At a Glance
Excellent traditional architecture and design making it a perfect blend of old and new
Eight cottages set within the 10 acres of gardens which contain most the rooms
Two restaurants with international and local cuisine
The first luxury hotel in Bhutan to be Bhutanese owned
Good spa with a range of treatments
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
In the western, central and eastern Bhutan you will mostly experience cold European-like weather. Winter lasts here from November to March. The Monsoon occurs between June and August when the temperature is normally between 8° and 21°C. October and November are arguably the best months, when the monsoon has passed and the skies are clear. The spring months of March, April and May are best for the flora, but it can be stormy as the monsoon builds up for July-September.
To start planning your holiday to Zhiwa Ling
Zhiwa Ling is located just outside of Paro in Bhutan and is close to the Tiger's Nest Monastery. Zhiwa Ling is noted for its traditional Bhutanese architecture and offers international standards of service and rooms.
Zhiwa Ling is quite unique in that it is the first truly Bhutanese owned luxury hotel. The aim of the owners was to blend harmoniously traditional Bhutanese design with the expectations of international guests. Over sixty local artisans were employed to lovingly handcraft its traditional exterior and interior design. When you enter the lobby, you will marvel at the ornate wooden carvings, intricate stonework and artwork. This traditional architecture and design flows throughout the hotel and rooms.
Zhiwa Ling has a main lodge, with eight two-storey cottages spread throughout its ten acre gardens. There are only 45 suites in total divided into Junior Suites, One Bedroom Suites and the two Bedroom Royal Raven Suite, all with excellent views over the Paro Valley. Rooms are sensibly furnished, with a gentle nod to Bhutanese arts and crafts - so expect creaky oak floors, hand-knotted rugs alongside vibrant bedspreads. Add to that satellite TVs (admittedly a little dated), WiFi and mini bar and you have exceptionally comfortable rooms to retreat back to after a day exploring Paro.
The Junior Suites are located in each of the stone cottages and you can be on either the ground floor (Mangolia) or upstairs with a balcony (Drugyel). We love the heated bathroom floor heating (great after a walk up Tigers Nest). There are two One-Bedroom Suites and are located in the main building and these come with a balcony. The two-bedroom Royal Raven Suite even has its own Buddhist shrine.
The hotel has two restaurants one serving international cuisine and the other serving classic Bhutanese fare. There is a spa complete with sauna, steam room and gym as well as a traditional hot stone bath. For those more spiritually inclined, there is a meditation hut and on the second floor of the main building, a Buddhist temple, complete with 450 year old timbers sourced from the famous monastery in Gangtey. There is also a cosy bar, Mad Monk, and for those favouring sobriety, you can wander to the Tea House.
There are 45 rooms in Zhiwa Ling split into Junior Suites, One Bedroom Suites and the two bedroom Royal Raven Suite. All rooms feature satellite television with DVD player, direct dial telephones, WiFi, safe and mini bar. Room service is available. The One Bedroom Suite and Royal Raven Suites come with their own butler.
Located in eight different cottages and spread along a pleasant pathway the Magnolia and Drugyel Junior Suites have good views of the Paro valley and surrounding mountains. The rooms are fitted with either a Californian king size bed or two comfortable Californian queen beds. All bathrooms have a full size bath tub with separate shower. They have a sitting area with leather sofas and a private balcony. Two Juniper junior suites are located in the main building on the second floor with a Californian king size bed in each and separate bath and shower in the bathroom.
|One Bedroom Suite||
Located in the second floor of the main building these suites have a living room with balcony and a spacious bedroom. Both suites have views overlooking the hotel grounds and views of the Paro valley. With 157 square metres of space, this suite provides plenty of room for you to relax in. An adjoining Junior suite, with a connecting door, can be booked on request to accommodate families.
|Royal Raven Suite||
Two bedrooms, a large dining and sitting room, private porch, and with its own private shrine room the Royal Raven Suite provides the ultimate Bhutanese experience.
Zhiwa Ling has two restaurants, a tea house, bar, meditation room and temple. The Mentha Spa contains a fitness centre with sauna, steam room and gym and a traditional Bhutanese outdoor hot stone bath.
Arthur Pope (Staff)
The Zhiwa Ling Heritage is a truly memorable property for the stunningly intricate Bhutanese interiors alone. But beyond that it is a well-designed, constructed, and maintained gateway to the Tigers Nest, itself visible from the property. With multiple high quality food options appealing to nearly any palate, and a lovely pool and outdoor entertaining area, the perfect place to unwind after taking in Bhutan's most famous site!
Jessica Cator (Staff)
Great location right next to The Tigers Nest Monastery, all the rooms are great proportions and the service is very good. The hotel does take some large groups so if you would like a private dinner I would advise booking into the Bhutanese restaurant as it is a totally different dining experience.
Daniel Smith (Staff)
Zhiwa Ling is a great option for those who might not want to upgrade to the far more expensive Uma Paro or Amankora. The traditional artwork and carvings really make you feel you are in Bhutan. The rooms themselves are fine - nothing out of this world, and possibly a little in need of an upgrade (especially the old TVs) but the under-floor heating in the bathrooms and good views are all you would want. The oak floors are a little creaky, so maybe opt for rooms on the first floor. In some respects the lighting in the rooms is a little on the low side, and WiFi doesn't always make it to the rooms (but the lobby reception is fine). The General Manager is great (Bob Lee) with bags of experience meaning the overall service levels are outstanding. I really liked the small bar area and the food looked great (although I was unable to taste due to an impending walk up Tigers Nest). Overall, I think Zhiwa Ling is a really great option if you want a hotel to tick all the boxes in terms of comfort, service and style.
Apple plucking season starts from July to August in the region of Paro and Thimphu.
Day Trip to Chelela Pass and Hike Kila Goenpa
Chele La Pass is known to be the highest motorable pass in Bhutan and provides wonderful views over Ha Valley and Paro District, which you have the chance to view today before taking a scenic hike and visit to Kila Nunnery.
Dressing up in traditional Bhutanese dress
Anyone who works in Bhutan must wear traditional national dress, and you can have the chance to dress up for a few hours to see how it feels. The Bhutanese absolute love visitors doing it!
The Drukgyal Dzong is located further up the Paro Valley from the Tiger's Nest Monastery and was built in 1649 by Tenzin Drukdra to celebrate victory over an invading army from Tibet.
Evening Prayers at a Buddhist Monastery
Evening prayers at a Buddhist Monastery is something you should do at least once on a tour of Bhutan. You will witness monks chanting traditional prayers, helping them prepare for meditation.
Explore the Paro Valley by Helicopter
A wonderful way to see the rich and fascinating Paro Valley
Farmhouse Visit & Home-Cooked Dinner
Visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan dating back to 7th century before meeting with local community members in a nearby farmhouse to enjoying a home-cooked dinner.
Enjoy an excursion into one of the Bhutanese rivers and try your hand at fly-fishing.
Haa Valley Alpine Excursion
Experience the unique nomadic Haa culture in the Bhutan's formerly isolated Haa Valley.
The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, dating from the 7th century and constructed by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsan Gampo.
Meet a Monk Your Own Age
Your children can have the opportunity to meet a monk their own age. 10% of Bhutan's population are monks and they can hear stories of getting up each day before first-light for prayers and their daily routines.
Visit a Buddhist temple for a monk blessing ceremony for an eternity of happiness.
Paro Dzong & National Museum
The Paro Dzong, or Rinpung Dzong as it is otherwise called, looms above the town of Paro. On the hill above the Dzong in the former watchtower you can visit the National Museum.
Explore the highlights of Paro with your guide and driver. From the National Museum and sacred Dzongs to a spectacular valley landscape dotted with farmhouses, Paro is home to many interesting sights worth exploring.
Paro Sunday Market
If you are in Paro on a Sunday then absolutely visit the local market. See a variety of vegetables on offer from 0630 until about 1000, and you can then see the archery ground following your visit.
Punakha Drubchen Festival
Held annually on February in Punakha, local militias dress up as Bhutanese warriors in this festival to re-enact the famous battle between Bhutan and Tibet.
Tea with a local family
Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.
The Haa Valley
The unspoilt Haa Valley is located close to Paro and offers a fantastic day out. Drive over the Chele Pass, Bhutan's highest road, and choose to free-wheel on bikes into the Haa Valley. Explore the local monastery, have a picnic and return to Paro.
Tiger's Nest Monastery
The Tiger's Nest Monastery is spectacular; legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. Set off for the 2-hour walk to the viewpoint before continuing onto the Monastery.
Try your hand at Archery
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen played throughout the Kingdom. Traditional bows are made from bamboo and witnessing an archery competition is an absolute highlight. We can easily arrange for you to have a go should you wish.
Zurig Lhakhang Hike & Archery
Hike through the scenic Paro Valley, visit historic Buddhist fortresses and try your hand at Bhutan's national sports - archery.
Imagine Nepal and Bhutan
Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan National Park, Thimphu, Punakha and Paro
from £5300 pp inc flights & transfers for 14 nights
- The epic Himalayan landscapes that stretch across these countries are awe inspiring and we suggest taking time to sit and enjoy the views
- Bhutan measures its wealth its people’s happiness; this ethos will rub off on you creating a sense of zen and tranquillity
- For those that love the great outdoors and vast open spaces coupled with charming people and fascinating cultures then this is the perfect trip for you
Location & directions
Zhiwa Ling is located along the Paro Chu Valley close to the famous Taktsang Lhakhang (Tigers Nest Monastery). It takes around 15-minutes to drive to the centre of Paro town and the main Dzong and airport.
How to get there
Fly to Paro and drive 15-minutes to Zhiwa Ling. The hotel is about 1.5 hours from Thimphu, Bhutan's capital city.
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