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“Disappointing at first but wonderful comeback”
Review of Taj Tashi

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Taj Tashi
Ranked #3 of 38 Hotels in Thimphu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 7, 2013

The first night at the Taj was rather on the disappointing side. I travelled with a group of family and close friends so my cousin and I shared a room. I opted to stay in to take a nap while she and the others went off for a late dinner. When they got back, she took a shower and it was her yelp that woke me up. The water had turned cold halfway through washing her hair and asked me to call front desk because her English was not up to scratch. So I called to tell them the problem and we waited... and waited... and waited... until she started sniffling from the wet hair and cold air. It was at least ten minutes later when I called again and the front desk staff acted surprised that we called and said they already had someone up to check the water heater and will get back to us about the problem.

Another five minutes later they called back and offered us a separate room to shower in but didn't offer a reason as to why the water turned cold. It was only when I was planning to take a bath that I called again and they explained that because two rooms share one water heater, the water turned cold.

On top of that, my aunt (group leader) told me the next morning about their dinner experience. Mistaken orders (they ordered two salads to share between five and received five salads) and way too much salt in the foods. They had gone to the "multi" restaurant (as the hotel staff described: "food from multiple countries") and were so put off by it that they wanted to eat outside in Thimpu city for the following dinner.

Definitely NOT a good first impression.

On the bright side, the room was spotlessly clean and the comfort could not be faulted. The brownies they left on the bed was so good that I went to ask about them the next day (to purchase to take home with me). Bath tub was the perfect size and depth and shower was extremely satisfactory after the initial debacle. The small cakes on the second night were also a pleasant surprise.

Face-to-face interactions with the staff showed a well-trained group of people, extremely polite and pleasant. When I asked about the brownies, they had the chef himself come out of the kitchen and meet with us and discuss what we wanted. Our order was promptly delivered the next morning at breakfast.

Despite the unpleasant dinner experience the night before, our group decided to give the hotel restaurants another try and went to the in-house Bhutanese restaurant. The experience was a full 180 degrees turnaround.

Food was excellent. We had several dietary requirements that needed to be fulfilled (a monk, a vegetarian and three beef non-eaters) and we also had seven people, an awkward number when it comes to set menus. So... the excellent waitress was very patient and helped us work through the menu, bringing in alternatives for meat dishes and helping us divide everything into seven portions (as opposed to the three BIG sets which we ordered). There was also live music and the cherry on top was this already-excellent waitress learned that we were practising our Dzongkha, she went and got us all copies of the basics AND recorded the spoken words for us to practice.

All in all, the dinner was the turning point in our experience at Taj Tashi. Everything after that was excellent.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Valistra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 2, 2013

This hotel is by a very long mile the best hotel in Bhutan! There is no real competition at this level, with most of the other hotels falling into the "backpacker" range.
The Taj is at parity with the Four Seaons and Shangri-La's of the world; excellent service, great rooms and good locations.
The only point worth mentioning is that the view is not what you see on the famous ad photo - the rooms mostly are overlooking a backyard or old houses.
Rooms are very spaceous and nice, done in an oriental/asian style that gives them authenticity.
The service is excellent, espeically when you compare to what is availabe otherwise in the country.
Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank bulgenes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

Without doubt the best and most beautiful hotel in Bhutan. Fabulous location in the town centre, allowing you to stroll the streets in the evening. Beautiful lobby,dining rooms, garden and bars. wonderful professional staff who can't do enough for you. Rooms are spacious and well appointed. Pefect place to relax after a day's sightseeing.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank robbiew117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Given the number of hotels available at the time and our unwilling to spend thousands per day at the Aman, this seemed like the next best choice given availability. Also, it looked cool from the various photos on the website!

Anyway, as you drive in, one thing you do notice immediately is that it is a little tired looking on the outside and not quite the same as the dramatic photo on their website. However, as we stepped in I was quietly surprised by the reception area. It was a classy reception area with cool white walls and dark wooden beams with some very large bells as decoration. Very nice start. Check in was very easy too and very polite - having arrived in the morning, they even offered us free breakfast for that very morning. Very nice to have breakfast in the blazing sun (but coolish weather) and the water features and garden enhanced our overall experience. The food? Not so good. Very greasy american style breakfast with little appetising items. Bread items were ok if a little stale and certainly nothing special and fruit was a little bland too. I would expect better if they claimed this was 5 star.

Anyway, onto the room. All I can say is that the room was much better than i expected; the decor was very pleasant neutral tones with good quality furnishings which made it a joy to stay. The room was also spacious with a large bathroom so overall, we were very happy with the room. If it were just based on the quality of the room, it would be 5 star. My only gripe was the floor was a bit creaky so moving around in the night i.e. to go to bathroom/ to go get some water, was a bit of a racket and the carpet in our room a little worn so it looked a little tattered.

The spa area was simply a joke. The pool was something you would expect in someone's back yard and totally devoid of that sense of calm you desire in a pool area. The sauna and steam room were just badly constructed. The steam room was so hot, you couldn't even breathe. Basically they didn't install a thermostat to regulate the steam/ temperature so it just kept constantly pumping out steam! The Sauna just didn't heat up so it was a mildly warm room........all in all, just poor and we didn't have a massage due to seeing the facilities here.

We actually didn't eat at the hotel given the state of breakfast but we did order room service one lazy morning and the sandwich they served up was of a pretty decent quality so maybe they can serve up some decent food. Best ask your guide to take you out to some of the local restaurants which was what we did.

I wouldn't highly recommend the hotel but neither would i totally slate it as a rip off. You are in Bhutan and they are still a little behind of customer service and overall maintenance of hotels. It's not something you can blame them for but something you probably just have to accept. If you want true 5 star, then your only choice is probably the Aman. Otherwise, if you have to pay a 'reasonable' amount, this is probably as good as any other hotel you will stay in Thimpu. You will love Bhutan though so don't let a hotel ruin the wonderful scenery, people and culture!!

Enjoy.

Room Tip: We stayed on the first floor which was fine. Probably a room higher up will give you better views t...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HKFooey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

This is an average hotel by any measure, and not up to the usual Taj standard. The first thing I noticed upon entry was the cold and impersonal service. Check in was clumsy and prolonged, and then throughout my stay in the restaurants or the spa I was repeatedly asked without any real interest how my stay was by "managers" who then rushed on to grill other guests with the same hollow questioning...while the actual staff clumsily bungled through the work of hospitality. Totally alarming for a relatively new hotel is the overall condition of the property. Carpets in the sleeping room hallways are dirty, torn and hideously patched. Floors in the sleeping rooms are bafflingly gouged and scratched, and furniture is worn. Public spaces are eerily abandoned and likewise soiled. I ate one meal in the Bhutanese restaurant, and the set menus were the usual fare, and oddly mild in terms of spice although we asked for hot. The one exceptional dish was the simplest...buckwheat noodles with a chile sauce. I only ate breakfast in the main restaurant...the usual big hotel buffet. It was ordinary...with the exception of particularly old/stale pastries that were especially sub-par. Overall, if you have to stay in Thimpu this may be the best bet, especially if you are coming off of several days in trek tents. It is easy walking to the open air craft stalls and the formal craft market, which may be a selling point to some. But don't expect much , and certainly don't expect the usual Taj level of experience. You will go home with no particular memories of your stay here.

Room Tip: A room with a mountain view on a higher floor to avoid looking right into the city streets
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank ajwsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Calm, serene and beautifully done property. We loved the place - a typical Taj standard place. Rooms are super comfortable with all basic amenities. The restaurant served some of the best food in town. The Italian fare is fabulous and a must try. The location is spectacular nad lovely. Staff is hospitable and very courteous. Best place to check in if you need to stay off the city centre. They also have soem evening cultural activities as well.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AmitabhChaturvedi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

I had a look at the place but mainly we went there for dinner. Knowing that Bhutan isn't that famous for it's food we choose to go there with some friends and wanted to play it safe with Indian Food as it is an Indian Hotel Chain. The food was average at it's best and quite pricey. Service was just acceptable with no Supervisor in the dining hall which could really be felt. Considering Taj price themselves in the 5 star range I found the experience far below.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Laurent D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taj Tashi

Address: Samten Lam | Post Box No. 524, Thimphu, Bhutan
Phone Number:
Location: Bhutan > Thimphu District > Thimphu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Thimphu
Price Range: $389 - $768 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Taj Tashi 5*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taj Tashi, perfectly located in the heart of the capital city of Bhutan, enjoys panoramic views of the mountain valley. The hotel is designed in traditional Bhutanese architectural style and hand-embellished by master craftsmen. The 66 rooms offer guests a magnificent blend of tradition and modernity with their resplendent grandeur and contemporary luxury. The restaurants and bar present a choice of regional delicacies and beverages as well as Continental and Asian specialities in elegant indoor and outdoor settings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Taj Tashi Thimphu
Taj Tashi Hotel Thimphu

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