Gangtey Lodge, Phobjikha Valley
Kingdom of Bhutan
Date of Creation
Hotel General Manager
SLH, Regenerative Travel, Mr& Mrs Smith
To develop innovative experiences in Gangtey Valley, allowing guests to discover and immerse themselves into rural Bhutanese Life, culturally, physically and spiritually
History & Story
Gangtey Lodge is the culmination of an adventure following owners Khin Omar Win and Brett Melzer’s first-ever trip to the Kingdom of Bhutan in 2003. At the time, they had recently founded Balloons over Bagan, flying their burgundy-coloured hot air balloons over the iconic temples of Bagan, Myanmar. A chance meeting on board led to an invitation to explore the remote valleys of Bhutan to investigate the possibility of ballooning, together with their Bhutanese partner Yeshey Norbu.
Instead, coming across the spectacular and unspoilt Gangtey valley, the seed was planted to create a luxury escape that not only helped to preserve the traditions of Bhutanese rural life but also followed their philosophy to bring opportunity, training and skills into this remote community.
In the following years, they embarked upon a three-year journey to build a 12-roomed Bhutanese ‘farmhouse’ that respectfully blended into its environment and enabled guests to connect with the natural surroundings and spirituality of Bhutan.
Mary Lou Thomson took on the role of Architect in what was to be her first independent hotel project. Together, they shared the same passion to create a unique lodge that reflected Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage and would stand the test of time.
Designer of lodge: May Lou Thomson. Nothing is currently being renewed, but soft renovations are undertaken twice a year
Date added extensions
15th September 2016 – Hot Stone Bath, designer David Cole
30th September 2019 – Woodshed, a Traditional Bhutanese Hut, designer David Cole
Main Strengths, Special Touch
Our tailored and unique experiences are our strength, as we are constantly developing new ones. The authenticity of our staff, who all come from Gangtey Valley, and who are constantly praised for their warmth, hospitality and professionalism.
Located above Gangtey Valley with sweeping views of the valley below and walking distance from all major hikes and Gangtey Monastery
Key sites/activities in the area
The main sites in Gangtey are the monastery, smaller temples such as Kumbu Lhakhang and Khewa Lhakhang, the Black-necked cranes (in the valley from Oct-Mar) and the Black-necked Crane Information Centre (RSPN).
Activities are endless in the valley with many different hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as unmarked trails for the more adventurous. The Shedra (Monks College) holds daily morning and evening prayers for guests to experience as well as a daily meditation class.
We are pleased to welcome children 5 year and older at Gangtey Lodge. We do not have a dedicated children’s corner, but we have plenty of child friendly activities and Bhutan is an incredibly safe place to travel with your family.
• Number of suites: 12 suites
• Number of rooms, (keys) in all: 12 suites total, all the same category. 6 in West Lodge and 6 in East Lodge, two separate buildings
All suites have the same view of Gangtey Valley with free standing bathtubs and separate shower, toilet and vanity rooms. The suites are 49 square metres.
Restaurants & Bars
• We have 1 main lodge restaurant that serves a la carte Bhutanese, Asian and Western dishes. Our rates are either Half Board (breakfast and dinner) or Full Board (all meals)
• Our Executive Chef is from Malaysia, Chef Soh.
• All of our produce is sourced as locally as possible, with very little imported from outside of Bhutan
• Outdoor dining experiences around the valley (casual picnics or High Tea) and the private Woodshed venue for Brunches and Dinners
• We offer our guests a wide range of professional spa treatments in the comfort of their suite. The suites are large enough for 2 persons to enjoy a massage in their room and soaking in the feature bath after their treatment
• Separate Hot Stone Bath House where 2 pax can enjoy a massage before having a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath large enough for 2. The hot stone bath house is a separate building to the main lodge
• No swimming pool or fitness, but 7 mountain bikes are always available for complimentary use
Corporate & Celebration Events
• No corporate event facilities, not our market
• For celebrations (birthdays, weddings, Chinese New Year, Christmas) guests can block out either West or East lodge containing 6 suites each for great er privacy.
Extra Notable Features
• Complimentary archery and darts (Bhutan’s national sports) on the front lawn
• Complimentary meditation at the Shedra (Monks College) as well as joining the monks for morning and evening prayers.
Hotel and restaurant Awards
• No 7 “Top 25 Boutique Luxury Hotels in the World” – Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards of the Best of the Best 2020
• No 5 ‘Top 15 Best Resorts in Asia” – Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2019
• 26 th ‘Top 100 Best Hotels in the World’ – Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2019
• Top 20 Best Resorts in Asia – Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards 2019
• Fodors Finest – Best 100 Best Hotels in the World 2019
• Top 20 Best Hotels in Asia 2018 – Condé Nast Traveller Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards
• Top 25 Small Hotels in Asia 2018 – Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards
v#5 of “Top 25 Best Hotels in Asia”, Conde Nast Traveller Reader’s Award 2017
• Conde Nast Johanson’s Best Destination Hotel for 2015
• “Hot List of Best New Hotels in the World” Condé Nast Traveler 2014
• Winner, Travel + Leisure’s 2014 Global Design Award
Number of employees