Bhutan’s Dhensa Punakha Hideaway

  • The entrance to Dhensa Punakha in Bhutan.

    The entrance to Dhensa Punakha in Bhutan.

  • One of 24 elegantly spare guest rooms at the Dhensa Punakha.

    One of 24 elegantly spare guest rooms at the Dhensa Punakha.

  • A three-hour journey through mountain roads leads to the property.

    A three-hour journey through mountain roads leads to the property.

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The latest luxe lodge to put down stakes in Bhutan, Dhensa Punakha comes with 24 elegantly spare suites spread over six cottages, all with balconies and daybeds overlooking a meandering river and terraced rice fields. Its opening marks an ambitious start for Singapore-based Dhensa Boutique Resorts, who have chosen the remote Punakha Valley, a three-hour drive from Paro Airport along high mountain roads, as the location for their inaugural property. It’s not entirely a pioneering endeavor—Amanresorts and the Como group operate outposts nearby—but it is a beguiling one, with a glass-fronted dining room serving farm-to-table fare infused with Bhutanese flavors and a spa that offers hand-blended essential oils and an outdoor wood-fired bath. The cultural offerings here promise to be equally appealing: picnics and guided treks to Punakha Dzong, one of the most beautiful fortress-monasteries in the kingdom; visits to villages where guests can try their hand at harvesting rice; and craft sessions with valley artisans (975-2/584-434; doubles from US$350). –Natasha Dragun

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2014 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Himalayan Haven”).

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