Patan known for its hustle and bustle with its diverse tourists and restaurants; has a growing trend of Bed and Breakfasts rising up in every nook and cranny. It hasn’t been long since the style of people traveling and living in the city has changed. Hotels used to be the priority for everyone traveling, but now there has been a shift in traveler’s desires. The tradition of extending hospitality to traveling strangers goes back to the earliest recorded history for almost all religions and cultures. “Book rooms with locals, rather than hotels” B&B started to give more emphasis on the community and cultural aspect making it more of an enriching experience.
Patan Durbar Square is surrounded by B&Bs everywhere, and sometimes it is a hassle for tourists to choose one. Every B&B serves you with a unique service and experience that submerges you with an experience that outweighs the price tag along with it. So, here I was looking for a not so centric B&B in Patan. My friend was coming from the UK and here I was last minute hoping around the city like a maniac. As I was strolling through the city from Hiranya Varna Mahabihar, I came across Nagbahal, which is one of the biggest chowks in Patan. Surrounded by a cluster of homes and situated around a midnight black Buddha statue, you are instantly amazed by the sheer size of the dhunge dhara that accompanies the Buddha. Once I was finally able to regain my composure, I spotted a B&B. The moment I saw it – I knew this place was definitely the one.
Lumbini Heritage Home – secluded from all the crowd and noise in the main square, provides a perfect getaway for travelers who prefer to enjoy their stay in a quiet locality. Everything around you are at a walking distance – from shops, to the durbar square. The B&B is built in a typical Newari house fashion, complete with the inviting charm that Nepalis are accustomed too. From top to bottom the property has a distinctive vibe which is enlaced with intimacy. The façade, architectural features is quite simple; keeping up with the traditional way of life of the area. The façade is accompanied by old style wooden windows which harmonizes the new with the old. The flooring is paved with traditional bricks and topped with Newar style hay mattresses. As you enter the property, you come across a tiny communal lounge where you can sit and enjoy the view while talking with the splendid and personable owners. One of the major features of the home is the distinct Newari wooden staircase, it is narrow and creaks with love as you walk up it, giving you a feeling of years of past in Nepal.
As we headed upstairs to the room, I was excited to see what the room looked like; and how they managed to utilize the small space and turn it into a B&B. Everything inside the home, is conventional styled - the doors, the flooring and the décor. As they opened the bedroom I was pleased; as in such a petite space they had managed to set up a room so attractive. Wooden beds, a unique wardrobe, the bathrooms – everything was in the perfect place. What I liked most in the room was the wardrobe. No! I know what you’re thinking, “They don’t literally have a wardrobe, do they?” Next to the edge of the bed, is an empty wall accompanied by two pillars side by side. They had stomped two nails on the top plank and tied a wooden bar with a rope. A smart way to utilize space eh? And yes of course, they had hangers which made it even easier!
One of the best parts of the home, is the rooftop. It gives you a wonderful view of the chowk as well as the roofs of the temples playing peek-a-boo with the neighboring houses. Even though B&Bs typically provide similar services, there was one thing that made Lumbini Heritage Home standout. The breakfast! Each day you are served breakfast, (which is included in the price I must add) but what makes it interesting is the presentation. Undoubtedly, breakfast is the best thing to wake up to – fruit muesli bowl with yogurt, a plate of toast, eggs of your style and tea/coffee. I mean it’s the most important meal of the day and what more can you ask for when they provide you with such a customized breaky!
The concept of B&B has grown over time, and so has this heritage home. Increasingly to deliver services that are local, Lumbini Heritage Home serves you one of the best in town. They make you feel like you are at home and make you able to truly embrace living like a local. The home has been portrayed not just as an accommodation provider, but as a place where people could experience a sense of belonging and community. They are trying to reshape the focus of the B&B to offer guests the best possible experience, matching people’s preferences with places and the services they provide. Focusing on the small things that will make visitors stay with them even more memorable. And that’s exactly what they are doing: giving guests a chance to live in the cities they travel to – not just simply visit them – feeling at home even if it’s just for a night.