ResortsThe luxury tour operator brings its conservation-led model to Bhutan with Punakha River Lodge.

&Beyond goes beyond tours with its first lodge in Bhutan

&Beyond's Punakha River Lodge in Bhutan offers luxury tented suites, Himalayan views and local experiences.
&Beyond's Punakha River Lodge in Bhutan offers luxury tented suites, Himalayan views and local experiences.

Luxury tour operator &Beyond is set to open its first lodge in Asia, the &Beyond Punakha River Lodge, in Bhutan in September 2023.

This will be the first &Beyond-owned and managed property on the continent. According to Mark Wheeler, &Beyond managing director Asia, South America & business development, the opening of the Punakha River Lodge marks the start of a new era of expansion for the company, and will allow it to further grow its conservation-led business model in Asia and beyond.

The Punakha River Lodge, set on the banks of the Mo Chu River in the Punakha Valley, will feature six tented suites, a two-bedroom villa with a private pool, and a one-bedroom villa with a plunge pool or hot tub.

Inspired by the natural surroundings, the lodge will blend traditional Bhutanese style with a unique touch. Safari-style tented suites will be suspended from a traditional Bhutanese timber structure and will feature decorative painted and gilded details, particularly in the brass-clad bathrooms.

The interior design will also incorporate the blue poppy, the national flower of Bhutan, as a recurring theme, along with handwoven Bhutanese wool products for upholstery, linen detailing, and blankets.

The lodge site offers panoramic views of the Himalayas and easy access to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a popular destination in Punakha. The riverside location is ideal for outdoor activities, such as yoga, massages, and swimming, and there are nearby walking trails and opportunities for river rafting, kayaking, and nature hikes.

&Beyond will also offer an early morning experience at the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten Hike, thanks to the lodge's direct access.

In line with &Beyond's commitment to sustainability, the Punakha River Lodge will have an extensive organic vegetable garden, and guests will have the opportunity to visit a nearby community farming project.

The lodge will also offer exclusive experiences such as paddy field lunches, surprise drink stops, and picnic lunches with unique views of the river.

Wheeler states that &Beyond's investment in staff training and bespoke experiences will make the Punakha River Lodge stand out as unique and allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the exceptional location.

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