History since 1975
“Leśniczówka u Zięby” is a genuine forester’s lodge and has stood at the gates to Chochołowska Valley since 1952.
Our family legacy here dates back to 1975 when our father, a young forester, chose to leave his work at the Polish Academy of Sciences and tend to the forests and the landscapes of the Chochołowska Valley, to which our family has been connected for generations,
We settled into the house, swiftly transforming it into an inclusive haven for all—locals, woodland folk, travellers, artists, intellectuals, and individuals from diverse cultures and continents.
Weekdays brought local tales to life. “Grandpa” Łowisz of Siwa Polana recounted a bear’s thievery of his three sheep. Bzdyk, the neighbouring forest ranger, lost his footwraps. Even a visitor from the “Authorised 8 Villages” sought warmth and a cup of tea after arduous forest toil. Fridays marked the “sacred” forest day, unleashing mountain songs and endless merriment.
On weekends and holidays, a slightly different atmosphere reigned in the house. Mountain melodies yielded to classical tunes or even the Rolling Stones, and visitors “from below” arrived, as Grandma dubbed them in the local tongue. A small attic room saw the creation of a book, while professors engaged in profound discussions about the state of the nation, while others simply set off for a walk to soak up the closeness of the forest, stream, and mountains.
Our father ignited a passion for the nature in the Tatras, but especially in his two sons. To this day, our father, Tadek, Filip, and Antek, are involved in nature conservation in the Tatra Mountains.
The female part of the family – Mama Marysia, Zosia, and Karolina, decided in 1991 to create a cozy guesthouse “Leśniczówka u Zięby” in the forester’s lodge with traditional home cooking, a spacious garden for art exhibitions, bonfires in the evenings, and a gate leading directly to the stream.
And that’s how it is to this day.
Interiors and Rooms
The interior and rooms of Leśniczówka are the result of a continuous quest for beautiful things. A fusion of treasures from Podhale, Kraków’s flea markets, and even Iran, curated with care by the women. Styles blend seamlessly, celebrating the exquisite, handmade, and timeless.
The men of the family collect plant woodcuts and graphics. A journey through local homes unearths antique Podhale furniture, while artisan-carpenter Mietek from Koniówka crafts contemporary pieces. The women venture to Iran and return with authentic handwoven Persian rugs and kilims. Oriental textiles and other textiles have long adorned Polish interiors, including that in the iconic Zakopane style. Each room boasts a genuine Persian rug or kilim, vintage treasures, botanical art, a glass for water from the well, the fragrance of wood and all boasting a view of the mountains or forest :).
"Leśniczówka u Zięby" Restaurant
Both children and adults love our breakfasts. In the forester’s room with its view of Giewont and Czerwone Wierchy, we serve morning delights in the form of a buffet. An array of options cater to every palate.
Mornings start with freshly delivered bread and warm pastries. Local farms supply cheeses and cold cuts. Fresh fruits, veggies, and homemade spreads grace the table. For those craving warmth, Alona makes fried, soft-boiled, or scrambled eggs along with oatmeal adorned with pumpkin seeds and cranberries. The choice is yours; savour it all!
After a walk, a mountain hike, or simply after a leisurely time in the garden or by the stream, we invite you to the restaurant for a delicious lunch or dinner.
Our menu is based on simple Podhale cuisine, mainly using local products. Our neighbour makes white, oscypek and bundz cheeses from milk straight from the cow. During the entire summer and autumn, we gather boletus, chanterelles, cranberries, and blueberries. The lamb is locally-sourced from nearby Ciche, and the trout comes from Zakopane.
Inspired by Grandma’s fare, a menu of simplicity emerged. Like most highlanders, her diet was based on a few key elements: potatoes, cabbage in various forms, sweet and sour milk, fermented sheep butter milk, cheeses, mushrooms, and berries. Meat was reserved for special occasions. Grandma lived to be 101 years old:). Since 1991, we have served potatoes with sour milk and herbs, pancakes in rich mushroom sauce, sauerkraut soup, and traditional whey, which many regular visitors to “Leśniczówka” bring their own jars to take home in.
Restaurant "Ziębówka" and Persia Gallery
Should you wish to try something else during your stay in the Chochołowska Valley, a mere few minutes’ stroll will bring you to our second restaurant, “Ziębówka”. Just 50 meters from “Leśniczówka”. This restaurant offers a 10% discount on all dishes from the seasonal and traditional menu to our “Leśniczówka” guests. Additionally, enjoy a 5% discount on handwoven and “flying” Persian carpets and rugs from our Persia Gallery collection, also located here.
There’s always a lot happening here :). For all our offers, events, and activities, please inquire at the reception. Agnieszka, our wonderful manager – a “one-woman orchestra” for whom nothing is impossible – will undoubtedly help you choose a convenient date for planning your stay, workshops, sleigh rides, or bonfires.
Her favorite activity, which she has mastered to perfection, is organizing weddings. Each proposal prepared by her is tailored to the individual needs of the couple. Together with Aga, you can agree on the time, menu, and venue. It can be at “Leśniczówka” or “Ziębówka”, indoors or in the garden, in a boho, minimalist, or classic style.
For the artistic setting of your ceremony, Zosia (@ziebowka dekoruje) will take care of it. Her professional path and life passion are the most beautiful floral compositions and wedding decorations. We particularly love those inspired by our meadows and fields 🙂
The Surroundings of “Leśniczówka"
The meadows and fields surrounding “Leśniczówka” don’t need advertising. In spring, the glades of the Chochołowska Valley are covered with crocuses; in summer, they turn into a colorful display of hues; in autumn, “singing” bulls and huge bears roam them, and in winter, we – along with our guests – traverse them on cross-country skis or skis, contemplating the beauty of this extraordinary area. As Ludwik Zejszner, one of the first tourists in the western part of the Tatra Mountains, wrote back in 1849: “In Chochołowska, everything is splendid and enormous; it amazes and enraptures, and a person sees their smallness in the face of these forces of nature”.
“Leśniczówka: Where restful sleep, delightful dining, and pure Enjoyment await!”
You are warmly invited,
The Zięba Family and the entire Staff of “Leśniczówka”
Central Asian Handicrafts
Individual or Group
In “Leśniczówka”, you can arrange for individual or group yoga sessions. We offer strength, rejuvenation, relaxation, and laughter 🙂