The Amankora Punkaha is built around a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse and offers fantastic views and the chance to be in tranquil isolation with stunning scenery. For this reason, it is our favourite Amankora property in Bhutan.
Probably one of the most breath taking arrivals you will reach the property via the famous Mo Chuu which is adorned with brightly colourful prayer flags.
Take time at the property to wind down. There is plenty of opportunity to do so in the two-storey spa which also includes a meditation room to help find that inner zen.
You will eat well here as Punakha as this is where all of the fruit and vegetables are grown due the sub-tropical valley. The chef can even show you a thing or two on a tour to the local market and a cooking class back at the lodge.
Although all rooms have features like a traditional wood-burning stove and large window seats we suggest one of the Mo Chhu Suites which have a large living area to rest and reflect in.
Situated a short drive north of the grand Punakha Dzong and Puntsho Pelri Palace (winter residence of His Majesty The King), Amankora Punakha is accessed via a suspension bridge over the river Mo Chhu.
A short drive or walk takes guests to the lodge compound which is centred around a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse built as a residence by Her Majesty the Queen Mother to oversee the surrounding rice fields and fruit plantations. This grand structure, with its vegetable dye wall paintings, is now the combined common guest area of the lodge with the dining room situated on the ground floor and the upper floors offering intimate relaxation areas and a traditional altar room for prayers or meditation. The courtyard of the farmhouse is arranged for outdoor dining and relaxing in Punakha’s temperate climate. Adjacent to the courtyard is the Tea Pavilion which was once the kitchen of the summer palace. Beyond this is a newly built two-storey Spa building housing a yoga/meditation room which provides open views of the surrounding paddy fields and on its lower level encompasses two private treatment rooms, a steam room and changing area. Alongside this, there is a beautiful infinity pool offering panoramic views of the surrounding rice paddy fields.
Eight suites, located in three rammed-earth buildings, are situated in an orange orchard with views across the rice fields and back up the Punakha Valley. The suites are identical to the design of the suites at Amankora, Paro, featuring wood panelled interiors, a traditional bukhari, king size bed, terrazzo-clad bath, shower and vanities, and day bed. Suites are individually heated during the cooler winter months and air-conditioned in the summer months.
When to visit
If you can only do one Amankora Hotel in Bhutan, choose Punakha. It does get booked up well is advance so do consider planning your trip to Bhutan plenty of time in advance.
Plan your tripPlan your trip
Situated a short drive north of the grand Punakha Dzong and Phuntsho Pelri Palace (summer residence of His Majesty The King), Amankora Punakha is accessed via a suspension bridge over the river Mo Chhu.
11-hour 30-minuter international flight (one change) to Paro Airport. Amankora Punakha is a 5-hour drive from the airport.
A visit to Chimmi Lhakhang
The Chimmi Lhakhang Temple is a temple of fertility dedicated to the Buddhist saint known as the Divine Madman. A short walk through paddy fields takes you to the temple and is popular with Bhutanese families wanting to start a family.
Cycling up the Pho Chhu River
Take a morning cycling up the beautiful Pho Chhu River, famous for the White-Bellied Heron and dramatic scenery. Take a walk into the local village for a spot of tea before having a lovely picnic lunch overlooking the river before returning to Punakha.
Day in Punakha
In the morning head to Khasum Yuley Namgay Chorten before walking down to Punakha Dzong. In the afternoon take a walk across the rice paddies to Chimmi Lhakhang, the fertility temple.
Dochu La Pass
At an altitude of 3,100 metres, The Dochula Pass is a high mountain pass known for its 108 distinctive memorial stupas and breathtaking panoramic views over the Himalayas.
Dressing up in traditional Bhutanese dress
Anyone who works in Bhutan must wear traditional national dress, and you can have the chance to dress up for a few hours to see how it feels. The Bhutanese absolute love visitors doing it!
Evening Prayers at a Buddhist Monastery
Evening prayers at a Buddhist Monastery is something you should do at least once on a tour of Bhutan. You will witness monks chanting traditional prayers, helping them prepare for meditation.
Enjoy an excursion into one of the Bhutanese rivers and try your hand at fly-fishing.
Hilltop Nunnery Visit
This evening visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhendrup Lhakhang Nunnery which is home to a higher learning and meditation centre for nuns, as well as being home to some of the most impressive statues in Bhutan.
Nalanda Buddhist College and Nobgang Walk
This fantastic experience combines the Sangchen Nunnery, the Nalanda Buddhist College and the Nobgang Village walk which takes you from the high hills above Punakha and winds gently down to the Punakha Dzong - you approach it almost vertically!
Punakha Drubchen Festival
Held annually on February in Punakha, local militias dress up as Bhutanese warriors in this festival to re-enact the famous battle between Bhutan and Tibet.
Punakha Weekend Markets
Khuruthang Saturday Vegetable Market is located in the small town next to the Punakha Dzong. On Sundays, you can visit the Wangdue Market, about a 30-minute drive away. Wander around the stalls, selling local fruit and vegetables.
Tea with a local family
Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.
The Butterfly Trail & Rafting in Punakha
Take the Butterfly Trail which is a one hour trek through local villages and paddy fields, stopping for tea in a local home before hiking to the Khamsum Yulley Chorten and then rafting back to the main Dzong of Punakha.
Try your hand at Archery
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen played throughout the Kingdom. Traditional bows are made from bamboo and witnessing an archery competition is an absolute highlight. We can easily arrange for you to have a go should you wish.
White Water Rafting
Enjoy the thrilling white water rafting down Mo Chhu.