Bhutan to reopen borders
Bhutan will reopen its borders to international travellers from 23 September 2022, allowing Amankora’s five lodges to once again offer unparalleled journeys of discovery through this mystical Himalayan Kingdom.
As the first international hotel company to be granted permission to operate in Bhutan in 2004, Amankora has been welcoming guests for almost two decades. A pioneer of enriching experiences, with unrivalled insight and knowledge of the Kingdom, there is no better place to ensure the pilgrimage of a lifetime than Amankora.
With incredible foresight, the DeSuung ‘Guardians of Peace’ programme was initiated by His Majesty the King in 2011 to encourage and empower every citizen in the Kingdom of Bhutan to play their role in nation building, enhance the spirit of volunteerism and undertake charitable work. Through this programme, 68 Amankora staff members have trained as volunteers so far.
While borders were closed, Amankora’s DeSuung graduates assisted in rebuilding the Wangdue Dzong temple and fortress in Punakha; arranged regular clean-ups of forested areas; hoisted new prayer flags in sacred sites in Thimphu; and made regular deliveries of food and essentials to the monks and caretakers of the legendary Tiger’s Nest on the mountainside near Paro. They also looked to the future, planting small orchards of fruit trees at each of the five lodges on auspicious days.
As Bhutan reopens, Amankora celebrates its readiness to share this extraordinary destination with Aman guests through new personalised ‘koras’ – circular journeys – completely aligned with the Kingdom’s renewed focus on sustainability.
A country of less than a million people, Bhutan has always carefully limited the number of travellers across its borders. With its customary prescience, the Kingdom has stepped back onto the world’s stage with new measures to protect its natural and cultural heritage and to enhance the tourist experience. An increased daily Sustainable Development Fee will promote carbon-neutral tourism and upskill workers in the sector, preserving and increasing Bhutan’s allure as an ever more rarefied, sought-after travel destination.
Five lodges for four seasons
Sensitively integrated into their surroundings as if they were always there, Amankora’s lodges, spread across five valleys, offer an insight into Bhutanese daily life.
The oldest of Aman’s five lodges, Amankora Paro was the first international hotel to open in Bhutan and – along with the four lodges that followed – has pursued an enduring commitment to the surrounding communities in the years since. Mountain streams run through the 24-suite hideaway in Balakha Village, just half an hour from the international airport.
Resting on a forested knoll where rare, black-necked cranes make their winter home, eight-suite Amankora Gangtey claims timeless views of the valley and its famous monastery, while Amankora Punakha, once home to the chief abbot of Bhutan, overlooks Mo Chhu, the Mother River, with 12-suites. Dzong-inspired Amankora Thimphu comprises 16 suites perched on a hilltop within the capital, and 16-suite Amankora Bumthang rests adjacent to the Wandichholing Palace in the fertile Choekhor Valley.
Our carefully curated journeys present the perfect opportunity for guests to rediscover the natural beauty of the last Himalayan kingdom.