount of money to book the room. The advance payment also depends on negotiation skills of the travelers.
Lean vs. Peak Season
All establishments open doors to guests during April-September, the peak season. Most of the establishments stop operating from October 1, beginning of lean period. Only a few hotels and guesthouses are open during winter (November-March). For example, Sia-la Guest House and The Grand Dragon Hotel welcome guests around the year. Travel with at least one companion to save on room tariff. The lean season has two advantages: discounts up to 30% and less crowd.
Purchase European Plan (room only), because Leh has plenty of clean eateries offering reasonably good food at affordable rates. Travelers can therefore eat wherever whenever they like. Continental (CP), modified American (MAP), and American (AP) plans have a disadvantage: Travelers have to rush back to the hotel during meal hours.
Solar power heaters and diesel run generators are common in the town to offset the impact of frequent and unpredictable power cuts due to power shortage. Many hotels and guesthouses rely on solar power heaters for hot water supply in bathrooms and toilets. During autumn, water becomes cold in night and early morning. During non-sun hours, the hotels advice the guests to leave the taps open for sometime so that cold water is fully drained. The establishments using traditional geysers and other electrical equipment depend fully on power supply, therefore unable to commit uninterrupted supply of amenities and services requiring electricity.
Although establishments have generators, power supply would not be consistent if number of guests is small. Some establishments charge extra for heating in winter season. For example, Hotel Yak Tail charges INR 500 per day towards heating charges.
(More: Use our custom search engine to find a guesthouse and / or hotel in Leh.)
Both double and twin beds are available. Hotels offer en suite bathrooms with running hot and cold water. But as winter approaches, number of guests reduces. Water starts freezing. Therefore, hotels provide limited amount of bucketed water. All mid- and top-end hotels feature at least one restaurant. However, some hotels do not have à la carte menu and they serve buffet for a fixed price. During autumn, air conditioning (A.C.) is simply not required. Some hotels insist that the guests leave the room keys at the hotel reception when going out.
Check-in and check-out times are not uniform for all establishments. The time could be 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, or 12:00 pm. Ask the hotel booked. Check with the hotel receptionist whether luggage can be left at the hotel if return journey starts a few hours after the check-out time to save inconvenience of lugging the baggage everywhere or to avoid paying full day tariff for a few hours’ usage of the room.