What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Amankora - a trip to remember part 3 of 4
See part 1 at amankora Paro See part 2 at Aman Thimphu Night life is non-existence in Bhutan (or at least guest should expect with Aman Bhutan). There’s not very much to do. Luckily for us, this fit well with our schedule and a good wifi service provided by Aman helped us stay connected on our iPads getting a bit of work done and stayed entertained. Although there was one night in Punakha where the wifi connection was terrible and we ended up turning in early. The found out the next day that it was the telco problem for our unit and the manager kindly moved us to a different room and crisis was averted. Food was one of the highlight of our trip, the different chefs putting their own personal touch to an otherwise similar menu. We never had to eat anything outside Aman or order the special dinner arrangements to be excited for meals in Bhutan with Aman. Spa service was adequate in my opinion but be ready to pay through the roof. The services although good, are priced on the very high side if you are familiar with spa pricing structure. Consequently, you can see that it’s under utilised and almost always empty. I can’t imagine any advance reservations more than a day necessary. We did not utilised additional services outside of the complimentary massage that came with our package. As a smart consumer, I think you could get a same level of experience at a fraction of the price at any hotel near your home (where-ever in the world you may be). Although so, Aman do provide a complimentary yoga group session every morning that I highly recommend. We find it a great way to start the day.
Amankora is just perfect. Everything is perfect: the gorgeous, secluded locations; great food; impeccable design; attention to detail; commitment to sustainability; and most of all the unparalleled service. The design is fabulous, everything is so well thought-out. It feels like you're staying at the well-staffed home of a very gracious host with impeccable taste, who's never at home, so you can do exactly as you please. Examples of the service: -after the first day, they observed my shoe size is on the small side, and placed bedroom slippers in exactly my size (along with a humidifier, which I requested on the first night) on my side of the bed every night, even in the different Aman locations across Bhutan. -The turn-down gifts were unique every night of the trip. Some friends who've been there many times for extended stays have still always gotten unique gifts. -You never actually see them clean your room, but the room is always pristine. -Laundry service is wonderful, everything is returned super fast and neatly hung up. -On treks, they somehow get to the mid-point before you, and surprise you with amazing snacks and tea -Every meal is customized to your preference
In all of the Aman we have stayed in Bhutan, this particular one is my favorite. Every Aman in Bhutan is amazingly incredible but this particular one is extra special. The food in every Aman is fine-dining experience, yet, food is very good. In Amankora Punakha, it is more special in every sense of the word. Food, ambiance, weather especially service is simply over the top special. It is also the only Amankora in Bhutan that has a swimming pool that overlooks the valleys and mountains. A must NOT miss (see my pix). Again, I can’t thank you enough to our wonderful tour guide and driver, Ugyen and Pema., whose kindness and caring nature made us very comfortable and pampered to the max. Thank you guys, you’re simply the best!!! ❤️ To the staff at Amankora, you’re all extraordinaire individuals! Thank you for your warm and wonderful hospitality. It was so heartfelt in every Amankora we’ve stayed in Bhutan. A big particular shout-out to Sonam, the Assistant Manage, who went out of his way to make sure my husband was able to watch his Liverpool vs Manchester City football game. He also brought the local dancers for our private viewing during our BBQ dinner by the riverside. Every little things you did was never unnoticed. You rock, Sonam!!! I hope to see you as the General Manager of Aman in Bhutan someday. You do your job so passionately and so genuinely. A perfect combo for the job. To Tcharshiem who waited on us at the riverside BBQ dinner, he was so attentive and effectively diligent. The experience was amazing! To Tem, another Assistant Manager, who is just amazing as Sonam. Aman has done such an amazing job training and finding all its Bhutan staff. Kudos to Aman!!! Thank you so very much! Pls do not let Sixth Sense take any of your staff away from you. Pay and treat them well. Your staff are the key to every guests’ amazing experiences and what we come back to while the food, lodge or the ambiance are just big plusses.
Amankora is incredible.
We did 10 days and stayed in 4 lodges. They organize every aspect of your trip to precision and nothing is not taken care of. Every lodge has something different to see and do and the settings totally change. Aman has a way of doing every single thing for you in the most seamless manner. You go to breakfast for 45 minutes and come back and your room is cleaned. They think of everything-- before you even think of it. The staff at all four lodges was amazing- every single person makes a point of stopping and saying hello and making sure you have everything you need. Punakha was my favorite for the setting. The topography is so beautiful. We loved sitting outside for meals and of course the staff was amazing. It was the hottest of all the lodges and there is a lot to see and do. It has a casual feel to it we loved the dogs and the birds. Gangtey was the best food -though all were good. The food was truly beyond. The staff has a sophisticated calm about them and it felt like a respite. We were the only people there our last night and they made this special table for us in front of the fireplace with candles everywhere (totally a surprise- we had no idea). The view over the valley is gorgeous and we loved it. Thimphu was where we started and we were pretty jet lagged. It was so comfortable and relaxing. Paro was our last stop and it was wonderful. The spa is really good and we sat around the fire at night for dinner. I keep saying amazing but it really was. Our guide and driver were perfect, the lodges all offer something different and Bhutan is just gorgeous.
Amankora is exceptional in many ways, but with a few concerns
We stayed in four of the five Amankora lodges over 8 nights: Paro, Gangtey, Punakha and Thimpu. Overall, we had a wonderful time in beautiful Bhutan. The Amankora people, especially our guide and driver were wonderful. Our airport pick-up, flights to/from, and Bhutan travel plan was executed with military precision. Yet, my review is mixed and frankly difficult as there is much to like about Amankora, but there are aspects that we did not like much. So, here’s the story: 1. Bhutan - the country was beautiful. Unique in the world. We have been blessed to visit over 130 countries and Bhutan is an all-time favorite. The hike to Tiger’s Nest in Paro was a lifetime travel highlight. 2. Our Amankora guide, Tara and driver, Karma were great. They were with us the entire trip. Fun guys. Attentive. Plugged into our needs. The daily tours and movement from lodge to lodge was done with flawlessly. High marks to Tara and Karma. 3. Amankora hotel staff - friendly, helpful and attentive. Each GM - especially the Punakha GM - greeted us with sincere interest. Every employee and guest interaction was perfect. 4. The spa was fun and massages were first class. I loved the outdoor pool in Punakha, too. 5. The lodge guest rooms - The wood guest room lodges were built around 2005 and are getting a bit “shop worn.” The room lighting is poor - creating a dreary feel. Not Bhutan mystical moody, just dreary. Some of the wood walls and trim just do not match up suggesting poor initial construction. (With new high end competitor Six Senses built and the new Taj resort coming, a guest room remodel seems a must.) 6. Front doors in each lodge bedroom need weather stripping at the bottom (of the door) where a 3/4 inch or more open space exists. This space allows critters and bugs to easily enter any room. In Punaka, I saw staff kill a deadly krait snake just steps from our door; Punakha staff also mentioned that cobras and pythons had been seen and/or killed here. Punakha’s lodge is in semi-tropical valley - and snakes are a part of that valley. The climate is warmer than the other valleys. 7. Food -The food was hit and miss. Wonderful to so-so. There are Amankora gardens on/near each property and a strong local food culture, so we expected more. Other guests mentioned the hit/miss nature of the food. 8. The “house dog” in Paro barked all night and was a disturbance to sleep. Not sure why the staff lets the dog run free at night, barking at whatever she sees. In summary, Amankora has much to like and Bhutan is beautiful, but a few lodge room building changes seem needed immediately, in my opinion.
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