Since reopening in 2022, the best hotels in Paro, Bhutan have benefitted from updated rules that allow unprecedented independent travel in this very much ‘off the beaten path’ country. The revised travel regulations have been implemented to enhance the experience of travelers while helping the country to develop. Today, nearly all visitors are required to hand over a daily sustainable development fee of US$100. Although this may seem steep, the set fee has allowed the Kingdom to open to foreign visitors without compromising the four pillars of Gross National Happiness, two of which are the Preservation and Promotion of Culture and Environmental Conservation. Although it is still recommended that a certified tour operator be used for most people planning a trip to Bhutan, it is now possible for adventurous visitors to independently choose the best places to stay in Paro and book accommodation directly.

Good hotels in Paro are thankfully not hard to find and there are some great deals to be had on hotels in Paro when you allow the Secret Retreats team to help build your Bhutanese itinerary – which is the best way to travel and enjoy this fascinating country. If you are flying into Bhutan, the historic town of Paro will be your first port of call as it is home to the country’s only international airport. The surrounding mountain scenery, crisp, clean mountain air, and the views of the traditional buildings that dot the valley floor that greet you as you disembark are the perfect introduction to this Himalayan Kingdom. Many of the best places to stay in Paro are situated along the banks of the Paro Chu River, an area that is also home to no fewer than 155 monasteries and temples that have been overlooking the countless rice fields for centuries. Above the valley are the mighty Himalayas, providing a dramatic backdrop to the panoramic views from many of the best hotels in Paro.

Hotels in Paro:

Zhiwaling Heritage Hotel
On the Mountains

Zhiwaling Heritage Hotel

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The Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Paro – A Spiritual Journey into the Heritage of Bhutan

The latest addition to the best hotels in Paro Bhutan curated by Secret Retreats is the enchanting Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Paro. Like many of the best hotels in Paro, the luxury residence combines Bhutan’s long history, tradition, and culture with the ultimate in contemporary comfort. The talented team behind the Zhiwa Ling Paro and its sister hotel, the Zhiwa Ling Thimphu, has succeeded in creating a range of spacious private suites and public areas in which guests can relax and rejuvenate and that reflect the surrounding history, nature, and culture of Thimpu, Bhutan. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in the heritage of Bhutan during their stay by visiting the Tea House where they can prepare their own butter tea to enjoy whilst reading a book chosen from the Zhiwa Ling Hotel Paro library, or join a yoga class in the Samden Meditation House with its unbeatable views of the legendary Tiger’s Nest Buddhist Monastery. Those interested in exploring Buddhism in more depth may want to spend time in the hotel’s in-house temple constructed from timbers recovered from the 450-year-old Gangtey Monastery.

Guests preferring more physical activities are welcome to step back through thousands of years of Bhutanese history and practice the ancient art, and national sport, of archery, in the grounds of the Zhiwa Ling Hotel Paro Bhutan. Dining at the Zhiwa Ling Paro is an experience designed by the highly trained staff as a way of welcoming you into the family. The restaurant serves a menu of Bhutanese, Indian, and Western specialties designed to elevate your dining experience above the casual restaurant experience. The Ritual Bar echoes the idea of offering a truly unique experience by encouraging guests to settle back and celebrate authentic locally created spirits brewed from rice, corn, and wheat.

A stay at the Zhiwa Ling means you will enjoy an authentic Bhutanese encounter that is sure to remain with you for a very long time after you leave this very special corner of Asia.

Unmissable Activities While Staying at Hotels in Paro Bhutan

Although studded with a proliferation of ancient temples and monasteries to visit, a stay in any of the exquisite hotels in Paro Bhutan must include a day trip to the iconic Tiger’s Nest. This fabled holy site is perched on a craggy cliff 3120 m above sea level. A round trip to this most sacred of destinations can be booked from most of the best hotels in Paro Bhutan and will take around 5-6 hours to get up and down. Those who don’t fancy the hike can hire a horse and local guides are available for those who need their bags carried. A cafeteria halfway along the route offers refreshments and a place to catch your breath and enjoy the scenery. The Kyichu Lhakhang is an easier climb and one of the oldest and most ornate surviving temples in the Kingdom dating back to 659. Other places to visit from hotels in Paro include the National Museum with its displays of sacred masks, colorful paintings, costumes, and statues. Formerly a watchtower, the seven-story circular building is now dedicated to celebrating the Bhutanese people's values, lifestyle, and traditional architecture.

Also, worth a visit from the best places to stay in Paro are a selection of the many fabulous stalls serving delicious street food. Try the vegetable jaju soup or steamed momo dumplings. For those looking for a more upmarket experience, most of the best hotels in Paro have restaurants serving a fusion of Western and local flavors. Those seeking adventure should ask the friendly staff at hotels in Paro Bhutan about outdoor activities in Paro’s incredible natural beauty ranging from kayaking and whitewater rafting to trekking and mountain biking tailored to every level of ability.

The Drukgyel Dzong dating back to the 17th century is also a popular picnic destination for locals and visitors alike. If the weather is clear the site offers unbeatable views of the Jomolhari Peak, a sacred mountain to Buddhists and as such climbing is not allowed here. But the area offers fantastic opportunities for trekking that en-route share breathtaking views of this holy mountain and the incredible nature and wildlife of Bhutan. The Jomolhari Trek, a full 7+ day trek, is said to rival the trek to Everest base camp and takes in stunning views of the mountain, and the varied nature and wildlife as it climbs three 5,000m high mountain passes along the way.

Bhutan has so much to offer the traveller and Secret Retreats, the Asia experts, are ready to help you plan and book the Bhutan holiday of a lifetime.
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