The sights and smells of Kathmandu are an overload of sorts on the senses for many who visit it. Whether it is the enchanting architecture of the many medieval temples or the heady experience navigating traffic jams in a rickshaw through the narrow alleyways of the city, Kathmandu can be exhilarating and completely consuming, all at once. Take your time to explore Kathmandu’s timeless heritage in the form of its alleys and backstreets, the tiny by-the-road workshops, and the obscure, hidden temples amidst seas of marigolds. With enough sights to keep you busy for a week, Kathmandu is the perfect place to explore backpacker jaunts as well as luxurious comforts of the many luxury and boutique resorts that have sprung up in the capital city. For those seeking luxury, read about the best five-star hotels in Kathmandu, Nepal.
While it isn’t a locally owned boutique hotel, the Radisson does feature a unique rooftop outdoor pool and treadmills offering spectacular views of the mountains in the Kathmandu Valley and the city, including the Swayambhunath Stupa. The Radisson is also perfect for trekkers and climbers looking for comfy options to get ready and prepared for the outdoors. 163 well-appointed, modern rooms greet you here, including deluxe rooms, club suites, and superior rooms. Grab a drink and eat delicious foreign and local cuisine at their signature Splash Bar and Grill.
The quaint and luxurious family-run boutique Baber Mahal Vilas blends four distinct architectural design styles of Nepal - the Rana era, the original Newar architectural heritage, and the Mustang and Terai cultures. The new, revamped hotel offers 13 luxurious rooms of four kinds - traditional rooms, traditional suites, heritage suites, and royal suites, some with terraces, a restaurant serving continental breakfasts and a quaint bar, a personalized poolside spa, an outdoor swimming pool, a library, and an extravagant collection of shops for purchasing traditional Nepalese arts, crafts, and trinkets.
Spread over 12 acres (4.8 hectares) of verdant Himalayan gardens, the pioneering five-star Crowne Plaza hotel (a.k.a. Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu-Soaltee) is a preferred hotel for the world heads of state and government visiting Kathmandu. Swathed in and exuding luxury Nepalese elements, the premium hotel features a fantastic outdoor pool area, five international restaurants which offer a range of international cuisines, and even a barbecue area. The Crowne Plaza also features seven regal VVIP suites and 282 guest rooms which perfectly blend comfort and luxury.
No list of luxury Kathmandu hotels is complete without including Dwarika’s, which is undisputedly the city’s best luxury hotel. Still operated by the founding Shrestha family and often described as a ‘living museum’, the hotel features beautiful heritage architecture, thus having become saviours of the traditional Newari architecture and crafts dating back to the ancient Malla dynasty (12th-17th century). Rumoured to possess the largest private collection of wooden carvings in the world, the hotel also has an on-site wood workshop teaching young craftsmen the ancient, now-rare Newari carving skills. Delve into a world of luxury at Dwarika’s which features 83 luxurious rooms and suites, five restaurants, yoga and fitness centre, huge library, pool, meeting rooms, a business centre, and even a spa.
Located around 10 km (6.2 miles) from Kathmandu, deep in the heart of the Kathmandu Valley, is the country’s top golf resort, the Gokarna Forest Resort, built in the region that was once the royal family’s hunting preserve. This luxurious rural retreat is surrounded by deer and monkey-filled forests and features wicker furniture, lending it a distinctly British colonial feel. Revel in the ultimate luxury that is the 23 rooms (premier suites, superior cottages, private, one-bedroom rooms) and the on-site resort spa, or go horse riding, mountain biking, or guided walking in the stunning Kathmandu Valley. For your showbiz fix, head to the far corner of the resort’s gardens to where a 200-year-old pipal tree stands, which was where the Keanu Reeves movie ‘Little Buddha’ was also shot.
Located in the heart of the magnificent Annapurna mountain range, the decor of the Shangri-La Hotel stems from a traditional Nepalese village architecture with a twist of modern luxury. The hotel features 65 luxury rooms with ensuite bathrooms and terraces or balconies which offer jaw-dropping views of the mountains, so there’s a good chance you might not even want to leave the suite! Enjoy one of the best Nepalese cuisines in the city in the continental restaurant, which offers a wide range of international cuisines as well. An Olympic-sized swimming pool and an in-house fitness centre complete with yoga instructors and a staffed gym can help you relax on site.
The name might be strange, but that’s the only strangest thing about Yak and Yeti. A skilful blend of modern and ancient Nepalese design is why Yak and Yeti tops the list of the grandest luxurious historic accommodations in the Nepalese capital. Located in the Heritage Palace in Kathmandu’s centre, the hotel is reminiscent of an ancient royal palace, surrounded by wonderfully manicured gardens dotted with stunning fountains. It also has its own casino, outdoor pool, 270 luxurious rooms, beauty salon, fitness centre, the Sunrise Café overlooking the gardens, as well as The Chimney Pub, a British-style pub serving both local and international drinks and meals.
The centrally located Malla Hotel is within walking distance of all that is best in Kathmandu, including the Narayanhiti Palace Museum. The huge property features 119 luxurious rooms equipped with individual climate control, a premier on-site restaurant and luxury bar serving the choicest food and drinks, a business centre and meeting room, a health club, a wonderful swimming pool, a beautifully maintained garden, and even a sauna and a hot tub on the premises, with the additional advantage of being well-sheltered from the incessant traffic noise of the city despite being centrally located.
The Malla Hotel
Address: GPO Box 787, Lekhnath Marg, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Till date, the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu remains a preeminent, international luxury resort in Kathmandu and is a familiar delight for travellers to the city. The hotel is built on a sprawling 37 acres (14 hectares) of land and is located hardly 10 minutes from the stunning UNESCO heritage site of Boudhanath Stupa, which is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist place outside of Tibet. Eight suites, 280 guest rooms, a downstairs spa, numerous dining areas, a beautifully designed lobby, gym, swimming pool and the likes make it one of the best familiarly luxurious properties in the city.
Established way back in 1965, Hotel de l’ Annapurna is the country’s very first, pioneering five-star hotel. Its name symbolizing all that is glorious in Nepal and celebrates Nepalese culture in its many forms. Hotel de l’ Annapurna is located close to the Royal Palace and Kathmandu’s financial district. The supremely comfortable and luxurious hotel features 155 well-appointed rooms (standard and superior rooms, executive and deluxe suites), business and conference rooms and facilities, a salon on site, a shopping arcade, a swimming pool, a health club, and even an on-premise casino.
Hotel de l' Annapurna
Address: Durbar Marg
Not for nothing is Kathmandu’s motto ‘My legacy, My pride, My Kathmandu’ - the former seat of the Nepalese royal kingdom is every bit regal as its rich culture and history. Explore the luxurious side of Kathmandu’s history by staying like a royal at these luxurious, five-star hotels.
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