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“Superb hotel, great views and excellent food” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Zhiwa Ling

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Zhiwa Ling
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Paro
Certificate of Excellence
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Superb hotel, great views and excellent food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2013 via mobile

We were delighted to arrive at the hotel when we landed at Paro airport in the morning. Traditional look and a superb lobby. The rooms were very comfortable and cosy yet quite large. We were travelling in a large family group of 10 people including 2 small kids. The chef took pains to provide special care and dishes to suit the taste of my parents and all of us. Breakfast spread was good too. I would highly recommend you to stay at this hotel if you ever visit Paro. Great value for money and fantastic property! Cheers!

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Ashish1604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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339 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Morro Bay, CA
Level Contributor
264 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

As others have pointed out, this property has a lot going for it. The gardens are beautiful, the lobby is stunning, the rooms fairly luxurious. We wanted to like the Zhiwa, especially after experiencing the truly great Taj Tashi in Thimphu and the Uma by COMO in Panakha. Unfortunately we were sorely disappointed.

At first we chalked it up to the fact that we were literally the only guests in the entire hotel. This became a bit creepy in multiple ways. The hotel was too quiet, and the probably bored staff too attentive (really, that can be a problem). At dinner, all by ourselves in a big dining room, several wait staff eyed our every move. Rather uncomfortable.

Speaking of dinner... the menu is EXTREMELY limited. Granted we had been spoiled by the incredible diversity of the menu at the Taj Tashi, but we were presented with a choice of three starters and three entrees. Total. Thinking it was a prix fix menu we asked for the a la carte menu, but that really was it. The wife and I are vegetarian, so the first night we split the sole vegetarian option, basic fusili pasta with cream sauce, and the second night we split the sole vegetarian option, basic spaghetti with vegetables. Zhiwa Ling should send their chefs to the Taj Tashi to see how a real 5 star does it.

Speaking of the second night's dinner... we arrived when the dining room opened at 7pm, ordered the one available option, and thought we'd at least have some conversation. Nope. A couple minutes later the overly abundant wait staff began to clear all the other tables, then remove all the other tables. Then the loud mopping machines began circling our lonely table. Since we couldn't hear each other anyway, we scarfed down some average food, and skedaddled across a wet floor between mopping machines and decided to just hit the sack.

But no... the furniture moving continued out on the patio, downstairs, etc... with the noise making it impossible to sleep. I thought I'd get caught up on some emails...

But no... the wifi internet had been spotty at best ever since we arrived. Decently strong wifi signal, but the internet would stop, and the Zhiwa would ask us to log back on about every 45 minutes or so... often right as I was finishing something that would then be lost. I'm guessing connectivity 10% of the time, and even that was clocked at 64kps. Of course we had been spoiled at the Uma by COMO in Panakha, which had 1+ mbps reliable internet, with no log on after the first, the entire time. In the boonies. Zhiwa Ling should send their IT guys for a visit to see how a real 5 star does it.

A previous reviewed noted something we also noted: the staff was almost too professional. As if they had gone to school to learn "how" to be 5 star, but never learned the "why" such actions are important.

The hotel is located at least 15 minutes from downtown Paro and the airport, down an incredibly rough road even by Bhutan standards. This does make it closer to the Tiger's Nest hike, but not much else. There are no real restaurants nearby if you want a choice of more than three entree options for dinner.

Based on the inside and outside appearance, we wanted to like the Zhiwa Ling. But we can't recommend it. I'd suggest either the Amankora or Uma in Paro instead.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LeanCEO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taichung, Taiwan
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

The first impression of the lobby was a total "wow". The carvings (if a little cracked) and the murals were amazing. Funny thing was that the first thing our "weary" group of travellers did was take advantage of the free wifi in the lobby whilst our guide checked us in. There was a little hiccup with the rooms (miscommunication of twins, not doubles) and since the hotel was fully booked due to some National Geographic shindig, it was surprisingly quickly and efficiently sorted!

The rooms were lovely, but a bit stuffy until my room mate and I realised that the (wonderful) wooden FLOORS were heated. Everything was very clean and there was even a little back porch/balcony area if we wanted to view the sunrise from our room.

One thing I HAVE to gush about is the picturesque gardens. I don't think I took enough pictures. It was the vision of tranquillity with the willows hanging over the small creek that ran through the entire length and the small bushes planted under larger ones, bringing little colourful flower when you really look at the plants.

While there was nothing to pick at with the hotel, it was just a feeling, or more precisely the lack of the feeling of the traditional Bhutanese warmth in the hospitality. Everyone was very professional but "professional" is something one can get anywhere.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Valistra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013 via mobile

Zhiwaling is one of the finest star property that the Bhutanese hospitality can put forward . The location ,it's greenery its landscaping is just well balanced that makes the guest welcome for starters . The manager and his staffs were very cordial and always there to help you out with a big smile which is an additional bonus . The food was tasty and the rooms were appointed with all the amenities a travellers would look out for .I had a wonderful and pleasant stay and would definitely recommend this hotel to people looking for a fine place to stay while in Paro Bhutan .

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dhup2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
100 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

Walk into the lobby of this hotel and people gasp at its design, much like traditional Bhutanese dzong. The workmanship that went into this hotel is amazing, and the rooms and food and service equal the first impression one has upon entering. The grounds also very impressive, with gardens, tea house, spa, yoga/meditation building. All the staff and manager really nice and helpful and professional. Rooms are big and attractively designed. One of my favorite hotels in Bhutan.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mocona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, United States
Level Contributor
292 reviews
127 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2013

Very nice rooms, excellent restaurant for both breakfast and dinner, highly recommend, has all the facilities internet works very well in the room, very cozy, only a little far from the center and road to hotel is very primitive, but I believe this new area will soon be developing fast. A great surprise to me having previously stayed at the Uma Paro - a real disappointment regarding Uma's service. All the staff is very professional, pleasant - reception, restaurant, really make you feel at home so whether it is your first or last place to stay in Bhutan, it is worthwhile and will continue to be my first recommendation.

Room Tip: Rooms at the main building would be easier for the elderly people but a short walk to the rooms like...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bonita B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kolkata
Level Contributor
45 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2013

when we reached the beautiful airport at paro, and alighted the plane, was awestruck by the breathtaking view of the mountains surrounding the runway. however, what really took our breath away, were the expanse of mountains surrounding the hotel!!

and the service....was exemplary!! from the staff at the gate to the marketing manager and the room service and house keeping staff. even the chef...an indian guy, was so helpful and cordial. my daughter fell severely ill and i couldnt have helped her without the help of the hotel staff. the hotel even sent someone just to meet her in the hospital. wow!!

the hotel property...beautiful...big...well maintained.....clean.....and stunning!!

rooms...big and spacious offering great view of the mountains and the huge hotel. the housekeeping staff was v prompt and efficient. toilets clean and well maintained. and the towel and linens in room v clean.

food...was v good and specially made as per our liking. the breakfast spread was also v good.

all in all....a must stay!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kaycee28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zhiwa Ling

Property: Zhiwa Ling
Address: Satsam Chorten, Paro 12001, Bhutan
Location: Bhutan > Paro District > Paro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Paro
#3 Romantic Hotel in Paro
#3 Family Hotel in Paro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Zhiwa Ling 4.5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 45-room Zhiwa Ling hotel combines the sensibilities of a fine Bhutanese guesthouse with the best of 21st-century technology. Envisioned and created by a local Bhutanese company, the hotel’s elaborate hand-carved wooden cornices and masterful stonework coexist beautifully with cutting-edge telecommunication systems and Swedish under-floor heating. The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) announced the Tourist Accommodation classifications and Zhiwa Ling Hotel is the first and only wholly Bhutanese owned hotel to receive a 5 star rating. Zhiwa Ling Hotel is the only Bhutanese owned hotel and one of only two in the country to be ISO22000 certified. Set on 10 acres, Zhiwa Ling has many amenities available to guests. The spa offers all the facilities guests could want; a fitness centre, sauna, steam room as well as a traditional Bhutanese outdoor hot-stone bath. There is a business centre, Tea House, two fully equipped conference rooms, a Meditation House and the hotel has its own greenhouse. Zhiwa Ling Hotel practices sustainable tourism. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zhiwa Ling Paro
Zhiwa Ling Hotel Paro

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