Stay: Zhiwa Ling Heritage, Bhutan

Zhiwa Ling, meaning “Land of Peace” is a 45-room hotel that faces the sheer rocky cliffs that surround Bhutan’s most iconic landmark, the Tiger’s Nest Temple. A strategic position believed to bring good fortune to those who spend the night. The hotel is set on 10 acres in the Paro Valley, within easy reach of Bhutan’s most revered temples and monasteries. Envisioned by a local Bhutanese businessman and handcrafted by local Bhutanese artisans, to this day, Zhiwa Ling Heritage is wholly Bhutanese owned and staffed, making it the only wholly Bhutanese owned hotel to earn five stars from the tourism council. It is essentially a 5-star hotel living in harmony with nature, culture and tradition.

Photo courtesy of Conde Nast Traveler

From its traditional Bhutanese architecture to its elegant temple made with 450-year-old timbers to its Swedish under-floor heating, Zhiwa Ling Heritage seamlessly combines past and present in all areas of operation marrying the sensibilities of a fine Bhutanese guesthouse with 21st Century modernities.

The rooms

Enjoy splendid views of Paro Valley and surrounding mountains from each suite. The junior suites are spread across eight different cottages linked to the main building by an attractive pathway. Each room is fitted with either a Californian king size bed or two comfortable Californian queen beds. All bathrooms have a full-size bathtub with shower over and Swedish underfloor heating. A sitting area with leather sofas and a private balcony make these spacious rooms luxurious and private.

For those who want a more luxurious and private experience, you can opt for the Royal Raven Suite, featuring two bedrooms, a large dining and sitting room, private porch, and private shrine room blessed by Trinity Goddess: the Namgyelma (Skt. Vijaya), the Tsepame (Skt. Amitayus) and the Delma (Skt. White Tara). Three deities as one, called upon for longevity, happiness and wealth.

Room rates start at USD $181.

the restaurant & bar

Looking like a Swiss ski chalet with its stone fireplace and light wood furnishings, the Mad Monk Bar is the place to be for pre-dinner drinks or after-hours fun. Satisfy your taste buds with a Bhutanese or international dish perfected by trained chefs at the two speciality restaurants – Lingka and Gawa. Try their cooked organic salads like the indigenous red rice and corn with artichoke hearts. Relax with a book in hand, or write some postcards or document your trip in your journal and sip on some Bhutan butter tea in The Tea House, an intimate and private cottage designed to embrace the Bhutanese tradition of resting, replenishing and socializing. It is elevated for pristine views of the rock faces and mountains protecting Bumdra – meaning ‘Rock of One Hundred Thousand Foot Prints’. Recharge your soul in this cosy nook which also features a wood burning stove to keep you warm on cold days.



Photos courtesy of Zhiwa Ling Heritage

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