Punakha , Bhutan

Como Uma Punakha


Kingdom come


Rice paddy riches

Make like his majesty when in the Kingdom: he’s known to drop in to Como Uma Punakha and order a Wagyu burger at this eye-popping hotel’s mountain-vistas terrace restaurant. There’s plenty more worthy of royalty, too: be it the floor-to-ceiling valley views; Shambhala spa fit for a king; or stellar selection of local whiskies in the terrace bar. Plus, this is one supremely eco-focused stay: staff source locally wherever possible, support social enterprises and reforest the land. All in all, a royal flush.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Private courtyard dinner for two (excluding drinks) and archery lessons on the house. Early check-in and late check-out will be accommodated, too.


Photos Como Uma Punakha facilities

Need to know


11 rooms, including two villas


Your Smith Extra means that you can check in early (from 12 noon) and check out late (before 2pm).


The best months to visit Bhutan are March, April, May, October and November. Himalayan views are considered to be their most beautiful during autumn, particularly October. Punakha is low in altitude when compared to other Bhutanese destinations, so the climate tends to be warmer, and it doesn’t get quite as cool during the winter months.

Hotel closed

The hotel is currently closed due to Covid, and will reopen as soon as is safe to do so.

At the hotel

Bukhari restaurant, terrace bar, Como Shambhala spa, WiFi, lounge, archery facilities. In rooms: Nespresso machine, selection of teas, bottled water, fresh fruit every day, TV, WiFi, hairdryer, Como Shambhala toiletries. Rates include breakfast and dinner. Como Uma Punakha can help to arrange your visas, transport and tours.

Our favourite rooms

If it’s space you’re after, then opt for the stately-style Como villa: a two-bed standalone property with panoramic views of Punakha valley, a large outdoor terrace and interiors drawing from Bhutanese design. We love the ground-floor valley view rooms, too, which have outdoor terraces, sheesham-wood furniture and unforgettable vistas of the forests, mountains and Mo Chhu river. All that, and plenty of space for oversized beds, deep soaking tubs and a separate lounge area.


Choose from a menu of holistic, Asian-inspired treatments at the Como Shambhala Spa. One of the two Mo Chhu-facing treatment rooms has a traditional Bhutanese hot-stone bath – the stones crack and steam when placed in water, releasing minerals that relieve stress and soothe the body. Follow that with a Como Shamhala massage, or an Indian head massage focusing on the nine Marma facial points. You can even opt for a couples massage workshop, where you’ll learn the skills needed to perform the centuries-old healing tradition at home.

Packing tips

You needn’t worry about layers for the evenings: there are bukhari's (traditional wood-burning clay pot furnaces) dotted around the hotel to keep you toasty at all times.


The Bhutanese government has set a minimum daily package for visitors. But worry not: as a licensed operator, Como Uma Punakha will be able to arrange this for you. We’d recommend combining your booking with sister property Como Uma Paro.


Children are welcome, but please note that there are no kids’ club, crèche or babysitting facilities available.

Sustainability efforts

Como hotels proudly act as custodians of the land in each of their destinations – including celebrating local culture, supporting the domestic economy, and minimising impact on the local environment. Hotels are built using local craftsmanship, restaurants serve local produce and spa treatments are tailored to the traditions of each culture. Como Uma Punakha sources its ingredients locally where possible (much comes from the kitchen garden), supports social enterprises, and cultivates indigenous tree species. The team here are working with local authorities to restore blue pine and cypress trees, and welcome guest participation, if interested, in their sustainable initiatives.

Food and Drink

Photos Como Uma Punakha food and drink

Top Table

Undoubtedly a table on the restaurant terrace, to soak in the views of the valley. Private dinners can be arranged in this space, too, subject to availability.

Dress Code

Punakha is a place for peace and reflection, so leave the extravagance at home. Pack neutrals and linens instead – let the environment take centre stage.

Hotel restaurant

The Bukhari restaurant has a daily rotating menu that focuses on the fresh produce available from the kitchen garden and local farms (sensible, given that Punakha is considered to be one of the most bountiful valleys in the country). Freshly churned butter, hand-moulded farm cheeses, wild flower honey and red rice flour are some of the hyper-local ingredients you’ll find in the dishes. Plates are seasonally driven, but you might find yourself dining on ema datshi (the national dish of chilli and cheese), momos (buckwheat steamed dumplings) or a healing hot pot of tofu, riverweed and mushrooms. There are plenty of international dishes to choose from, too – the Wagyu burger is the most popular dish on the menu, maybe because it's known to be ordered by the royal family when they’re in the area. Other options include homemade gnocchi, vegetable soup, and cassoulet.

Hotel bar

Head to the terrace for a sundowner (we love the barman’s signature watermelon margarita). The bar serves a selection of fine wines, cocktails and healthy juices.

Last orders

Breakfast is 6.30–10am, and Bukhari bar is open until 10pm every evening.

Room service

Dine in your bed or on your balcony thanks to the room service menu, available 7am–10pm.


Photos Como Uma Punakha location
Como Uma Punakha
Botokha Kabesa Punakha

Como Uma Punakha sits high above the rice paddies and rivers of Punakha, a remote town in the Himalayas.


You’ll almost certainly be flying into Paro, the country’s only international airport. The hotel is a four-hour drive from the airport, and a private transfer costs $450.


There’s no car park at the hotel, and all visitors to Bhutan need to arrange transport with a tour operator. Como Uma Punakha can sort this for you.

Worth getting out of bed for

Start off at the hotel with some Archery lessons (the national sport of Bhutan, no less), or a spot of Khuru – a darts-like game played by locals. Stop by Punakha Dzong – a fortress guarding the south end of the valley where the Pho (male) and Mo (female) rivers meet. It’s the winter residence of the dratshang, so you’ll likely spot red-robed monks wandering in and out of the white-washed buildings. The hotel can arrange white-water rafting trips down the Mo Chhu river – you’ll wind through rice fields, villages and grade-two rapids. Bhutan is just the place for trekking (more than 70 per cent of the country is forest or mountain). Follow twisting paths to hidden temples and monasteries, including Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten – a temple complex less than an hour’s walk from the hotel – perched on a hill of orange, avocado and passion fruit trees. Or, see Bhutan from above with a helicopter ride over the rice and chilli fields, flanked by towering mountains. The hotel can arrange a 90-minute ride over three of the Kingdom’s valleys: paradisiacal Laya, emerald-coloured Paro, and tropical Punakha.


Photos Como Uma Punakha 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 intimate hotel in the Himalayas and unpacked their hiking boots, a full account of their Bhutanese break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Como Uma in Punakha…

Perched on a hill at a snake-like bend of the Mo Chhu river is Como Uma Punakha – an intimate lodge at the far western end of the Punakha valley. Trips to Bhutan are largely about the outdoors: hikes, rafting, yoga and archery await but, this being Como, the interiors here are pretty wow-worthy too. Minimalist design meets wooden interiors, enclosed fireplaces, Bhutanese artworks and hand-knotted rugs from Nepal – every corner is cosy, every room naturally lit. Turn your eyes to the enormous picture windows for pacifying views of the hills, rushing rivers and temple-topped mountains. Speaking of which, Khamsum Yulley Namgay Chorten is nearby, as is the arresting Punakha Dzong. Sunrise yoga, early morning hikes, picnic breakfasts and tours of the Mo Chhu and nearby monasteries fill days in the valley: an area ripe for adventure. The silence – and we mean real, pin-drop silence – creates a constant meditative atmosphere, and you’ll find you have time to really be with yourself here: to pause, absorb and reflect (be that about your breakfast, Bhutan, or life in general).