If you are looking for western style blandness with assured creature comforts this is probably not the place for you. If however you want to stay in a hotel that oozes character and history then you will love Gangtey Palace. But it is not only the hotel that has character, the staff were all a delightful bunch of personalities, so unlike the faceless employees of most of the hotels we stayed in.
The hotel is magnificently situated opposite the Paro Dzong and overlooking the town. The owner is a keen gardener and the flower borders would not look out of a place in an English village
Yes, the keen eye will notice where a lick of paint would not go amiss and as all the rooms are different sizes it is bad luck if one ends up with one of the smaller ones. The rooms in the centre block, originally the main palace building, are however of monumental proportions and elaborately decorated in traditional style.
There is a charming bar and the food is generally good, the breakfasts especially. The bar and dining room staff are superb, as I said, a real bunch of characters, who joined in our group fun. They even sang the Bhutanese National Anthem for us. It is almost worth going to the hotel just for them. I stayed a night there alone at the end of my visit and I was warmly welcomed and served like a king.
One word of warning. They charge a whopping 20% fee for using credit cards, so I would pay with cash.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Gangtey Palace is the only palace in Bhutan converted into a hotel. Natural spring water flowing through all pipes of the hotel. Traditional hot stone bath and massage. ... more less