The Dwarika’s Hotel
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
When we arrived at the Dwarika’s Hotel, it all appeared a bit strange in the beginning; handmade brick walls and wooden carvings. The driveway entry was small, just wide enough for two cars but once inside the hotel, it was like an old ancestral home of a rich Nepali businessman.
The reception area was well decorated and furnished. We were greeted with traditional style ‘Namaste’ and ushered into one of the comfortable chairs. A complimentary fresh juice with cold towels followed as I checked-in in a comfortable environment. And then it all fell into place; this unique and authentic heritage hotel has been painstakingly recreated by someone with a dream. It is a class above the others.
Once you step inside this magnificent hotel, you feel like royalty: The hotel is exquisitely decorated; the courtyard in the middle is the real jewel with trees, birds, flowers and candles in the evening and a sitting area by the pool, a perfect place to relax after a day sightseeing among the congestion and crowded city. The atmosphere is like a slice of old Kathmandu and staying in a Newari style palace with exquisite wood carvings everywhere you look.
My room and other rooms that I saw had large, old, Nepalese style, wooden doors with a latch and padlock system. The inside of the room was huge with a large living/bed area, and very spacious bathroom and separate "dressing" room. The bathrooms are cavernous as well with separate shower and toilet rooms and ample, good quality towels, mats, flannels etc. and all matching in décor and design.
The room was fully air-conditioned and consisted of a very comfortable king size bed with a bed bench at the foot. It had all the necessities like flat-screen TV, mini-bar fridge and modern features but integrated into traditional architecture and design, including the fittings and furnishings, and decorative artwork. On the side table was a fruit basket and "crunchy nibble" snacks.
The fabulous bars and restaurants are dotted all around. Fusion bar does amazing cocktails, Mako, a small Japanese restaurant serves sushi but their signature multi-course Nepali restaurant provides a real culinary experience. You sit at tables low to the ground and eat a multi-course authentic Nepali meal. Even Hilary Clinton and some super models have experienced it.
One More Thing: Reading its history, I realise that apart from being "merely" an excellent hotel, it is also a fulfilment of an inspiring dream. It started with one person's quest, the late Mr. Dwarika Das Shrestha, to preserve Nepal's Newari tradition of exquisite and finely detailed wood carvings. Staying at Dwarika’s hotel is not only an extraordinary experience but it is sharing his dream.
If you are travelling from Europe or the US east coast, it is likely that you will fly into New Delhi and then connect with a short flight to Kathmandu. For those travelling from Australasia or west coast of the US are likely to fly into Bangkok and then take a flight to Kathmandu. There are also some flights connecting with Hong Kong.
On arrival you can exchange your money at a bank just before immigration. Nearby is the visa counter where you can pay for your visa if you haven't got one already. While departing, for an international flight check-in at least two hours before departure, if not earlier as the counter gets busy during high season.