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“Poor value for money”
Review of COMO Uma Paro

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COMO Uma Paro
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Paro
Certificate of Excellence
Isle of Man
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Poor value for money”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

This hotel tries to position itself at the top of the tree but to be honest it is totally over-priced and seriously over-rated. We paid through the nose for a superior room to end up with the smallest room in a hotel out of many visited in over two months of travel (including two weeks in Bhutan); the furniture is dated; the shower useless; and whilst the hotel is on top of a hill the room looked out onto a tree. And we saw a rat scurrying in the courtyard. The food in the restaurant is nice but, like the room, overpriced by about 50%....snob appeal methinks? And you're stuck with the one restaurant as there is no bar menu. We suggest you opt for the Zhiwa Ling, on the other side of town: similar price but bags of character, amazingly helpful friendly staff, and beautiful grounds with similarly beautiful views from the rooms and grounds.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Martin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman L, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear Martin H,

Thank you for taking time to share your recent experience at Uma Paro with the TripAdvisor community.

We are disappointed to read that you were not satisfied with your stay. And we are wondering why you have made certain comments.

We see that you only stayed with us for one night in our entry level Superior room which is just US $300 per night plus tax and service and includes breakfast.

While other hotels may be less expensive than Uma, they do not provide all of the the same services as our hotel.

OurBukhari restaurant is consistently rated best in the country and our COMO Shambhala Spa is the largest and highest rated in Bhutan as well. We also are the only resort with an indoor heated pool. And we offer the best and free wifi connectivity. I am pointing this out because what a hotel charges for a room is not just for the room itself but also for the use of the entire facility and services.

One thing we do not feel is fair about your review is your report that you saw a rat in the outdoor courtyard of the hotel. There has never been such a report ever from any guest and we have no record of you reporting this supposed incident at the time you were a guest of the hotel. So we doubt this occurred.

As TripAdvisor readers will notice, more than 90 % of the reviews posted about Uma Paro give the hotel a 5 star rating. So we are surprised to read about your dissatisfaction and regret you were not pleased with your stay.

Thank you for giving us your feedback.

Best regards and Tashi Delek,
Norman
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San Francisco
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

Ok, so my opinion may be somewhat influenced by having just come from Kathmandu, but this place is a welcome bit of peace and quite that reflects the general wonderful feeling one gets when one sets down in Bhutan. The hotel set up a guide and linked the stay in with Uma's other property in Punakah and included transportation as well. The entire trip was entirely seamless and we loved it.

The hotel itself is about 10 min from the airport in the hills above Paro. Many, but not all of the rooms have stunning views out over the valley and a nice little deck that gets afternoon sun. The hotel is about six years old and meticulously taken care of. You arrive to a wonderful sandalwood scent and ginger welcome tea. When you arrive your guide sits down with you and discusses your itinerary and takes your activity requests. The hallways are a little bare and can be a bit loud if you're on one. My advice is to spring for a deluxe room to avoid this problem and ensure the amazing views. The rooms have very nice, modern fixtures, and beds are very comfortable. WiFi is strong and fast.

The architecture is wonderful and charming - if you're there in the warmer times, you can sit in the central courtyard around charming fires. In the winter (we were there in December), it gets pretty cold at night but is quite pleasant during the day - I would equate it to Jackson WY in the fall. The hotel also has trails from there and outdoor archery that your guide will be happy to teach you. Inside, the hotel has a great spa, and an adequate gym (at 7,000 + feet, you won't feel much like working out anyway), and we heard the hot stone baths are supposed to be great. Complimentary morning yoga in the studio overlooking the Paro valley is a must.

The restaurant has a a good buffet with all kinds of fruit that I wouldn't expect in that area and a great a la carte menu. Make sure to try the Yak burger at lunch after doing the Tiger's Nest hike one morning. Dinner is a set menu where you get to choose the Bhutanese, Indian, or Western meal, each of which is amazing, ample and varied every day. I would absolutely go back here any time. Bear in mind that, as a friend said, "one does not simple drop into Bhutan."
All told, expect to spend a lot of money to be there - the country starts with $250 per day just for the privilege of setting foot there, but it's worth it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank 451MSH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman L, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear 451MSH,

Hello from your friends at Uma by COMO, Bhutan.

Thank you for posting your very favorable review of Uma Paro on TripAdvisor. We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us and appreciate \ther high praise you have given our hotel and guest service.

We noted that you chose one of our special Uma packages including accommodation, meals, all touring and guide services, etc. and that it was a "seamless experience" which makes us happy.

We hope you will be able to return to Bhutan and stay with us again.

Best regards and Tashi Delek,
Norman
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

I have been told that the tiered main building with its watch tower of Uma Paro was an old established hotel called Paro Hotel. This building and the villas are nestled onto the edge a hill covered by Himalayan blue pines over looking the valley and Paro Chhu river. It was just an amazing feeling arriving with so much anticipation being greeted by a smiling man wearing striped black brown traditional gho opening the two black doors.

The welcoming continued to the lounge area looking to a terrace by a cup of spiced tea, many more smiling faces to greet and a butler who would be looking after me for the first day before leaving for Punakha. I stayed in one of the nine villas which has spacious but intimate living dining area, pantry, one large bedroom with seating area opening to bathroom with a free standing bath tub, double basins and an alcove for shower and water closet. Another door next to closet opens to smaller bedroom which has a massage table and a double bed resting platform.

The best part is that each villa has a front terrace where the butler serves breakfast at sunrise looking down the hills over the roofs of other villas among pine trees. The other special treat is that having the burning bukhari at the living area smelling of pine cones and incense oil in the evening after dinner.

Bukhari is the also name of the only restaurant at Uma Paro, the three quartered circular space is centred around this huge traditional fire place. My highlight was having the first Bhutanese dinner starting with cheese and spinach momos plus fresh pound chillies dip, the dinner was a quintet red lacquer bowls of braised water brocolli, cut new potatoes pieces cooked in cheese sauce mildly spiced by fagara peppers, a salad of cucumber, cheese cubes plus coriander leaves and the best of melting yak meat red curry served with crumbling red rice. I also had fresh pomegranates juice which we can rarely get anywhere at home.

I returned two days later from Punakha to spend another two nights in the same villa greeted by the same smiling faces. I just love this short experience of living in my own "UMA", a beginning and a closing of Bhutan. It is a true sense understated homestead luxury of clean air, blue sky, green hills, warm intimate spaces, smiling people within the breath taking landscape of history, architecture, tradition, love of nature and innate happiness.

Room Tip: I did not visit other rooms at the main building. Uma Paro is high up away from the neighbourhood, I...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank woodbeam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman L, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear Woodbeam,

Greetings from your friends at Uma by COMO, Bhutan.

We greatly appreciate the glowing review you have posted on TripAdvisor about our two luxury Himalayan mountain lodges, Uma Paro and Uma Punakha. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you particularly liked our our one-of-a-kind private mountain Villas with 24 hour personal butler service. Thank you for taking the time to share your good experiences of Uma and Bhutan with fellow travelers. We hope you will return to visit us some day soon.

Best regards and Tashi Delek,
Norman
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
portland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We spent 6 weeks touring Asia and ended our trip in Bhutan. This was by far our favorite place. The staff was wonderful. The view from our room was spectacular, you never needed to leave the room. We did a 5 day tour with the hotel and loved our guide Tsaywang. The spa was lovely and they took care of any request. I came down with a cold and they were happy to take my husband to town to get medications for me. I was only sorry we didn't have time to go to their other resort in Bhutan.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank PDX24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman L, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear PDx24,

Thank you for the excellent review you have posted on TripAdvisor about your recent stay with us at Uma Paro. We are glad you enjoyed your visit and that you and your husband had such a good time (even though your husband caught a slight cold). We also appreciate your praise of your guide Tshewang. All of our highly trained guides do their very best to make sure the guests have a wonderful experience in Bhutan. We hope you will have a chance to return and to visit our new luxury lodge in the Punakha Valley.

Best regards and Tashi Delek,
Norman
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisboa
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2013

After staying at Uma Ubud, there was no other option but Uma Paro for my visit to Bhutan. Once again the expectations were exceeded.

This time I was travelling alone and the staff at Uma Paro did everything they could to keep me occupied, even during dinner... they would bring my newspapers and books so that I would have something to do in between the dishes.

What an amassing stay! Thank you to all the friendly staff at Uma Paro.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Gonowtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman L, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear GoNowTravel,

Thank you for the excellent review of your recent stay at Uma Paro. We are glad that you had such a wonderful stay with us and felt at comfortable and "at home". We are happy to know that you have enjoyed our sister hotel in Bali, Uma Ubud and hopefully you will have a chance to experience some of the other hotels in our COMO Hotels & Resorts family. Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we are pleased to know that our facilities and guest service not only met, but exceeded your expectations.

Please come to visit us again soon.

Best regards and Tashi Delek,
Norman
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 6 Contributor
69 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Stayed here for three nights (after staying at Uma Punakha) in Feb 2013. It is a bigger property with 28 rooms, as compared to their Punakha lodge. The hotel has more amenities, which includes a very inviting heated indoor swimming pool (which I tried), yoga studio and a fitness room. The spa is also bigger.

I understand that the property used to be another hotel before it had the Uma flag. The lobby is quite modern in design, yet has a very warm timeless appeal, in contrast with the beautiful traditional Buthanese exterior architecture.

Front desk staff were very friendly and on their toes when I arrived and I was greeted with a towel and ginger tea.

The room is good sized and has extensive amenities. There also is an evening turn down service. I was assigned at Room 37 at the top floor, which I understand has the better views of the valley. It is a beautiful view, but coming from Punakha - it may not be as "surreal". The room also has a small balcony.

The restaurant serves excellent meals (and picnic lunches) - at the level of any high quality restaurant in the western world and the servings are generous. Although I personally feel that the kitchen at Uma Punakha might have a slight edge.

As I indicated in my review under Uma Punakha, the hotel arranged for my itinerary during my 7-day stay in Bhutan and it was handled professionally every step of the way. The guide and driver assigned to me (Karma and Tsaygey - I hope I spelled his name correctly) were exceptional.

I had a Shambala massage after my hike to Tiger's Nest and they accommodated my last minute request for an earlier time slot. Not to mention the excellent therapist that took away the tiredness from my legs! (Housekeeping was also gracious enough to clean my boots as it was all muddied from the hike!)

My only suggestions to the hotel management would be: the creaking wood floors at Room 37 concerns me as I might be disturbing the guests below and some of the tiling in the men's lockers that need repair or replacement. And this is of no fault of the hotel -- but there are nights and early mornings wherein the stray dogs in the neighbourhood would get rowdy and noisy. Bring earplugs as I did (thanks to an airline amenity kit!).

Overall, I enjoyed my stay at this hotel and the warm service from the staff. I would highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Try to get the rooms at the top level
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anonymous8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman L, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear Anonymous8,

Hello from your friends at Uma by COMO, Bhutan.

Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at Uma Paro and our new Uma Punakha resort with the TripAdvisor community and your positive recommendation to those who may wish to visit Bhutan.

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. We also are very appreciative of your comments on how we may improve. We are aware of the creaking sound made by some of the hand cut wide plank wood floors in a few of the guest rooms and we are restoring all. We also noted your comment about the Men's changing room in the Spa and this has already been fixed. So all is better now in this regard. Thank you for caring about how we can make our Uma hotels even better. We hope you will visit us again.

Best regards and Tashi Delek,
Norman
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taichung, Taiwan
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2013

I have just returned home from my first trip ever to Bhutan. Six nights, seven days... two of those nights in Uma Paro.

The level of service is exquisite! It was the perfect balance of homey + 5-star. The entrance to the hotel felt a bit daunting but as soon as my friends and I stepped through the doors we were swept up in warmth and friendliness and wonderfully warming ginger herbal tea (for the cool February morning that we stepped out of).

I was completely prepared for a rustic lodge and was met with a WONDERFUL people in a very comfortable setting and magnificent views. My room, #33, had a view of the mountain (pink-tipped at sunrise), beds which you could just melt into, delicious camomile teabags and the part that stood out the most was the lotus mural right above the beds! I don't think the TV was even necessary... my cousin and I spent so much time at the window just staring at the view and out walking that we did not even touch the remote control!

After settling in, a few of our group went to explore the facilities... and the pool looked great!! I did not get to take a dip because I opted for a quick nap but then spent the time posting photos via the FREE WIFI provided in the hotel and bragging to my friends about the exotic locations and views.

Dinner at the restaurant was also wonderful. The staff were attentive and their English passable (because it IS indeed their second language), each one eager to cater to requests with a cheerful smile. First night a few of our group ordered the Bhutanese set and while it tasted amazing, it was waaaaaaaayyyy too much for just one person to finish unless said person was ravishingly hungry. Needless to say, we practically had to roll back to our rooms we were so stuffed (full of great food!).

Second morning we went hiking up the Tiger's Nest Temple (and that is a whole 'nother story) so after getting back to the hotel afterwards, my cousin and I decided to visit the spa. Foot reflexology was pure bliss and it allowed me to walk normally the next day, as opposed to like a penguin as some others of my group ended up.

All in all, Uma will DEFINITELY be my first choice in hotels next time I visit Bhutan. I am eager to try the Uma chain in other cities!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Valistra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman L, General Manager at COMO Uma Paro, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear Valistra,

Greetings from Uma Paro and magical Bhutan!

Thank you for sharing your recent experience at Uma Paro with the TripAdvisor community. We are happy you enjoyed your stay with us and that you were so pleased with the accommodation, food, spa, and most of all the kind and attentive service of our staff. We truly appreciate all of the praise you have heaped upon us and your strong recommendation to other travelers wishing to come to Bhutan. We hope you and your family will visit us again soon.

Best wishes and Tashi Delek,
Norman
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 COMO Uma Paro

Property: COMO Uma Paro
Address: Paro Town, Airport Area, Paro, Bhutan
Phone Number:
Location: Bhutan > Paro District > Paro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Paro
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paro
#1 Luxury Hotel in Paro
#1 Spa Hotel in Paro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — COMO Uma Paro 5*
Number of rooms: 29
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

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