Even the most worldly traveler only dreams of visiting the “happiest place on earth” — Bhutan. But only the 2018 Art Ball could offer for auction an 11-day stay for two at Amankora Resort with its five hotels in five of Bhutan’s most beautiful valleys.
- Paro Lodge is a “24-suite retreat contrasting rustic elements with contemporary design. Guest Suites offer a combined lounge and bedroom furnished with a king-size bed, banquette window seat, reading chair and traditional bukhari wood-burning stove.” It is situated as the entry point through the Bhutan Kingdom and is surrounded by pine forests at an elevation of 2,250 metres.
- Thimphu Lodge is in the upper reaches of the Motithang area and despite being close to the capitals’ sites and shopping remains a secluded retreat. The 16 guest suites feature a bukhari wood-burning stove and views across a landscaped courtyard or of a stream and pine forest
- Punaka Lodge “incorporates a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse built by a former Je Khenpo (chief abbot of Bhutan). The eight Suites are identical in design to those of Amankora Paro, with views across an orange orchard and rice terraces.” It is reached “via a suspension bridge over the Mo Chhu River.”
- Gangtey Lodge‘s eight suites each have views across in the Phobjikha Valley near the village of Gangtey and the 16th-century Gangtey Goemba monastery. Set on a forested knoll with scenic views of the valley floor, it is a “part of an important wildlife reserve” — the winter home for a flock of 300 endangered black-neck cranes. Suite interiors are identical to those of Amankora Thimphu, each enjoying a view across the valley
- Bumthang Lodge with its 16 guest suites is situated next to the Wandichholing Palace, within the town of Jakar in the Choekhor Valleywith. The area is renowned for having 29 temples and monasteries.
To complement these top of the world surroundings, the resort staff simply provides for all from a hour- massage for each guest to a private SUV with guide and driver for all-touring day-to-day excursions and interlodge and airport transfers. And, of course, meals are included with house wines, spirits and picnics.
Compliments of Strong Travel Services and Aman Hotels
Restrictions: Airfare not included. Must travel by April 2019, excluding all peak and holiday periods (Best time to travel would be summer of 2019.) This voucher is for two persons traveling together in the same room. Exclusions: Daily government tourism royalties of US$65 per person per day; FIT Surcharge US$30 per person per day; Visa Fee US$40 per person one time only, Sustainable Tourism Fund US$10 per person one time only. The package does not include incidentals, chargeable facilities, international/Bhutan flights nor domestic Bhutan flight airfares.
* Photo provided by Dallas Museum of Art