Aman may have pioneered the luxury lodge circuit in Bhutan, but Six Senses, which had opened three of its planned five lodges at the time of this review, has taken the concept and run with it, applying the brand’s own distinct approach to food, sustainable design, and wellness. Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital, is home to the largest property, with just 20 suites and five villas ensconced in pine and apple trees. Two winding hours away by car in Punakha, a second lodge has walls rendered in the pastel-gold hue of ripening rice stalks, and a lounge that juts out over an infinity pool in a nod to the cantilevered bridge at the valley’s 17th-century dzong, or monastery-fortress. Six Senses Paro is the closest one to the airport, and a well-positioned base for treks up to the cliff-side monastery of Tiger’s Nest. Extensive wellness offerings are headlined by signature treatments at each of the lodge’s spas—think traditional hot-stone baths at Thimphu or massages preceded by a walking meditation in Punakha. And the depth of environmental practices is impressive. Each lodge has its own reverse-osmosis plant and water refinery, while produce is grown in-house as much as possible. Make sure to request the “feudal ruins” dinner at Six Senses Paro: at a tent set up at the ruined dzong next door, folk dancers perform as you dine on local fare and sip egg-laced ara moonshine.
—975-2/350-773; sixsenses.com; doubles from US$1,750, half board