COMO to open at the foot of the Himalayas

pen a sister lodge to the boutique hotel Uma Paro in Bhutan to “enable guests to enjoy greater cultural and physical adventure in the foothills of the Himalayas.”

The 11-room Uma?Punakha, which is due to open this September, will offer the option of a two-centre stay within the remote Himalayan region.

The hotel is on a hillside in the Punakha Valley, a five-hour drive from Paro, and is a good base for seeing two of the country’s most important temples, white-water rafting, hiking and cycling under the expert supervision of qualified English-speaking guides.

The lodge is apparently an ideal place for yoga and has a bird’s-eye views across the bright green, terraced fields down towards a dramatic bend in the river, the Mo Chu.

Uma Punakha is designed by Cheong Yew Kwan, a Singapore-born, Bali-based architect who is also responsible for COMO Shambhala Estate and Uma Ubud resort in Ubud, Bali, some of the villas at Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos and the new Four Seasons Resort in the Seychelles.

There are nine deluxe and two one-bedroom villas with interconnecting doors to one of the deluxe rooms, making them standalone two-bedroom villas when required.

Uma Punakha’s open-plan restaurant and lounge bar will showcase the best local ingredients and Bhutanese delicacies alongside a varied international menu.

This is in line with Uma Paro’s Bukhari restaurant, which is popular with in-house guests as well as some of Bhutan’s royal family.

Group marketing director Gabriela Henrichwark said: “The COMO Group was one of the first luxury hotel companies to open in the Kingdom of Bhutan in 2004. Now, it is a privilege to be able to share the Punakha Valley with our guests and be a part of a community that has been so carefully preserved for future generations. Our new Uma Paro and Uma Punakha options will enable our guests to explore this incredible region and understand why Bhutan is so ad