Amankora Punakha

Punakha, Bhutan

Amankora Punakha

Punakha, Bhutan

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Setting: Virtuoso,


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Accessed by crossing a suspension bridge over the Mo Chhu, the lodge is centred by a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse built by a former Je Kempo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). This quaint, three-storey structure with its preserved vegetable dye wall paintings is now a reception area with a Dining Room, traditional Altar Room, a courtyard for alfresco dining and a tea pavilion. Just beyond is the Spa with two treatment rooms, a steam room, changing areas and a yoga/meditation room. Eight suites, located in three rammed-earth dwellings, are situated in an orange orchard with views across the rice fields and up the Punakha Valley. The suites are identical to the design of the suites at Amankora Paro and feature wood-panelled interiors, a traditional bukhari, king-size bed, terrazzo-clad bath, shower, vanities and daybed. Suites are individually heated during the cooler winter months and air-conditioned in the summer months.

At an elevation of 1,300m, Punakha is one of the lowest lying valleys in the Kingdom. With its temperate climate, this valley is the market garden of the country, where produce grows year round and many Bhutanese reside during the colder winter months. One of the highlights of Punakha, Bhutan’s winter capital for 300 years until Thimphu became the official capital in the 1950s, is visiting the Punakha Dzong, which straddles the confluence of the Mother (Mo) and Father (Pho) rivers like an ancient ship stranded by the tide. Twenty-one temples are contained within the area of the dzong’s third courtyard, the largest of which is the monks’ hundred-pillared Great Assembly Hall. Beyond the pre-eminence of the dzong, the Chimi Lhakhang built late in the 15th century is a must see to take in the history of this auspicious worship house and its ritual phalluses.

Closer to the lodge, a beautiful morning hike takes one to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten which dominates the upper Punakha Valley with views across the Mo Chhu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.

The Spa at Amankora Punakha emphasises on the spiritual path towards healing, with meditation and Reiki treatments. While the word is Japanese, the chakra system Indian and the therapists Bhutanese, the healing energy that flows through this treatment is universal. Additional healing with a range of massage therapies are also offered.