Travel + Leisure
May 04, 2009

Unlike the backpacker digs in nearby Nepal, Bhutan's guest-houses have always made trekking comfortable. With the arrival of the kingdom's first luxury hotels, the activity here is becoming downright decadent. In July, Como Hotels & Resorts unveils Uma Paro (44-207/447-1029; www.comohotels.co.uk; doubles $1,860 for three days, all-inclusive). The 29-room resort blends indigenous pieces with modern amenities. Bhutanese carvings and wood-burning stoves share space with DVD players and Internet hookups—which were introduced to the country just four years ago. Amanresorts' Amanrila (800/477-9180 or 65/6887-3337; www.amanresorts.com; doubles from $6,000 a week, all-inclusive) lures hikers back from high Himalayan passes to heavenly rustic rooms with rammed-earth walls and terrazzo baths. The spa, set in an ancient pine forest, offers treatments using local herbs and body scrubs given with yak-hair mittens.
—Jennifer V. Cole

Amanrila

This venue is closed.

Uma by COMO

Eastern Bhutan, with its pristine landscapes and well-preserved Buddhist temples, has had little in the way of stylish retreats. Enter the newest offering by Como hotels in the untouched Punakha Valley. The sleek sister property to western Bhutan’s Uma by Como, Paro is a welcome haven between long treks through the Himalayas: nine guest rooms designed by Malaysian-born Cheong Yew Kuan (also behind the Como Shambhala Estate, in Bali) are clad in native blue pine, while floor-to-ceiling windows overlook rolling green hills. A breakfast of ginger-and-lime muffins with house-made watermelon jam fortified us for a trip to Punakha Dzong Monastery—one of the country’s most important sites—just a 25-minute hike away along the valley’s lush rim.

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