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November 6, 2019 - If there is one place that consistently brings travelers to a standstill it’s Bhutan. Head to Six Senses Gangtey to immerse in historic, spiritual and cultural delights and stop the world from spinning quite so out of control.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is not the land that time forgot. For decades it has been carrying out a thoughtful program of modernization. However, Bhutan’s culture is grounded on an ancient Buddhist mythology epitomized by the many dzongs (fort-monasteries). It is this combined with some jaw-dropping scenery that stops even the most mile-hungry traveler in their tracks.
The opening of Six Senses Gangtey follows the successful launch of our three lodges in Paro, Thimphu and Punakha earlier this year. It almost completes our full circuit through the Land of the Thunder Dragon, with our final lodge in Bumthang opening its doors in March 2020.
The timing of this opening is auspicious. It is the time of year that the black-necked cranes arrive from Tibet to enjoy the clear skies and pleasant weather. Indeed, the lodge is called the “Traditional Birdwatching Bridge” due to its cantilevered bridge-like building with over-sized decks and large, floor-to-ceiling windows. This prime perch sits at an elevation of 9,843 feet (3,000 meters) and offers unobstructed, 180-degree views of the cranes’ nesting grounds and designated conservation area below.
Indeed, there is no better place than here to just stop what you’re doing and allow yourself to become absorbed into the rolling hills, pine forests and grassy marshlands of the Phobjikha valley all around you. At many points, while you’re with us, you’ll be invited to pause and see the world as we did when we were children, with a sense of awe. Print a prayer flag, build a stone stupa on one of your walks, make a mandala from sticks, stones and leaves or chant a mantra with some monks, just for the fun of it.
The design of the lodge is inspired by Bhutanese farmhouse architecture and incorporates local stone and hand-hewn timber. It uses traditional building techniques to blend with its natural setting. Dining areas along with a library and games room have been seamlessly incorporated.
All in all, there are eight suites, each with a valley-facing, panoramic and private outdoor balcony and equipped with daybeds as well as binoculars. There is also a two-bedroom villa with its own private spa treatment facilities designed to pamper and relax. Interiors are subtle with uncluttered lines and a natural palatte of earth tones and warm fabrics. Weathered timber floors and textured walls set the backdrop, while comfy leather armchairs and footstools invite guests to unwind after days spent trekking and exploring. Bukhari stoves and locally-woven throws add extra warmth to the star-filled nights.
In keeping with the brand’s focus on wellness, Six Senses Gangtey boasts a dedicated spa featuring two swedana rooms designed specifically for herb-infused steam therapies. Every treatment starts with a journey of discovery and the inclusion of a sodalite crystal to set positive intentions through breathing and meditation. This is followed by Bhutanese chanting and singing bowls, promoting stillness, happiness and well-being.
When it comes to culinary offerings, the lodge’s signature restaurant Baa Zam – “bridge” in Dzongkha – features hearty western and locally-influenced dishes, such as the Charred Pumpkin Risotto made with local short grained white rice and Bjobchee Takthuk, a signature Bhutanese pasta-like dish made with organic potatoes and buckwheat from the valley.
The picturesque 17th-century Gangtey Goempa is a center for Buddhist learning and meditation and the site of the colorful Black-Necked Crane Festival each November. There are also numerous nature treks and mountain bike trails winding through pine groves, alongside bubbling trout-filled streams and through fields lined with prayer flags.
Guests may decide to stay at Six Senses Gangtey for their entire visit but those curious about everything that Bhutan has to offer can plan a tailor-made circuit of all four lodges.
Six Senses Bhutan anticipates the opening of its fifth lodge in Bumthang in March 2020. For more details, reservations and travel arrangements, contact the resort’s reservations team at [email protected].