Situated in Balakha Village, 30 minutes from Paro International Airport, the 24-suite Amankora Paro contrasts rustic elements with contemporary design. Its architecture features natural rammed-earth walls, gently sloping roofs and wood-panelled interiors. Centred by a large flagstone courtyard, a lime-washed stone pavilion houses the living and dining room facilities, library and outdoor terrace, all warmed by fireplaces.
Appointed with comfortable sofas and lounge chairs, the Living Room features floor-to-ceiling glass windows. These reveal a forest of blue pines, the 17th-century Drukyel Dzong and Mount Jhomolhari which soars to over 7,300 metres. The warm and cosy ambience makes this an ideal spot for sipping drinks and swapping tales. The adjacent Library provides a range of books on Buddhism and local lore, textiles and the Himalayas. Complimentary Internet access is also available through an in-house laptop. A selection of traditional Bhutanese handicrafts, textiles and clothing is available in the small Boutique.
Located below the Living Room, the Dining Room opens onto an external terrace which overlooks a small stream. Views extend to snow-clad Jhomolhari and the ruins of the ancient dzong. Classic simplicity of form meets a warm ambience with communal tables and dark wood walls reflecting historic Bhutanese motifs. Amankora Paro’s Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, specialising in Indian, Western and Bhutanese dishes.
Behind the main cluster of buildings is the Spa which is set on two levels. The upper level contains an arrival area, changing rooms, a sauna, steam room and glass-walled yoga studio. Steps descend to the lower level which houses one double treatment room and four single treatment rooms, each fitted with a shower and unique outdoor bath.
Situated in a blue pine forest in the upper reaches of the Motithang area of the Thimphu Valley, the 16-suite Amankora Thimphu is close to the capital’s sights and shopping, while remaining a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the Kingdom’s main commercial centre. The resort’s dzong-inspired architecture incorporates whitewashed stone buildings accessed through an enclosed arrival courtyard. Stairs lead from this entryway to a combined Living and Dining Room with soaring ceilings and wood-panelled walls. An outdoor dining deck provides views of the nearby stream and surrounding forest. The Spa features three treatment rooms (two single and one double), a steam room and changing areas.
Situated a short drive north of the impressive 17th-century Punakha Dzong and Puntsho Pelri Palace, Amankora Punakha is accessed by crossing a suspension bridge over the Mo Chhu (Mother River).
A short walk or drive takes guests to the large compound designed around a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse. This was built by a former Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) as a residence to oversee the surrounding rice paddies and fruit orchards. The quaint, three-storey structure with its preserved vegetable-dye wall paintings is now the combined common guest area. The Dining Room is situated on the ground floor, and the upper floors offer intimate relaxation areas and a traditional altar room for prayer and meditation. The Courtyard of the farmhouse is suitable for outdoor dining and relaxation during Punakha’s temperate months. Adjacent to the Courtyard is a Tea Pavilion that was once the kitchen of the summer palace. Beyond this is the two-storey Spa which provides a yoga/meditation room on its upper level with open views of the surrounding rice paddies, and two private treatment rooms, a steam room and changing areas on the lower level.
In the picturesque but little-visited Phobjikha Valley near the village of Gangtey, the eight-suite Amankora Gangtey is set on a forested knoll with sweeping views of the broad valley and the 16th-century Gangtey Goemba (monastery).
Lodge accommodations and guest facilities are housed together. The combined Living and Dining Room features cosy chairs, sofas and family-style dining tables, all looking out through floor-to-ceiling windows over the valley and surrounding mountains. Spa facilities consist of two massage treatment rooms and changing areas on the lodge’s ground floor.
Adjacent to the first and second King of Bhutan’s palace, Wangdichholing, Amankora Bumthang lies within the town of Jakar in the Choekhor Valley in an area commonly known as Bumthang.
Access to Amankora Bumthang passes alongside the former royal sports ground of Bhutan’s first two kings, a traditional and much-used archery area, and circles a stately peach tree. The lodge is surrounded by an apple orchard and features pear trees along its boundary with the Palace. A dzong-inspired hallway at the lodge’s entrance opens onto a Library and a comfortable Living Room appointed with lounge chairs, daybeds and a traditional bukhari. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of a landscaped courtyard adjoining the shared Palace grounds. Adjacent is the regally-appointed Dining Room with its soaring ceiling. Outdoor dining areas under the shade of local fruit trees are also provided in the courtyard. The Spa, located just above the entranceway, offers three intimate treatment rooms, a steam room and changing areas.