Gangtey Lodge

Gangtey Lodge has been recognized as a unique world-class accommodation by discerning travel industry publications from around the world. In 2014 alone — the lodge's first full year in business — Conde Nast Traveller put the lodge on its “Hot List of the Best New Hotels in the World,” Tatler UK said it was among the “101 Best Hotels in the World,” and Travel & Leisure Magazine named it the winner of its “Best Design Award.”

But it isn't sheer opulence that lands the lodge accolades. Rather it's the way the lodge deftly fuses country home luxury, replete with beautiful murals and carvings by local artisans and masons, with the laid-back culture of rural Gangtey and the warm and genuine hospitality of its staff.

All of the lodge's 12 rooms (“Farm House Suites”) feature spectacular views of Phobjikha Valley and, between mid October and early March, the famous black-necked cranes who winter there. The rooms also have wood-burning stoves (bhukaris), deep bathtubs, plush custom furnishings, and heated hand-cut stone floors. In-room massages are available. Wifi is complimentary throughout the lodge. A restaurant with wall to ceiling views of the valley below offers Western, Bhutanese and Asian cuisine, often using delicious local potatoes, cheese, and other produce in support of the surrounding community.

Gangtey Goemba monastery is a 10-minute walk away, and its college (shedra) just 2 minutes away. The lodge works closely with both, arranging spiritual cleansing and blessing ceremonies, attendance at morning and evening prayers, and meditation instruction on request — with proceeds and donations given directly to their Khenpo.

The lodge's Gangtey Valley Explorer Package also offers a series of half and full day adventures and excursions as part of the daily rate, including hikes to Kumbu Lhakhang, mountain bike rides in Phobjikha Valley, visits to the Black-Necked Crane Center, and lessons in traditional archery and khuru (darts).

Most guests end up staying more than one night. In fact, the 30+ guests who have left reviews on its Facebook page have collectively have given the lodge a perfect 5-star rating. If the rates are not a deterrent, you can't go wrong by staying here. Be sure to book up to 9 months in advance to secure a stay during high season.