The capital of Nepal Kathmandu is like a kaleidoscope; a dizzying riot of colors, aromas, and sounds that will overwhelm your senses. Kathmandu’s sights and attractions know no bounds, whether it’s the UNESCO-listed Kathmandu Durbar Square or marigold-filled temples. So, where does one put up in the city? Interestingly, the best hotels in Kathmandu include not only luxurious hotels but also a slew of lovely guesthouses. However, if you want to experience the culture of Kathmandu, Nepal in all its glory, then boutique hotels are some of the best hotels you could possibly stay in. Apart from being housed in heritage structures, they have a homely touch and emphasize on local arts and crafts.
Most of Kathmandu‘s hotels lie in the northern, southern, and eastern regions of the city. In the south, they mostly lie in the streets around Patan Durbar Square. In the north, they are focused around the bustling commercial hotspot of Thamel. Also, some hotels also lie in the tranquil area of Battisputali (aptly meaning 32 butterflies) around the Bagmati River to the east.
With so many choices, we’ve handpicked a few luxurious, authentic, and characterful hotels that we think you’ll love. Here are the 11 best hotels in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The splendid Kathmandu Guesthouse is housed in a striking mansion from Nepal’s early 20th century Rana era. In fact, it has been around since the tourism industry kicked off in the country.
In spite of lying in Thamel, the gorgeous ‘KGH’ lies off the main road in the shade of a lovely pomelo tree. It even has its own manicured gardens that are the beating heart of the hotel. The guesthouse has certainly punched well above its weight with its Walk of Fame featuring photos of famous former guests like Jimmy Carter and Ricky Martin! The Inner Sanctum and Dream Garden Café serve delicious local and international cuisines with equal aplomb.
Most of the annex, deluxe rooms have views of the garden, while the basic rooms lie in the older wing. Both have comfy beds and ensuite baths. What’s more, there are two family rooms that also include a dining area and kitchenette for long-term guests.
You’ll find everything from artful carvings to vintage and antique trinkets preserved carefully and lovingly within the walls of Dwarika’s. Located in the quieter neighborhood of Battisputali, the stunning property is nothing short of a living ode to Kathmandu’s heritage.
The luxurious Dwarika’s deftly blends traditional architecture and ways with mod-cons and contemporary touches to create a place the staff is proud to be a part of. The central courtyard houses a heavenly outdoor swimming pool which is an absolute godsend in warmer months. A free yoga class in the fitness center kicks off the day’s activities. The spa is abounding with all sorts of Ayurvedic therapies and massage sessions, and shouldn’t be missed. What’s more, Dwarika has its own library and an on-site carpenter’s workshop where restoration work takes place to this day. Three restaurants whip up world cuisine, while the Fusion Bar is a great place for an evening cocktail or a nightcap. However, the highlight is the Friday night poolside barbecue, which is also popular with locals, easily making it one of the best hotels in Kathmandu.
If you thought the amenities were royal, wait till you get to the rooms and suites, which are akin to a museum. Sleep on traditional handwoven Nepali designed linens and sit on a chair handcrafted by carpenters in the valley. Even as hot biscuits and fresh flowers make their way to your room every day, you might just want to settle down here.
Hotel Yak and Yeti
The uber-luxurious Hotel Yak and Yeti is easily the grandest of the dowagers to be found in Kathmandu. Located just down the road from the former royal palace, the hotel makes for a secluded sanctuary while still being close to the main sights.
The hotel is divided into two distinct sections: the 100-year+ Lal Durbar palace and a modern annex dating back to the late 20th century. Both segments blend beautifully to make up the unique reality that is Yak & Yeti. The verdant gardens are a sight for sore eyes in what is an increasingly commercial city. Three blissful-looking outdoor pools with a dazzling bar right next to it are as excellent as it gets. Cool off in the Nirvana Spa and enjoy a range of fine and reinvigorating Swedish and Shiatsu massages. Facing off the gardens and the pool are a few meeting rooms, a jogging track, and even a fitness center. A generous breakfast buffet and a restaurant serving delish fare complete the offering. All in all, if you’ve stepped into Yak & Yeti, apart from exploring the city, you really needn’t step out.
When it comes to Yak & Yeti’s rooms and suites, they’re one of the largest in the city. The warm tones of the Heritage Deluxe rooms and the smartly furnished Executive rooms will more than satisfy the average traveler. If you’re one to splurge, get the presidential suites without a doubt.
Gokarna Forest Resort
If serene and peaceful greenery is your antidote, then the Gokarna Forest Resort is just where you should be. The resort is nestled in a 400-acre woodland in the Kathmandu Valley, about half-an-hour north of the city. Moreover, it also happens to be the topmost golf course resort in the country.
A mix of modern structures and former royal mansions make up the sprawling resort. Outdoorspeople will particularly like the space, which has just about every activity under the sun from bird watching and paintballing to horseriding to spotting wandering fauna. The swimming pool is heavenly for relaxing, as is the spa. Three restaurants serve out delicious Nepali, Chinese, and Thai cuisines, apart from a continental breakfast spread. However, It’s the 8848 Mt. Bar & patio with its rum-based cocktails and interesting finger food where you should spend an evening at.
With just 100 rooms, Gokarna Forest Resort sure seems more like an intimate gathering. One can choose from Cottage, Premier, and Club rooms, and Premier and Gokarna Suites. All of them are palatial, to say the least, enjoy gorgeous views of the surrounding forests and feature ensuite bathrooms with tiled bathtubs and complimentary toiletries.
Tajaa Pha Heritage Home
In the heart of the serene Newari (local Nepalese sect) neighborhood of Patan in south Kathmandu, the Tajaa Pha Heritage Home makes for a wonderful place to stay. The guesthouse, which literally means ‘high step,’ overlooks the beautiful Pimbahal pond, and those staying here are rewarded with a very unique experience of the city’s culture.
So, what makes Tajaa Pha one of the best hotels in Kathmandu? For one, the Newar locality where the guesthouse lies is known for three monuments of religious and historic significance. These include an ancient Buddhist stupa, a century-old manmade pond, and a temple in the middle of the Pimbahal Lake. So, those who live at Tajaa Pha can delve into the Newar way of life, right from its cultural events to festivals.
Guests at Tajaa Pha can choose from eight tastefully-decorated rooms that combine old-world charm and modern living touches. A shared kitchen is quite helpful in whipping up quick meals and making connections that’ll last a lifetime. What’s more, a hearty, home-cooked breakfast is served at the guesthouse. The nucleus of the heritage home is, undoubtedly, the terrace that provides a 360-degree view of the Valley.
Kantipur Temple House
If you’re an eco-conscious person and want to delve into the glorious culture of Kathmandu, then you’d do well to choose the stunning Kantipur Temple House. Even though it lies in Thamel, its location on a quiet side-street makes it one of the most sought-after places to stay in the city.
The lovely guesthouse lies in a traditional Newari house with carved eaves and windows, a private courtyard, and a manicured garden. Food is a serious business at the Kantipur Temple House, what with the lovely Nepali-style traditional restaurant. A small gift shop is a great place to pick up locally produced handicrafts. Moreover, it even has traditional floor seating for those who really want to get into the skin of how locals live. Likewise, the food is organic and locally sourced, and the hearty buffet breakfast is done to perfection.
Kantipur Temple House takes pride in its eco-friendly credentials, which include everything from water bottle refilling stations and solar power to efficient waste management systems and lack of electronic appliances and plastic bags. The cherry on top is the free yoga sessions that take place every morning!
The Vajra brims with the craftsmanship of Nepalese architecture and is akin to a living gallery of Nepal’s culture. The structure is peppered with handcrafted furniture, doors, windows, and frescoes which make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Beautifully chiseled sculptures and statues fill the manicured garden areas, while the comfy lawn chairs beckon you to relax. A lovely library is a quiet haven for meeting fellow travelers or spending time with a book in the serene environs. The hotel even has a gallery and a theater where one can see traditional Nepalese dances. Tea and coffee are a regular fixture in the common area, and rounding up the lovely offering is a rooftop restaurant and bar with lovely views of Thamel.
Given the Newari architecture and layout, the rooms are spacious, charming, and beautifully decked out with comfy beds and other mod-cons. Small, standard, and deluxe rooms are the most common ones, while the suite is the largest and most luxurious room in the place. Apart from room service catered to by excellent staff, the hotel also provides matchsticks and candles for blackout periods.
One of the best budget hotels in Kathmandu, Nepal is Zostel Kathmandu from the able stable of the branded Zostel chain of hostels. Located right in the midst of backpacker haven Thamel, Zostel is the perfect budget place to stay in the Nepalese capital for the extrovert traveler.
Visitors to Zostel Kathmandu can choose from dorms and private rooms, all of which are impeccably designed with mod-cons and ensuite bathrooms. Dorm rooms deserve special mention for having privacy curtains, locker storage, as well as power sockets and individual reading lights.
However, the real charm of Zostel lies in all the cool communal places to hang out and artwork on the walls. A huge rooftop hammock is a perfect way to laze around while gazing out over Thamel and the mountains in the distance. Grab a lip-smacking breakfast in the garden cafe, which serves everything from local specialties to Israeli to continental cuisines. What’s more, they even serve alcoholic drinks and hot and cold beverages. Moreover, the hostel even arranges for daily tours for those who want to go exploring the city and beyond. Finally, end the day with a refreshing drink at the rooftop cafe while chatting with fellow travelers.
Dalai-la Boutique Hotel
The focus of the Dalai-la Boutique Hotel in the heart of Thamel is wellness. Considering that it lies in Thamel where space is at a premium, the Dalai-la is the ideal spacious sanctuary to kick back in the heart of the city.
The boutique hotel sits in a beautiful terracotta brick structure decorated with wooden carvings that served as the owner’s former family home. The Buddhist-accented layout lies around a gorgeous central courtyard which is the beating heart of Dalai-la. Whether it is the meditation/yoga room, fitness center, or the spa, the hotel truly and completely focuses on the wellness aspect. What’s more, it even has a professional mehndi expert, palmist, and astrologer on-call, without the cloud of gimmickry. Electric bikes for rent are a fantastic way of exploring Thamel and the nearby attractions on your own. One can choose from continental, American, or English ‘set’ breakfasts or even order à la carte items. The airy central courtyard is the perfect place for every part of the day with its many covered seating options. Moreover, the restaurant lives up to its ‘fine dining’ claim and is very popular with locals too.
The boutique hotel has just 32 rooms split across seven categories. All of them feature natural hues with lots of wood accents and contemporary and smart ensuite bathrooms. Larger rooms boast clawfoot tubs, while the grandest of them all, the duplex Everest Suite even has a spacious private balcony.
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
The Hyatt Regency Kathmandu is one of Kathmandu’s and even Nepal’s best international luxury hotels and is known for its exceptional service quality.
When it comes to the excellent service, Hyatt rolls out the red carpet. Its laundry list of amenities includes everything from the beauty center, ballroom, fitness center, and tennis courts to a stunning outdoor pool and the lovely Club Oasis spa. The onsite Tara Casino allows foreigners to gamble, while the breakfast is a hearty buffet with gorgeous views of the pools and the grounds. Again, the hotel is also home to Kathmandu’s best Italian restaurant which serves out local delicacies cooked with Tuscan aplomb.
Of all of Hyatt’s rooms, the one with the ‘stupa view’ is undoubtedly the best, with floodlit views after dark. Nevertheless, every room and suite features openable windows, modern, polished bathrooms, Tibetan trinkets, warm, wooden floors, and a bevy of mod-cons. Don’t miss the free hors d’oeuvres served in the lounge accompanied by a lovely Himalayan sunset.
The Inn Patan
Delve headfirst into Nepal’s stunning heritage by staying at The Inn Patan, which is close to Patan Durbar Square. The boutique heritage hotel lies in a traditional timber-and-brick Nepalese home and blends history with modern facilities with absolute panache.
The Inn lovingly restores the structure’s Newari heritage in a loving manner. A central courtyard with bright blooms and verdant foliage is its beating heart. It’s also where you can enjoy a range of dishes to come from the hotel’s restaurant, including traditional Nepali ones. Likewise, the entire structure is wrapped with warm brick walls with dark, carved wooden furnishings. Guests can choose from 10 guestrooms, each of which features cozy and plush double beds, white walls with contrasting terracotta tiles, sanded woodwork, and exposed beams. A cozy window-side nook with low armchairs and table lamps makes for the perfect setting to read a book or listen to music.
Rooms at The Inn are beautifully decked-out in traditional Newari style and are furnished with modern standards of comfort. Guests can choose from deluxe rooms and suites, of which some even have private terraces. However, all rooms lie around the center courtyard and feature gorgeous touches like exposed wooden beams and vibrant hues and accents.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars / Food Tours in Kathmandu:
- Local food tasting tour: Sample the very best foods that Kathmandu has to offer.
- Jazz Upstairs: Since the 1990s, this bar has enthralled locals and visitors with its great prices, excellent choice of music, and a rooftop with panoramic views of the valley.
Recommended Activities In Kathmandu:
- Kathmandu Valley Tour: This interesting 6-hour day is the best way to experience the sights, culture, and history of the city and the mighty Himalayan valley it lies in.
- Panoramic Everest Flight: What could be possibly better than seeing the highest peak on earth from the skies? This enchanting 1-hour flight flies into the Himalayas for stunning views of its snow-capped peaks including its highest, the might Mt. Everest.