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“I see ratings going down-the reviews were unrealistic- too pricy and noisy”

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Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa
Ranked #58 of 198 Hotels in Kathmandu
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
1,082 reviews
417 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 650 helpful votes
“I see ratings going down-the reviews were unrealistic- too pricy and noisy”
Reviewed 28 October 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, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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, 30 October 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.
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289 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
67 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2013 via mobile

Quite simply a brilliant, quirky hotel. The rooms are spotless - very comfortable and with top quality fixtures and fittings. The service is friendly and efficient and the stair ant top quality. Quirky features such as the witty door hangings and life size toys in the room and the option to have anything from a pile of plates to smash to relieve tension to having the room filled with balloons add to the experience. Not the cheapest hotel in the city but much cheaper than you would expect to pay for something this good in the west. Thoroughly recommended for a central, clean, comfortable and quirky stay.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank stc8190
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, 25 October 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for your kind review. We are very glad to know that you enjoyed your stay at Royal Penguin. We hope you were satisfied with our efforts to make your stay more luxurious and comfortable.

We keep stuffed toys in each rooms so that our rooms can become more lively with their company :) and we feel very happy to know that our valued guests enjoy our efforts to make their stay a special one. We really look forward to host you again with our updated services in Royal Penguin.

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
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
82 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2013

What a weird place!! But it does all the hotel things very well indeed, it's efficient, comfortable, good value, pleasant, excellent location and so on. And there's all the rest... For example, you are greeted by LARGE stuffed animals on your bed (including a penguin!); if you like you can book a room and a set of china to smash in case you feel frustrated by your work; you can pay $200 extra if you feel like it!; you can order a stuffed animal to come and sit with you in the restaurant (I ordered a large tiger!); you can have the flag of your choice by your bedside in your room; you can select the level of sociability you want staff to use with you - high, including jokes, medium, including cheerful, but not excessive, low, just take the order and no exchanges. And there's more. The decor is kitsch and yet bright, cheerful and new, the rooms are large and comfortable (but a bit crowded), and the breakfast was just right. Very hard to fault this unusual place. Best of all the staff really know what they are doing. We were really impressed!

Room Tip: No lift, so don't go too high up (2nd floor is ok)
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank George 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, 25 October 2013
Dear George ,

Thank you so much for your kind words. We are glad to know that you took some time out of your busy schedule to drop a review about us. Its our great pleasure to know that you had a good time during your stay at Royal Penguin.

We offer a various set of interesting and crazy activities in our special menu "CRAZY MENU" where you can find unusual offers like smashing the dishes, zoo in room and many more. We try our very best to satisfy our valued guests and enjoy their stay at our hotel and we look forward to greeting you again here 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
chicago
Level Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2013

looking at your reviews I decided to stay there after I just left Bangkok staying at the Banyan Tree hotel.
Friendly staff, yet rooms way too small, noisy, toilets no hot water, air condition didn't work,
no flushing toilets after 12 AM .........
DEcOR hideous, mismatched ................

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank willie1975
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, 12 October 2013
Dear Willie!

Thanks for your review about the hotel though we must say we don't actually agree with it. Anyone can come in our hotel and make certain that everything is working perfectly, the location is very good and the design is great and unusual. There is 24 hours running hot and cold water, 24 hours electricity supply, and the aircons are working well also. Well, if something even isn't working (in rare case), you can always call the reception phone, and it will definitely start to work in a couple of minutes.

We read some other of your reviews and we saw that you evaluated 5-stars hotel Fish Tail Lodge in Pokhara with a "1" score. Taking into account this evaluation, we see your evaluation of our hotel with a score of "2" as reasonable:)

We wish you luck in your future and we really hope that next time you will able to find a hotel better than ours in the city of Kathmandu.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
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Buckinghamshire England
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013

Stayed at this hotel, in the centre of the Thamel shopping district - a haven from the hub-bub and totally unique in character, allowing you to choose how talkative you'd like the staff to be, whether you'd like to enjoy your meal with stuffed toy animals - or indeed your bed - and encouraging you to take pictures of the crazy but delightful and very clean premises! Excellent wifi, backup electical generator, and very helpful staff. Decent breakfasts withi good variety if too much food. Excellent muesli. Everything one would need in the rooms including desk and converter plugs, kettle, fridge, water, chocolates....If you don't like squeezy soap, however, bring your own small bar. A delightful place that I would recommend for an experience you'll never have anywhere else!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NoniRubin
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, 22 October 2013
Dear NoniRubin,

Thank you so much for your kind review. Its always our great pleasure to know that our guests spends a very good time at Royal Penguin. We will be more than happy to host you again at our hotel :)

We are very glad to know that you liked our Muesli. We try to choose the best Muesli you could find in Kathmandu so that our guests can enjoy their breakfast. We really hope to serve you again in our hotel 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
Malvern, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 5 October 2013

We found the Royal Penquin through Trip Advisor and it turned out to be a great stay, especially in the chaotic and traffic-ridden central Thamel part of Kathmandu. It was an oasis of comfort, great staff, good food and professionalism. Since we are older, we worried about how comfortable it would be in central Kathmandu. It was mid-September and still very hot so we really appreciated the air conditioning. All the good reviews we read on Trip Advisor were true. It costs a little more than some but well worth it. Good value as it is boutique, not one of the large, expensive chain hotels. The staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough to help us with information. They have a generator so power outages were not a problem. It is modern, new and spotless. We stayed a total of 5 nights and tried several rooms. We liked the Executive Suite in the 2nd floor. The deluxe double was also great. There is no elevator and they have 5 floors, with the Penthouse Suite on the 5th floor, so a lot of steps. The owner even provided us with a complimentary dinner during our stay. The crepes on the menu were fabulous. They have an excellent chef.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ThomasPlatt
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, 22 October 2013
Dear Thomas ,

Thank you so much for your kind review. We are pleased to know that you enjoyed your last stay at Royal Penguin and we look forward to greeting you again :)

We always try our very best to satisfy the needs of our guests and make them feel at home. We understand it is quite tiring to climb a lot of staircase to reach to the Penthouse on the top floor but next time you visit Royal Penguin you can have a choice to stay in our second wing Penguin 2 with an elevator as well.

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
Somewhere in Asia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2013

This hotel charges a high price for a quality night's sleep. Indeed the room was quiet, the bathroom pretty clean, and the bed comfortable. However the room was quite small and all surfaces were taken up with their nicknacks (statues and pretty things) or wine glasses or advertising or menus. There was no where to put my things down so I felt like I couldn't relax for fear of breaking something!

The staff are accommodating and available.

The Penguin offered a free breakfast, but for me it was a let down. I expected better than instant coffee and a couple of eggs and toast. Additionally, I had to inquire as to the parametres of the free breakfast as the staff had handed me a menu and happily waited for me to order. If I'd chosen unwisely, they'd've had me pay full price, I suspect. You must choose from a specific set, but they don't tell you unless you ask.

The internet worked better some times than others.

Highlight: The dessert menu in the restaurant. Good stuff and worth the relatively high prices!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mathlete88
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, 13 October 2013
Dear guest!

Thanks for your review about the hotel, we value your opinion.
Speaking about our breakfast, we have a choice of different breakfast sets which are free for our hotel guests. Each set includes from 4 to 6 items.
The healthy set includes toasts, hash brown potatoes, fried eggs, grilled apple, juice of your choice and a tea or coffee.
The sweet set will treat you with a Vienna waffle or crepes with sweet topping of your choice, fried eggs, juice and tea or coffee. We also have American breakfast and Fruit breakfast that consists of fruit salad, muesli or cornflakes with yoghurt, juice and a tea or coffee.
You can also choose the type of the tea you'd like to have for your breakfast. There is a choice of black, earl grey, green, fresh mint and fruit tea.

Next time you stay with us you can take a bigger room. We recommend Executive suite which has a huge bathtub (4 slim people can easily fit in it), separate working and sitting zones featuring a comfy sofa. The room is quite spacious.

Please feel free to stay with us again when you come to Kathmandu, we'll be more than happy to host you again.

Warm regards,
Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel team.
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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)
Region: Nepal > Central Region > Bagmati Zone > Kathmandu Valley > Kathmandu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 198 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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