Editors' Picks

Six Senses Punakha

Farmhouse-chic, warm, verdant

Six Senses Punakha, Punakha, Bhutan

+975 2-350-773

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At a Glance

About the size of Switzerland, the landlocked Kingdom of Bhutan at the foot of the Himalayas was founded by a Buddhist master in the 17th century. Referred to by its own people as the Land of the Thunder Dragon, it is a country of staggering beauty, replete with rice paddies, rushing streams, forest trails and fields of wildflowers. As a Buddhist Kingdom that has followed its own way of life for centuries, Bhutan attracts many who come seeking enlightenment and healing and to learn meditation. Spirituality, wellness and serenity are also center stage at the Six Senses, a circuit of lodges across the country—from the capital of Thimphu to the remote Bumthang Valley. Each has its own unique style and sense of place, but all share a commitment to their local communities and to creating immersive cultural experiences for their guests. Indagare can help assess the combination that would work for you. Inspired by a rustic farmhouse, Six Senses Punakha lodge is a warm, luxurious base for exploring the beauty of the valley. Here are a few highlights:

Indagare Loves

  • Hiking through farmland to reach the soulful, 17th-century Chorten Ningpo monastery
  • Visiting a monastic school to meet and talk with the young monks
  • Taking in the sunset on the river, across from the impressive Punakha Dzong


The drive from Thimphu to Punakha cuts through the Dochula Pass, where the road opens up to a panorama of snow-capped mountains. From there, the drive descends into greener pastures. Punakha is the warmest of the Six Senses destinations, with a sparkling outdoor swimming pool to show for it.

The Punakha lodge evokes a chic farmhouse in the country. The 16 suites are open-plan, minimalist in design and spacious, featuring raw, natural materials. All include a cozy sitting area and floor-to-ceiling windows that lead to a large, furnished outdoor terrace, with the bathrooms and their soaking tubs set in the back of the suites. Mirrors above the vanity slide open to reveal the valley view. For more space, the expansive one- to three-bedroom villas come with a private pool and spa.

Punakha lodge’s food and beverage stands out above the rest. Uniquely flavorful and featuring local produce and regional herbs and plants, the lodge’s dining menu offers elevated Western comfort food with local influence, like slow cooked pulled pork with Bhutanese spices, as well as traditional Bhutanese dishes like ema datshi, a stew of locally produced cheese and chilis served with red rice. An additional option is to have breakfast with the monks at Chorten Ningpo. For a small donation, guests can join the monks in their traditional monastic morning meal. No matter the cuisine, dining at the Six Senses Punakha comes with unimpeded views of the surrounding mountains and terraced rice fields, from al fresco tables, the dining room, or from your room’s private terrace.

As the Kingdom’s former capital, the Punakha valley and its iconic dzong are a highlight of a journey through Bhutan. The area offers glorious hikes, many of which lead through local villages and verdant, terraced rice paddy fields. After a hike, head for a massage in the spa village. Treatments begin with an outdoor walking meditation and end with Bhutanese chanting. In the morning, yoga classes and meditation sessions are held in an outdoor pavilion that overlooks the valley below. With the perfect combination of off-site excursions and on-property pampering and relaxation, Punakha is an essential stop on every itinerary and the Six Senses makes for a delightful place to call home.

Who Should Stay

The lodge works well for couples, friends and families, with spacious two- and three-bedroom villas. With a focus on spa and spirituality, Six Senses Punakha is a great choice for a wellness trip.

Written by Sasha Feldman

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