The Dwarika’s Hotel
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Kathmandu Altitude: 1,323 metres
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.
Look The reception area is 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.
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.
Sleep Our 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 is 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. all matching in décor and design.
The room are fully air-conditioned and consist of a very comfortable king size bed with a bed bench at the foot. It has 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.
Dine 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.
Kathmandu Altitude: 1,323 metres
Royal Suite The enormous Royal Suite takes its architectural inspiration from the private abodes of the Malla Kings of Kathmandu. Set over 3 floors and featuring formal and informal meeting spaces as well as private lounge space, a majestic bedroom and a luxurious bathroom, a stay at the Royal Suite is a lifestyle experience that Kings would envy. The spacious 50 sqm bathroom using traditional slate tiles has a full-size bath-tub with a separate walk-in shower. Size: 250 sqm
Executive Suite Spread over an expansive area with a luxuriously fitted open plan bathroom, these Suites combine traditional design with modern conveniences. Individually designed using local materials, including pottery, slate and brass, the suites come with special services including secretarial service. The bedroom has a King Size bed or Twin beds and a daybed. The open-plan luxurious bathroom using traditional slate tiles has a full-size bath-tub with a separate walk-in shower. Total: 2, Size: 130-140 sqm
Junior Suite All the Junior suites are individually designed with local materials including pottery, slate and brass, as well as genuine antiques and artefacts. Each suite comes with a diwan (day bed) and is fully equipped with amenities. Bedrooms have an space for living area and luxurious bathrooms have walk-in showers. Total: 40, Size: 55-65 sqm.
Heritage Deluxe Room Remaining true to the earthy living that symbolized traditional life in the valley, the rooms capture the essence of such a lifestyle without compromise. The linen is organically produced and hand woven. The furniture is custom designed and handmade and many of the rooms face the charming courtyard. Bedrooms feature a King Size bed or Twin beds with space for living area with a luxurious bathroom. Total: 43, Size: 40-50 sqm.
Taxes and fees:
Check in & Check out
Kathmandu Altitude: 1,323 metres
Cultural Experience Take a walking tour with your private guide to explore the royal cities of Kathmandu valley; Patan and Bhaktapur. Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples while Bhaktapur is known for its wood carvings and art. If interested in the majestic views of the Himalayas then please note that few places along the range can offer such uninterrupted view, as good as that seen from Nagarkot, a village close to Kathmandu. To subdue your high-octane awim, Nepal has some of the best rivers in the world offering excellent opportunities for river adventure. Alternatively, calm your nerves mediating at one of the specialised centres.
Dining Experience The hotel’s main restaurant, Krishnarpan specialising in Nepali cuisine is reminiscent of the ritual feasts enjoyed by the Kathmandu Valley's Newari community. Meals range from six to twenty two courses and are prepared using fresh ingredients from the Dwarika's own farms. Mako, the Japanese restaurant takes its name from its host, Mako-san whose interest in Buddhism brought her to Nepal over three decades ago and has since remained here. An intimate Japanese fine dining experience, Mako offers traditional Japanese food served in a warm and stylish setting. Toran, serves a combination of Nepali flavours along with popular world cuisines. Located in the hotel's spacious courtyard, it is an ideal location for all day lounging and informal dining. The Fusion Bar is open throughout the day and late into the night with Friday evenings a live band and a Nepali barbeque.
Spa Experience The Dwarika’s Spa is a sanctuary for healing and purification. It offers an experience modelled upon the ancient traditions of care and respect that have developed in the Himalayan region over several millennia. Join a complimentary yoga class ever morning and use the Gymnasium open all day. The swimming pool replicates 12th century royal baths, complete with intricately carved stone spouts.
Shopping Experience Thamel is the Himalayan shopping paradise for trekkers, mountaineers and travellers alike. The first visit can be a bit overwhelming with its crowds, narrow lanes and shops, but is quite an experience once you get used to the place. You can buy anything here; from trekking boots, sleeping bags to jewellery and ancient books. Of particular interest to some may be the Thangka paintings – spiritual representations of Buddhist philosophy. These incredible works of art are central to Himalayan culture. Negotiation is the key and you might need to start as low as 50% at times to get a fair deal.
Tipping Tipping is a personal expense and depends entirely on the quality of services provided to you and your appreciation of those services. Whilst tipping is not mandatory, it is expected at restaurants and by drivers, guides and tour escorts. The following estimated guideline may help you in determining the tip amount, should you wish to tip any service provider in Laos. Tipping in restaurants is about 10% of the bill, if not included. Tour escorts and local guides between Rs 500-800 per day. Drivers between Rs 350-500 per day.
When to go Nepal like the rest of the Gangetic plains has four seasons. The winter in the Himalayas is cold and damp, when the high passes are closed and certainly not a good time to visit Nepal. But beginning February as the weather gets warmer, travellers rush to make high-altitude treks. The skies may not be very clear but the forests are full of rhododendrons and other flowers are in bloom.
The heat wave runs through May and the high altitude plateau sees dust storms until the monsoon finally arrives in mid-June. Mountain streams become torrents, landslides take down mountain paths and the Himalayas itself get shrouded in mist and mystery. It is not a popular time to visit Nepal.
But in September, when the rains stop, the dust has settled, the weather is balmy, the air is crip and the sky is clear; it is the most perfect time to visit Nepal. Visitors, trekkers and mountaineers are rewarded with gorgeous uninterrupted views of the high Himalayas.
Passport/Visa A valid passport is required for all tourists except Indian nationals to travel to Nepal. A valid passport is required for all tourists except Indian nationals to travel to Nepal. You can apply for a visa on any entry points upon arrival. Payment should be made in US currency (exact change). Any other currency or credit cards are not accepted for visa payment. You will also need a photograph. However, to save time, tourist visa can also be obtained from Nepalese Embassies or Consulates abroad.