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Spread across the country, Amankora’s five lodges – Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha and Bumthang – offer unprecedented access to the world’s last surviving Buddhist kingdom. Combining the Sanskrit word for peace with the Bhutanese for circular journey, Amankora allows guests to create a tailormade tour of their own, visiting all or a selection of the lodges, with a driver provided for the duration of their stay.
This is the true Himalayan experience.
Across the five lodges, Amankora’s 76 suites fuse contemporary design with rustic materials to create a sleek yet convivial atmosphere. Open-plan bedrooms and living rooms have kingsize beds, window seats and traditional bukhari wood burners. Ensuite bathrooms, clad in terrazzo, centre on a large freestanding bathtub.
At Paro Lodge, hidden in thick pine forest, suites feature walls clad in wood and black steel panelling. At Punakha Lodge, reached by a suspension bridge over the Mo Chhu River, suites are identical to those at Paro, with views of an orange orchard and rice terraces. Design here incorporates a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse built by a former chief abbot, complete with an infinity pool featuring views over rice terraces. An additional two storey block contains four suites and each Mo Chhu Suite can be combined with a suite to create a 2-bedroom unit.
At Thimphu Lodge, located in the capital’s Motithang area, open-plan wood-panelled suites are built in the style of a traditional dzong fortress. At Gangtey Lodge, set on a forested knoll within a wildlife reserve with views of a 16th-century monastery, suites are identical to those at Thimphu. Finally, at Bumthang Lodge, located next to a royal palace in the Choekhor Valley, suites are similar to those at Paro. The area is home to 29 temples and monasteries, and is a treasure-trove of traditional art.
In Punakha, guest will find an infinity pool to relax. There are meditation rooms in Paro and Punakha.
Incorporating Himalayan plants and herbs, different spa therapies are available across Amankora’s five lodges, offering a uniquely Bhutanese healing experience. At Paro Lodge, there’s a two-storey spa surrounded by glistening conifers in the forest. Guests are invited to try an herb-infused hot stone bath, followed by a traditional massage. Facilities include a glass-walled yoga studio, a sauna, steam room, changing areas. The five treatment rooms each have a shower and an outdoor bath
At Thimphu Lodge, the signature treatment is a hot-oil Ayurvedic head massage. Facilities include three treatment rooms, a steam room and changing areas. At Punakha Lodge, guests can try a holistic facial made with locally sourced products such as homemade yoghurt, Bumthang honey and orange. The two-storey spa includes a yoga/ meditation room with views of rice paddies, two treatment rooms, a steam room and changing areas.
At Gangtey Lodge, guests can experience a candlelit hot stone bath. Spa-goers love that the sliding bamboo door reveals a panorama of the valley. Facilities include two massage rooms and changing areas. Finally, at Bumthang Lodge, the Zen massage is the signature treatment. There are three intimate treatment rooms, a steam room and changing areas.
An array of Bhutanese, Western and Indian dishes are served across all five Amankora lodges, using local ingredients such as yak meat and fresh honey from the Bumthang Valley. Private dining can be arranged, indoors or outdoors, for intimate dinners or group celebrations.
These adventurous lodges are best suited for couples.
Near the airport, Paro is the largest lodge, and usually the start and end point of an Amankora journey. Thimphu lodge lies within reach of the capital’s shops and sights. Gangtey lodge overlooks a valley in the Black Mountains National Park. Punakha lodge lies in a valley with a uniquely sub-tropical climate. Bumthang lodge is further east, in the country’s most historic and sacred region.
Noted above, the lodges are spread throughout Bhutan.
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