Rediscovering Bhutan:New Perspectives on The Last Buddhist Kingdom
Amankora reveals the heart of Bhutan with ever rarer and more awe-inspiring cultural experiences for 2023. Well-suited to those embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, Amankora continues to tell the story of the Kingdom of Bhutan through unique, culturally enriching experiences across its five intimate lodges.
New for 2023, several experiences reveal the very best of the Kingdom’s rugged Himalayan landscapes, discovering the once forgotten ramparts of its central and western valleys. Built in 1638 on a cliff at the confluence of two rivers, the defense fortress of Wangdue Dzong has finally been restored. A key experience until 2012, when an accidental flame sustained significant damage, the magnificent Wangdue Dzong is ready to welcome visitors once again to its grounds after a decade of rebuilding and careful restoration.
Another piece of history restored; the Trans Bhutan Trail provides Amankora with further opportunity to discover the pristine nature that surrounds. Dating back to the 16th century, the 402-kilometre-long trading and pilgrimage route was abandoned in the 1960s following the construction of Bhutan’s first major roads. After 60 years, the trail has been reestablished, allowing the Bhutanese to walk in the steps of their ancestors, and those staying with Amankora to follow the ancient path with curated daily hikes and multi-day experiences, paired with stays in all the five lodges.
Thimphu – Secrets of ancient incense and the arts
Situated in the forested Thimphu Valley, home to Bhutan’s capital city, Amankora Thimphu is a 16-suite lodge tucked into the pine-scented woods of the Motithang area. Ideally placed for exploring Thimphu’s museums, traditional shops, and numerous cultural sites, it also serves as a quiet retreat, completely removed from the city’s activities.
Paro – Private dining in nature
Sheltered within a blue-pine forest of glistening conifers, 24-suite Amankora Paro lies beneath the ruins of the 17th-century Drukyel Dzong (fortress-monastery), a 30-minute drive from Bhutan’s international airport. As with each Amankora lodge, it offers elegant dining and living rooms with panoramic views, an intimate spa, and expansive outdoor areas for relaxing in the sun or beneath the stars. Overlooking snow-capped Jhomolhari, each suite features its own bukhari, a wood-burning stove.
Punakha – Unveiling gastronomic traditions
Amankora Punakha lies east of the dramatic Dochu La Pass and just north of the resplendent Punakha Dzong that dominates the confluence of the Mo Chhu and Po Chhu rivers. Surrounded by rice paddies and fruit plantations, the lodge occupies a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse with twelve guest suites set in an orange orchard near the 30-metre infinity swimming pool.