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Amankora

Paro, Bhutan

To this astonishing effect, Amankora has created a series of lodges, all creatively unique and sympathetically balanced to their environment, in order to discover and comprehend the extraordinary wonders above and beneath this treasured land. To best experience all that Bhutan has to offer, Amankora can tailor journeys that include a combination of its lodges located in the valleys of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang. The lodge in Paro is nestled among glistening conifers in a 24-suite pine forest retreat. Amankora Punakha is set in sparkling verdancy east of the Dochu La Pass. Amankora Gangtey, set in the remote wilderness of the Phobjikha valley, proffers magical views across the bird-strewn gorge and to the empowering 16th century monastery. Amankora Bumthang rests adjacent to First and Second King’s palace within the town of Jakar in the valley sprinkled with an exotic mix of sloping pine forests, apple orchards, and restful fields of farm produce.

Location

Amankora is a series of lodges spread across the central and western valleys of Bhutan, between the Tibetan Plateau and India, making it one of the most remote and pristine environments on earth.

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Recreation 

Incorporating Bhutan’s traditional plant and herb-based therapies into each of the spa menus, the Amankora Spa deepens guests’ direct experience and appreciation of Bhutan’s unique natural and cultural resources. The scent of the Spa is cedar wood, which is used as temple incense by the Tibetans and is employed in Bhutan’s traditional medical remedies for respiratory, skin and arthritic conditions, and as a circulatory stimulant and relaxant. At Amankora Paro, commence with a hot stone bath in a tub filled with local herbs, followed by traditional therapies and remedies to overcome the effects of jet-lag or ease muscles after a day’s expedition. The Spa at Amankora Punakha emphasizes on the spiritual path towards healing, with meditation and Reiki treatments. In Amankora Gangtey, spa treatments focus on relieving tensions from the drive by concentrating on joint flexibility and re-hydration through herbs and hot oil. The Spa in Amankora Thimphu offers royal Bhutanese treatments using local herbs, given the close proximity of the Royal Palace.

From traditional bamboo bows to advanced Olympic compound bows, archery is Bhutan’s national sport. Tutors in the art of archery are available as is practice with a traditional bow.

Bhutan’s rivers are teeming with trout in large part because fish is not a traditional part of the Bhutanese diet. Originally introduced to Bhutan by an officer of the British military, a day spent in the river valleys wetting the lines offers anglers an opportunity to enjoy the pristine surroundings while enticing their wily quarries. Equipment, guides and licenses can be arranged with advance notice.

Bhutan’s 9-hole golf course is located in the heart of Thimphu, 2800m above sea level, with a majestic backdrop of the capital’s administrative Tashichoe Dzong. Tee times can be arranged by Amankora.

From September until May white-water rafting is possible in the Punakha Valley. During the earlier part of the season, trips provide an exhilarating ride through the deep river valleys. Later on in the season, the pace is more leisurely with an opportunity to admire the passing wildlife, farms, small villages and occasional dzong.

Trekking in Bhutan is unlike anywhere else in the Himalayas. Whether taking an easy flat stroll or an arduous hike, guests will experience crystal clear air and views that defy description. All parties are accompanied by a trained guide, a cook, an assistant, and at least one horseman. Trekkers rarely have to carry more than a daypack as horses and yaks carry all provisions and most of the guest’s belongings. When hikers reach camp, they will find a dining tent packed with delicious tea and food. Those who are not acclimatized or suffer altitude sickness are advised not to trek.

Dining 

The main restaurant with the Executive Chef Warren Burns offers local, European, Chinese and Indian cuisines. The spring-looking terrace is designed in the local style – long commune tables and dark-wood paneling depicting important historical events.

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