The Lakeside district in Pokhara, Nepal is filled with hotels ranging from very modest guesthouses to luxurious resorts, and all are very close to the busy Lake Phewa. Few, however, boast actual views of the lake from many of the hotel rooms. If the view from your room is important to you, and you appreciate cleanliness and comfort, then Hotel Karuna is the hotel for you.
Modern and comfortable
Aside from a lovely view, Hotel Karuna’s staff warmly welcomes guests to its modern and spacious lobby. The rooms are located on floors one through four, and are reached by stairs. Sorry, no elevators here. The rooms on all four floors are similar, and have comfortable queen size beds, closet space, an en-suite bathroom with shower, fresh towels and soap. A family room is also available with extra sleeping space. A porch directly off the bedroom is a welcome bonus. I was lucky enough to have a porch that not only had a lake view but also a view of the Annapurna mountain range. Each room also has an air conditioning unit and a ceiling fan - these are essentials in the humid heat of Pokhara during monsoon season (June through September).
Breakfast and more
Breakfast, which comes with the cost of the room (30 USD for a standard room) is served in the modern, spacious lobby of Hotel Karuna. There are three choices for breakfast ranging from a “Health” option with muesli, yoghurt and fruit, to a full breakfast with omelette, toast, potatoes, butter and jam. All was simple, fresh and tasty. There is also a children’s breakfast available with a choice of pancakes or French toast. All breakfasts are accompanied by either tea or coffee.
Organic coffee bar
One of the nice features of the Hotel Karuna is a self-service coffee bar serving organic Himalayan grown coffee. You can choose the strength of the coffee you want and the cup you prefer. You then pour hot water over the filter cone, et voila! You have a cup of delicious Nepalese coffee. The coffee bar is open to guests all day and costs a mere 150 NPR (about 0.30 USD).
Nearby Hotel Karuna
One of the main reasons to come to Pokhara and to stay at the Karuna is to enjoy the ambiance of the Lakeside District and to see the sights. Sights that should not be missed in Pokhara, include viewing the sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range in Sarangkot and a visit to the Peace Pagoda. Fortunately, there is an excellent travel desk at the Hotel Karuna and they will be happy to order a cab for you to take you to these destinations. The knowledgeable staff at the travel desk can also help you make arrangements for paragliding, a very popular sport in Pokhara, rafting, or trekking.
Shopping and eating
Taking care of shopping and eating, two very important needs,is easily done in Pokhara. Shopping abounds as do restaurants and eateries. However, there are two very special places that should not be missed. Chetana, a small store at the end of the main Lakeside road run by the Women’s Skill Development organization is worth a visit. The NGO that runs the store work with women, providing them with much needed income for themselves and their families. The women produce beautiful woven goods that are sewn into bags of various sizes and shapes, yoga mat covers, backpacks and more. You will enjoy your purchases even more knowing that you have helped to support a good cause.
When you tire of walking around the lake, make sure you stop at Or2K, the best vegetarian eatery in Nepal. This lovely restaurant located directly on the lake commands the best view in Pokhara. Chilling to the vibes of Pokhara while enjoying a freshly cooked vegetarian meal is the order of the day in this part of the world.
The perfect place to stay
The Hotel Karuna is the perfect place to stay while in Pokhara. Well situated with lovely views of the lake and the mountains, the hotel is modern, clean, and comfortable. The staff greet you with a smile, and a cup of organic coffee is at your fingertips. Who could ask for more?
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