Uma Punakha is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Romantic Retreats
Opened in September 2012, Uma Punakha is COMO's second hotel in Bhutan – the first being Uma Paro, one of Ampersand's favourite hotels in Paro and listed on our Top 10 Hotel Spas. The two properties are a 5-hour drive from each other, and both are very much suited to people who are sporty and outdoorsy, but also enjoy wellness and yoga. Uma Punakha enjoys spectacular elevated views over the lush Punakha rice-terraced valley and the rushing Mo Chu River which carves its way through the vale below.
The resort was designed by Cheong Yew Kwan, a Singapore-born, Bali-based architect whose other notable hotels also include COMO Shambhala Estate and Uma by COMO, both located in Ubud in Bali. Known for his inspired simplicity and natural light-flooded interiors, his styling of Uma Punakha is in line with the design of Uma Paro: oversized beds, woodburning stoves and calming neutral colour schemes punctuated with traditional hand painted Bhutanese wall designs. The property is small and intimate with just 11 rooms, which are all light and airy with incredible valley views. There are two luxury villas – an intimate one-bedroom COMO Villa and a family friendly two-bedroom COMO Villa. Both of these villas provide a little more luxury and privacy, set right in the thick of the wilderness but not far from the restaurant and the COMO Shambhala spa.
There is one restaurant at Uma Punakha, The Bukhari, which serves an elegant menu of both Bhutanese and international cuisine. There is a sweet little terrace where dining al fresco is a lovely option on warmer evenings, and when it’s cooler the staff set up heaters next to each table.
Uma Punakha is a fantastic base for hiking, white water rafting and cycling, and the hotel can provide excellent English-speaking guides. This hotel promises guests a truly incredible experience combining impeccable luxury, authentic culture, stunning untouched natural surroundings and a world-class spa and wellness facilities. The signature COMO Shambhala spa offers traditional holistic therapies, including the Bhutanese hot stone baths, which help guests to relax after a day exploring the valley.
Uma Punakha is an amazing honeymoon destination for those looking for more to do than lie on a beach, or an incredibly unique family holiday for those looking for a safe but culturally enriching experience for their children – the Bhutanese LOVE children and they will be treated like royalty!
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