July 14 2011
Tourism to Bhutan is flourishing: my recent attempt to book on Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline, proved surprisingly tricky, and I wasn’t even trying for October, when the young king weds his university-student fiancée. With increased demand comes talk of a competitive airline, Tashi Air, and a new airport, Bumthang, opening any day now in the country’s eastern reaches; and, of course, new places to stay.
In early 2012, COMO Hotels and Resorts (www.como.bz) will debut an 11-bedroom lodge – a mini-version of existing hotel Uma Paro, complete with a small COMO Shambhala spa – overlooking the Punakha Valley. For itineraries into this emerging country, try US-based Remote Lands (www.remotelands.com; from $800 per day).
Pictured: the 17th-century Takstang monastery near Paro is one of the sights covered by Remote Lands itineraries.