Cutting-edge design meets traditional farmhouse charm in Bhutan's Gangtey Valley
History & culture | Natural world
A scenic, six-hour drive from Paro in Bhutan's verdant Gangtey Valley, this luxury lodge looks out to sweeping views of Himalayan foothills. But perhaps the lodge's defining feature is its stunning interior design, which morphs traditional Bhutanese design with the contemporary comforts of a modern boutique hotel. All exposed brickwork, log-burning fires and large panoramic windows, it's the brain child of leading architect, Mary Lou Thomson.
Built in the style of simple stone-and-wood farmhouses, the hotel's 12 suites dot the surrounding landscape. Step inside to find exposed brickwork, wood beams, hand-cut stone heated floors and freestanding slipper baths. There's artwork and textiles made in the local area while modern, wood burning stoves lend warmth and cosiness on chilly Himalayan nights.
A wide choice of Western, Bhutanese and Asian dishes are served on a half-board basis in the lodge's informal Lounge Restaurant. Wash it all down with the lodge's wide selection of international wines accompanied by spectacular floor-to-ceiling views.
There are a number of facilities at the hotel, including a traditional hot stone and bath house coupled with a range of superb in-suite spa treatments. The real highlights here, however, are the excursions, with included day treks to Phojikha Valley, guided visits to the village's 17th century monastery and the chance to observe the local black-necked cranes in the company of local experts. There's also the chance to take part in meditation classes and traditional Bhutanese games such as archery and darts while, for an additional cost, morning and evening prayer services at the nearby shedra provide a unique opportunity to meet and talk with the resident monks.
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