Photo: Amankora

Photo: Amankora

Amankora

Thimphu, Bhutan

Bespoke journeys forge Bhutan’s deep valleys and wild mountain passes, stopping at five eco-centric lodges along the way

Vibe: Secluded

Style: Eclectic

Who for: The Adventurer, The Cognoscenti, The Zen Seeker

The Destination:

Remote and fiercely protected from mass tourism, Bhutan tops many intrepid traveler’s dream list. Amankora lets you to experience all of it. The resort – whose name combines the Sanskrit word for “peace” and the Dzongha word for “circular pilgrimage,” is actually a collection of luxury lodges scattered across the Buddhist kingdom’s central and western valleys. Amankora arranges custom journeys that are culturally immersive and spiritually transformative. Receive a blessing and light a yak-butter candle in the secluded Wangditse Lhakhang temple to start your pilgrimage, resting comfortably as you pass through the valleys of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang.

Your Ideal Day:

The type of trip you plan depends on how you want to see the country. If it’s in full-on air-conditioned comfort, visit the 16th century monastic astrology training school in Pangri Zampa or glimpse the migratory black cranes in Gangtey from the back of a chauffeured SUV. Or dedicate yourself to a trek, walking with yak herders across alpine trails past dozens of monasteries. At the end of the day, treat yourself to an ancient Tibetan Ku Nye massage in a spa scented with cedarwood.

The Details:

·       Suites have their own bukhari, a traditional wood-burning stove

·       Each spa is uniquely designed, incorporating the region’s traditional plant- and herb-based therapies into signature treatments ranging from Zen massage to reflexology

·       Amankora Paro’s understated dining rooms serve a combination of Bhutanese, Indian and Western dishes on dark wood communal tables

·       Tutors are available to teach the art of archery, the country’s national sport

·       From Amankora Paro, a hike to the iconic 8th century Tiger’s Nest monastery is four hours long

·       Named to Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List – Best Location, Asia