Next to nature in luxe lodges
AMANKORA(a combination of the Sanskrit words for peace and circular pilgrimage) is a series of five nature-linked luxury lodges across Bhutan designed by Australian architect Kerry Hill.
A progressive stay at all properties will provide the fullest experience of the country’s diverse natural environments, from plains, valleys and rivers to high mountain passes stretching from Paro in Bhutan’s far west to Bumthang in the east. The stone and rammedearth buildings reflect traditional Bhutanese architectural style, with few ostentatious flourishes. Inside, no luxury detail has been spared. Suites (interiors are almost identical across the properties) feature kingsized bed, window seat and reading chairs, traditional wood-burning stove and a large freestanding bath flanked by twin vanities. In keeping with the back-to-nature feel, there is no television or internet access in guestrooms, although WiFi is available in some common areas.
Each Amankora lodge features an expansive dining area and lounge. Menus run the gamut of Westernstyle offerings, including pizzas, wraps and pastas, but try the excellent Bhutanese or Indian set menus when they’re on offer. And even if you are not staying at Amankora Thimphu, make a point of stopping in for lunch or dinner — the food by Matthew Schaefer, former sous chef at New York’s Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, is exceptional.
For guests staying seven nights or longer with Amankora, room rates from $US775 a person a night include visa processing, all meals, house beverages, laundry, private transport with a driver and guide and a 60-minute massage. The Bhutanese government imposes a 20 per cent tax and service charge; FIT surcharge of $US30 plus royalties fee of $US65 a person a day, a Sustainable Tourism Fund charge of $US10 and a one-time visa application fee of $US20, which will be added to your bill. More: amanresorts.com.