Thimphu, Bhutan

Amankora Thimphu Lodge

Rates per night from$1,550.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD1,550.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Spirit in the sky

Setting

Himalayan hideout

Amankora Thimphu Lodge is a Himalayan forest escape above Bhutan’s sleepy capital, offering a cedar-scented Aman spa and stacks of spirit-lifting activities. De-stress with yoga at daybreak, go all Game of Thrones with traditional archery, or take a picnic to a Buddhist monastery in the hills – and cap each uplifting day with a candle-lit soak by the bukhari wood stove in your suite. The intimate, wood-panelled restaurant whips up Thai broths and seasonal Western classics alongside signature drinks, all included in your stay.

Smith Extra

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A 60-minute massage at one of Amankora's lodges

Facilities

Photos Amankora Thimphu Lodge facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Sixteen suites.

Check–Out

Noon, check-in 2pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $1550.00, excluding tax at 20 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of $60.00 per room per night prior to arrival and an additional government tax of $65.00 per person per night prior to arrival.

More details

Rates include à la carte meals and picnics, selected drinks and laundry service.

Also

A quick lesson in Amanglish: the name is a combination of ‘aman’, the Sanskrit word for peace, and ‘kora’ which is a circular journey in the Bhutanese language, Dzongkha.

At the hotel

Spa, free Wi-Fi. In rooms: wood-burning stove, air-conditioning, TV (on request), free bottled water, Kama Ayurveda bath products.

Our favourite rooms

All the suites are kitted out to the same (impeccably high) standard, with a bukhari wood-burner and candle-lined bath tub. Ask for one on the upper floor for the best game of “I spy something beginning with F(orest)”.

Spa

No trip to an Aman retreat is complete without getting well-acquainted with the spa. Signature treatments draw on ancient Tibetan and Bhutanese knowhow, with a pinch of native herbs in the warm-oil massages and facials (the Ayurvedic head massage is the house speciality). Yoga classes kick off at 7am each morning, and there’s an open-access steam room too.

Packing tips

You don’t need much beyond mind, body and soul, but bring yoga gear too – it’ll get a good workout.

Also

The hotel isn’t set up for wheelchair users.

Children

All ages welcome, and extra beds or cots can be added to all suites. There’s an outdoor play area, and a selection of games and puzzles for rainy day activities. Babysitting can be arranged on request, from roughly $30 an hour.

Food and Drink

Photos Amankora Thimphu Lodge food and drink

Top Table

On a sunny day, eat out on the terrace with the sweet smell of pine forest in the air. Inside, pick a toasty table near fireplace.

Dress Code

In Bhutan, traditional dress is alive and well – women wear a colourful kira skirt while men pull on a oh-so-dashing checked robe called a gho. On your last night, Amankora even provide you with threads from their own wardrobe.

Hotel restaurant

A pair of towering fireplaces are the centrepiece of the wood-clad restaurant and lounge. You’ve got two menus to choose from, which change daily and vary depending on seasonal ingredients. On the Thai set menu you’ll find fragrant mushroom broths and coconut cream curries, while the à la carte Western-style menu often features tender roast lamb and feather-light foie gras.

Hotel bar

Grab a book from the library and settle into a sofa by the fire. Complimentary house cocktails and wines are served up with a smile, and there’s an impressive whisky collection that puts the (Isle of) Bute into Bhutan. Some nights you’ll be cheersing to folk classics performed by local musicians in the intimate lounge.

Last orders

The restaurant is open from 6am until 11pm. The bar opens at 5pm and closes at 11pm.

Room service

Any time the restaurant is open, you can order dishes to your suite.

Location

Photos Amankora Thimphu Lodge location
Address
Amankora Thimphu Lodge
Near Kuenga Chhoeling Palace Upper Motithang
Thimphu
P.O. Box 831
Bhutan

Planes

Fly with a major airline into Kathmandu, Bangkok, Delhi or Kolkata. From there, Bhutan’s national airline, Druk Air will whisk you into Paro airport, which is a 55km drive from Thimphu. Transfers to the lodge are free, and take around an hour and a half. For all your travel needs, call the Smith24 team any time of day or night.

Automobiles

The winding mountain roads are steep and (occasionally) scary, so it’s best to leave them to the local pros.

Worth getting out of bed for

If there’s one place more restful than your suite, it’s the Aman spa; indulge in a treatment in the cedarwood-scented cabins, or venture out for a course of ‘forest therapy’ – a guided walk through the woods culminating in a mandala creation ceremony. If you prefer to focus your mind on something firmly in the physical realm, try your hand at traditional archery instead. 

Hike through the hills with an Amankora guide to the village of Dodedrak – the 12th-century temple is frozen-in-time, and the monks might join you for lunch. Bhutan’s national animal is the takin (a gregarious goat-elope with horns and a hunchback) – there’s a sanctuary near the hotel. Pack a picnic and take a trip to Dochula Pass for 360-degree views of the Himalayas and a stroll around Bhutan’s first Royal Botanical Gardens, known for its 46 species of native rhododendron – and while you’re there, pause for thought at the cluster of 108 chortens (memorial tombs for monks) neatly arranged on a mound of earth. Browse the boutiques in central Thimphu and find Bhutanese curios to take home – the hotel staff will happily recommend their favourite spots.

Tashichho Dzong is the star of the sightseeing trail – it’s a riverside Buddhist monastery, the seat of the national government and a sparkling white fortress rolled into one, set against a backdrop of the Himalayas.

Amankora essentially lets you link up four luxury Aman lodges to see the best of the Mountain Kingdom. Paro Lodge puts you in reach of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Gangtey Lodge gets you to Goempa Monastery, and Bumthang Lodge connects you to a network of Himalayan hiking valleys. Stay at one, stay at them all – the choice is yours...

Local restaurants

For a decent latte in downtown Thimphu, try Ambient Cafe (R Penjor Building, Norzin Lam) – they roast their own beans, and rustle up a good cheesecake.

The bad news is there’s not much to recommend in terms of dining out in Thimphu – but the good news is all meals are included at the excellent Amankora restaurant, and they’ll even pack you a picnic for daytrips and trekking. If you really want to eat like a local, ask the lodge staff to point you in the direction of the nearest neighbourhood joint.

Reviews

Photos Amankora Thimphu Lodge reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Himalayan hotel in Bhutan and unpacked their dzi beads and dappa bowls, a full account of their mountain forest break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Amankora in Bhutan…

These days, you have to work a little harder to truly get away from it all. At Amankora Thimphu Lodge, you get peace, quiet, and an infinitely tiny chance of bumping into a dreaded co-commuter from the 7.27. Out here in the not-insignificant foothills of the Himalayas – Thimphu is at 7,000ft – you’ll find an anxiety-free zone, where prayer flags rustle in the wind and Buddhist gongs ring out from ancient temples. Sure, there are sights to tick off and hikes to kick off, but your greatest discovery in Bhutan might just be inside yourself. And if that discovery happens to be that you like warm-oil massages and long, candlelit baths, then you’ll know you’ve come to exactly the right place.

The Guestbook

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