I stayed in both Zhiwa Ling and Uma in Paro, and there is simply no comparison. The Uma is by far superior.
Regretably, I was only there one night. The main building is hugged by pines and cedars, and the complex is a combination of authentic traditional buildings, and sensitively designed modern additions in wood and stone. The greeting at the front door was friendly, and check in was smooth if somewhat long. Norman, the GM, welcomed us.
After a brief tour of the facility...including the round dining room overlooking the valley, a quiet and well equipped spa, yoga/exercise room, and surprisingly large indoor heated pool...our butler Sangay led us over to our villa, #15. Although this was the furthest from the main building, it was also the best positioned for views across the valley.
The villas are enormous. There is a sitting and dining room with a wood burning stove, a butlers pantry with refrigerator and supplies, a massage room with twin bed, a large bedroom with king bed, and a huge bathroom and closet combo that includes shower, freestanding tub, double sinks. There is a tv in the bedroom, but it can only be used with DVDs which are available from the front desk. I never turned it on.
Sangay was great. He was always available for any service, including laying and lighting a fire and keeping it blazing away. He also served us in the dining room. Late at night or first thing in the morning, he was there to help us...and that touch of a single point of contact throughout your stay made me feel very welcome and well cared for.
We had three meals at Uma...a lunch, dinner and breakfast. The menu had a reasonable number of options, and in retrospect out of a week in Bhutan a couple of our best meals were at Uma. At one lunch I had a warm roasted vegetable salad that was superb. Breakfast was a buffet plus some hot options, and was probably the least inspired of the three. The adjacent bar was never heavily populated...and in fact while I was there, the hotel seemed only half full.
I had an excellent massage...in the massage room of the villa.
Overall a great experience. If I had to think of things to improve, they would be small. The food is probably an 8.5 out of 10, so could be better still. The gift shop has a fairly uninspired collection and could be upgraded. But those are minor...
- 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