At a Glance
Fantastic luxury lodge with the best views over the Phobjikha Valley in Bhutan
Small and boutique and wonderfully designed
Amazing free-standing bathtubs with a view over the valley
Perfect base from which to explore the valley through a series of fantastic day-walks
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
In the western, central and eastern Bhutan you will mostly experience cold European-like weather. Winter lasts here from November to March. The Monsoon occurs between June and August when the temperature is normally between 8° and 21°C. October and November are arguably the best months, when the monsoon has passed and the skies are clear. The spring months of March, April and May are best for the flora, but it can be stormy as the monsoon builds up for July-September.
To start planning your holiday to Gangtey Lodge
Inspired from the traditional wood and stone farmhouses of Bhutan, Gangtey Lodge has been lovingly designed to incorporate every sense of style and comfort. Offering awe-inspiring views, the lodge is simply the definitive luxury rural retreat.
Gangtey Lodge, previously known as Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, was the vision of Brett and Omar Melzer who run 'Balloons over Bagan' and wanted a similar project in Bhutan. The concept was to create a small guesthouse as a base to explore the area by balloon, but it soon developed into a labour of love and morphed into a luxury Bhutanese farmhouse experience with the help of architect Mary Lou Thomson. With just 12 rooms, it brilliantly blends traditional Bhutanese design and feel with all the trappings of a luxury boutique retreat. There has been so much attention to detail everywhere you look, and the fixtures and fittings have been sourced from all around the world - from the bathtubs which come from Colchester to the wood-burning stoves which come from Switzerland. With gorgeous local fabrics, exposed wooden beams and brickwork, Gangtey effortlessly blends sumptuous cutting-edge design with a local homely Bhutanese feel.
Each of the 12 rooms has amazing views over the valley below and some look out towards the nearby Gangtey Monastery, about 5 minutes from the lodge. The floors are made of hand-cut stone, and are heated and the rooms offer free-standing bathtubs, many with a view. Each of the rooms have wood-burning stoves. Local artists and masons have worked extensively to blend this sense of comfort with the artwork and carvings that can be found the local area.
In the main living area you will find comfy sofas surrounding two fireplaces and there are dining tables, looking out to a floor to ceiling window overlooking the valley. There is then a delightful terrace to sit and look out over the valley. Snuggle up under a blanket, cup of steaming tea in hand and simply watch the world go by or head to the hot stone bath to unwind.
Gangtey is certainly worth including on an itinerary to Bhutan, and famous for its nearby 17th century Monastery, local black-necked cranes, and fantastic day walks.
There are 12 rooms (49m2) at Gangtey Lodge offering heated floors, in room wood burning fireplace and free-standing bathtubs.
The main living area contains a large communal dining table where meals are served ranging from Western, Bhutanese and Asian dishes. Complimentary Wi-Fi is offering and there are in-room massages available.
The day treks from Gangtey into the Phojikha Valley are quite exceptional. See the famous Black-necked Crane from the end of October to March. The 17th century Monastery is a must, and we generally recommend three nights here. From late 2014, balloon flights will be offered. The lodge has a number of mountain bikes to explore the local area.
Arthur Pope (Staff)
This place truly stands out for its beyond stunning views, unique feeling bespoke bedrooms, and absolutely top notch staff. It emanates calm, and from beginning to end it excels at providing an atmosphere of true luxury. It feels like Bhutan, but it also feels like someones distinct vision. One would be hard pressed not to fall for this place. Absolutely top class!
Jack Mace (Staff)
After a fairly lengthy, hilly and bumpy journey over to Gangtey (the road is slowly improving!) you need to have a nice place to arrive to and Gangtey Lodge is the perfect fit! You are greeted by a whole host of smiling faces including the lodge manager, who is on hand to make your stay as relaxed and enjoyable as possible. The first thing you'll notice as you enter this fantastic lodge is the double story, floor to ceiling windows which make up the entire front of the building. You soon realise why they have done this, it boasts the most perfect views down the valley and to the mountains beyond. The lodge itself is also beautiful, traditionally Bhutanese in style and has super luxurious interiors. The rooms were also some of the nicest I've seen, a lovely bathroom, great open-plan living area with a corner sofa and a wood burning stove, and a huge comfy king size bed. The real 'wow' factor comes at the end of the room there you have a standalone bathtub next to a huge window again overlooking the beautiful valley. Whilst staying here I'd recommend taking full advantage of this valley! If you like to stay active, like I do, there's so many amazing hikes and bike paths you can enjoy. Ask your guide for the most suitable option and get out there!
Amy Ropner (Staff)
Gangtey is simply divine and being more remote makes it all the more magical and idyllic. Gangtey Lodge itself is truly exceptional and the rooms are divine, notably the bath which is out of this world - with views down the valley its a wonder anyone ever gets out! Something that really stood out during my stay was the attentive service which was really impressive, from the warming hot water bottles ready for me as soon as I sat down on the terrace outside, the fire that was lit as I entered the sitting room and the song I enjoyed on arrival the staff really do go above and beyond.
Kate Hall (Staff)
Gangtey Lodge completely exceeded my expectations and I truly believe it's one of the most beautiful boutique lodges in Asia. As a Product Manager I really don't say that lightly; everything is brilliantly planned and the staff know what you need before you've even thought of it. It's in one of the most remarkable locations in Bhutan with unspoiled views over the village and down through the misty valley (home to black necked cranes from November to February). A cup of tea on the long luxurious at sunrise is one of the most special experiences. What makes Gangtey lodge really stand out is the local experiences; from gourmet picnics after a long hike to a morning prayer with 200 monks, Gangtey really achieves wonderful things. For those who like comfort but consider themselves a little intrepid, this place is definitely for you.
Sara Wells (Staff)
Gangtey Lodge is a luxury hotel which is sensitively in-keeping with the aesthetics of it's surroundings. Whitewashed exteriors with wooden beams and a 'storage tiered' roof. It's 12rooms are located over 2 floors on 2 wings either side of the central communal living and dining room and terrace. There is under floor heating, double sided log fires to warm both the lounge and terrace. The floor to ceiling windows give unobstructed views of the Phobjika valley. It is merely a 15 minute walk to the Goenpa or monastery for morning or evening prayers. The service, cuisine and comfort is spot on.
Jessica Cator (Staff)
Gangtey Lodge was one of the favourite properties in Bhutan: Stunning views down the Valle, well laid out rooms and living space, with a lovely balcony warmed by fire places, and some of the best bath views I have ever seen! It was a real treat to stay here.
Daniel Smith (Staff)
I have known about Gangtey Goenpa since its owners first talked about building it many years ago and I had exceptionally high expectations - and it absolutely exceeded them - so much so, I think it to the very best hotel in Bhutan. The location is wonderful, perched right above the Gangtey Gompa Monastery and village with breath-taking views of the valley beyond. The hotel has been built with so much love and attention - rather than building a hotel that could be location anywhere. The main reception area is delightful and homely, opening out to the terrace which will make your jaw drop when you see the views. The staff are exceptionally well-trained and so eager to please with that perfect sense of service which is spot on, rather than overly attentive. The rooms are everything you would wish for, with bathtubs that offer a view over the valley. Walk into the local monastery in the evening for prayers, or head off into the valley for walks. If you look at the other options in Gangtey then consider it is half the price of the Aman, and twice as good.
Black Necked Crane Festival
During the festival, the local communities organize various cultural programs in Phobjikha, including crane dance performance and stalls selling colourful local items and Bhutanese handicrafts.
Dochu La Pass
At an altitude of 3,100 metres, The Dochula Pass is a high mountain pass known for its 108 distinctive memorial stupas and breathtaking panoramic views over the Himalayas.
Dressing up in traditional Bhutanese dress
Anyone who works in Bhutan must wear traditional national dress, and you can have the chance to dress up for a few hours to see how it feels. The Bhutanese absolute love visitors doing it!
Evening Prayers at a Buddhist Monastery
Evening prayers at a Buddhist Monastery is something you should do at least once on a tour of Bhutan. You will witness monks chanting traditional prayers, helping them prepare for meditation.
Enjoy an excursion into one of the Bhutanese rivers and try your hand at fly-fishing.
Gangtey 360° Hike
Today you will be driven to Lewa La Pass and have the chance to enjoy a hike in the stunning countryside surrounding Gangtey Valley and at the end rewarded with incredible 360° panoramic views.
Gangtey Goenpa Monastery
The Gangtey Goenpa monastery, or Gangteng Monastery is the main seat of the Pema Linpa tradition of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. Dating from the 17th century, it has superb views and guests usually visit before taking the Gangtey Nature Trail.
Half Day in Gangtey
Today you will have a relaxing half day with your guide to explore Gangtey visiting some of the highlight sites including Gangtey Goemba and the Crane Centre.
Enjoy this stunning hike - through Rhododendron forests, thick woodland, steeper passes, taking in the views of the valley and ending in the idyllic Kumba Village.
Meet a Monk Your Own Age
Your children can have the opportunity to meet a monk their own age. 10% of Bhutan's population are monks and they can hear stories of getting up each day before first-light for prayers and their daily routines.
Phobjika Nature Trail
Take a day walk around the Phobjikha valley, an ideal hike to see the black-neck cranes from November to late March, or simply to experience the villages and farms along the way. See the Crane Information centre at the end.
Potato Shed Candlelight Dinner
Enjoy a traditional Bhutanese dinner amidst flickering candles and bhukhari in the middle of shed on a local potato farm.
Punakha Drubchen Festival
Held annually on February in Punakha, local militias dress up as Bhutanese warriors in this festival to re-enact the famous battle between Bhutan and Tibet.
Spa Bath in Potato Shed
Visit a Bhutanese farmer in his traditional shed and enjoy a Bhutanese bath heated from fire-roasted stones, all while you indulge with a bowl of chips harvested from potatoes in the same field of Tokha village.
Tea with a local family
Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.
The Gangtey 360°Hike
Today you will have the chance to enjoy a hike in the stunning countryside surrounding Gangtey Valley and at the end rewarded with incredible 360° panoramic views.
Try your hand at Archery
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen played throughout the Kingdom. Traditional bows are made from bamboo and witnessing an archery competition is an absolute highlight. We can easily arrange for you to have a go should you wish.
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