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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: Amankora Paro, Bhutan

Intro


Following a terrific stay at Amankora in Thimpu (https://www.jettoajet.com/post/review-amankora-thimphu-bhutan), we proceeded en route to the second and last lodge we would be staying at, Amankora Paro. Amankora features 5 lodges across Bhutan, but we only had time for 2 during our 4-day trip.


Overall, the Paro Lodge is slightly bigger than the one in Thimphu. However, because it is bigger there are more amenities and activities.


How I Booked


If you are interested in how this stay was booked, check out the review of Amankora Thimphu here (https://www.jettoajet.com/post/review-amankora-thimphu-bhutan). For a shortened version, a 4-night stay was about 10,800 all-inclusive.


Arrival


After our day out in Thimphu and Paro, we arrived at the Paro Lodge around 3pm. Like most Aman's around the world (especially the one in Siem Reap), you would barely be able to tell it was located here if you weren't looking for it.



The only signage that resembles the Aman's location.


Peculiar but very Aman like

Once you see the sign, a staff member will wait for you to escort you to the lodge. First, we walked through a forest.


I couldn't even see the lodge

Down some rustic steps.



Where we laid eyes on the lodge for the first time! Don't worry you don't have to carry your luggage, I believe there is a separate entrance for the staff.


The GM of the Bhutanese branch was waiting upon arrival

After a warm welcome, we made our way deeper into the hotel grounds.


The exterior design of Paro is nicer

Ahh, whatever, I'll do the hotel grounds review now. When we got to the end of the walkway there was a choice go up or down. We went upstairs and found a relaxation area.



The front desk was also located upstairs. While the lodge in Thimphu didn't have a front desk, the one in Paro does.



Once I went through the doors to the cocktail area, I discovered my home for the next eternity🤭.


I could sit here for a week in my vow of silence and still be happy

With a full-service bar 🤭. If eternal peace were a thing, Bhutan would be the closest.



You could have a staff member craft a drink for you at almost any time.


House wines were on the right as well

It is a plenty large room with multiple seating arrangements.



Breathtaking views.


The temple in the background you can hike to by yourself in the mornings

The Room


Rooms at the Paro Lodge are arranged in 6 blocks with four rooms in each block. Our room was a little difficult to locate due to all the buildings looking the same😂. You can't tell me this isn't confusing, there are 3 different blocks in these pictures!



After a day though, I had no problem with locating our room. While not exactly the same as the Thimphu Lodge, the rooms were very similar layout-wise.



With the relaxation couch by the window.



Just like before, there was a room for baggage near the bathrooms.


I had to buy a suitcase 😅

Just like at Paro, there was a wood-burning fireplace that was stocked every night.



There was a partition separating the bathtub and the bedroom, this came in handy.


The slippers are so comfortable

The toilet and shower were enclosed through sliding doors. I found this design pleasing.



The shower was basic design, but I appreciated it since it made for very relaxing showers, especially after long hikes. The same amenities such as Aman branded soap were offered.



The toilet was located in the adjacent sliding door.



The sinks were slightly different. There were two of them like before. However, the storage room separated them.


Gorgeous

Hoiuscoats and slippers were provided. The slippers are one of the most comfortable pairs I have ever received from a hotel.


Spent a little bit too much time in them 😂

Lastly, there was a bathtub that was a staple point of the room.



Dining


Located under the upstairs relaxation area, there is a communal dining room. If eating with others isn't your thingd there are other options as well.





However, we decided to dine outside most of the time.


The backdrop is beautiful

Lunch started with some warm bread which was delicious.



I was in an unhealthy mood, so I decided to skip the main course and indulge in an Affogato!😅


Diet is out of the window

My mum and I decided to have dinner in the lounge upstairs. It took a little longer than eating downstairs, probably due to less waiters upstairs. The table was set as we were playing crib.


15 for 2

I opted for the beef and pork. Both were fantastic. Sparkling water accompanied the meal.



Later on, I got a little hungry, so ordered another steak, with a glass of house red wine. The steak was cooked perfectly!


Sensational

To finish, I asked for a couple of scoops of Mint Chocolate chip ice cream. It was a nice surprise to see that it was homemade.



Accompanied by an Amaretto, delicious as always.


Perfect way to end an evening

Breakfast


Since we had a long trek up to Tigers Nest on New Year's Eve Day, I decided to have a filling breakfast in the lounge. First up, came a delicious croissant, when I say delicious I mean delicious. A delightful cappuccino was accompanied.



To hit the protein mark, they managed to make me a rib-eye for breakfast! 🥰 Another coffee as well.


Delicious

On New Year's Day, I had the French toast, it was incredible. Highly recommends this dish for breakfast.


MHMMM

The last meal we indulged in was the goodbye lunch. They were having a BBQ to celebrate ringing in 2024. Here is what the menu read.



Service started with a Coca-Cola to help with the hangover from New Years Eve😂 along with a complementary glass of Sangria which I did not drink.


I would have thrown up if I smelt it

Warm sourdough bread was presented, unbelievably good, you could tell it was freshly baked. There was fresh hummus as well.



The Wagyu beef was incredible, so flavorful, while the chicken was also delectable.



The meal finished with an incredible chocolate dessert and Salted caramel ice cream, my favorite!


Best dessert I have had in a while

The chefs made the food right in front of us, another fantastic touch.



The food here, much like the lodge with Thimphu, was nothing short of incredible. From breakfast to lunch to NYE dinner, everything was perfect!


The Spa


The spa had plenty to offer in terms of treatments. While mostly everything is included in the rate you pay, treatments are extra. I booked the hot stone bath for the day I arrived.


The spa is located to the right of the entrance when you walk in.



A hot towel was offered, as well at a tea.



I was shown to my room and told about how the hot stone bath works. Even though the cost came out to 150++ for the bath, it was well worth it. I felt relaxed by all means.



Archery


My favorite activity throughout my time at Amankora was archery. In order to get there you had to head through the forest, cross a stream, and eventually arrive at the archery location. Thankfully, someone helped me locate it as I would have gotten lost 😅.


Spoooky

Once I arrived both of the guides, Pema and Chozang, were waiting with everything set up.



Since it was just me playing, we set up a competition of first to 10 points.



I lost, I blame it on the Whiskey since Chozang brought over a whole bottle of local whiskey to drink while we played. I almost finished it 😅.



We took a picture after with the backdrop of the mountains.


Bhutan is a very special place

Meeting with Rinpoche


The original reason I came to Bhutan was to learn about Mitakpa and what it meant. Amankora offered an activity that consisted of a Rinpoche, I highly recommend it if you visit. The staff set up the meeting in the library with drinks of our choice.


Wish I had spent more time in the library

After an hour-long conversation learning about a variety of different Bhutanese aspects of their culture, we took a picture. He's a great guy.



Overall Service


The service here once again shined in every aspect. We were extremely thankful that we had the same guides across throughout both lodges. Here are a few aspects that stood out to me.

  1. During NYE celebrations, the staff offered to help us tie our Bhutanese wear.

  2. Every night different gifts and notes were left on our beds.

  3. It was nice to have the manager be a part of our socializing group for New Year's. We spoke for a long time about Aman's future.

  4. The guides were incredible, even having whiskey ready during archery without asking. Making the effort to go above and beyond to make a competition.

  5. Always going above and beyond to accommodate such as having dinner in the lounge multiple times and steak for breakfast!



Service-wise, everything was perfect. Thank you Pema and Chozang!


Departure


Sadly, the first of January came around which meant it was time to leave Bhutan😢. The guides loaded our bags and we decided to leave early to stop off at a temple on the way. Supposedly lighting 100+ candles on New Year's Day is supposed to help rid you of hatred, evil, and jealousy.



It was a spiritual activity that took a decent amount of time. However, I believe it worked and to this day I feel cleaner.


It was also bloody hot in there

We continued strolling around the temple as Chozang and Pema told us about the history.



Soon enough, we had to depart the temple and make the 10-minute drive to the airport. Paro airport is one of the most scenic airports in the world, and it is especially cool if you love plane spotting. We bid our farewell and thanked both guides profusely.


The Gang

Where we made our way to the check-in counters for Drukair (More on this soon as it was an incredible flight!).


Paro airport

Final Thoughts


What a spiritual and incredible experience Amankora provided throughout our time in Bhutan. The only regret I had was not being able to stay longer. From start to finish, everything was perfect. The rooms are pristine, the service is impeccable, the food is fresh, and the activities are plentiful, but most of all, Chozang and Pema were amazing. Thank you everyone! Counting down the days until I return.


I cannot recommend this hotel enough to anyone thinking about visiting an Aman resort. While all Amans are great, this one is specifically more family-oriented in its everyday interactions. It's a mix since you get the quality of food from Europe and the quality of service from Asia. Amankora is well worth the price tag.



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