Traveling easterly from Punakha, the road passes through the village of Wangdue Phodrang and climbs past deep ravines with dizzying drops to the little visited, picturesque valley of Phobjikha, home to the quaint rural settlement of Gangtey. At an elevation of 3,000 meters on the western slopes of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys. A designated conservation area, it is winter home of the endangered black-necked crane. The quaint village is dominated by the 16th century Gangtey Goemba, which includes a school, meditation facilities and quarters for monks, and is home to the mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa, one of the region’s historically important Buddhist treasure discoverers.
Positioned on a forested knoll close to the valley floor is Amankora Gangtey. A winding track leads guests through the forest and descends to the lodge that enjoys sweeping views of the stunning valley landscape and fields of dwarf bamboo and potato crops. The lodge accommodations and guest areas are encompassed in one rammed-earth building. The combined Living and Dining Room is appointed with cosy chairs and sofas and family style dining tables, providing views through floor to ceiling windows of the valley and surrounding mountains. Two massage treatment rooms and changing areas, and an intimate yoga/meditation room are provided on the lodge’s ground floor.
The eight suites are identical to those of Amankora Thimphu, offering an open plan bedroom and bathing area. The aesthetics combine wood paneling and chocolate brown walls, the traditional bukhari, terrazzo-clad bath, shower and vanity, and day bed offering views across the valley. Suites are individually heated during the cold winter months.