While planning a family vacation in Bhutan, I discovered that COMO Hotels and Resorts offer a Himalayan Explorer package. This five to nine-night experience includes a dedicated guide, driver, meals, and accommodation about COMO Uma Paro and COMO Uma Punakha (the two COMO properties in Bhutan). In addition, COMO Hotels and Resorts manage the entire booking process for guests travelling to Bhutan. This includes flights on Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines and the visa application process. I’d been dreaming of visiting Bhutan for years. After learning about COMO Uma Bhutan Himalayan Explorer package, I booked a week-long experience.
Since we flew in and out of Paro, Bhutan, we spent a few nights at COMO Uma Paro at the beginning and end of our family vacation. In between, we travelled to COMO Uma Punakha with our driver and guide. I’ll cover our stay at COMO Uma Punakha and our family-friendly experiences in Bhutan in future stories. This post is about our exquisite stay at COMO Uma Paro.
COMO Uma Paro Arrival and Location
We met our driver and dedicated guide at Paro International Airport. Then we drove along the scenic valley and up to COMO Uma Paro’s hillside location. Here we met lodge staff and our private butler, Sonam. Guests staying in villas at COMO Uma Paro enjoy private butler service for the duration of their stay. Upon arrival, Sonam showed us around the luxurious lodge before taking us to our villa.
COMO Uma Paro Rooms and Villas
At COMO Uma Paro, you can reserve a guest room in the central building or one of nine villas.
We reserved the almost 3300 square foot two-bedroom COMO Villa constructed using traditional Bhutanese craftsmanship. The villa contains a kitchen, large living and dining area, and an outdoor terrace. Further, there is an open-air courtyard with fire pit and spa treatment area. The COMO Villa is gorgeous.
Dining at COMO Uma Paro
The award-winning Bukhari restaurant, named after a traditional Bhutanese fireplace, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During the day, the circular space offers floor to ceiling views of the Paro Valley. During the evening, glowing Bukhari fireplaces light the restaurant from within.
Breakfast at COMO Uma Paro
Breakfast is buffet-style with made-to-order items including poached eggs, omelettes, and traditional Bhutanese offerings.
Bukhari Lunch Menu
The lunch and dinner menus include local and international dishes. At lunch, we often ordered a mix of local and international items. For example, cheese-stuffed chilli peppers (a staple in the Bhutanese diet) as well as pasta or pizza.
Dinner at Bukhari Restaurant
In the evening we ordered a set menu, often Indian, served in decorative brass bowls. It was beautiful and delicious. Children can order more typical menu items such as pizza, grilled sandwiches, and burgers.
COMO Shambala Cuisine
Health conscious traveller will appreciate the COMO Shambala menu items available at each meal. The COMO Shambala cuisine uses nutritionally rich, local, and organic food to maximize energy and well-being.
From 11 AM, the cozy Uma Bar at COMO Uma Paro serves drinks and food from the all-day dining menu.
Private Butler Service at Uma Paro
Our butler Sonam quickly and quietly became indispensable. He taught us archery (a national sport in Bhutan), kept our villa’s bukhari fireplace ready for a match, insisted on cleaning our shoes each night, showed us how to make prayer flags, and so much more. Sonam turned an already excellent experience at COMO Uma Paro into an exceptional one.
Amenities at Uma Paro
A tranquil spa with muscle-melting Asian-inspired treatments, indoor swimming pool, gym, yoga studio, and library are available for guests at COMO Uma Paro. Also, there is a complimentary archery range located near the main entrance to the lodge.
Travel Tips – COMO Uma Paro Bhutan
- Most international visitors require a visa to enter Bhutan. If you book with COMO Hotels and Resorts, the competent staff will apply for the visa on your behalf.
- Learn more about the Himalayan Explorer package on the COMO Hotels and Resorts website.
- Also, visit the Tourism Council of Bhutan website to learn about visiting the Himalayan Kingdom.
- This story about Bhutan published by TravelAge West shares more about our family travel experience.
- We flew into Bhutan from Bangkok, Thailand on Drukair. You can read about flying Drukair Business Class here. Furthermore, if you visit Bangkok, plan to dine at Michelin-starred nahm restaurant located at COMO Metropolitan Bangkok. We’ve eaten lunch and dinner at nahm — it is excellent.