My sister and I knew traveling to Bhutan wouldn’t exactly be cheap. Aside from the minimum fee the government of Bhutan requires from all tourists, Bhutan also has the fanciest hotels. In fact, it actually has the most number of Aman group of hotels in the world. Yes, that same Aman group of Amanpulo fame. Although all travel agencies such as Amala Destinations offer a wide variety of accommodations ranging from affordable local lodges to sell-a-kidney level of expensive hotels, my sister and I didn’t want to skimp on the experience. We chose a few mid-level hotels plus some fancy ones as well like Uma Paro. For our stop at Gangtey though, Amala Destinations graciously upgraded us so that we can experience the beauty that is Gangtey Goenpa Lodge.
Just 3 years old, 5-star Gangtey Goenpa Lodge is best known for being designed by the famous Mary Lou Thompson. Each suite comes with a built-in fireplace and…wait for it–a BATH TUB located right smack in the middle of the room with the best view of the natural landscape outside!!! I died.
The perfection doesn’t stop there. The lodge only has 12 suites so just imagine how personal the service here is. When we arrived, the staff were lined up at the middle of the lobby, singing a solemn song that sounded like those that church choirs sing. What a welcome! And they stopped at nothing to make us feel at home. They cleaned our shoes, unpacked our bags, washed and pressed our clothes, adjusted our floor’s temperature, took care of our fireplace…Please adopt me and let me stay here foreverrrrrrrrrr. Take my kidney. Here. TAKE IT.
Gangtey Goenpa Lodge also offers special tours and services for guests, much like the other luxury hotels in Bhutan. Since we already had Mani from Amala Destinations taking care of us, we just opted to try the lodge’s archery range instead during our downtime. I mean, why not? Archery is Bhutan’s national sport so we at least had to try. Just don’t ask how I did. LOL.
I know fancy accommodations can seem like a waste of money but if you can, why not splurge a little? It adds so much to your travel experience, especially when you’re in a place like Bhutan. You don’t have to splurge all the way but it would be nice to try at least one. And if you’re trying just one, I highly recommend Gangtey Goenpa Lodge. I actually got to visit Aman’s Amankora Gangtey hotel and although I’m sure their service is impeccable, I still prefer Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, at least in terms of design. Amankora, to me, seems inspired by the minimalist Japanese design. (I’ll post photos on a separate post.) It feels a bit too modern and commercialized as opposed to Gangtey Goenpa Lodge that feels more authentic, homey and warm. In all honesty, out of all the nice hotels I’ve stayed in, Gangtey Goenpa is still at the top of my list. I guess this is why Amala Destinations really wanted us to experience it and I hope you guys get to experience it too.