Bhutan has been on our bucket list for many years. Yet when I say that to friends, many reply with 'where?'! The tiny Kingdom of Bhutan lies landlocked between the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by India, separated from Nepal by the even smaller Indian state of Sikkim. If you've not heard too much of it before, that's because it has until only recently been relatively sheltered from modern day tourism. Travel here was known to be arduous - though with flights now arriving regularly from Kathmandu in nearby Nepal, it's getting easier. Things are changing in Bhutan, and now it's not just the trekkers and adventurists making it in to this little piece of Shangri-la.
Luxury travel has arrived with places like the splendid Uma Paro, a luxury boutique spa hotel in Paro by COMO Hotels and Resorts, ushering in a whole new world of comfort for intrepid travelers who make the journey to Bhutan. Keeping a great respect for the country's rich Buddhist traditions, and taking inspiration from the breathtaking scenery that surrounds this little enclave, Uma Paro is a transcendental hotel experience. 'Quiet comfort in a unique, culture-rich location' is what it promises. More interesting for us is the inland treks, comprehensive tours and excursions led by Uma guides, allowing guests to really immerse themselves in the dramatic landscape and walk the pine-clad valleys, surrounded by those majestic snow capped peaks of the Himalayas.
The last time I came close to crossing the border in to Bhutan was over ten years ago. I had a backpack on and was making my way overland from India to Nepal. The next time I make this my reality, it will be in style. Bhutan, here we come!