Design + Architecture

Design Hotels 2008

by Danielle Pergament


The scheme: Going local (rural edition)

The scene: Uma Paro, Bhutan

When the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan—the tiny country of monasteries, pine trees, snow-capped peaks, and babbling rivers—gingerly opened its borders to outsiders, it took a nanosecond for adventure seekers to flood in. But rather than comfort these visitors with familiar design motifs from the West, Uma Paro has held fast to its roots. The 20 rooms and 9 villas (exteriors by architect Cheong Yew Kwan and interior design by Kathryn Kng, both from Singapore) are impervious to the fads of the other hemisphere. The main house is the former home of a Bhutanese nobleman, and the guest rooms and villas are designed in the indigenous style, with hand-painted Bhutanese wall murals, hand-carved wooden doors and windows, traditional wood-burning Bukhari stoves, and outdoor hot-stone bathtubs, all crafted by local artisans. Landscape architect Trevor Hillier covered the 38 acres of Uma Paro with sloping wildflower meadows, organic gardens, and enough flora to attract more birds than the adjacent blue-pine forest.

Uma Paro  
Tel: 800 337 4685 (toll-free)
Tel: 975 8 271 597
Doubles from $280

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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