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.