Gangtey Lodge offers a true escape in Bhutan
Nestled high in the eastern Himalayas, the ancient Kingdom of Bhutan is a remote, undiscovered destination and has subsequently managed to maintain its incredible natural beauty and traditional ways of life. Gangtey Lodge offers visitors a true escape from the Western hustle and bustle with a unique and exciting insight into the beautiful Gangtey Valley, with its spectacular setting and sweeping views, where the 17th-century Gangtey monastery – the largest school of Buddhism in the country – prominently sits in the landscape like a mystical, stunning structure. Gangtey Lodge acts as a luxurious base for many half and full day adventures and excursions.
This exceptional and unique lodge is the brainchild of Brett Melzer and Khin Omar Win, who during the infancy of Myanmar’s tourism industry, established the first commercial hot air balloon operation in South East Asia – Balloons over Bagan. Brett and Omar pioneered the first white water rafting expeditions on the headwaters of the Ayeyarwady River. The accumulated expertise and experience formed the perfect basis for the project Gangtey Lodge in Bhutan.
The award-winning lodge was designed by Mary Lou Thomson, who has been creating unique interiors for boutique hotels and residences around the world, while always reflecting a clear understanding and incorporation of the culture, environment and geography for each project. Gangtey Lodge was conceived as a luxurious Bhutanese farmhouse with unwavering attention to local culture, materials, craftsmanship and design, resulting in a property that is uniquely Bhutanese but strikingly fresh and contemporary. Incredible floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge and dining area are carefully positioned to frame the exceptional Gangtey Valley vistas, while guests are being cocooned in a palette of warm reds and yellows with plush leather sofas and rich fabrics, local stone, dark wooden beams and fireplaces featuring prominently.
The twelve large and beautifully appointed guestrooms reflect the rich cultural heritage with warm fabrics and earthen tones, while housing a stunning collection of hand-crafted artefacts and ornaments. The rooms feature wood-burning stoves, underfloor heating and a showpiece-like free-standing bathtub whose location in the bay window allows for spectacular views of the monastery. The attention to detail is omnipresent with fixtures and fittings having been sourced from across the globe, such as the English bathtubs and Swiss wood-burning stoves.
The cuisine at Gangtey Lodge gets amazing reviews, with the Chef paying careful attention to guests’ wishes and only using organic ingredients to make succulent Bhutanese dishes.
Gangtey Goenpa Lodge is a great addition to the growing luxury hotel scene in Bhutan but with a strong focus on offering a personalised, homely and warm experience, yet high-end and utterly uncompromising.
Photo Credits: Chris Caldicott & Ken Spence