Amankora Paro is one of a series of lodges set throughout Bhutan's central and western valleys. The lodge offers spacious suite accommodation in Balakha village just half an hour from Paro international airport. The architecture combines contemporary touches with rustic charm.
The suites have a combined lounge and bedroom with a king-size bed, reading chair and window seat. In one corner is the traditional bukhari, a wood-burning stove that provides ample heat. The large bathroom has a bathtub, separate shower, twin hand basins and flush toilet.
The lodge is built around a central flagstone courtyard and the large stone pavilion houses the living room, dining room and library. These all have open fireplaces. The living room has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to a forest of pine trees, the magnificent 17th century Drukyel Dzong and Mount Jhomolhari. The library is stocked with a range of books on Buddhism, local lore, textiles and the Himalayas. There is free internet access. The small boutique offers local handicrafts, textiles and clothing. Below the living room is the dining room which opens onto an outdoor terrace overlooking a small stream. Meals are taken round communal tables in a convivial atmosphere. The dining room is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers Indian, Western and Bhutanese dishes.
Behind the main buildings is the Spa, set on 2 levels. It incorporates a sauna, steam room and yoga suite on the upper level, with 5 treatment rooms, each with a shower and outdoor hot stone bath, on the lower level.
There are many trekking options for guests in the Paro Valley, which has a number of monasteries and monuments to explore. The most impressive of these is Taktsang, or Tiger's Nest monastery, which is about a 4 hour trek from the lodge. Horses and mules are used to carry most of the baggage and equipment. There are over 155 temples and monasteries in the area, some dating as far back as the 14th century and Paro itself has a number of interesting places to visit including Ta Dzong.
Photos courtesy of Amankora Paro
Open: Amankora Paro is open all year.
Location: Amankora Paro is located in Balakha village surrounded by pine forests just a 30 minute drive from Paro airport, the entry point for most journeys in Bhutan. It is at an elevation of 2,250 metres.
Rooms: There are 24 suites, all with a combined lounge and bedroom plus a large bathroom. Suites also feature a wood-burning stove, perfect for cooler days.
Activities: Guests can do a variety of treks in the Paro Valley, which has a number of monasteries and monuments including the impressive 8th century Taktsang or Tiger's Nest Monastery, a 4-hour hike from the lodge. Paro town has a museum and interesting architecture and temples.
Facilities: The lodge has a living room with large picture windows, a library with a range of reference books and internet access and a boutique. There is a dining room with an attached terrace. The spa offers a range of treatments (pay locally) and includes a sauna, steam room and yoga studio.
Dining: Meals are taken at communal tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: We recommend malarial prophylactics for travel to the low lying districts of southern Bhutan only.
Communication: There is internet access via a laptop in the library.