With its exclusive permission to charter private flights to and from Bhutan, private jet hire company Chapman Freeborn has now made travel headlines by partnering up with COMO Hotels and Resorts to offer seven-night holidays there. COMO, a company that specialises in luxury accommodation with properties around the world, owns two Uma lodges in Paro and Punakha, with guests staying at both of them throughout the visit.
Those fortunate enough to experience the trip will fly in on a Chapman Freeborn private jet, arriving at Paro airport. However, this is not the beginning of the journey – this actually begins earlier, in the selection of the aircraft, with the Gulfstream G450 and the Cessna Citation light jet both included among the options available. Entertainment on the jet will be second to none given Chapman Freeborn’s recent investment in new technology for its jets, and the top-range treatment is extended to all aspects of the planes, with the biggest ones even having separate bedrooms and dining rooms.
Checking in as VIPs via the fast lane, guests will remain in Paro for the first four days at COMO’s Uma lodge. Situated in the Paro Valley, the sights are stunning from the start, both inside and outside the property: indeed, an enviable balance is struck between interior (traditional Bhutanese decorations) and exterior (views of the Himalayas) beauty. The more northerly Uma Punakha, situated in yet another valley, offers an equally outstanding panorama in which guests will remain for the last three nights.
Throughout the trip, guests will have on offer a full schedule of excursions. Every day, they will be able to sample a different activity, all the while joined by a qualified, Anglophone guide. One day, perhaps a personalised and guided hike through some of the mountains and valleys. Then, perhaps guests could go down to the Mon Chu River for some white-water rafting. Another day, maybe one could schedule a visit to Thimphu and the Punakha Dzong – the capital and an important cultural landmark, respectively. Of course, a trip to any country is not complete without meeting the locals – to this end, conversing with monks about Buddhism and receiving gifts and dances as a welcome are all arranged.
For more relaxing pursuits, Bhutanese hot stone baths and Shambhala Massages are available back at the hotel, as well as individual yoga sessions with a COMO yoga professional. Of course, breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served at the hotel as part of the experience, and a personal butler is available for assistance at any time. The last night, however, has a special feature – dinner in the hotel courtyard, featuring champagne, a fire, and a romantic four-course feast for two.
Alex Berry, the Sales and Marketing Director from Chapman Freeborn, has already expressed his delight not only in being able to offer the exclusive privilege of a specialist private jet charter flight to Bhutan, but also in being able to do so in partnership with COMO. Providing such top-range accommodation for their clients and thus offering such a complete package makes this, in his words, a “unique alliance” that offers an experience that is “second-to-none”.
Indeed, what is especially striking about this partnership is that it offers, in the words of Norman Luxembourg (Uma Paro’s General Manager), a “seamless, door-to-door travel experience” that is hard to find elsewhere. The fact that this experience really is smooth, as well as adapted to the needs and desires of the guests, is the key to this grand Chapman Freeborn and COMO collaboration.
Pricing can change due to various factors such as jet size and place of departure, but the whole Luxury Himalayan Escape experience – including the hotels and the private jet hire – for two people in a mid-size jet departing from Singapore would be just over 135,000.00 USD. For high-end clientele, the exclusiveness and privacy could well turn out to be worth it.