I almost feel I have to write a long explanatory preamble to this review, but I will try and be a little brief.
In January I traveled to the stunningly beautiful Apa Tani Valley in the north eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, with a friend of mine, Catriona Child. Catriona’s father was the first (and last) British colonial administrator of this region, in those turbulent times between the end of World War II and Indian Independence.
Fast forward more than 60 years, and Catriona went on her first ever visit to Arunachal, following in her parents’ footsteps. It was my first ever visit to this gorgeous part of India, and for both of us it was a voyage of fantastic discovery. Catriona was welcomed with open arms wherever she went, in a display of generosity, kindness and collective memory that bowled us both over. Events of over 60 years ago were recalled as though they had happened just yesterday.
Very, very special.
One of our most delightful moments was our time at the Siiro Resort, a dear little hotel a few kilometres outside the regional centre Ziro.
I must mention here that Catriona actually inaugurated the hotel, so obviously we are both hugely biased in its favour.
But even stripping aside the delightful pomp and ceremony of the opening, and the TV cameras, and the kind speeches, and the overwhelmingly warm welcome – even if you take all that out of the equation – you are still left with a delightful little hotel with comfortable rooms and great bathrooms and the warmest welcome you can imagine.
The hotel has been constructed using as much locally sourced material as possible, so bamboo is a delightful leit-motiv, both in the bedrooms and in the public areas.
The construction and design is the brainchild of the charming owner Punyo Gambo, whose dream of having a little home up in the clear, clean hills around Ziro morphed into this hotel. His home has become your hotel.
Here he explains his dream :
The rooms are well-equipped, spotless and with thick quilts and clean air around you, a good night’s sleep is guaranteed.
There are several categories of rooms, but choosing between them is difficult since every room is different and charming.
We stayed in a Deluxe room, which had a charming sloping roof, a little balcony and was toasty warm on those cold Apa Tani winter nights.
The room had a TV and a small table and chairs :
And the clean, modern, shower-and-loo was prettily decorated with a bamboo motif :
The semi-deluxe room – equally pretty, equally well-equipped :
And the executive rooms were charming :
A lovely spacious bathroom.
And this room (below) should – we both thought – have been rechristened the Honeymoon suite, with its gables and dreamy curtains :
Once again, bamboo is used as a decorative theme.
The dining room and sitting area are airy with big picture windows :
There are plans to open a restaurant serving traditional food in a traditional setting :
And wherever you go, there is a sense of space and nature :
There are facilities for small conferences and with its location just a short drive out of Ziro, I foresee a great future for this charming, family-run, friendly hotel.