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Amankora Paro, Aman Resorts’ first venture into Bhutan, is a 30-minute drive from the kingdom's only international airport and is the largest of the five Aman lodges, sitting in a pine forest nearly 9,000ft above sea level.
The design is all about rammed earth walls, gently sloping roofs and wood panelled interiors and the 24 suites (no mere rooms here) are extremely comfortable, with fine views and bukharis (wood-burning stoves) to keep them cosy in the winter months.
A large stone clad pavilion houses a glass-walled living room with views over a pine forest and 17th century dzong (fortress monastery); a library containing many excellent books on Buddhism and Bhutanese culture; a small boutique selling local handicrafts and finally a dining room with a small outdoor terrace where Indian, European and Bhutanese speciality dishes are served. All the guests eat together at a communal table room, as at Amankora Gangtey.
Set behind the main buildings is a spa with four treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and glass-walled yoga studio. More active endeavours include trekking locally or to the spectacular Tiger's Nest monastery, mountain biking or trying your hand at archery at Jakarthang.
Paro Valley is believed to be one of the first valleys to have welcomed Buddhism to the eastern Himalayas and Amakora Paro is likely to be your first port of call on arriving into Bhutan. The five Aman lodges can be visited individually or together on a circular route through some of the country's most spectacular scenery. Please ask for more details.
The glass-fronted living room is a lovely place to sit and contemplate Jhomolhari, 22,000ft of sacred mountain that has only been successfully climbed six times.
Frances, Original Traveller