Bhutan : # 4 Uma by Como, Punakha Hotel

Often when travelling on an organised tour, the itinerary has the group constantly moving from one place to the next.  The evening destination is considered to be just somewhere to sleep before moving on to the next place; never stopping long enough to take in the ambience and surroundings of that evening destination.  This was one time that didn’t happen.  And it’s easy to see why we stayed in this beautiful valley for three nights with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the ‘destination’ – the delightful Uma by Como Hotel.


P1000342  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000342 © DY of jtdytravels

The hotel is nestled in the hills further up the Mo Chhu.  The entrance gate, with courtyard behind, is rather understated but this hotel is built to fit into the landscape not dominate it.


P1000344  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000344 © DY of jtdytravels

Below the reception area, it became obvious why the hotel was built in this position with views over the valley.  As I took this photo, I noticed the men whipper-snipping the grass just below the hotel.  A few moments later, they stopped their task – guests had arrived – and the peace of the valley was restored.


P1000346  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000346 © DY of jtdytravels

A view of the village below the hotel.

Tourist hotels like this provide extra work for the people of the valley.


P1000350  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000350 © DY of jtdytravels

We were taken to our room, again understated.  It’s the views that make this place special.


P1000351  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000351 © DY of jtdytravels

And what views.  How about this for a view from your bedroom window!

Now this was well worth a three night stay!


P1000352  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000352 © DY of jtdytravels

Lunch was served – a ‘deconstructed’ Caesar Salad – fresh, crisp, delicious.  Because the Puankha Valley is so productive, much of the food used in the hotel’s meals comes directly from the local farmers.  The chefs receive fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and fresh dairy products every day.  And that’s good for the farmers – and for the tourists.


View from Hotel web brochure

picture from Hotel web brochure

A view of the hotel from further down the hill.

The back basket is a common method of carrying things in Bhutan.


P1000353  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000353 © DY of jtdytravels

A bit of an explore, then a relaxing rest – just taking in that view from our room.

Why not?  Wouldn’t you?

It was good to see so many trees after the comparative barrenness of the hills on the Paro to Thimphu side of the mountain we had passed through earlier in the day. The climate is much more temperate and moist here allowing for the growth of moist mountain forests of rhododendron, alder, cypress, hemlock and fir and bushes such as daphne.


P1000354  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000354 © DY of jtdytravels

This traditional farm house was not far up the valley.  As is so often the case in this mountainous country, the land here is made productive by terracing and that makes for a lot of labour without the aid of machinery.


P1000360  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000360 © DY of jtdytravels

Back to our room to prepare for dinner… and another look at that view.

The light was changing; dusk was falling; peace reigned.

Just magic.


Balcony of hotel web brochure

Outside terrace, picture from hotel web brochure

The ambience of the hotel’s terrace at dusk was also delightful.


P1000363  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000363 © DY of jtdytravels

Dinner, Bhutanese style, began with momos, with chilli dipping sauce, and a soup.


Hotel in evenig from web brochure

Evening view of hotel from web brochure

A  hotel set amongst beautiful mountains… what more could you want!

Yes, sometimes, its good to just stop and savour the moment.

We’ll explore some more of the valley anon.


All Photography Copyright ©  David Young of  jtdytravels

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