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“First trip to Kathmandu”

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Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa
Ranked #60 of 203 Hotels in Kathmandu
Certificate of Excellence
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
2 reviews
“First trip to Kathmandu”
Reviewed May 5, 2013

The Royal Penguin has an excellent location in the heart of Thamel, where everything is virtually at your doorstep. The facilities and size of room does not live up to its price and alleged star rating, but the service more than made up for it. The staff were most courteous and helpful. Always had a smile on their face. In particular, Ms Laxmi Khadka made our stay exceptional.

Room Tip: For the price, the room should be bigger
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank William T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPenguin, General Manager at Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 12, 2013
Dear William!

Thank you for your nice feedback and great words about our staff. We're sorry that our facilities didn't prove to be enough for you.

All of our rooms feature air conditioning system with heater, 24/7 hot water and power supply, 24/7 fast wi-fi connection, sattelite TV with up to 70 channels, in-room safe, refrigerator, tea-coffee making facilities, bathtub, mini-bar, hair-dryer, weight scale, rich selection of enchanting lighting, ergonomic, very comfortable beds. Penthouse Suite also feature a jacuzzi in our eco-bathroom and a steam-cabin. All of our guests can use our cozy gym and sauna for free. Those who prefer quiet and solitude can relax in our roof-top garden Khumbu.

We're sorry that the room you stayed in wasn't enough spacious for you. Our Super-deluxe rooms measure 25 square meters each, our Executive suites are 37 square meters each and our Penthouse suite is 36 square metres. Our Deluxe room is 23 square metres. Of course the last ones could be bigger, but it was hard to achieve because of the size-limiting environment of Thamel, historical centre of Kathmandu.

In about half a year we're going to open a second Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel and Restaurant building. It will be 100 away from the first building and will be closer to the centre of Thamel. All the rooms in the new building will be bigger than our Deluxe rooms and we'll pay extra attention to details to make them even more comfortable. Our second hotel will also feature a SPA and an elevator so your rest will get more comfortable and enjoyable. Please feel free to come and stay with us again any time you visit Nepal.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
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292 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 (71)
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Isle of Man
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

After walking around the busy streets of Thamel, the perfect antedote is the Royal Penguin. Super efficient and friendly staff, great accommodation and nice food. Located on JP Marga, 10 minutes walk from Durbar Square and 25 minutes walk from Swayambhu, it is ideally situated to explore the sights of Kathmandu. Will definitely return!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank atommanx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPenguin, General Manager at Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Dear guest,

Its very pleasant to see such a review from you.

Our location will be good for those who want to stay in the most touristic place of Kathmandu, Thamel, yet prefers the most quiet part of it. Peace and quiet in the hotel are also achieved by making all our room floors a “low voice area” and teaching our staff to speak quietly. All of these guarantees a relaxing stay.

Please feel free to visit us again in future and enjoy your holiday here.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
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Toronto
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013

A friend and I booked the Royal Penguin for 3 nights in advance of a trek, and for 3 nights after (the latter nights booked because we were so satisfied with our initial stay and dreamed of this hotel while on our trek). What a find! When I booked the hotel, there were only about 7-8 reviews online, and the hotel was offering 20% off the rooms, a nice enticement to stay while the new property builds up its name. I spent days sifting through TripAdvisor for Kathmandu lodging and there seems to be some seriously intense competition in this city, leading to some fake reviews for other properties.

Make no mistake about this one: the service is exceptional, the staff extraordinarily and genuinely friendly (especially Laxmi, the Assistant Manager), the food very good, the rooms spotless, and the location wonderful, in Thamel but on JP Road, slightly away from Tiger Balm hawkers. Welcome drinks were offered along with genuine smiles. We are Canadian, and when we walked into our room, there was a 2-foot high model CN Tower and Canadian flag waiting to greet us. It's one of the many touches that truly made us feel like we were at home. No request was too big or small - luggage storage was free, extra toothbrushes were brought up within seconds, and a farewell iced tea lemonade was right on the mark. The Annapurna Room (#21) is right next to the gym and massage room, making the post-trek trip for my deep tissue massage literally 10 seconds long. Decor was lovely - hand carved teak wood in the dining room, glass sculptures in the room, and stunning chandeliers mixed style with the fun quirkiness boutique hotels should have. NB: they have a backup generator, so load sheds have minimal impact here.

The owner of the trekking agency we used summed it up nicely: "Wow - your place is nicer than the Hyatt!" I'd also add: it's probably under half the price too. Have fun. Be at home. Sleep in. Enjoy.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank adale09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPenguin, Owner at Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Dear Adale!

Thank you so much for you genuinely nice and warm review. Your great feedback is an extra prove for the fact that a good hotel is not only about cleanliness and comfort, but also about the attitude towards the guests. Which is probably the main thing. We treat all guests as individuals with their unique cultural and historical background and desires.

We strongly believe that each guest is special and deserves the highest level of hospitality, and we get the greatest satisfaction by achieving that.

We are also happy you found our décor lovely. This is one of our main prides.

Speaking about the massage – it’s surely a great to relax and loosen your muscles after the hard days of trekking. You can also use our Finnish sauna for free, it is just three few steps away from the massage room. Combining sauna and massage might give great results. Guests staying in our top-floor Penthouse suite can also pamper themselves in the Jacuzzi and the steam-cabin. What more one can desire for the ultimate relaxation?

We’ll be really looking forward to seeing you and your friends in our hotel again.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
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California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

We got room 51 called the Everest, the whole floor by ourselves. The price was perfect, and nicely situated near shopping and food area. Great staff and food. They let us check in early at 9am. I stayed at five start hotels but this takes a Taj.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bbmtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPenguin, Owner at Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 21, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for your nice review.

Speaking about early check-in, our hotel policy is not “check-in is strictly at 12” but to do everything possible for the comfort of our guests. We believe this policy to be both reasonable from a commercial point of view and just humanly natural.

We’re looking forward to seeing you and your friends again.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013

the best hotel in Kathmandu Thamel. there is no other hotel even close to it.pay some more and you get a real good hotel in the middle of the Thamel. only 13 rooms so book in advance. the staff is extermly nice. the restaurant is very good and prices are not high.this is the place to stay when you return from a trek.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ofer A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPenguin, Owner at Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear Ofer,

We're fascinated by your kind review. Please come to stay with us again and bring your friends.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

We wanted something central to Katmandu, and something a little different to anything we have stayed in before.....this hotel had all the boxes ticked. We had a deluxe room, very compact, but had everything we needed. The location is central to a tourist area, so the shops had what we wanted to look at ....and again, and again, and again...we wonder some times how they make a living. Breakfast was more than adequate, and for the one meal we had in, we were more than satisfied with the taste and quantity....bearing in mind we were going vegetarian this trip. The rooms were cleaned expediently and the power never less down as they have their own gen set.....so for those, days that were a tad on the warm side, the a/c worked a treat. Of course staff also make a real difference to you experience, and they were all very pleasant and helpful....just one let down , and that is they could have been a little more informative on our arrival as to where you have breakfast etc. So for a pleasant experience in down town Katmandu....this Hotel is the go.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPenguin, Owner at Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear Chris,

Thanks for the nice review. We're happy you enjoyed your stay with us. We appreciate your opinion and next time will try to be more informative with the guests. The breakfast is normally taken in our restaurant. You can also have a room service or enjoy your meal in our private roof-top garden Khumbu.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Stayed in Nepal for 13 days recently, had a very tough 10 days staying in really crap hotels, lodges etc, but on returning to Kathmandu for the last 3 days, me and a friend stayed here and it is a world away from the noise, traffic, smog, and trouble outside on the streets, although it cost €90 for a king size double each night - there is no comparison when in a huge clean crisp airy bed, 50 inch tv, a safe, immaculate room and top quality staff and food, free spa, sauna etc. Everything is cheap In the hotel too and its a Nepalese 4 or 5 star, so thumbs up from me! (but I will never go to Nepal again!)...

Room Tip: Low season is very cheap for rooms, €60 for executive double / suite May - July, other wise, any roo...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tom_Ails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPenguin, Owner at Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Dear Tom,

We’re very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us. We believe that if you have booked the rest of your trip in Nepal through our travel agency your time here would have been much more enjoyable.

Speaking your impressions about Nepal, we still hope that some time in the future you wish to visit the Himalayas again as their beauty and spiritual energy have no comparisons in the world.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa

Property: Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa
Address: JP Road, Thamel | Thamel, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal (Formerly Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel)
Location: Nepal > Central Region > Bagmati Zone > Kathmandu Valley > Kathmandu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 203 Hotels in Kathmandu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Well-positioned in Thamel, Aria Boutique Hotel and Spa is the ideal point of departure for your excursions in Kathmandu. Set 0.0 km from the excitement of the city, this 3.5-star hotel commands an excellent location and provides access to the city's biggest attractions. A haven of rest and relaxation, the hotel will offer total renewal just steps away from the city's numerous attractions such as Kathesimbhu Stupa, Kathmandu Guest House Minitheatre, Gandharba Culture and Art Organisation. Aria Boutique Hotel and Spa offers impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate travelers. Top features of the hotel include meeting facilities, laundry service/dry cleaning, tours, restaurant, bar/pub. Step into one of 13 inviting rooms and escape the stresses of the day with a wide range of amenities such as television LCD/plasma screen, separate shower and tub, bathtub, extra long beds (> 2 meters), coffee/tea maker. The hotel offers wonderful recreational facilities such as garden, sauna, fitness center, massage to make your stay truly unforgettable. When you are looking for comfortable and convenient accommodations in Kathmandu, make Aria Boutique Hotel and spa your home away from home. ... more   less 
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