Luxury hotel in Upper Paro Valley

'Designer dzong' is the theme here, with the half-dozen sleek rammed-earth buildings secreted among the blue pines. The rooms benefit from the serene setting and muted home-spun fabrics, a romantic open-plan bathroom and traditional bukhari (wood stove). It's certainly sleek and stylish, but it's hard to justify the price tag. Most guests are on a packaged Amankora multiday journey.

The spa has a wide range of muscle-melting treatments, and there's an intimate restaurant and reading room. The resort is near Balakha village, about 14km from Paro, not far from Drukgyel Dzong.