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 tailor-made tour of their own, visiting all or a selection of the lodges.
Amankora at a glance
Amankora in pictures
Hidden among pine trees in Balakha village, Amankora Paro has been built in the style of a modern dzong with a mix of clay colored earth-packed walls and handsome dry-stone wall. The mountain streams running through the property and views of Jhomolhari, the second highest mountain in Bhutan, give this 24-suite lodge unparalleled settings.
Like the other four Amankoras in Bhutan, the cleanliness, uncluttered living spaces with blazing fire have window-side banquettes on which to read from a fine library of books, an outdoor patio for sunny lunches and a firepit around which to enjoy evening drinks.
Amankora Paro is ideally located for Part most reknown visits: the picture perfect Paro Dzong, the hike to Tiger’s Nest monastery, shopping for crafts, or the beautiful old Kyichu Lhakhang temple
Built by a former chief abbot as a rural summer palace, this old farmhouse, with two modern packed-earth extensions, has pretty views over orchards, rice paddies and the Mo Chhu (or Mother River) and offers visitors a chance to live in a traditional farmhouse, then retire to modern bedrooms. Located just 10 minutes’ drive from the 17th-century Punakha Dzong, the hotel is reached on foot, via a suspension bridge festooned with prayer flags offering the guest a dramatic entrance.
Possibly the most characterful and intimate of Bhutan’s five Amankora hotels, converted from an old royal farmhouse that is decorated with vegetable-dye wallpaintings and furnished like a home – albeit with clean-lined contemporary pieces. A pretty courtyard, shaded by a Chinese cherry tree in the day, is set up at night with a fire and lamps for outdoor dining.
A low-lying, contemporary wood, dry-stone and earth-plastered structure that sits unobtrusively between farms and pine forests at the head of Gangtey valley. As well as offering dramatic views of the valley and monastery, it overlooks grasslands on which endangered black-necked cranes roost in winter.
Small, warm and cosy, this eight-suite lodge is intimate and homely, with two communal dining tables in the living-dining area, and a few tables outside on the front lawns when it’s dry. Like the other four Amankora hotels in Bhutan, its style is restrained and materials natural; all surfaces are made of wood or stone, lit at night with paraffin lamps and candles, and decorated in muted colours and natural fabrics, with clean-lined wooden furnishings.
Situated on a pine-forested hill on the outskirts of the capital, Thimphu, in the desirable Motithang neighbourhood, neighbouring Bhutanese royalty, the fortress-inspired hotel is situated in a forest, with views over a burbling stream and sweet-smelling pines.
Designed by acclaimed Australian architect, Kerry Hill, to resemble a Bhutanese dzong, or fortress, this is the most imposing of Aman’s five Bhutanese hotels. The walls are thick, high and built of dry-stone and earth-plaster, and rooms set out like monks’ quarters in double-storey wings. The feel is simple, pared down and authentic, with lots of stone, wood and glass, and clean, contemporary wooden furnishing in muted shades.
Bumthang is one of the most remote, least visited parts of Bhutan –known as the spiritual hub of Bhutan and steeped in folklore and stories- providing a unique and authentic visitor experience. The Bumthang Lodge is the undiscovered gem in the Amankora crown.
Amankora Bumthang is located adjacent to the Wangdichholing Palace, built in 1857 as the Kingdom’s first palace that served as the royal residence until this was moved to Thimphu in the 1950s. This is now the residence of a small monk body and you will often catch glimpses of them walking across the gardens from your bedroom.