A magical lodge in Bhutan

Contemporary yet warm spaces, sublime food, refined service and staggering surroundings lend Amankora Punakha Lodge a surfeit of soul

A restored farmhouse is at the heart of Amankora Punakha Lodge in Bhutan
A restored farmhouse is at the heart of Amankora Punakha Lodge in Bhutan

Bhutan is on the cusp of change: ever-more inward investment, ever-more luxury development. So get to Amankora Punakha Lodge (aman.com; from $1,482, including meals, house drinks and activities) fast. To reach the lodge, you walk across a bridge and up a path through forest, the overwhelming sensory impression the rushing of water – possibly the best arrival I’ve had. The suites are architect Kerry Hill at his finest: rigorous contemporary spaces, spared from austerity by layers of warm wood and elegant stone, gathered beside a modest old restored farmhouse that’s the heart of the lodge. The food is sublime (this is Aman we’re talking about), the service refined to the point of prescience (see Aman). But the magic is about something more – a sort of reverent simplicity that amplifies the staggering surroundings. There is both a surfeit of soul to the place and the feeling of a reprieve from time.

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