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“Beautiful introduction to Bhutan”
Review of COMO Uma Paro

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COMO Uma Paro
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Paro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 April 2012

What a great location for a hotel, overlooking the Paro valley. Immediately on arrival you are struck by the lovely scents and aromas, and the warmth of the wood burners....fabulous.
We had a fabulous welcome on both of our visits, a week apart. On our first stay, we had a deluxe room which, ok, wasn't special...and in fact I was a little disappointed as I just thought the room lacked facility and character. We could have been in any 3 or 4 star hotel room in the world.
Our second visit was rewarded with a much bigger room, with fantastic views and some nice extra touches....much better...a room with more modern facility...very pleasant.
The restaurant was excellent. Good,imaginative food, well prepared. Not a huge menu, but we loved the interesting selections...and even a very good wine list (not something you'll find often in Bhutan).
The bar was great. Friendly staff, good snacks, and it was fantastic sitting at the roaring, wood-burning stove. Excellent.
The spa was really good. Quiet and great facilities. The pool was warm and inviting. A great place to relax.
I'd love to say that I'd look forward to going back....sadly Bhutan isn't on a major route! (what a fantastic country though!)

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank eddi10c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UmaManagement, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2012

Dear Eddi10c, greetings from magical Bhutan, it is very nice to read that you still keep beautiful memories of your trip and would love to come back.
We would like to thank you for your visit and for your very kind comments on our staff and facilities, happy to know you have enjoyed your stay with us.
Days are warmer now and the wood burners have gone quiet, but the views and the ever changing forest and fields with the arrival of the spring and summer, make for a wonderful scenery.
I love the fact that seasons are so different and yet all of them so beautiful, indeed a great place to visit all year round.
Please should you need anything from Bhutan or us, please let us know. Warm regards, Jorge Monje.

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Reviewed 17 April 2012

We booked our entire Bhutan tour through Uma Paro and were very happy with the overall service. The GM, and other front office staff were very much in evidence and constantly talking to us throughout our stay. This made us feel welcome and shows that they care about their guests.

We stayed in a one bedroom villa, that's why I only gave it a 4 for value. We didn't have a choice as it was high season and there were no other room options! The great part was that at the end of our 10 day tour, when we ended up back at Uma, we had booked a deluxe suite, but we were upgraded back to a villa. So it totally made up for it! The villas are huge, comfortable and warm. We loved the huge fireplace and the in villa massages that we got. It seemed like every member of staff said welcome back to us when we got back, which was really sweet.

The food was quite good. Very nice breakfasts that were made to order and delicious. On our last night, our butler arranged a fabulous outdoor dinner in their archery range, with a large bonfire and lots of candles. The only problem was that it was still quite cold, and our food froze within minutes of being served! Haha. Cold, but fun and romantic.

We were really happy with our guide an driver, and thought they were excellent. The guide was very religious, and that was great because he helped to instill a sense of the strong religious culture that permeates Bhutan. We did everything we could possibly want, we hiked, we went to two festivals, got blessed many different times by water, by wooden penis and by Thangka painting, met the King and Queen, ate in a farmhouse, hung up prayer flags...whew!

One of the hotels we stayed at outside of Uma was quite awful, but our guide was thoughtfully prepared with Uma towels, toiletries and slippers. A nice touch!

Food everywhere in Bhutan is just so-so. You can check my reviews of the other hotels in Bhutan for the ones I liked. I didn't do the ones I didn't like!

Definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and a bit on the "adventurous" side for us. I don't think I would have been happy if I went with just any Bhutanese tour operator, as Uma did a great job!

  • Stayed: April 2012
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1  Thank sweetpeatraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UmaManagement, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2012

Dear sweetpeatraveller, greetings from your home in Bhutan, indeed a land of beauty and adventure!!
We are really happy to know you have enjoyed your trip in this very special country and that your memories and smiles will last a lifetime.
Thanks a lot for your very kind and detailed comments, it means a lot to us that you have enjoyed the company and service of our team, we are really grateful for your visit and honor you have chosen to organize your trip in Bhutan with Uma Paro.
Days have gotten warmer and nights are now romantic, fun and warm, hopefully you may have the chance to experience them again.
Looking forward to welcome you back sometime in the future. Warm regards, Jorge Monje

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Reviewed 15 April 2012

We spent 2 nights in Uma Paro in a standard room. Though our room was a base category room, it was a beautifully done up, spacious and clean room. The bathroom was good, thought not very spacious. We had all the facilities we could want in our room. The view from our room, and generally from all around in the resort were beautiful. I could have spent any number of hours and days just staring out of our room window or walking around the resort. The sight-seeing trip organised by the hotel was also very good.

The only aspect where the hotel trips up a little bit is the time they take to serve food - we waited for what felt like hours for our lunch, breakfast and dinner to be served each time. The service was so delayed that a couple who was in the restaurant for lunch at the same time as us actually placed their order for dinner at lunch time!

Apart from the small hitch of the time taken to serve food, this is a wonderful resort that I would highly recommend for its stunning location and views.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Maheshwari29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UmaManagement, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2012

Dear Maheshwari29, greetings from Uma Paro and beautiful Bhutan, indeed a place full of amazing views.
Thanks a lot for your very kind comments and for taking the time to post a review, we are happy to know that you are having good memories of your trip and stay and that the views from Uma Paro are still fresh in your mind. We are very privileged with Uma's location so secluded and peaceful and yet so close to town and all major points of interest in Paro and with great views of the valley.
We are very sorry you found our food service to be slow, please accept our kind apology, I have shared your comments with our team so they are aware and keep in mind.
We would like to thank you for your visit and we look forward to have the chance to welcome you back sometime in the future. Please anything you might need from us, just let us know.
Kind regards, Jorge Monje.

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Reviewed 8 April 2012

A wonderfully luxurious hotel to prepare or recuperate for the climb to the Tiger's Nest. Full featured, comfortable rooms with great views. The restaurant was outstanding catering to major cuisines.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank IanUReid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UmaManagement, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2012

Dear IanUReid,
Greetings from all of us at Uma Paro and thanks a lot for your visit and your very kind comments.
We are happy to know you have enjoyed your stay at Uma and really appreciate you have taking the time to share with us.
You are right, nothing better than a good massage or a dip in Uma's pool after the beautiful and inspiring Tiger's Nest hike!!
Our kitchen and restaurant team will be delighted to know you did enjoy their food.
Kind regards, Jorge Monje

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Reviewed 31 March 2012

Uma was the best of the best and I state this after staying in the 1 bedroom villa with wife and 2 young children, as well as taking the 7 days explorer tour. Our comparison for this trip includes the junior suite in Taj Bengal Kolkata, also with a butler service and a two bedroom suite in Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, consistently rated as being a hotel with the best service.

Ultimately Uma rise to the challenge with superior service and for my personal taste, better accommodation as well. Our experience was greatly enhanced by Pema, our butler and "Uti" and Jamyang, the tour guides. If you ever have the chance to visit Bhutan, this is one of the best ways to experience it.

I would select the Uma villas over the rooms solely for the personalized service and the villas are comfortable and nicely appointed. As to the cost, yes it is steep but when you compare it to Mandarin Oriental, the daily cost is about the same.

One of the few places we would return to if the opportunity arise.

Room Tip: Villa 16 is good, with lovely views from the front patio. I believe the deluxe rooms over look the v...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank hadtobeyou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UmaManagement, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this reviewResponded 1 April 2012

Dear hadtobeyou, warm regards from your home in Bhutan.
We are happy to know you are having very good memories of your trip to Bhutan and your stay at Uma Paro. On behalf of all of us, thanks a lot.
We really appreciate your comments and while we are pleased you did enjoy our villa it makes me specially happy your compliments to our team, I will share with Pema, Uti and Jamyang, indeed they do for a wonder team and we are very glad you had enjoyed their company and service.
We would be delighted to welcome you back, anything you might need, please let us know. Kind regards, Jorge Monje.

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Reviewed 31 March 2012

We went to Bhutan for our honeymoon in July. It was a memorable location and not too far from home. Looking back, we have wonderful memories of the place. Well, except Uma Paro.

We had planned a 10 night trip and tried to pick the best hotels we could find (and we used trip advisor to find them) - Taj Tashi in Thimpu, Dragon’s nest in Wangdue and Uma Paro in Paro. Our stay in Taj Tashi was beyond what we had expected – we were completely bowled over by our stay there – the hotel staff went above and beyond to make our stay pleasant. They dressed us up in traditional Bhutanese attire and sent us out for dinner. And were very warm and welcoming in general. It’s been a while now but we are still in touch with the hotel staff there. We long to go back there.

Given the kind of experience we had in Taj Tashi which was rated the second best hotel in tripadvisor, we were eagerly looking forward to our stay, the last leg of our trip, in Uma Paro, rated the best hotel in all of Bhutan!

As soon as we entered the hotel there was no one to receive us.....no welcome at all. As soon as we entered with our entire luggage someone came running and made us sit for a good 5 minutes. ‘Can I get you some masala chai’? he asked. Just because we’re from India doesn’t mean we drink masala chai all the time! Meanwhile, the manager (the same guy who responds to the comments here in tripadvisor) came rushing to us, mumbled something incoherent (was he welcoming us?) and threw his ‘visiting card’ at us and leaves. Is this how all the guests were treated? We found out later that it wasn't true.

We were made to sign a few forms, and were given our room key.

We were escorted to our room. The room was on the second floor...ok let's find where the elevator is. We asked the masala chai guy and he said "No, Sir. There are no elevators in this hotel". No elevator?

Now the room - it was quite small and felt cramped. Roughly half the size of the Deluxe room in Taj Tashi. I'm right now in a extended stay hotel which reminds me of the stay in Uma Paro (which prompted me to start writing this review).

In order for you turn on the light you had to jump across a chair to reach the switch.
The room was a little hot ... and the air inside felt stuffed. Alright, a little AC should bring in some fresh air….umm, where’s the AC? We investigate the walls and ceilings and even the floor … thinking there might be an AC hidden somewhere. Or at least a switch to magically turn on a hidden AC. After 20 minute of searching we call the front desk to find there is no AC in the room. Yep, NO AIRCONDITIONER! Are we in the right hotel? I surely remember reading the hotel website – room amenities – which clearly stated – “manually controlled room temperature”. Alright, let’s call the hotel manager – the guy who gave us his visiting card earlier. No answer. We call the front desk and wanted to speak to the supervisor – and they were suprised too! They wanted to see their own hotels website where it said the room had AC. I spelled out the link for them – http://www.uma.paro.como.bz/stay/valley-view-rooms-superior-rooms/amenities. They apologized and gave us a complimentary pedestal fan! A five star hotel indeed.

They advertise the rooms as to having AC, but the rooms have no AC at all. Of course, you don’t see AC anymore in the link above – looks like it was promptly removed. The guy in the restaurant later on had the nerve to tell us that people in Bhutan do not use AC in their homes.

Only much later we found out that our rooms had actually been upgraded – the room we were put in was the deluxe room. I shudder to think how bad it would have been in the Superior room. I guess I will never find out.

We want to leave all the room stuff behind us and enjoy the dinner. Not so. The worst part of the hotel is the restaurant – there’s very little vegetarian food and none were marked as such. No Indian dishes on the menu – we were told we had to “inform the hotel in advance” for a specific cuisine. We did that for the morning breakfast. And I wonder who made the 'poori' ... it was like roasted 'pappad' - we could break it into pieces. In Taj Tashi, the menu clearly separated out vegetarian dishes with a (V). The amount of Indian dishes over there were overwhelming and cooked to perfection.

And worse than the food, was the service. Given that there were hardly four tables occupied, we were made to wait too long for things like menu or warm water. Are we being singled out because we're Indian? The other guests were even being inquired repeatedly if the food was ok.

The funny thing about Uma Paro was the kind of music which was being played in the restaurant – American country music! Of all the places on earth, Bhutan was the last place I wanted to hear country music. Why not some nice Bhutanese music?

Not surprising to find everything in the hotel, the room prices, the menu, the overpriced Bhutanese store inside – were listed in US dollars.

It was a like a rather small western hotel in Bhutan, utterly overrated. I’m surprised why so many other guests rate this hotel so high in the first place – maybe it makes them feel at home? It is primarily targeted at the western crowd. The chef at the restaurant actually told us that they don’t see many Indian guests at the hotel. Very rare, he said.

Starting the second day, we came back to the hotel only to sleep. Thankfully, there were plenty of amazing restaurants in Paro town.
If I go to Bhutan again, I would stick with Taj Tashi and probably drive from there to Paro to see tiger's nest.

Room Tip: Room Tip: Be a westerner - maybe you'll be treated well. No AC, no elevators, no vegetarian food...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank liteon123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UmaManagement, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this reviewResponded 1 April 2012

Dear liteon123,
Greetings from Uma Paro and thanks a lot for taking the time to post a review and let us know your comments and feedback.
We are extremely sorry to know you have not enjoyed your stay with us, I would like to offer our sincere apology. We do try our best at Uma Paro to make our guest feel at home and makes us sad we didn't manage to achieve that in this occasion.
I'm surprised to know that you thought nobody greeted you, however I came down rushing, yes to welcome you. I'm specially sorry you didn't feel properly welcome, absolutely my fault, I wish we did have the opportunity to stat all over again.
Our welcome drinks are all masala chai inspired, for all of our guests, once again sorry we didn't offer an alternative drink which we would have been happy to do.
You are absolutely right, there is no elevator in Uma Paro, out of our 29 rooms only 6 are not at ground level, the hotel is built in a traditional Bhutanese house, refurbished in the most respectful way and trying to make the best of the existing structure.
We were very kind to upgrade you to one of our Valley view rooms, sorry you didn't like it either. I'm sure you would have love one of our suite or villas, which are the best available accommodation in Bhutan.
On behalf of our kitchen and restaurant team I would like also to apologize, Uma's food is renowned as the best in the country, we do our best to cater to Indian guest and daily offer an Indian menu though our specialty is of course Bhutanese and International food.
Once again, and on behalf of all of us at Uma Paro I would like to apologize for all the inconvenience caused, we are happy to know that your have good memories of your trip to Bhutan and wish to have the chance to welcome you back at Uma Paro and show our best hospitality.
Kind regards, Jorge Monje.

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Reviewed 23 March 2012

we stayed 3 nights at the uma paro. everything was great and the service was excellent. the spa fantastic the food delicious. Loved the location as it seems close to everything.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank maximax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UmaManagement, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this reviewResponded 23 March 2012

Dear Maximax,
Greetings from Uma Paro and thanks a lot for your very kind comments and review.
It makes us very happy to know you have enjoyed your stay at Uma and your trip to this beautiful Bhutan.
We are very privileged at Uma Paro, indeed a gorgeous location and very serene environment, great views of the Paro valley and yet a few minutes away from town and major interest points.
But if anything makes Uma special is without a doubt our wonderful team and their very kind and hospitable personalities. They will be happy to receive your compliments.
Kind regards, Jorge Monje.

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Additional Information about COMO Uma Paro

Address: Paro Town, Airport Area, Paro, Bhutan
Region: Bhutan > Paro District > Paro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Paro
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paro
#1 Luxury Hotel in Paro
#1 Spa Hotel in Paro
Price Range: $723 - $1,160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — COMO Uma Paro 5*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
COMO Uma Paro offers luxury in the heart of Bhutan. Hotel guests enjoy sweeping views of the pristine Himalayas from the 37-acre estate, comprising a mere 20 rooms and nine villas with a design that is a subtle fusion of indigenous style, and a fresh, clean-lined modernism. COMO Uma Paro also offers adventure. The town of Paro, Bhutan's main cultural hub, lies nearby. Hiking, mountain biking and overnight luxury camping trips are all available. Guests can later restore and indulge in vital holistic therapies at COMO Shambhala Retreat, and dine in style at the Bukhari Restaurant, where local Bhutanese produce is blended with Indian and Western cuisine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Uma Paro Hotel Paro
Uma Hotel Paro
Paro Uma Hotel

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