Dwarika's Hotel, Kathmandu
Dwarika’s Kathmandu is an institution in the city, ask any taxi driver and they will know it straightaway. It is a unique place to stay with plenty of character. Dwarika’s is a museum and hotel in one, traditional Nepalese carved wooden panels and terracotta work are preserved and used throughout the building to recreate the atmosphere of a Newari Palace. There is a workshop in a corner of the main courtyard where guests can see the restoration work taking place. Dwarika Das Shrestha, the founder of the hotel, gave the best part of his life to build it and his efforts have been rewarded with numerous conservation awards. The oldest part of the hotel is an ornately carved wooden doorway from the 13th century, rescued from a closing monastery. Dwarika’s has also been heavily involved in the restoration and rebuilding of Kathmandu after the devastating 2015 earthquake and continues to raise money to help the city.
The 80 spacious bedrooms are decorated with custom-made furniture and located around a serene courtyard at the hotels heart. All rooms come with a selection of dry leaf teas – no finer way to start your day than with a refreshing cup of Jasmine tea (or Nepali if you want to be authentic). The rooms all look out onto the courtyard so have plenty of daylight. The smallest details, from the mudra shaped door handles to the toiletries in the palatial bathrooms, have all been considered. This, along with the level of service, are what make Dwarika’s such a fantastic place to stay.
Krishnarpan, the fine-dining in-house restaurant offers some of the best food in Nepal. The gastronomic experience takes diners on a journey through Nepal’s varying regions; Mo-Mos (similar to Chinese dumplings) from the Himalayan region and Saag Jhaneko (spiced potato) from the southern Terai are all served. The tasting menu, which ranges from 6-22 courses is as much a delicious dinner as an education about Nepal. However, dinner doesn’t need to end with Nepali food. In a prime position by the pool lies Fusion Bar, a cosy bar with open fires and live Nepali bands. Reminiscent of a bygone era, Fusion serves up a range of whiskeys and elegant cocktails. After a long day exploring the madness of Kathmandu, head here to absorb the day’s delights, all washed down with a whisky sour.
It’s sister property, Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel is a gorgeous wellness retreat in the suburbs of Kathmandu and is a fantastic option for those wanting a bit more TLC and an escape from the city. Dwarika’s Kathmandu is a mere 15-minute drive to the international and domestic airport, making it a common place to either begin or end your Nepali adventure.