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“No hot shower” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa

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Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa
Ranked #58 of 194 Hotels in Kathmandu
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“No hot shower”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2013

Staff could not get hot water to run. Lodged complaint at 930 pm and we had to keep checking with them every half hour, only to be told that we can try and see if the water is now hot. At 1130 pm, we were told we need to wait for another 1.5 hours. What rubbish! We asked for bucket shower instead. If it ain't gonna work, just be upfront about it.

For a relatively new hotel, things seem to be falling apart- the knob for the tap fell out - we had to wash with the tap at the bathtub. Staff made no effort to repair it even though they were aware of this.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank miinkk
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, November 27, 2013
Dear Miinkk!

We are very sorry for the hot shower situation and you are absolutely right to be unhappy about this. That was an emergency situation. The reason of that were the local strikes which didn't let us get the specialist to come solve the shower problem immediately. Unfortunately the Nepali strikes make it hard sometimes to get the specialists fast enough. Same reason was with the knob for the tap.
From now on we'll get several specialists that will be available 24/7 even on holidays and strikes days, so a thing like this surely does not happen again.
We apologize again for this situation and thank you for staying with us. And we promise to make sure your next stay with us is as comfortable and perfect as it normally is.

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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282 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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English first
Haarlem, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2013

The hotel is new and decorated in a modern and interesting manner, with all facilities, including free wifi.
On top of this, the hotel is located in Thamel, with many shops nearby. From my point of view, this was really the best hotel we stayed in Nepal.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank georgiana13
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, December 29, 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you for leaving such nice words about us as your review. We are very much glad to have you saying us as "the best hotel in Nepal ". It is always a pleasure for us to know that our guest enjoys their stay at Royal Penguin.

We hope you will give us a chance again to serve you here with the coming days !

Best 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.
Belgium
Level Contributor
102 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2013

We booked this hotel for 3 nights before going on a trek to Poonhill and for another 2 nights afterwards.Location is very good within the busy Thamel area with many restaurants and shops nearby.You can easily walk to Durbar Square ( 15min) and to Swayambunath (45 min) Rooms are very modern and clean with everything you need.Staff is very helpful...when a problem occured...they resolved it immediately.The beds were very relaxing...the best we had during our trip through Nepal.Wifi was of good quality.Restaurant we can recommend in the neighbourhood is Roadhouse Cafe...excellent pizzas at a good price.Will come back.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank PeterenDavy
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, November 30, 2013
Dear Peteren,

We are very delighted to have such nice review from you and we are glad to know that you had a good time during your stay here in Royal Penguin.

Our team are always attentive towards the guests request. We try to satisfy them with their big and small requests to make their stay a remarkable one. Wi-Fi in every rooms are reachable with high range which is for a complementary use for our precious guests.

We really look forward to host you again in Royal Penguin.

Warm regards
Royal Penguin Boutique hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
54 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2013

My wife and I had a wonderful stay recently at the Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel in Kathmandu. This hotel offers an oasis of first-class service in the crowded, hectic but fascinating Thamel neighborhood of the city. It's a brand new lodging so everything works flawlessly. Hot water for showers is always available. Wifi is free in all the rooms. When the common Kathmandu power outages occur the hotel power generator kicks on immediately. The rooms have large-screen televisions offering international channels. We were surprised to find that such a small hotel even had a gym.

A real highlight of the Royal Penguin is the food. In addition to offering tasty Nepalese dishes the hotel restaurant features delicious western cuisine 24 hours a day. After a couple of weeks traveling in Asia we really enjoyed the opportunity to order dishes like chicken Kiev. I noticed that Trip Advisor lists the hotel restaurant as the fourth best in Kathmandu. In fact, we ate almost all of our meals in the Royal Penguin.

We really appreciated the friendly and courteous staff at the hotel. Everyone greets you with a smile. The waiters take the time to chat with the diners. The manager, Kunchhang Lama, was very helpful. He would ask us how we were doing and how he could help us whenever we saw him. He arranged several day excursions and airfares for us. Despite the fact that the hotel was full he gave us a lot of personal attention. The hotel doesn't include airport transfers but Lama covered the cost of several of our taxi rides because he said we were "good customers. " By the way, the best tour guide we had in Nepal, Bijay Tamang, works with the Royal Penguin Hotel, so you can ask for him if you stay there.

I'm sure the term "playful" rarely comes up in a hotel review but it’s the best word I can come up with for the Royal Penguin. It's not just the name that is fanciful. Large stuffed animals greet you in the rooms and some of the restaurant tables are carved from giant tree stumps. The waiters offer to place a little flag of your country on the table and dinner rolls are served in little shopping carts. If this sounds weird to you, I agree. I'm sure this will seem "over the top" to some people, but my wife loved it.

We had such a wonderful time in Nepal that we plan to return and I'm sure we'll make reservations at he Royal Penguin. It’s one of the more expensive hotels in the Thamel district of Kathmandu, but if you feel like some luxury you should check it out.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Frank K
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, November 12, 2013
Dear Frankkeen,

We are very much thankful that you took some time out of your schedule to drop a review about us. Its our great pleasure to have such a nice words from you. We are really very happy knowing that your stay with us was a remarkable one.

Our hotel provides services round the clock for the convenience of our precious guests. Even the load shedding here won't be able to interrupt our dear guests as we have our own 155-kva generator and 42-kva generators for the backup. Use of gym and sauna is free of cost for our in house guest to keep them fit even in their holidays. Guests satisfaction is all what our team aim to and work likewise.

We will be more than happy to serve you again with pleasure in Royal Penguin with the coming days.

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.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2013

Great stay and a good place to escape from the somewhat chaotic Thamel.

The service is very friendly and efficient. The Royal Penguin staff are the best aspect of this hotel; they are genuinely helpful and seem to enjoy being of service to guests.

Their quirky extras are interesting. You can choose to have any country's flag on your table whilst having your meal; they were even able to provide us with four flags to cover all our nationalities.

The rooms are modern, clean and well laid out.

The luggage storage service is useful if you need to take a trip for a day or two.

Price wise, it costs more than your average hotel in Thamel but it's worth it. Breakfast is included in the price but it was average. Momo’s, being one of Nepal’s national dishes, are the best choice from the menu.

Would definitely stay at this hotel again.

Upendra deserves a mention. He was a great help and very helpful.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jam-MaryJi
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, November 12, 2013
Dear Jam,

We are thankful to you that you took some time out of yours to drop a review about us and we are very glad to know that your stay with us was a good one.

We, the Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team try our very best to satisfy needs of our dearest customers. We do provide a flag of your country's choice so that one can feel like being in their own country for a while. And the luggage can be stored in here till the time you like without any cost so that you do not have to carry your heavy bags along with you while on trek or trip .

We hope to host you again with pleasure at Royal Penguin in the coming days,

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.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
70 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here twice - once when we were feeling depressed as we were trying to get to pokhara and the airport was closed for two days, and once after our trip to Tibet when we needed some clean sheets and a hot shower! This is a lovely hotel for this area, and would stack up against hotels outside of Nepal too. The staff are good, not overbearing, but helpful. We got a deal for the executive suite the first time we stayed and it was fantastic. The second time, just a regular room but still with a balcony and a great size. If you want/need to have some luxury then choose here as you won't regret to. ( we got the best deal on booking.com)

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Kathy L
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, November 5, 2013
Dear Kathy,

We are very glad to know that you had a good time during your stay with us last time. Our hotel is an exclusive hotel in Thamel and we ensure to provide the most luxurious and comfortable services to our precious guests.

During your second visit, the room you choose was a Deluxe room (23 Sq. m.) which is the smallest of we have. Next time of your visit , you can also check out our Penthouse Suite on the roof top, middle of the garden. Our Penthouse Suite is of large area and has a Jacuzzi and steam shower in it. You can also enjoy the garden view from inside your room. Though the curtains are open, people outside your room wont be able to see things inside as we have a special double gazed glass on the windows.

We hope you will give us an opportunity to serve you again with the coming days :)

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.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
949 reviews
403 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 618 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2013

When I booked it was the #2 in Nepal. Did not find it that great.

Right in the middle of Tamel. Noise and more noise. I had already paid for the hotel before we knew about the Shambaling House. I liked that hotel much better.
Not happy with their pick up from the airport. They sent us a rickety old car. For a third of the price we could have taken a rickety taxi. Not having learned our lesson we asked the reception for a taxi for the day, and they again got us one of the ricketiest taxis in Nepal and a driver that didn’t speak English. Reception sent us to their travel agency across the street which was overpriced and not very helpful.
For breakfast There are 4 menu choices from eggs to yogurt.
There is no elevator and they put us on the 3rd floor, 50 steps up.
Light for reading –fair but the lights keep going out. Is like this in the entire city.
Beds were comfortable with good linen and good pillows.
Air Conditioning
Wi-Fi- Worked well in the room
TV- Large modern with several channels in English.
Refrigerator well provided
Room for bags a bit tight for 2 large bags.
Tea Kettle with complementary coffee and tea.
Bathroom was small but fairly well decorated with modern hand held shower. There is a bit of mold around the bath.
No clothes line
No safety bar in bathroom is a bath shower combination.
Towels were nice and clean. They also give you two very heavy cotton robes.
Amenities –very poor. Wall shampoo dispenser and wall soap in sink.
Good hair dryer
No full length mirror or makeup mirror, but good light in the bathroom.
Laundry service well priced.
Large complimentary bottle water
Had a nice massage, but the location of the room is in their gym and the noise from the exercise machines and the TV is very obnoxious. Not a relaxing massage!

Dolma Gurung in reception deserves a mention.

This is not the town we came to 30 years ago……………….

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Starviagera
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, October 30, 2013
Dear guest!

We thank you for taking your time to provide detailed comments followed your recent stay with us. It's important for us to know your opinion about our hotel. We investigated the car situation, and please let us explain about it.
Normally we provide a big Toyota Hiace car for our customers. But time you stayed with us was the time of the biggest festival of Nepal "Dashain" during which a limited number of transfer is available. The Toyota Hiace got two times more expensive during the festival. So, we tried our best to arrange a car for your transfer. That was a private car, not a taxi. The private one is safer and cleaner than a taxi, that's why we prefer them. The driver didn't speak English, because the English speaking staff were on their days off for festival.
Normally in such cases (when the big car is not available), we don't charge for the transfer, but thas time our new manager made a mistake and charged you for it. We are very sorry for it. If you come to stay with us again, we take out of your bill the price of that transfer.

Speaking about the tourist agency situation. When you asked about the tours, our staff asked if they could help you from their, and you said you wanted to go to the travel agent. The rates in the agency are pretty normal for the city of Kathmandu. The prices in the agency are a little higher than in some agencies around, but the service is absolutely reliable, honest and high-quality, which we cannot guarantee about other places.

We understand that Thamel can be noise and that we're lucky to be situated on one of its most quite parts. The big advantage of Thamel is that it's very touristic and lively. Staying here, you get right in the middle of everything. Thamel will be great for those who love to explore, who love to get in the centre of travel.

We have our own back-up generator for cases electricity turns off. When it turns off, our generator immediately start to work. The break is not longer than 1-3 seconds.

In March we're going to open a second building of Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel, which will be number 2. We'll have a SPA floor there with some massage rooms, jacuzzi, steam and other facilities. It will be away from the gym and very quite.

We hope we clarified the situation and we're happy that you liked other things about hotel, like TV, towels, bed linen, AC, etc. We really hope to see and host you again.

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.
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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 #58 of 194 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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