GEM - Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan

Ambiance - Located a few hours east of Paro, the only gateway into the Kingdom of Bhutan, sits Gangtey Lodge, perched atop of a field known for the migratory black-necked cranes and situated next to a monastery, all surrounded by the serenity of what Bhutan prides itself on, happiness. It was here that the entire concept of a Global Citizen Gem was created as these special places should be shared with others who can understand their appreciation. After traveling over the Dochula Pass, you'll continue across the developing national highway, but with each mile you drive, you feel as though you are traveling away from civilization and time. And then you suddenly arrive in pure luxury, nestled high in the Himalayas. After greeted by the lodge manager and welcoming staff, it's time to learn about the many cultural activities and relaxation options at the property. The main lobby, or living room as I felt it was, is so intricately assembled that it should be showcased in design books. There are only 12 suites on the property, each so spacious there are two fireplaces, which add to the element of a time-warp yet maintaining modern-day luxury (the heated wooden bathroom floors are a favorite!). There are many activities from hiking, learning how to use a bow & arrow, visiting the local school, black-necked crane center, but be sure to not pass up the relaxation options like a hot stone bath (room for 2) or an in-room massage treatment. After a cocktail in the living space, I returned to my room for a sunset massage and was so struck by the colors, I kindly asked to take a picture. I returned to the main lodge area for dinner and realized there wasn't enough time left in the day to savor every bite with each course. Truly, this property epitomizes the concept of a remote luxury lodge from the beautiful accommodations, deliciously presented food, but most importantly the kind and caring staff that makes this one of the most special places on this earth. 

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