Lounge, Como Shambhala Retreat spa, yoga studio, private cars. In rooms: TV, DVD player, minibar. Deluxe Rooms, Superior Rooms and Como Suites have free internet access.
The wrap-around windows in Room 30 offer the most staggering mountain-scape views in the hotel (closely followed by room 40). You could lose hours just staring at the magical Himalayan landscape. If you’re after the private spa and butler service of the villas, number 15 is the most secluded and romantic.
The hotel’s quiet, compact pool is set into a chic stone-walled space with windows looking out over the pine-clad valley of Paro. Loungers beckon from the adjacent alfresco sundeck.
The excellent Como Shambhala spa is set apart from the main lodge, encircled by forest. There’s an Ayurvedic focus, and the signature Traditional Bath, warmed with hot, mineral-rich stones and chased up with a massage, is worth climbing mountains for.
Bhutan is trekking country, so boots made for walking are essential footwear. If you wish to remain contactable during your mountain retreat (and we really don’t think you should), ensure your mobile operator has a roaming agreement for Bhutan.
Smoking is allowed in the bar and courtyard. Como Uma Paro will organise all visas necessary to visit Bhutan – the government maintains tight control on tourism.
Under-12s stay for free and extra beds can be provided for US$50 a night. Babysitting is available for US$5 an hour, with a day’s notice. Food can be tailored to suit childish palates.
Under-12s stay for free at Uma Paro, and extra beds for older children can be provided for US$50 a night.
Older kids who can make the most of the trekking, cycling and other cultural activities on offer.
Rooms in the main lodge are closest to the restaurant and pool with lovely views, so would suit families travelling with infants. Villas are a short walk away, but provide more privacy and space for families, along with butler service.
Kids will love having a crack at archery, Bhutan’s favourite sport, in the hotel’s verdant grounds. Hitting the target’s trickier than it looks, but staff will patiently talk you through the technique. You’ll see local games breaking out all over Paro town. Older children should be able to manage some of the shorter treks on offer, including the challenging, but jaw-dropping, one-day walk up to mountain-perched monastery Tiger’s Nest, strewn with prayer flags. You’ll meet donkeys, horses and monks on the ascent, and guides can pack a delicious picnic tiffin box for en route snacking (there’s a vista-toting café halfway up if the hike proves too much for any of your party). If mountain biking’s more your speed, Uma Paro offers a freewheeling downhill ride through nearby villages that will be a buzz for all ages. Kids can also chill out toasting marshmallows by the fire at the hotel’s outdoor camp. On a cultural tip, Paro offers a museum and dzong (monastery), which children may also enjoy.
Uma Paro’s heated, indoor pool has a fairly adult feel, as it’s sleekly stone-walled and compact, but kids can take a dip and then play outdoors as it gives onto an alfresco sundeck.
Children are welcome at Bukhari restaurant, where food can be tailored to suit childish palates.
Available for US$5 an hour, with a day’s notice.
One-bedroom Villas work well for families, sporting a master bedroom, plus your own spa treatment space with a second sleeping area for kids, and dining indoors or out on the terrace – or bag the more spacious Two-bedroom Villa for extra luxe.
Restaurant ingredients are organic and locally sourced and many members of staff are involved in local clean-up and conservation projects.