ABOUT us

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Gangtey Lodge founders
Mountain view from a terrace at Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan

Gangtey Lodge
story

Gangtey Lodge is the culmination of an adventure that began back in 2003 by owners Khin Omar Win and Brett Melzer. Founders of the iconic Balloons over Bagan and the remote Malikha Lodge in Northern Myanmar, they were invited to Bhutan to explore the possibility of ballooning together with their Bhutanese partner Yeshey Norbu.  

Instead, when they came across the spectacular and unspoilt Gangtey valley, the seed was planted to create a luxury escape that not only helped to preserve Bhutanese rural life, but followed their philosophy to bring opportunity, training and skills into this remote community. 

Taking their project management team from Myanmar, they embarked on 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 for Gangtey Lodge, in what was to be her first totally independent hotel project. Together, they shared the same passion to create a unique lodge that reflected Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage. 

Our Philosophy

Purpose & Mission

They say that ‘Happiness is a place, and it is called Bhutan’.

At Gangtey Lodge we embrace Bhutan’s concept of Gross National Happiness by pursuing a harmonious balance between respecting nature and promoting cultural preservation and sustainable development.

Our purpose is to create luxury escapes and amazing experiences that enable travellers to connect physically, spiritually, and emotionally with their surroundings.  We believe that travel should be meaningful and positively impact the people and places that we visit.

Our mission is to empower and create opportunities for the local community through training and employment, and respecting the environment through our low impact design and green operational practices.

We invite you to reconnect with nature and hike the numerous trails through the valley, find spiritual enrichment through our experiences with the 17th Century Gangtey Monastery, and explore the rich culture of the local community, unchanged for centuries. Most importantly, our Gangtey Lodge Family look forward to creating lifelong memories by reconnecting you with yourself and your loved ones.

A hiking experience at Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan

our team

the Gangtey Lodge Family

Gangtey Lodge is more than just a hotel, it is also our home. What makes us unique is our Gangtey Lodge Family, many of whom were involved in the construction of the Lodge.  Our youthful team are eager to share stories about their culture and life experiences growing up in the “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Their beliefs are endless, and their answers are always genuine and thought provoking. Drawing upon their intimate knowledge and deep understanding of the valley, they have designed our experiences for you to explore the very soul and essence of Gangtey Valley. 

Gangtey Lodge family

OUR TEAM

the Gangtey Lodge Family

Gangtey Lodge is more than just a hotel, it is also our home. What makes us unique is our Gangtey Lodge Family, many of whom were involved in the construction of the Lodge.  Our youthful team are eager to share stories about their culture and life experiences growing up in the “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Their beliefs are endless, and their answers are always genuine and thought provoking. Drawing upon their intimate knowledge and deep understanding of the valley, they have designed our experiences for you to explore the very soul and and essence of Gangtey Valley. 

Main Awards

Gangtey Lodge has been internationally recognised with several prestigious awards, from its respectful design to its authentic service and contribution to the community.

GANGTEY LODGE NAMED ‘TOP 25 BOUTIQUE LUXURY HOTELS IN THE WORLD’, IN TRIP ADVISOR’S ANNUAL 2020 TRAVELLERS’ CHOICE AWARDS

Boutique Luxury Hotels in the World’, in its annual 2020 Travellers’ Choice Awards. “We are thrilled to be named #7 in Trip Advisor’s Traveller Choice’ Top 25 Boutique Luxury Hotels in the World” 

“Top 30 Resorts in Asia” - No.14 in Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards 2020

“Nestled near a cluster of farmhouses on one of Bhutan’s endless rolling hillsides, Gangtey Lodge offers an ideal springboard to Himalayan adventures—and, though you can reasonably look forward to its small luxuries at day’s end, its remote location offers the ultimate antidote to your over-stimulated life”.

“Best 100 Best Hotels in the World” – Fodor’s Finest 2019

“Happiness is embedded in the founding principles of the Kingdom of Bhutan, where the country measures its progress through Gross National Happiness. The Gangtey Lodge is a natural extension of the country’s ethos, with immersive experiences and impactful programs designed specifically to incite happiness in all who arrive to this Bhutanese (…)”.

“Top 15 Best Resorts in Asia” - No.5 in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards
2019

Gangtey Lodge was named 5th best resort in Asia in the prestigious Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Awards 2019.”

“Top 100 Best Hotels in the World” - No.26 in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2019

Gangtey Lodge was named in the top 100 hotels in the world in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best Awards 2019”, one of luxury travel’s most prestigious awards.

“Top 20 Best Resorts in Asia” - Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards
2019

For the third consecutive year, Gangtey Lodge was named in the  “Best Resorts in Asia” by Condé Nast Traveller Magazine’s readers. 

“Top 20 Best Resorts in Asia” – Condé Nast Traveller Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards 2018

For the second consecutive year, Gangtey Lode was named one of the best resorts in Asia by readers of the luxury magazine Condé Nast Traveller.

Gangtey Lodge Bhutan Tripadvisor feature

“Top 25 Small Hotels in Asia” – Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards
2018

Gangtey Lodge  is honoured to be named in Tripadvisors  “Top 25 Small Hotels in Asia”, based on reviews from past guests.

Gangtey Lodge Bhutan featured in Conde Nast Traveler

“Top 25 Best Hotels in Asia” – No. 5 in Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards 2017

Gangtey Lodge is voted 5th best hotel in Asia in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards 2017, by the luxury travel magazine’s readers.

“Winner – Global Design Award” – Travel + Leisure 2014

Gangtey Lodge wins Travel + Leisure Magazine’s 2014 Global Design Awards.

“Taking its cue from the 17th-century monastery a quick walk from its front door, Gangtey Goenpa slips discreetly and respectfully into its remote hillside location. Composed of two traditional farmhouse-style buildings connected by a single-storyhall (…)

“Hot List of Best New Hotels in the World” – Condé Nast Traveler 2014

“It may be a long journey to this remote new hotel in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, but you know you’ve made the right decision from the second you arrive (…) Australian architect Mary Lou Thomson has created a seriously smart take on the rustic vernacular, with plenty of exposed stone, polished wood and local woven fabrics”.

gangtey lodge

In the Press

Harper's Bazaar - The Wanderlust: Where Tory Burch Plans to Travel Once the World Opens Up Again.

JUN 8, 2021
The New York-based designer has her eyes set on one of her bucket list destinations. Gangtey Lodge is mentioned in Harper’s Bazaar as a place Tory Birch would like to stay when visiting Bhutan.

Condé Nast Traveller India - 10 Hotels To Book For A Secluded Getaway

JAN 19, 2021
CNT’s Shraddha Chowdhury includes Gangtey Lodge as one of her 10 remote escapes to flee the buzz of city life for a secluded getaway.

FODOR’S - The Best Hotels in Asia 2019 /Best 100 Hotels in the World

2019
Gangtey Lodge is honoured to be named in Fodor’s ‘The Best Hotels in Asia 2019 and in ‘The 100 Most Incredible Hotels in the World’.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLER - INSIDER GUIDES TO SOUTH ASIA

DEC 16, 2020
From Bhutan and India to Sri Lanka – here, insider guides to all the places in South Asia you can’t wait to get back to or visit next year. The hidden Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas is a perfect safe haven for first travellers, with one of the most successful COVID-19 responses in the world.

FORBES MAGAZINE – Hotel Owners Who Happen To Be Couples Talk Love And Business

FEB 13, 2020
Since opening its doors in 2013, the Gangtey Lodge has offered guests a luxurious way to explore Bhutan’s Gangtey Valley. Husband and wife business partners, Brett Melzer and Khin Omar Win share their thoughts on owning a hotel in the happiest country in the world and what it takes.

Mr Porter – EIGHT REASONS TO VISIT BHUTAN IN 2020

FEB 13, 2020
In 1974, the leaders of a tiny, little-known kingdom on the eastern ridge of the Himalayas between India’s northeastern states and China, made a drastic decision. For the first time, Bhutan would throw open its doors to visitors. In that year, just 287 foreigners discovered a mountainous land shrouded in mystery and Buddhist tradition. Almost 50 years later, Bhutan is firmly on the adventurer’s map.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL – Buddhahood in Bhutan | Wall Street International Magazine

AUG 19, 2020
“The 12-room Gangtey lodge is uniquely Bhutanese and the harmonious amalgamation of Bhutan’s Vernacular Wood & Stone architecture with contemporary design patterns – absolutely marvellous and a treat to ones’ senses.”

VANITY FAIR – BHUTAN: SPACIAL AWARENESS

MARCH 19, 2019
“The independently run Gangtey Lodge overlooks the sensational remote valley of the same name, and offers fantastic guided hiking. Yet the property is also nestled in the village, allowing for community gatherings, morning blessings at the local temple and encounters with lamas at the monastic college up the hill.”

Cool Hunting – Serenity Redefined At Bhutan’s Remote Gangtey Lodge

JAN 21, 2019
To gaze out at the valley, one severs their connection to time and place. With black-necked cranes above, it only becomes more mystical. Of course, there’s also free, reliable WiFi and so many other amenities that luxury travelers require these days. But the spirituality many speak of when talking about their time in Bhutan can be inhaled here. With it comes peace of mind—and the staff does everything, both seen and unseen, to make sure it’s sustained.

The Wedding Vow – Where to Stay in Bhutan + 5 Best Bhutan Hotels (2021 Guide)

MAY 21, 2020
Gangtey Lodge Bhutan is a hidden oasis at the heart of the Phobijika Valley. With only 12 suites in this luxury lodge, guests are promised top-quality pampering throughout their stay.

FORBES – Female Hospitality Business Owners Reveal Their Favorite Travel Memories

MAY 8, 2020
Forbes asks Co-Founder Khin Omar Win to share her travel reflections on Mother’s Day.

Home Journal – 7 Remote Paradises You Must Visit After the Coronavirus Pandemic

MAY 12, 2020
The spectacular Black Mountains National Park wildlife reserve envelopes the boutique hotel’s eight Farm House Suites, kitted out with terrazzo-clad bathtubs, wood-burning stoves, plush soft furnishings and traditional Bhutanese decor that all working to cocoon you in a state of deep happiness and harmonious balance that the country is known for.

A Luxury Travel Blog – 33 things to do in Bhutan

AUG 29, 2020
The terrace at Gangtey Lodge, one of our favourite hotels in Bhutan, is the perfect place to spend hours simply staring at the scenic valley below. The weather changes so frequently that the light is constantly changing and there is always something to watch, while the staff bring you hot drinks, blankets, hot water bottles and neck warmers.

Singapore Tatler – The Luxurious Hotel Bathrooms In Asia Have the Best Views

JAN 14, 2020
“Gangtey Lodge sits above a mystifying valley of the same name, rife with rolling landscapes, majestic mountains and traditional farmhouses. Each of the 12 lavish guestrooms takes advantage of the magnificent beauty of its surrounding. Facing the beautiful arched frame windows in the bathroom is an English roll-top bath that lets you enjoy the local scenery while in the lap of luxury.”

FORBES – From Myanmar to Bhutan, Eastern Safaris Practices Responsible Tourism

APR 24, 2018
FORBES’ Sophie Friedman interviews Co-Founders Khin Omar Win and Brett Melzer to find out the story behind Gangtey Lodge.

First Class – 6 Travel Trends To Note For Your Next Luxury Getaway

FEB 21, 2020
The Gangtey Lodge in Phobjikha Valley is surrounded by nature’s own never-ending panorama of unspoiled landscapes.

Precious HK – LUXURY HOTEL IN BHUTAN

JAN 13, 2020
Perched above the mystical Gangtey (Phobjikha) Valley with sweeping views of towering mountains above and the valley floor dotted with traditional farmhouses and the occasional yak, multi-award winning Gangtey Lodge delivers a genuine and authentic experience in one of the world’s most undiscovered destinations.

American Express Essentials – 10 Ways You Can Give Back by Travelling in 2019

JAN 4, 2019
You’ll have numerous opportunities for local cultural experiences that also give back in meaningful ways at Gangtey Lodge in Bhutan’s Phobjikha Valley, which can arrange for everything from prayer and mediation sessions at the local Buddhist monastery to donating robes to the monks, or donating a full day worth of meals – anonymously or with a blessing, of course.
Gangtey Lodge Tripadvisor Hall of Fame

TOP 25 SMALL HOTELS - ASIA

Gangtey Lodge are winners of the 2018 Travellers
Choice Trip Advisor Top 25 Best Small Hotels in Asia.

The best hotel I have EVER stayed ingabster12019
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Gangtey Lodge is my little slice of heaven! What a beautiful hotel set in the most amazing setting. The food is delicious and the staff are very helpful and friendly. The bedrooms are to die for and the bath probably has the best view I have ever seen. The only trouble is deciding whether to have a bath in the morning with the beautiful view of the valley or at night with the warmth of the cosy fire...
Amazing Propertydh24yaya, Westchester Country, United States
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From the minute you are greeted at the front door by the general manager to the minute you leave, you are treated like royalty. The chef is amazing - best meals in Bhutan. Our room was perfection as well..comfy beds, lots of space to spread out. The absolute most breathtaking g views of the Gantey Valley. Others could learn from the impeccable service! We enjoyed an amazing massage and the hot stone bath- a MUST!
Stunning, expansive lodgemaiaks, Singapore
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This is one of my all time favourite hotels in the world. The scenery, the architecture, the food, the warm staff...really exceptional. Where else can you soak in your tub while looking out at a wide glacial valley filled with sacred endangered cranes? Highly recommend the massages and hot stone soak as well!
Amazing welcome, luxurious room and that view!AE1963, Wollongong, Australia
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We were greeted at the front gate by the GM and her staff. The staff sang a welcome song as we entered. This was followed by complimentary hot spiced apple tea (made from local apples) and a shoulder massage as we took in the spectacular views down the Gangtey Valley. It only got better from there!
The jewel in Gangtey’s crownShahllal, London, United Kingdom
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From the moment you step in, you are pampered to the hilt. The decor is stunning and the rooms are opulent, with fireplaces and amazing bathtubs, without being over the top.
WOW+Barbara Spratling, Melbourne Australia
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They organised archery for us and we all had such fun. We stayed as a small group of 12 people and nothing was too much trouble. It was quite a drive getting there but so well worth it. We stayed 2 nights but wished we could have stayed more.
The best place I have ever stayedlaurencnm, New York, United States
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“Gangtey Lodge has to be experienced, the written word does not do it justice. The quality of the service is simply beyond - beyond 5 stars, beyond warm and caring. All our needs were anticipated, including needs we didn't know we had. It is not easy to get there but it is my dream to return there someday. Simply perfect. Oh, and the setting is magnificent.”
Best stay everDon D
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I have traveled quite a bit and stayed in lots of five star hotels. Gangtey lodge is in a class of its own. They have a way of making you feel like family without overwhelming you. We stayed four nights and didn’t want to leave.
Wonderfull stay in GangteyNavi
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This Hotel deserves all the awards they got recently and in the past. Five Star service, interior , rooms, view and hospitality. It nicely rounds up the stay in this beautiful area and valley and there is nothing better than enjoying the fireplace inside or outside and the massages after a day full of great experiences. Kind of special little hideaway.
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