I recently was fortunate enough to travel to Nepal. The trip was a number of years in the making, and the visit surpassed my expectations. Our first stop was to Kathmandu (a relatively easy flight from DWC on Flydubai, should you be interested). We arranged things through our friend’s company Unique Waymaker Treks & Expeditions (which I highly recommend), who picked us up at the airport (after the chaos that is arrivals into KTM) and we were off to Dwarika’s!
Dwarika’s had long been on my radar, and on arrival, I was certainly glad to see that the earthquake had not impacted the memorable exterior or any of the interior. Warmly welcomed, the check in process was an easy one. As we completed the process, my friend and I went for a bit of a wander around the stunning grounds. While perhaps the rooms didn’t live up to my expectations (I think the FS Bali has spoiled me for the next few stays), the exterior and public spaces certainly wowed me. Done in red toned brick, complete with stone and wood details, Dwarika’s is a wholly original property, and one I don’t think could be duplicated anywhere in the world. Everywhere you look, there are small details that set it apart — plants, benches, artifacts, water features — the location is certainly a fun one to explore.
We opted for a junior suite, which offered a significant amount of space. The room maintains a coolness (even in spite of the heat of the day) due to the stone floors. While the layout is a bit unique, it works and like the outside, contains many little touches that make it special. Our room faced the interior courtyard and contained some of the most beautiful windows I’ve ever seen.
As we had to get up at 5 AM for our Everest flight on our final night, we chose to dine on property at the Fusion Bar. I was surprised at how mild the temperatures were, and we were able to enjoy our meal outside by the pool. Should you choose to, there are a number of other cuisines to choose from (well worth making a reservation even if not staying at the hotel).
As a surprise bonus, my friend and I were delighted to find the charming Musu Musu boutique on property, the endeavor of a lovely couple who adopted 17 Nepalese children and opened a cashmere shop so that their kids would have a place to work. (Spoiler alert: I am now the proud owner of an absolutely GORGEOUS green scarf that I know will be with me for a long time).
So, what does this slice of Nepalese luxury cost? Deducting the cost of dinner from our final bill, the suites ran a little over USD$400 per night. So, I’m a bit stuck. Did I think the property lived up to my expectations? For the most part, yes. Would I go back? Yes, especially over the Western option (a Hyatt). Do I think there is complete value for money? No. Am I okay with this? Totally.
I think sometimes travel has to be about a bit more than comforts and four-star ratings. Perhaps a few years ago, I might have been upset or frustrated by the cost, but now, I am perfectly content and more than happy to have my tourism money go back into the Nepalese economy. I would encourage anyone reading this to do the same. A night at Dwarika’s is a memorable one, and really, isn’t that what a journey is all about?
Have you been to Kathmandu? Where did you stay?