Award-winning heritage hotels, atmospheric walking or trekking hotels, vibrant hubs of activity, pioneering jungle lodges, and camps and mountain lodges. With renewed political stability this magical country is witnessing a resurgence of tourism, and once again you can stay in brilliantly located mountain lodges, wilderness camps, trekker’s lodges and some atmospheric city hotels.
From magnificent, architectural icons such as Dwarikas in Kathmandu where over the years the hotel has grown into a veritable museum of superb wooden carvings that grace the exterior and decorate the interior. This intricate artwork is what the Newars of Kathmandu were famous for.
Then one has the fabulous Tiger Mountain Lodge, situated on a ridge about 2,000 feet above the somewhat haze-laden Pokhara Valley and at the edge of a picturesque hill village. The Mountain Lodge is exquisite with extraordinary views.
The architecture and construction is local, but beautifully finished and designed; comfort definitely verges on the luxurious; service is personalised but understated; the food and bar are first class; the guides are well-trained, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the fauna, flora and local culture and the boss is an authoritative and amusing commentator on Nepali history and politics. Above all, it commands panoramic views of Fishtail and the Annapurna massif.
Your stay here can be as energetic or restful as you like. You can wander through the local villages or go birding for the whole day, enjoying the superb assemblage of Himalayan birdlife, walk for a whole day with a packed lunch, explore the tourist bazaars of Pokhara along the edge of the lake, fly a micro-light, sail over on a balloon, or go rafting – it’s all there for you to do.
In Karnali, there is a wonderful lodge for the traveller who is fascinated by wildlife, butterflies, birdlife, tiger, rhino and the chance to see all of this from the back of an elephant. Whilst at the edge of the park, on the outskirts of a Tharu village, there is a lovely, local-style lodge which allows you the freedom to ride, swim, or go wildlife and bird-watching.
As you head out of Kathmandu, ascending to the rim driving East on the road to Lhasa, the countryside becomes decidedly rural, with tiny terraced fields climbing up and down the precipitous slopes. It is charming countryside and on a clear day the horizon is rimmed with the world’s highest peaks, starting with Everest. For those who may want to get out of the pollution of Kathmandu and enjoy the lovely countryside and mountain scenery, the Dhulikhel resort offers a charming alternative.
Comfortable lodges, cabins and tea-houses make for the most fantastic experience! This is an expedition-style walking holiday where all one’s heavy equipment is carried by porters, mules or horses, with a camp staff of trained Sherpa’s to remove all the hard work from a trekking holiday – leaving you to get on with the job of enjoying yourself. In recent years some of the more heavily used trails have developed a series of comfortable trekking lodges which allow you to walk unencumbered by heavy equipment and staff, and make your own way from lodge to lodge.
Some of these lodges can also be used as a base to explore the higher mountain country than is possible from Pokhara or Kathmandu. We have a small but interesting selection of lodges that we use. Our walking holidays in the Himalayas can be tailor made or you can join a 9-day to 2-week walk in the Everest region or at the base of Annapurna.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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