Tourism is a recent development for Bhutan, a Himalayan kingdom squashed between India and China, which excluded visitors until 1972. Getting there is still not easy and involves a hair-raising flight over the mountains, but it's worth it to experience this deeply spiritual country, where GNH (Gross National Happiness) is valued more than GNP (Gross National Product).

At Uma Paro, a 29-room hotel overlooking the Paro Valley, the rooms are decorated in luxurious Bhutanese style - the vast one-bedroom villas with traditional bukhari stoves are particularly fabulous - and there's a fantastic spa.

Activities include mountain biking, trekking and yoga, and this is a good base from which to explore Bhutan's monasteries and fortresses.

Wow factor
: Reached by a winding mountain path, Tatskang (known as Tiger's Nest) is one of the most spectacular monasteries.

Flight time:
From 15 hours via Bangkok.

Go:
Virgin HIP Hotels (0844 573 2460; vhiphotels.co.uk) offers seven nights B&B from £2,999 per person, including flights and transfers.