A beautiful and luxurious property set in the pine forest above the rapidly growing town of Thimpu.
For those who believe in heaven on earth, need search no further. It comes in the form of Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Living in heaven is probably close to staying in Amankora Thimphu, a 16-suite luxury complex set in a blue pine forest at the end of the Thimphu valley, deep in the Himalayas.
The Amankora lodge is located in the hills outside of town overlooking a stream and close to nature. It is like taking your luxuries in a rucksack into the forest or out into the wilderness. There is a feel of openness and the earthy touch with the wind and rain. Even when you are asleep in your room, the only thing that stands between you and nature are the large glass window panes.
Look The lodge has a Dzong-like architecture and a feeling of calm and serenity descends as soon as you enter the Amankora. The reason lies in its design, inspired by the century old style and natural colours. The inside of the walls are wood panelled, the fabric is handmade and the wooden floors shine like a ship’s deck. What is modern is not ostentatious, but items of necessity to which the guests are accustomed.
Stay My room is large with large glass windows opening to the panoramic views outside. Incidentally all rooms are similar. The bathroom is open plan separated from my bed by only a wooden stove that burns the pine wood thrown in. The room is hot and the glass panes misty as I soak myself in the bathtub with a glass of red. It’s heaven like, but then, I always believed that heaven is on earth.
I like the Amankora concept to stay small and luxurious. For those in business will know how hard it is to keep focus on a niche and still make money. But this is what Amankora is good at; creating lodges with small number of rooms but creatively unique and sympathetically balanced to their environment.
Dine Luxury comes in many forms and in Amankora it comes in the form of service. Everything from laundry to beverages is included. You eat what you like, not what is given to you. Every meal is tailored by the chef to your taste. There are about 6 staff to every guest. The driver, guide and car is included and first class. Your bed is made every time your leave the room, your shoes are cleaned every day and there are people to meet your need everywhere you go. This is Asian hospitality and Amankora has perfected it to ensure that when you stay there, you sincerely begin to believe that there is indeed a heaven on earth.
Relax As Thimphu is an active place and the site of much socialising, the focus of spa treatments is to provide a peaceful haven where addition of a little glamour through herbal applications leaves guests feeling pampered, beautiful and regal. You are not only in close proximity of the Royal Palace but you also experience the royal Bhutanese treatments.
Flights to Bhutan are either from Bangkok or New Delhi. You will need to buy a return ticket before you can apply for a visa. Bangkok is the best place to connect if you are coming from North America, Australia or Asia. Delhi is the best place to connect if you are coming from Europe, Middle East or UK. You can also fly to Bhutan from Kathmandu.
We will arrange your flight tickets and visa clearance details and forward them to the Druk office at which the flight originates. All flights arrive at Paro from where it takes about 1-hour drive to Thimphu. Transfers within Bhutan can be arranged by AwimAway with an English speaking guide. Our representative will meet you at the Paro airport and transfer you to the hotel (additional cost).
Thimphu Aman Villa Suites combine a bedroom and lounge, and feature a king-size bed, a reading chair and a window banquette. This provides views across a landscaped courtyard, or of the stream and pine forest. A traditional bukhari is positioned between the bedroom and the bathroom. The suite’s interior features wood panelling and chocolate brown walls. The spacious bathroom opens from the bedroom and provides twin vanities, separate shower and toilet, hanging space and a terrazzo-clad bath. Size: 52 sqm
Taxes and fees:
Check in & Check out
Experiences Archery: Almost every village has archery competition. Ask the concierge at your hotel and they will organise an archery lesson or allow you to participate in the local competition. You may have to wear the ‘Gho’, the traditional kilt like dress, dance and cheer like the locals.
Golf: The Royal Thimphu Golf Club is the only golf club in Bhutan. This nine-hole course is beautifully situated above Trashi Chho Dzong.
Other Activities: Ask your hotel concierge to arrange any of the following activities: fishing, golf, white-water rafting and trekking.
What to see History & Architecture
Trashi Chho Dzong: The largest and the most impressive dzong in Thimphu. It houses His Majesty’s Secretariat and is equivalent to visiting a Parliament house in the west.
Semtokha Dzong: one of the oldest dzongs in the valley that dates back to 1627. If you are not travelling further east, then this dzong will be good place to visit if you like to understand the historical art and religion.
Art & Handicrafts
VAST: Voluntary Artist Studio of Thimphu (VAST) is a group of voluntary artists. Their objective is to use Bhutanese artistic values to create both traditional and contemporary works. The studio is hidden away in the not-so-impressive buildings of Chang Lam.
Textile Museum: Bhutan is famous for its handmade textile, its designs and colours. To know the living national art of weaving visit the Textile Museum which houses material on sale from the best weaving centres as far as Lhuentse, in the east.
Folk Museum: This restored three-storey museum provides a glimpse into traditional Bhutanese life. It houses designs and implements of the rural Bhutanese life some of which are still used today.
Royal Academy of Performing Arts: Home of the Royal Dance Troupe. It provides formal training for masked dancers and also works to preserve Bhutan’s folk-dancing heritage. With advance notice they will provide a one-hour performance for visitors.
Culture Weekend Market: one of the best places to see and meet the locals is the weekend market that starts Friday until Sunday. I just like to see fresh vegetables in such markets. They are so different to look at and in taste then what we get in the supermarkets. More importantly, you will see people from all walks of life and how they go about their business.
When to go Winter in Bhutan is from mid-November till mid-March, and at this time of the year the climate is dry and sunny for the most part, temperatures peaking at around 15c. in the daytime and falling below zero at night.
The best time to go is in the spring (March, April and May), when the wild rhododendrons are in bloom, in the valley and all along the roads. The scenery is unimaginably beautiful and it is a great time for trekking in the Himalayas.
By the middle of June, clouds begin to build up for the monsoon that arrives in July. By mid-September the monsoon clouds have all but dried and the skies begin to clear. The two-month window between October and November offers clear skies but it can be cold in the night. It is also a good time for trekking deep into the Himalayas, sitting around a camp fire and seeing the high Himalayas in the morning and evening golden light.
Tipping Hotel and restaurant bills include service charges amounting to 20%. There is no need to add anything further to this. Tipping of your guide, driver and trek crew is a purely personal matter. The bottom line in determining whether or how much to tip is to ask yourself how much our representatives did to make your Bhutan travel experience more enjoyable.
Visa & Health British nationals require visa and this is generally arranged by our country agent in Bhutan. Individuals who are travelling to Bhutan from an endemic area will require yellow fever certificate. We recommend that you contact your doctor to check for any inoculations required.