Bhutan tourism strategy is “low volume, high quality”. It wants to avoid the throng of backpackers like in Nepal. Each tourist to Bhutan must stay in a minimum of a 3-star hotel and have a licensed tour guide. Each person must spend a minimum of $250 per day for hotel, meals, and guide. This strategy does seem to work by preventing a mass of tourists and ensuring a “high quality” experience.
We splurged and stayed at the Amankora, part of the Aman Resorts. There are 5 Amankora’s in Bhutan and if you travel from one place to another, your Amankora-employed guide and driver accompanies you.
The Amankora is an all inclusive hotel. All meals and drinks including picnics lunches (picked up and carried by your guide), and laundry (several times a day). For some strange reason sparkling water is the only thing that is an extra charge.
From the road, there is only a discrete sign identifying the hotel. You walk down a pine-needle covered path and every time you are greeted by the hotel staff and concierge providing you a hot towel and asking how the day was and if you want drinks and snacks brought to the room.
After a hike, our boots were muddy so we left it outside our room. But when we next when out, they were gone. After dinner, the boots were returned looking like new. Small delights are memorable.
The hotel has only 24 rooms with a couple streams running through the wooded property.