FAQs – Our Gilgit-Baltistan Collection

Are all your properties ‘Heritage’ hotels?

Two of our hotels are unique heritage properties: Serena Shigar Fort and Serena Khaplu Palace. Both are beautifully restored to their original condition.

 

Hunza Serena Inn and Gilgit Serena Hotel are not heritage properties however their interiors and architecture reflect the local heritage, culture and architectural styles.

Can I stay in Altit Fort or Baltit Fort?

No, we do not have accommodation facilities in either Altit Fort or Baltit Fort however we offer guided historical tours of both Forts plus the opportunity to enjoy lunch, a light snack or morning or afternoon tea at:

Kha Basi Café at Altit Fort

Baltit Fort Café at Baltit Fort

How close are your hotels from each other?

Hunza Serena Inn and Gilgit Serena Hotel are 2 hours drive from each other.

Serena Shigar Fort & Khaplu Palace are 2 ½ hours drive from each other.

Gilgit Serena Hotel & Serena Shigar Fort are 8 hours drive from each other.

Gilgit Serena Hotel and Serena Khaplu Palace are 10 ½ hour’s drive from each other.

Hunza Serena Inn & Shigar Fort are 11 hours drive from each other.

Hunza Serena Inn and Gilgit Serena Hotel are also accessible by air from Islamabad (55 minute flight) to Gilgit Airport.

Serena Shigar Fort and Serena Khaplu Palace are also accessible by air from Islamabad (55 minute flight) to Skardu Airport.

How do I get to your hotels?

Gilgit Serena Hotel & Hunza Serena Inn are accessible via:

  • Daily scenic PIA flights to Gilgit Airport (55 minutes)
  • We offer complementary airport transfers to and from the airport to Gilgit Serena Hotel only.
  • Road from Islamabad via the scenic Karakoram Highway. The drive takes 18 hours plus from Islamabad. We recommend that this amazing journey is completed in two stages.

 

Serena Shigar Fort and Serena Khaplu Palace are accessible via:

  • Daily scenic PIA flights to Skardu Airport (55 minutes). We offer complementary airport transfers to and from the airport to our hotels.
  • Road from Islamabad via the scenic Karakoram Highway. The drive takes 24 hours from Islamabad. We recommend that this amazing journey is completed in two stages staying overnight in Chilas.

 

When is the best time to visit?

Our hotels are open from March to November only except Gilgit Serena Hotel which is open all year. June, July & August are the peak times to visit during the summer months.

 

Some of the key months to see and explore the area at its best are:

April & May: Apricot Blossom in bloom in Hunza, Shigar & Khaplu

October & November: Hunza Autumn colors

July & August: Wildflowers at their best in the Deosai Plains

June, July & August: The warmest months and best for trekking / camping

July: A series of polo tournaments take place from April to early May and from October to November

April to September: Trout Fishing Season

 

For information on the festivals in the area please click here

 

Average Daytime Temperatures

Summer: (May-August): 18°C to 35°C
Autumn: (October-November): 9°C to 22°C
Winter (December-February): -10°C to 10°C
Spring (March-April): 8°C to 16°C


What activities are there to do at your hotels?

At Serena Hotel’s Gilgit-Baltistan Collection our number one objective is to provide you with the experience of a life time! And that means providing you not only with incredible accommodation and service but also with a range of activities and experiences that encapsulate the best of the history, culture and natural beauty of the area you are visiting.

We have spent many long hours planning and devising some of the best excursions and activities there is to offer ensuring that there is something that will interest each and every one of our guests.

 

Choose from our:

  • Local activities
  • Day trips in and around our hotels
  • Recommended holiday itineraries in Northern Pakistan (Khaplu, Shigar, Skardu, Gilgit, Hunza & Chitral)
  • Romantic Getaways

 

For more information go to each of our hotel’s Experience page on our website.

 

Are children welcome at your hotels?

Yes we welcome all children of all ages at our hotels. There is plenty of space in our gardens for children to run around and the various excursions on offer provide lots of opportunities for children to make plenty of noise. We do however ask that in our hotels children respect our other guests.

 

Can children stay for free at your hotels along with parents?

  • Children under the age of two, sharing a room with their parents are accommodated free.
  • Children aged between two to twelve, sharing a room with their parents, are charged at 50% of the adult rate.
  • If any child under 12 who requires his or her own room, will be charged at 75% of the adult rate.

 

Do you have driver’s accommodation?

No. We do not provide driver’s accommodation at any of our hotels. We can make arrangements at local guest houses for your driver at an additional cost.

 

Can we pay for our room on arrival?

Yes you can however we recommend advanced payment of your room to ensure confirmation.

What should we wear / bring?

In the summer months (June, July & August) light cotton clothing is always best. Bring a light sweater or pashmina for the cool mornings and evenings, sturdy walking shoes for exploring and a waterproof or wind proof jacket can sometimes be helpful.

 

In the cooler months (March, April, May, September, October, November) you will need warm clothes (woollies) during the day and a warm coat for the mornings and evenings. Sturdy walking shoes for exploring and a waterproof or wind proof jacket are also necessary.

 

During the winter in Gilgit you will need all of your winter woollies as it is very cold.

 

For those walking or trekking we recommend long trousers, cotton shirts, several pairs of socks that don’t rub, hiking boots, a fleece, wet weather / wind proof jacket and thermal layers for the evening and mornings.

 

When visiting religious sites and temples it is important that your legs, arms and head are covered.

What kind of hikes do you offer?

Our hotels are all located in a trekker’s paradise. Our team will recommend beautiful walks and treks for you depending on your level of fitness and the length of time you wish to walk.

Also refer to Our Favorite Hikes in Northern Pakistan

Can you arrange our transport for us?

Yes we can arrange your transport for you during your stay. We can also arrange your airport pick-ups and drops. We also use local drivers who have local knowledge for our day trips or longer excursions.

Transport is usually in jeeps or 4WD.

What do the room rates include?

Rates (refer to rates on website or email or call us for a quote)

 

Our rates include:

  • Welcome drinks
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Daily provision of fruit basket
  • Wi-Fi access

They do not include snacks, dinner, all beverages, activities, laundry, telephone calls and transport.

 

What happens if our flight is cancelled?

Sometimes flights are cancelled to and from Gilgit and Skardu due to bad weather in the mountains.

 

If this happens you have two options:

  1. Reconfirm your seat for the next day
  2. Drive along the famous Karakoram Highway to either Gilgit or Skardu. Although it is a long trip taking 18 hours plus this is possibly one of the most beautiful & adventurous drives in the world. We recommend breaking the trip in two and spending a night at Chilas.

 

If my flight is cancelled, will you charge me for my hotel room?

Yes we will charge you for your hotel room. We do not take any responsibility for flight cancellations.

 

Can you help us arrange a holiday in Gilgit-Baltistan?
We sure can. We have put together a range of holiday itineraries to ensure you have the experience of a life time in Gilgit-Baltistan.

 

Just send us an email of where you would like to go and we will give you some recommendations or alternatively look at the Experiences page of this website.

 

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kind of hikes do you offer?

All of our hotels are located in a trekker’s paradise. Our team will recommend beautiful walks and treks for you depending on your level of fitness and the length of time you wish to walk. One of our favourite treks is the Thalley La trek whereby you walk between Khaplu Palace & Residence and Shigar Fort Residence over 3 days.

Refer to Our Favorite Hikes in Northern Pakistan on the Experience page of this website.

 

Is it safe to roam around as a foreigner or should I dress up as a local?

Yes it is safe to walk around as a foreigner. Gilgit-Baltistan is one of Pakistan’s safest and friendliest areas. Women should always carry a head scarf in case it is needed when visiting a mosque or other religious monuments.

 

Are my pets allowed at any of your hotels?

We do not allow guests to bring their pets.