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Amankora is a series of five luxury lodges spread across the central and western valleys of Bhutan, the Himalayas’ last Buddhist Kingdom. Each lodge offers a unique and immersive experience of this pristine and culturally rich destination, with stunning views, elegant architecture, bespoke service and exquisite cuisine. Guests at Amankora Punakha Lodge can embark on personalised journeys that combine stays at different lodges, with a variety of activities and adventures to explore Bhutan’s natural beauty and spiritual heritage.
Amankora is committed to sustainability and social responsibility, respecting Bhutan’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness and its environmental conservation policies. The lodges are designed to blend harmoniously with their surroundings, using local materials and craftsmanship. The lodges also support local communities, by employing and training local staff, sourcing local produce and products, and contributing to local projects and charities. Amankora also offers guests opportunities to learn about and participate in Bhutan’s culture and traditions, such as meditation, prayer flag hoisting, archery and festivals.
Some of the specific sustainability initiatives that Amankora undertakes are:
Using renewable energy sources such as hydropower, solar panels and bioenergy for the lodges’ electricity and hot water
Installing reverse osmosis and four-step filtration systems to provide clean drinking water in refillable glass bottles, eliminating plastic bottles
Growing organic herbs, vegetables and fruits in the lodges’ own gardens or sourcing them from local farmers
Composting food waste and using it as fertilizer for the gardens
Recycling paper, plastic, glass, metal and cardboard
Using biodegradable packaging and cleaning products
Supporting the restoration of historic sites such as Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, a 17th-century fortress that was damaged by fire in 2012
Planting trees to mark special occasions or offset carbon emissions
Amankora’s lodges are set in different valleys across Bhutan, each with its own distinctive character and landscape. The lodges are designed to blend in with their natural surroundings, using local materials and craftsmanship. The lodges offer stunning views of the mountains, forests, rivers or fields, depending on their location. The lodges are also close to some of Bhutan’s most important cultural and historical sites, such as monasteries, temples, fortresses and festivals. The lodges are:
Paro lodge: nestled among thick pine trees, near the Paro airport and the famous Tiger’s Nest monastery
Thimphu lodge: set in the upper reaches of the Motithang area, near the capital’s shops and sights
Punakha lodge: reached by crossing a suspension bridge over the Mo Chhu river, incorporating a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse
Gangtey lodge: set on a forested knoll in the little-visited Phobjikha valley, with scenic views of the 16th-century Gangtey Goemba monastery
Bumthang lodge: adjacent to the Wandichholing Palace, within the town of Jakar in the Choekhor valley
The rooms at Amankora are spacious and serene, featuring king-size beds, wood-panelled walls, traditional wood-burning stoves, terrazzo-clad bathtubs, rain showers and floor-to-ceiling windows. The rooms are decorated with Bhutanese textiles and artefacts, creating a warm and authentic atmosphere. Each room has a private courtyard or balcony with views of the mountains, valleys or forests. The rooms are equipped with modern amenities, such as Wi-Fi, Bose sound systems, minibars and safes.
Food and drink
Each lodge has its own restaurant and bar, serving dishes inspired by Bhutanese and international cuisines. The menus change daily, depending on the availability of fresh ingredients from the lodge’s own organic gardens or local markets. The dishes are prepared with care and creativity, using herbs, spices and sauces that reflect Bhutan’s culinary diversity. The restaurants have cosy dining rooms with fireplaces, as well as outdoor terraces with panoramic views. The bars offer a selection of wines, spirits, cocktails and teas, as well as snacks and light meals.
Things to do
Amankora offers a range of activities for guests to enjoy, both within the lodges and beyond. Each lodge has its own spa, offering massages, facials, body treatments and wellness programs using natural products and holistic techniques. Each lodge also has a library, a boutique and a meditation room. Guests can also take part in yoga, pilates, tai chi and guided meditation sessions at the lodges or in nature. Outside the lodges, guests can explore Bhutan’s stunning landscapes and cultural sites, such as hiking to the Tiger’s Nest monastery in Paro valley, rafting on the Mo Chhu river in Punakha valley, visiting the Gangtey Goemba monastery in Gangtey valley or attending a festival in Bumthang valley. Amankora can arrange private guides, drivers and vehicles for guests to discover Bhutan at their own pace.
Bhutan is a landlocked country in the eastern Himalayas, bordered by China to the north and India to the south. It is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with diverse ecosystems ranging from alpine mountains to subtropical forests. It is also one of the most culturally rich countries in the world, with a strong Buddhist identity and a vibrant heritage of art, architecture, music and literature. Bhutan is known for its philosophy of Gross National Happiness, which measures the well-being of its people based on four pillars: sustainable development, environmental conservation, cultural preservation and good governance.
Amankora welcomes children of all ages, but does not have specific facilities or programs for them. The lodges can provide extra beds or cots for children sharing rooms with parents. The restaurants can also cater for children’s dietary preferences or allergies. Children can enjoy some of the activities offered by Amankora or by external operators, such as hiking, biking, rafting or visiting monasteries or museums. However, some activities may have age restrictions or require parental supervision.
Amankora’s five lodges are located in different valleys across Bhutan; Paro lodge is the closest to Paro International Airport (PBH), which is about 20 minutes by car. Paro airport is connected to several cities in India (such as Delhi or Kolkata), Nepal (Kathmandu), Thailand (Bangkok) or Singapore by Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines. Amankora can arrange transfers to and from the airport, as well as between the lodges. Guests can also rent cars or bikes at the airport or at the lodges. The roads in Bhutan are winding and sometimes unpaved, so driving can be challenging and time-consuming. The distances between the lodges vary from one to five hours by car. Alternatively, guests can opt for helicopter transfers between the lodges or to other destinations in Bhutan, subject to availability and weather conditions.
- Actively reduces consumption
- Sustainable build
- Solar powered or renewable energy
- Employs local people
- Promotes local businesses
- Funds projects
- Local or organic food
- Preservation of cultural heritage
- Respect for culture
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