The ultra-luxury travel company andBeyond is best known for its stunning collection of nearly 30 lodges and camps in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, and in more recent times, South America. This month, andBeyond has celebrated the launch of its first lodge in Asia – andBeyond Punakha River Lodge, situated in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
Situated on the banks of the Mo Chu River in the Punakha Valley in Bhutan, the newest lodge features six tented suites, as well as a two-bedroom villa with a private pool and a one-bedroom villa, which boasts a plunge pool/hot tub, depending on the season.
The lodge draws inspiration from its natural surroundings and combines traditional Bhutanese style with a unique twist. Safari-style tented suites are suspended from a traditional Bhutanese timber structure. Decorative painted and gilded details appear in the woodwork, particularly in the bathrooms, which feature elegant brass-cladded bathtubs.
The blue poppy, the national flower of Bhutan, also appears as a recurring theme woven throughout the interior design. Handwoven Bhutanese wool products are used as upholstery, linen detailing and blankets. Warm and soulful, the overall feeling is a tremendous sense of peace and wellbeing, combined with a genuine sense of place.
Boasting uninterrupted views of the Himalayas, the lodge site offers easy and unrivalled access to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, which is a major attraction for visitors to Punakha. A suspension bridge leads over the river and several walking trails are situated nearby. The riverside setting is ideal for al fresco lunches and beach activities, such as yoga, massages and swimming. The site also offers a variety of activities and experiences like cycling, river rafting and kayaking, as well as exceptional nature hikes and birding opportunities.
In addition, exclusive experiences include paddy field lunches, surprise drink stops and picnic lunches with unique views of the river. An extensive organic vegetable garden speaks to the company’s dedication to sourcing local, sustainably grown ingredients. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit a community farming project nearby.
Photos by andBeyond.