AndBeyond unveils plans for first property in Asia

Africa specialist AndBeyond has unveiled plans to make its debut in Asia with the opening of a luxury lodge in Bhutan. 

AndBeyond Punakha River Lodge will be located on the banks of the Mo Chu River in the Punakha Valley and will feature six safari-style tented suites, a two-bedroom villa with a private pool and a one-bedroom villa with a plunge pool or hot tub, depending on the season. It is scheduled to open this September.

AndBeyond said the lodge would draw inspiration from its natural surroundings and would combine traditional Bhutanese style “with a unique twist”. 

Suites will be suspended from a traditional Bhutanese timber structure, while bathrooms will feature woodwork with decorative painted and gilded details and elegant brass-clad bathtubs. 

The national flower of Bhutan, the blue poppy, will make an appearance as a recurring theme throughout the property. Handwoven Bhutanese wool products will also be used as upholstery, linen detailing and blankets.

AndBeyond Punakha River Lodge will offer direct access to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a stupa overlooking the Punakha Valley and a major drawcard for visitors to the area. AndBeyond said its proximity to the site would allow it to create a “unique early morning experience”. Other attractions in the area include the famed Punakha Dzong and the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery.

Elsewhere, guests of AndBeyond Punakha River Lodge can enjoy cycling, river rafting, kayaking, hiking and birding opportunities. The property’s riverside setting can also play host to alfresco lunches and beach activities such as yoga, massages and swimming. 

“The first fully AndBeyond-owned and managed property to open on the continent, Punakha River Lodge kicks off a brand new era of expansion for our brand,” said Mark Wheeler, AndBeyond managing director for Asia, South America and business development. 

“Our intention is to build onto our almost two decades of touring expertise in Asia to create a lodge footprint that will help us to continue to grow our conservation-led business model on three continents.”

He added: “AndBeyond’s investment in staff training and the bespoke experiences that we pride ourselves on offering will make the lodge stand out as unique. We plan to look outwards for inspiration, integrating the unique nature of the destination into our service ethos, thus creating a platform for guests to immerse themselves in this exceptional location and allowing the destination to shine.” 

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