The Story


Occupying the high mountain valleys between China to the north and India to the south, Bhutan has long been a mystery to the West with only a limited number of visitors each year able to glimpse its traditional Mahayana Buddhist way of life and unspoiled Himalayan vistas. In 2004, Amankora’s journey marked a unique entry into the secluded Kingdom, whose pristine Himalayan landscapes and remarkably preserved way of life have fascinated travellers the world over. 

This symbiotic union between Amankora and Bhutan traces its origins back to January 1989, when the inaugural flight from Bangkok to Paro first connected the small Himalayan kingdom to the Thai capital. At this time, Aman was still in its infancy - having just opened its first retreat, Amanpuri on the shores of Phuket - yet this new connection to Bhutan sowed the seeds for the birth of Amankora.

After a long period of pursuit, the first lodge sites were acquired in the year 2000 after which land was surveyed, and the late Kerry Hill appointed to realise Aman’s architectural vision. This marked a significant milestone as Aman became the first international entity permitted to establish a presence in the Kingdom. It took several years for Aman's vision to materialise, culminating in the opening of its first lodge.

Marking the next chapter in Bhutan’s enchanting tale, the opening of Amankora Paro introduced a new kind of sanctuary, inviting visitors to embark on an immersive journey through the Kingdom, guided by a circular route known as the kora, the Dzongkha word for pilgrimage. 

The route was eventually complete in 2007 with the inauguration of the Bumthang Lodge. The circle of five lodges created by Amankora would now allow guests to fully experience the diverse valleys of Bhutan for the very first time - a pioneering feat for Aman but also a groundbreaking concept for Bhutan.

Sensitively integrated into their spectacular natural settings, framing valley views and within easy reach of culture-rich communities, Amankora's lodges were soon established as a gateway to Bhutan's abundant natural wonders, history and heritage. Today, this unique concept remains exclusive to the Aman brand. Ensconced from the rest of the world, over the years, lush greenery has grown to engulf each lodge, enhancing the sense of peace synonymous with Aman.