Not everyone wants to be part of a crowd celebrating New Year’s Eve with loud music and wild dancing. There are those who like to chat quietly in a tranquil atmosphere away from the glitz and glamor of the city. There are many resorts around the country that are ideal for spending quality time with family and friends. We have chosen some that have exceptional views and others that enjoy a unique atmosphere all of their own making.
The Pavilions Himalayas Chisapani, Pokhara
Close to Phewa Lake, The Pavilions Himalayas is nestled in a valley with the spectacular snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. A truly eco-sensitive luxury boutique resort, the Pavilions is surrounded by farmland, forested hills and a mountain fed river. Spread across the property are 14 luxurious, eco-friendly villas blending in with the beautiful landscape.
The accommodation at The Pavilions Himalayas comes in three types of eco-friendly villas. Enjoying spectacular views of the lake and surrounding landscape, each villa looks out to the Annapurna mountain range. The spacious villas offer modern comforts in a rustic setting.
‘From farm to table’ is the operating mantra the resort believes in, bringing fresh organic ingredients and homemade dairy products to the kitchen, where the chef then conjures up Nepali and International favorites for his guests. Those interested in learning can take up cooking classes the resort arranges for visitors. The Pavilions Himalayas provides signature massage treatments at The Spa, one of the finest wellness centers in the country. Guests can avail of the sauna or take a refreshing dip in the pool in the natural surroundings with a soothing view of The Himalayas. Private yoga classes and retreats are also available.
The Pavilions Lake Villas let you reconnect with nature without sacrificing the comforts of luxurious accommodations. Pokhara is where everyone goes for a relaxing holiday in a setting that helps people unwind and let go. The luxury tented eco villas give you the experience of camping out in tranquil surroundings without having to set up tents and still enjoy the comforts you can’t do without.
The resort has been conceptualized to be a part of the village and eco-friendly in every sense possible with minimal footprint to the environment from its early design stage to its construction and actual finishing. The use of local materials, indigenous technology and local architecture blended with eco-friendly technologies and practices have been the guiding principles for the design.
Contact: +977 975600 8117 / 8118, +977 6169 4379, +977 61622662
Deurali Mountain Resort Lamatar
If you’re one of those people who places ‘great views’ on top of the list of your preferences, then Deurali Mountain Resort has to be pretty much what you’re looking for. High above Lamatar (if that doesn’t ring a bell, it’s where the Shuvatara School moved some years ago), the resort is perched on a strategic hilltop with unbelievable views. Further up is Lakuri Bhanjyang. Far below towards the right is Bhaktapur, in the center lies Kathmandu and on the left is Lalitpur. In the backdrop, the magnificent Himalayan range which is not always visible because of the rising smog over Kathmandu valley.
Just being here is a magical feeling. The resort had previously been leased out to Hatiban Resort which has ensured quality of rooms and amenities. A clean attached bathroom with hot showers makes the place attractive. If you want better views, then get up there after a night of rain and the views will be astounding.
The main building has a wide balcony where you can dine or just sip a coffee enjoying the panoramic view below. This section has a meeting hall for 30 people on the first floor, a dining hall and kitchen on the ground floor while the rooms are in separate cottages spread around the compound. Some cottages have two rooms with a double bed as well as a single bed while one cottage has a dormitory that can accommodate up to 10 guests. The resort has a total of six rooms and a dormitory. The rooms’ ceilings are covered in bamboo mats, which help keep out the cold coming from the roof. Once you are up on this hilltop, you will have no desire to go back to polluted Kathmandu down below.
What makes the resort remarkable besides the views is the wide lawn in front of the main building where tables and chairs can be put out, so you can sit in the mild winter sun enjoying a beer. Deurali Mountain Resort is 2.5 km from Lamatar and 11km from Gwarko, Lalitpur. One has to pass through Imadol and Lamatar to get there. After the bus park in Lamatar, beside a large papal tree, there is a road going left which leads directly up the hill towards the resort. There are countless arrows with Deurali Mountain Resort clearly written on them leading all the way up. A car park is planned below their property as the last 30m is exclusively for walking, which serves the resort well because who wants SUVs and motorcycles revving up right next to one’s room. As for food, the coffee is mild but the chicken momos are pretty good. Call before going up so they can stock up on the food.
Contact: Sudershan at 9851054780, 9851266555, 9849190187.
Shivapuri Heights Cottages Shuvapuri
If you’re looking for a quiet getaway not too far from Kathmandu, yet in a peaceful setting surrounded by greenery, then head for Shivapuri. Traditionally designed cottages overlooking the Kathmandu valley await you at the edge of Shivapuri National Park. The sights alone make this place worth a visit and the resort is designed for complete relaxation.
Shivapuri Heights Cottages provide an ideal escape from the dust and noisy traffic of the city and is a mere 30 minute drive plus a short walk uphill. At an altitude of 6000ft in the Himalayan foothills, the resort is surrounded by trees and allows for tranquil rejuvenation in a quiet rural setting. Healthy home cooked meals, the fresh air and a short hike to a monastery within the park will do you a lot of good. The resort grows its own vegetables to ensure fresh ingredients for your meals.
Individual travelers and small groups are both welcomed at the resort.
There are three rooms in the main cottage, two in the smaller cottage and two rooms in the Jasmine House, all built for comfort and to suit a variety of budgets. For those who love to read, the south facing terraces are ideal for spending time in the sun, reading a book from their extensive library. But you can just as well enjoy reading indoors as the large windows allow plenty of daylight to enter the lounge area. The cottages are equipped with solar heated water, wireless internet, music player and television (on request). The resort now has a lovely outdoor spa and guests can enjoy a massage, pedicure and manicure or take a plunge in the pool. There is yoga on the south facing terraces for those inclined.
Guests can go for long or short hikes, a tour around the village or walk inside the Shivapuri National Park. A picnic style ‘walk and lunch’ can also be arranged for an excursion through the light forest. The resort is close enough for a weekend getaway. Getting there is easy: Turn left at Budanilkantha and follow the road to the small bridge that ends at the gates of ISCKON (the Hare Krishna Temple). From there it’s a short 15 minute walk uphill.
Call the lodge for assistance: Steve & Neeru Webster (owners): 98020 12245.
Haatiban Resort Hattiban, Pharping
Away from the city of Kathmandu and perched on a hillock overlooking the valley, Himalayan Height Resort at 1862m, offers a respite from the trappings of city life far below. Located on the way to Dakshinkali, a motor road goes right, climbing up through a light pine forest. Established in 1993, this is Kathmandu’s second oldest resort and lies only 15 km from the capital city.
Guests are rewarded with spectacular views of the Himalayas from Langtang Himal to Gauri Shankar. Sitting out in the lawn enjoying a cup of aromatic coffee produced in Nepal can be just one of the several ways to relax in the warmth of a mild winter sun. The food menu includes everything from a typical Nepali Thali to Indian and continental cuisine. You can take advantage of the spa facilities such as a sauna and massage. For those with more serious intent can meditate and take part in yoga outdoors.
Guests looking for adventure can go for hikes in the surrounding areas and if one needs a more strenuous hike to work out a sweat, then the resort is the ideal place to start the Champa Devi hike. The views from the top of Champa Devi hill are incomparable. Besides the mountains, the view of the sprawling Kathmandu valley far below is remarkable. Visits to beautiful Buddhist monasteries and the pilgrimage site dedicated to Guru Rimpoche are most interesting around Pharping. The little settlement of Pharping lies close to the very popular shrine of Dakshinkali. Longer hikes take you on to the villages of Khokana and Bungamati that are rich in Newari culture and spectacular green surroundings, popular among mountain bikers.
A large green lawn greets you as you arrive at the resort and a spacious lounge room inside to sit for a chat. The resort sits in front of a backdrop of large pine trees.Well appointed rooms assure you of a pleasant stay. This is one of the pioneering resorts that can also arrange hikes and treks around the valley.
Contact: 977 (01) 4370714, 4371537.
Karnali Lodge, Tiger TopsBardia
Combine a stay in a quiet resort far from the city, with safari adventure in a pristine jungle; travel to Bardia National Park and enjoy the joys of nature. Karnali Lodge of the famous Tiger Tops group is one of the outstanding resorts in Bardia. Located at the edge of the park, meters away from the park’s boundary, the lodge has played host to Hollywood stars and visiting dignitaries alike.
Known for ultra-personal service, Karnali Lodge has twenty-one rooms, nine of which are Signature rooms while the rest are standard. The rooms have attached bathrooms, hot showers, fans for eco-friendly air conditioning and laundry service can be availed of. A large, traditional Gol Ghar serves as a dining hall, bar, lounging area and has a small library. The Gol Ghar has a remarkable design which allows smoke from a central fire to escape through the roof. The resort has been built using local concepts and material fused with contemporary design.
Karnali Lodge prides itself in its commitment to sustainable travel and responsible tourism. A trip to the lodge is a journey of adventure and an opportunity to reconnect with nature. They believe the product is the jungle and want guests to spend most of their time in the jungle in the company of their experienced naturalists.
There is a wide variety of activities possible: river safari, jeep safari, bird watching, jungle walks, fishing excursions, camping excursions and village walks. Commonly seen on safaris are the Greater One-horned rhinoceros, gharials and Marsh muggers on the river banks, Langur monkeys up on trees, grazing deer, a large variety of birds, and occasionally a herd of wild elephants or a lone tiger.
Contact: Tiger Tops at +977 (01) 4411225.