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“A very bad experience”

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Shambaling Boutique Hotel
Ranked #3 of 198 Hotels in Kathmandu
Certificate of Excellence
Munich, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A very bad experience”
Reviewed April 26, 2013

We can't understand all the hype in other reviews about this hotel. It is a hotel like many others - not more but more expensive! We stayed there for 2 nights in April and made a lot of negative experiences, so we would definitely not go there again.

We booked a deluxe room with garden view, fan etc. on one of the hotel reservation platforms. Yet upon arrival we were given a room facing the road and construction works at the building opposite. There was no fan which was very uncomfortable at outside temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees Celcius (by the way, there is no A/C in the whole building). The bathroom was very old, small and basic. The hot water supply didn't work, so after the long flight from Europe we had to take a "shower" with the help of a bucket of water. In the evening, we noticed that the hotel bill and credit card payment were not correct. VAT, service charge and credit card fee (total 26 %) were added to the price. We complained and after some discussion we were given the money back the following day, yet we felt definitely cheated.

Breakfast only starts at 7 which is too late for all travellers with flights to trekking destinations. After asking for an early breakfast we were promised to get one at 6:30, but the food was not ready which means we had to leave with a piece of melon and a slice of bread. Furthermore, the place is far away from the city center and none of our taxi drivers was abled to find it. We must clearly say that the price-value-relationship is rather poor in this hotel, compared to other nice hotels in kathmandu it is definitely overpriced. The staff seem to be rather unexperienced. There are many better options in town.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Manny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShambalingKTM, General Manager at Shambaling Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
I apologize that you and your wife had some unpleasant experience in our Hotel.
It was a series of unfortunate incidents, regretfully, which doesn't happen on a regular basis.
I assure you that our goal is to satisfy our guest and we have had many guest leaving very happy and satisfied. However we would like to have each and every guest have the same amazing experience.
I hope that you will give us another chance to make it up to you and your wife and let you have an excellent experience with us.
Once again my sincere apology to both of you and your wife on behalf of my staff and the Hotel.
Warm regards,
Jigme Phuntsok Chodon
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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435 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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UK/Goa
Level Contributor
58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Just back from this hotel and can't speak highly enough about it.
We arrived at the airport and we had been advised off the Kathmandu forum to pick up a taxi from outside. We had a choice of two touting. One smelt strongly of alcohol so we gave him a miss and the other assured us he knew where the hotel was. He told porkies and went straight to Thamel.
He drove for much more than an hour and he had no credit on his phone to ring the hotel!
It was all quite horrendous and we kept saying that it was by the Stupa. After wishing we had not come as the airport road was being widened and it looked everywhere as though it was total devastation we finally found the hotel.
Absolutely lovely people welcomed us. Loved the atmosphere straight away. Loved the food and everything in the rooms and gardens had been chosen with good taste.
It is newly renovated and had the feel of a retreat. So happy next day to find a short walk round the back of the hotel and past interesting shops brought us to the Buddha. The hotel was so close that it was no trouble to return for lunch after the complimentary breakfast and then enjoy a relaxed dinner at night.
We booked a taxi from reception the next day to Thamel and had a good few hours round the town and then came upon the King's Palace which is a Heritage site. Amazing place.
Found the people very gentle natured and could not fault the short break as we felt recharged.
No TV made the time there peaceful and relaxing.
Thank you Sonam, your wife and all the staff for the personal touch.

Room Tip: As I had already seen on here it was advisable to request a garden room we did so and it was worth i...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Goatravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShambalingKTM, Owner at Shambaling Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Thank you for your wondeful review. It was a pleasure to have you at Shambaling and am very happy to have met you personally.

We work hard to give the best service to all our guest and make every guest feel at home. I am glad you enjoyed your stay at Shambaling and you felt our service. Thank you once again and we hope to welcome you at Shambaling in future.

Warm Regards,
Sonam.
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Sydney
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

My friend and I stayed here for 3 nights during our stay in Nepal. We absolutely loved it, the service is amazing, they are such beautiful people. The rooms are beautiful and clean, the garden where we enjoyed breakfast in the morning is truly stunning, and the food is delicious. They will go out of their way to accomodate you. The hotel is so quiet, so if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the centre of Kathmandu - stay here (its only 4km from the centre of Kathmandu!). Honestly loved this hotel!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aaj81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShambalingKTM, General Manager at Shambaling Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Thank you very much for your wonderful review. It was our pleasure to have you at Shambaling and I am very happy to know that you had a great experience here with us.
We always do our best to fulfill our guest request and make our guest feel at home. I am glag you felt it enjoyed your stay with us.
We hope to welcome you back again.

Warm regards,
Jigme Phuntsok Chodon
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Enfield
Level Contributor
72 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2013

We only stayed one night on our way to Bhutan, but it was a lovely experience. We had a large double room (I think we were given a deluxe room upgrade) which was very spacious with a great en-suite bathroom. Just what we needed after a long flight from London via the Gulf. The hotel has beautiful gardens, where you can also eat. It is very close to Bodhnath and there is a Tibetan buddhist ambience. The people working there couldn't have been more charming and helpful. Now we have experienced it, we cannot imagine wanting to stay anywhere else in Kathmandu.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PhandEm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShambalingKTM, General Manager at Shambaling Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
I would like to thank you on behalf of the Shambaling team for your appreciation and your wonderful review. We are honored and motivated to serve in the finest standard to all our guest. I am glad you enjoyed our peaceful garden. Most of our guest enjoy eating outdoor in our garden.
It was a pleasure to have you at Shambaling and we look forward to see you again.

Warm regards,
Jigme Phuntsok Chodon
General manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
245 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Excellent stay at a boutique hotel 5-10 minutes from Bodnath stupa. The hotel, grounds, lobby, rooms are impeccable. Service is definitely 5 star and will easily compare with hotels like Shangrila chain. Breakfast was better when it was individually served versus buffet, though the buffet was good. Room was very spacious and just nicely appointed. Shower was strong and the citronella smell of the bathroom was definitely refreshing. Minuses of the place? no airconditioning, but given the power situation in Kathmandu, this is understandable. The location is a slight turn off as you have to walk a narrow alleyway to get to the street going to the stupa. At night, this alleyway can be so dark that walking without a torch is very scary. Will I stay here again? Yes, definitely.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TonyFNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShambalingKTM, General Manager at Shambaling Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
Many thanks for your review. Our main objective is to provide a high standard service and to make our guest feel at home during their stay at Shambaling. The entire team work towards the same goal and I am glad you experienced it.
It will be our pleasure to welcome you back at Shambaling.
Warm regards,
Jigme Phuntsok Chodon
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for one night in April and somewhat disappointed after expecting something special as described in some of the reviews.

Having stayed in a few hotels in Nepal during my trip, I found Shambaling quite dull and characterless. Even though the hotel didn't look like there were many people, I was given a very small room in the corner of the building with windows facing a concrete wall from both sides. I don't think there were any blackout blinds on the windows and I was woken up by the bright light at around 5:30am. The staff weren't particularly friendly or smiley and almost ignored me after I paid for my room in advance.

Since it's not exactly a cheap hotel by Nepal standards, I didn't think it's was worth the hassle getting there form Thamel from a nicer place I stayed at prior to that (Hotel Ganesh Himal). You can easily visit the Boudhanath Stupa for a few hours and get a taxi back to where you are without wasting time and money on staying here. There maybe other interesting sights around the hotel area, but none of the staff has advised me on that.

WARNING: There is a narrow walk to/from the Stupa and if are you getting back to the hotel via that walkway after dusk, the chances are that you'll get lost and spend sometime asking people how to get to the hotel via pitch black streets.

On the positive side, the room was clean, there is a pleasant garden with a restaurant and the guys organised me a taxi to the airport with ease.

I understand that its a new hotel and hope the management will find a way to make this place more welcoming and comfortable.

Room Tip: Ask for a garden view room if there is one available. I wish I did during my stay
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank russguyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShambalingKTM, General Manager at Shambaling Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am very sorry to learn that your experience with us was not up to your expectation. Our main objective is to always make each and every guest feel at home and have Shambaling a home away from home.
As we were totally sold out on the 4th and 5th of April, we may have missed out on providing you with local map and map of Boudha, which is normally always provided from our front desk when guest request. Boudha is only about 7 minutes walk from Shambaling and we have torch in all our rooms to walk back after dusk.
However, Thank you for your review, Your feedback will definitely help us check on our guest service in future.
A sincere apology from the entire team of Shambaling and as and when you are back in Nepal, please do give us a chance to serve you and I assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Warm regards,
Jigme Phuntsok Chodon
General manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

This is a gem of a hotel. Inside, simple but beautifully decorated rooms, while outside is a tranquil garden where meals can be taken. The food is excellent and the staff could not be more helpful. As others have noted, it is some way from Thamel (whether this is a negative depends on your perspective) and is not well known to drivers, but these are minor quibbles set against the opportunity to withdraw from the bustle of Kat at the end of a day's sightseeing.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank DavidDubai_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShambalingKTM, General Manager at Shambaling Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Dear Mr. David,

It was a pleasure to have you and your family at shambaling and back again after your trek. The entire team of Shambaling work towards making our guest feel at home and we are all very happy that your stay with us was enjoyable.
Thank you very much for your review. We shall always work toward keeping up with the quality of our service.

We look forward to have you back at Shambling in future.

Warm regards,
Jigme Phuntsok Chodon
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shambaling Boutique Hotel

Property: Shambaling Boutique Hotel
Address: Near the great Boudha Stupa | Boudha, Kathmandu 1001, Nepal
Phone Number:
Location: Nepal > Central Region > Bagmati Zone > Kathmandu Valley > Kathmandu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 198 Hotels in Kathmandu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Shambaling Boutique Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Close to one of the holiest Buddhist stupas and adjacent to a Buddhist monastery, Shambaling is nestled in the heart of Kathmandu’s Tibetan community in Boudhanath. A 10-minute walk from Boudhanath Stupa, through the narrow brick-paved lanes, Shambaling, meaning paradise garden, opens its door to the comforts of true Tibetan culture fused with high end Swiss hospitality. Spread in 35,000 square feet, your address will be a renovated early 70th Tibetan-style house. You have the luxury of choosing from the 28 meticulously designed suits deluxe and standard rooms based on the concept of Kalachakra. Shambaling exquisitely welcomes you to experience a true Tibetan home stay coupled with genuine Swiss hospitality. One of Boudha’s first guesthouses used by pilgrims from Tibet, the property dates back to early 1970's. Approximately 20 minutes from the international and domestic airport, the hotel is quietly tucked away from the busy streets and fairly close to the peaceful realms of Buddhist heritage sites. Two years in the making, the once old building now houses Shambaling, where old traditions meet modern amenities. While elegantly designed modern rooms and suites mirrors Tibetan aesthetics, every floor represents the Kalachakra elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Sky. Each room’s ceiling colour complements the custom-made curtains and cushion covers. The exclusively imported linen adds novelty to your private space. Shambaling also opens up its lush green garden, perfect for an outdoor meeting or a relaxation under the Peepal tree while gazing at the colourful prayer flags. If you are in search of some soul-searching, the meditation room might come to your rescue. Rooms and SuitesWith meticulous design and an eagle-eye detail, each of the hotel’s four floors represents the elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Sky. While white ceilings combined with white curtains and linen gives you the impression of being under a cloudy sky on the first floor, you transcend to the second floor to experience the warmth of red fire. As you climb further, the rooms welcome you with the exquisiteness of blue water on the third level and yellow hue representing earth on the fourth floor. You can choose between Shambaling standard rooms, the monastery-facing or the garden-facing deluxe rooms, or one of the exclusive suites, all equipped to ensure your comfort, luxury and privacy. All rooms while retaining a taste of authentic Tibetan aesthetic are equipped with modern facilities, including suave bathroom, spacious closet and a mini bar. Whether you are in the mood for fine dining or a casual lunch, Shambaling offers you appetizing delicacies for your gastronomic delight.The Lungta Restaurant is a multi-cuisine fine dining restaurant with a menu that caters eastern and western culinary. With an open-counter kitchen, wooden floor and fine cutlery, the restaurant gives you an invigorating dining experience. Shambaling also serves savories in its outdoor facility known as The Lingka, the Garden Restaurant. Overlooking the lush green garden space, you can dine beneath the prayer flags while gazing at the hotel’s magnificent Tibetan-style architecture. If you want to fulfill your dose of caffeine, our coffee machine La Cimbali serves the world-known Illy coffee. A wide selection of wines and single malt whiskey chosen by the owners awaits you at the Cave Bar. ... more   less 
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