Kathmandu Valley in itself is a living, breathing museum. People don’t call it the City of Temples on a whim. Literally, there is a temple, or at least a make do temple in every nook and cranny. Unlike other capitals of the world, Kathmandu is not the metropolitan you would assume it to be. But, the western influence is permeating the city at lightning speed. You can witness it in the video game parlours housed inside 100-year-old buildings. Or, in the unflattering billboards hung over ornately carved façade of old houses. Luckily, some hoteliers have taken it upon themselves to preserve and nurture this fading heritage. That is why you can find several best heritage hotels in Kathmandu.
Here, we have handpicked four from a long list of heritage hotels. If you want to stay in such authentic Nepali hotels but aren’t big on spending, check our blog on best heritage hotels in Kathmandu under BUDGET! However, if you want to experience Nepalese hospitality in a style that dates back to 19th and even 14th century, here is our list of best heritage hotels in Kathmandu.
Hotel Dwarika is not just one of the best heritage hotels in Kathmandu but also ranks among the country’s finest hotels. The hotel has a traditional Newari style. It was first established in 1977 as a part of a mission to save and display the then-disappearing ornate wooden pillars and windows. Today, the hotel has one of the largest private woodwork collections in the world.
A five-minute drive from the airport, Dwarika offers 83 traditionally designed rooms including four different kinds of suites. The suites are Royal Suite, Heritage Executive Suite, Heritage Junior Suite, and Heritage Deluxe Room. Each one of these is designed to recreate the abode of Malla Kings from the 14th century. If you don’t believe us, head over to Dwarika’s website to see the excellent photos.
Here, you can choose from 5 speciality dining restaurants including the Fusion Bar and Kaiser Café. With a massive library, pool and spa, fitness centre, and a souvenir shop, Dwarika offer modern luxuries in an enchanting, medieval setting.
If you are somebody keen on Nepalese history, the name Malla will give it away. Located in Jamal, the hotel’s architecture blends Nepal’s unique wooden style with a touch of neoclassical elements. As the hotel is conveniently situated between King’s Way and Thamel, it offers easy mobility and accessibility around the capital.
Malla hotel has 125 newly refurbished rooms including 50 executive rooms and 20 lavish apartments. It also offers two different kinds of suites – Deluxe Suite and Junior Suite. All of the rooms overlook the hotel’s prized, award-looking gardens.
Here, you can experience fine dining at one of the three restaurants including the French-Italian restaurant, Tara. The hotel claims that Tara has the town’s only French Chef. Later, you can create yourself a drink at The Cocktail Club. Malla Hotel is one of the best heritage hotels in Kathmandu, and also doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket with sky-rocketing prices.
If Hotel Dwarika transports you to the medieval Kathmandu of 14th century, Hotel Shankar will take you to the 19th Rana Regime. Neoclassical architecture has profoundly influenced the palaces from this period. Situated in Jamal, the hotel is inside a 19th-century palace. The hotel’s facade from 1984 is still intact, but the rooms and interiors are modified to offer first-class hospitality.
Malla Hotel provides just two kinds of suites – Standard Rooms and Suite Rooms. Irrespective of the suite, all 92 rooms feature cosy and classic furnishings. The hotel claims you can relive Nepal’s bygone era of world-class hospitality at an unbeatable price. But, what makes it one of the best heritage hotels in Kathmandu are its four banquets. These indoor and outdoor banquets are fitting for a royal ball. Not kidding, you can check the photos on their website.
Here, you can have a feast in one of its two restaurants and enjoy a drink in one of its two bards. The Kailash restaurant has a beautifully carved ceiling, walls, even piped music that will elevate your eating experience by many folds. Like any other top-notch hotel in Kathmandu, Hotel Shankar also has a big swimming pool, a spa, and a gift shop.
Babbar Mahal Vilas
Babbar Mahal Vilas is a family-run boutique hotel set in a 19th-century palace. Just like Hotel Shankar, this hotel effuses a royal panache from every corner. Opened only a few years ago in Babbar Mahal (an area named after the palace itself), it has positioned itself as one of the best heritage hotels in Kathmandu. The architecture of this landmark combines Neoclassical elegance with Nepali style from Kathmandu, Mustang and Terai.
In addition to Traditional Rooms, the hotel boasts of three exquisite suites that are categorised by their architecture. The three suites are Royal Suites, Traditional Suites, and Heritage Suites. Each suite reflects the décor and style of Nepal’s different regions and periods. For instance, the Heritage Suites feature Buddhist artworks and wall paintings. On the other hand, The Royal Suites Rana era décor that is heavily influenced by the Victorian culture.
Babbar Mahal Vilas has one fine-dining eatery called Jyunar and a bar called Surya Bar. It also has a lavish restaurant, Babbar Mahal Revisited, as an extension of the hotel. Other than that, the hotel has a big library, a beautiful pool, and a gift shop.