The Luxe List 2014

  • Abode, Mumbai, India

    Abode, Mumbai, India

  • Amano'i, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

    Amano'i, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

  • Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

    Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

  • Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal

    Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal

  • Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

    Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

  • Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia

    Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia

  • Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, China

    Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, China

  • Iniala, Phang-Nga, Thailand

    Iniala, Phang-Nga, Thailand

  • Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

    Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

  • Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand

    Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand

  • One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

    Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

  • Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

    Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

  • Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Sofitel So Singapore

    Sofitel So Singapore

  • Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

    Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

  • Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

    Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

  • Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

    Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

  • Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

    Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

  • Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

    Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

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The Luxe List 2014: Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

The six-hour drive from Paro’s airport into an amphitheater of Himalayan mountains is the first sign that you’re truly in a kingdom far, far away. Staff singing an enchanting communal song usher new arrivals through the traditional farmhouse door into a stunning double-height lounge, whose panoramic glass wall overlooks the 17th-century Gangtey Monastery, seemingly floating above the valley’s mists. And after being greeted with a shoulder massage and mug of mulled cider, you’ll be glad you made the trek. A wood-and-stone facade resembles the valley’s farmhouses, but inside, rooms are kitted out with polished wood, indigenous woven fabrics, heated floors, and freestanding bathtubs set before picture windows. After a day exploring the surrounding countryside, guests can refuel on slow-roasted pork belly and ema datshi, or recount their hot-air balloon ride—the lodge offers the highest commercial balloon flights in the world—on the open-air terrace, where a double-sided fireplace keeps cocktail-sipping cozy.

975/0234-0943; easternsafaris.com; doubles from US$650

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