STAY IN SMALL-SCALE FAMILY-RUN HOTELS, GUESTHOUSES, ECO LODGES AND HOMESTAYS AND LEARN ABOUT THE LOCAL WAY OF LIFE
During a Nepal trip we make use of small-scale hotels. The hotels are comfortable and the decor has local accents. Guests can enjoy local Nepalese dishes in the restaurants. Below is a description of some of the Nepal hotels we use.
Kathmandu – International Guesthouse
International Guest House was founded in 1980 as a small family business. The hotel is located in a quiet neighborhood, just outside of bustling Thamel. The beautiful design of the hotel draws from Tibetan and traditional Nepalese cultural art and architecture, with wood-carved windows dating back over a century and traditional red Newari bricks. The hotel uses solar panels for water heating and employs diverse, professional and hospitable staff. One of the biggest assets of this hotel is the beautiful garden, where you can enjoy your breakfast or just relax while reading a book.
Kathmandu – Apsara Boutique Hotel
Apsara Boutique hotel is a beautiful and comfortable hotel, where you can relax in the center of Kathmandu. It is modern and new, but built with traditional Newari elements. Outside in the garden you can enjoy a delicious breakfast.
Bhaktapur – Bhadgaon Guesthouse
Bhadgaon Guesthouse is centrally located near the Nyatapola Temple, the highest temple of the Kathmandu Valley. The hotel is housed in an old restored Newari building and offers comfortable rooms. From the rooftop terrace you can enjoy a magnificent view of Bhaktapur’s old town and with clear weather the Himalayas in the distance. The staff at Bhadgaon Guesthouse is very friendly and helpful. The hotel has a restaurant which serves both traditional Newari and international cuisine.
Patan – Traditional Swotha Home
This bed and breakfast is located in a 70 year old traditional Newari house. During the renovation, the structure and cultural elements of the house were retained. Swotha Home is located in a quiet place, yet close to Patan Durbar Square.
Shivapuri – Chandraban Eco Resort
This resort is located a beautiful green area, close to Shivapuri National Park. It is an oasis of calm, north of Kathmandu. The hotel has a beautiful garden, where you can enjoy the view of Kathmandu. The apartments are tastefully decorated with Tibetan furniture.
Pokhara – Mum`s Garden Resort
At Mum`s Garden Resort, you enjoy a peaceful stay in the beautiful cottages, made of hand-cut stones. The cottages are surrounded by a cozy, green garden. This eco resort is also nice for families with children.
Hotel Peace Plaza, Pokhara
Peace Plaza is located just 60 meters form the Phewa Lake, at walking distance from the Bahari temple. The 35 rooms of the hotel offer a panoramic view of the lake. The staff will go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Sapana Village – Sauraha, Chitwan
Sapana Village is located next to Chitwan National Park, nearby the village of Sauraha. It is a responsibly run hotel and community-based project, located in a tranquil and inspiring environment. The hotel is known for its high comfort and hospitable staff, and the rooms are decorated by authentic Tharu art, designed and made by local people. Enjoy a locally sourced, organic meal on the terrace from where you can admire the stunning surroundings and occasionally spot an elephant bathing. Sapana Village Lodge aims to preserve the cultural inheritance of Tharus. At the same time, Sapana Village Lodge supports different small projects for the community to support themselves.
The non-profit organization created by the owner of Sapana Lodge, supports many small local businesses, helping them with micro-finance. This way they help to eradicate poverty in this part of Nepal. The lodge offers to guests many activities to interact with and learn more about the Tharu people and their culture in complete immersion. The revenues generated by these activities directly benefit the local community.
Bandipur – The Old Inn
The Old Inn is located in Bandipur’s car-free main street. It is an old Newari merchant’s house, which has been completely restored, maintaining the traditional Newari architecture. The atmospheric rooms are traditionally furnished. The Old Inn has a courtyard and a rooftop terrace where you can relax. The hotel has a very good kitchen, and you can enjoy a delicious dal bath here, Nepal’s traditional dish. The manager and staff at the Old Inn are very friendly and helpful.
Bandipur – Mountain Ridge
In this small hotel, the atmosphere is very familiar, making it easy to connect with the locals. The house you stay has beautiful authentic elements, in traditional Newari style. From Mountain Ridge you have stunning views of Bandipur, the surrounding area and the Himalayas.
Nuwakot – the Famous Farm
In the Famous Farm, you stay in a typical Nepalese farm converted to a bed and breakfast, with respect for the old Newari architecture. From the Famous Farm you a great view of the valley with the village of Nuwakot and its palace and beautiful temples. The Famous Farm has a beautiful garden in which it is lovely to relax. The food in the Famous Farm is delicious, and almost all vegetables come from their own garden, where it is grown ecologically. The Famous Farm employs most of their staff from the village of Nuwakot and they really do everything in their power to make you feel comfortable.
Mirage Inn, Lumbini
Mirage Inn is located in Mahilwar, Lumbini, opposite of Mayadevi main gate, which is just a 5 minute walk from Lord Buddha’s birthplace, offering a peaceful and comfortable stay. The management is very keen on running a sustainable accommodation. The water is heated by solar panels, they try to minimize the use of plastic and use a proper waste management system. The water is filtered by a reverse osmosis process. The employees are locals and the staff is encouraged to volunteer in cleaning around the vicinity of the hotel area.
Private stay in homestays
In Nepal, staying in a homestay is the ideal way to get acquainted with the daily life of a Nepalese family. Do not expect luxury, but hospitality and warmth. Your host will treat you as a friend and as part of the family. They will be happy to show you their village, and if you like, you can help in the kitchen or on the land.
There are several homestays possible:
* There are several communities that have put together a social homestay program to create jobs for the women in their community. Some of the proceeds are used for community projects. You find such homestays in Panauti, Nuwakot and Chitwan.
* Private homestays are also possible, where you also stay with a Nepalese family. For example, you can stay in a homestay near Bardia National Park or Dhading.
Bardia Homestay, Bardia
This private, three-room homestay is situated in the countryside, close to Bardia National Park in West Nepal. It is a perfect place for people who have a passion for nature and wildlife. Also great for travellers who like to explore the country side and experience the local Tharu culture. The accommodation is a great fit for both the adventure seekers and those wanting more peace and quiet.
The homestay, owned by Budhi and Sonja, supports the local community. Budhi is member of the School Board which gathers funds to improve the facilities of the local school. Bardia Homestay supports this by collecting donations from guests. This mean the school could build a new nursery class room in 2015 and a new water system for flushing the toilets in 2016, improving the hygienic situation for the children. Your hosts can also point your to the best places to buy original, custom made Nepalese clothes and baskets made from grass. It’s a good way to support the financial empowerment of local village women.
Stay in a monastery
Buddhism is an important religion in Nepal. The country is therefore richly populated with Buddhist monasteries. Several of these monasteries have their own guesthouse on their domain, where you can stay and live together with the monks. Sometimes you can combine this with a meditation course.
This is possible, among others, in Pharping, Boudhanath, Kopan or Namobuddha.