THE DWARIKA'S HOTEL
The Dwarika's Hotel - Luxury Travel Magazine
The Dwarika’s Hotel
|By: Kelly Allen, Issue 48 – Spring 2011|
|IN KATHMANDU, THE DWARIKA’S HOTEL CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF|
|The word Namaste is only heard by most westerners at the end of a yoga class. I mumble it, gazing downward, feeling like a bit of a phoney as I roll up my mat and scuttle out of class. Landing in Nepal, I tried it out on the immigration officer at the customs desk. “Namaste” I say as I hand over my passport and visa documents. A huge white smile lights up the man’s face as he returns the salutation “Namaste, Namaste!” This greeting literally translates to “I salute the God in you,” and that pretty much sums up the friendly feeling you get from the people in this country. Although Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, with a population of 2.5 million can be a chaotic, hectic place the people welcome visitors wholeheartedly and are happy to share their culture. |
Some of my most enjoyable experiences in Kathmandu involved connecting with the locals. I had an entertaining ride back to our hotel one night in the rain. I decided to use one of the local cabs instead of a tourist taxi, and it turned out the windscreen wipers, along with the headlights, didn’t work. The car couldn’t make it out of first gear and it felt as if the seat was about to fall through the bottom every time we went over a bump. The driver didn’t speak much English and, except for the word Namaste, I didn’t speak any Nepalese but we both laughed the whole bumpy ride back to the hotel. It was always a relief to know that at the end of a day of exploring bustling Kathmandu I could go back to my oasis at the Dwarika’s Hotel. A five-minute ride from the airport and a 20-minute ride from the popular tourist district Thamel, the Dwarika’s Hotel is a true labour of love for its owners. Built by the late Mr Dwarika Das Shrestha and now run by his wife and daughter, the hotel is a beautiful reminder of traditional Newari architecture, pieces of which were salvaged by Mr Dwarika over many years and then turned into this wonderful and friendly hotel. Walking through the doors is like entering an enchanted garden. It is lush with trees, flowers, pools of water, Buddha statues and beautiful old wood carvings. There’s a huge internal courtyard with a pool and four restaurants, a spa and a beautiful gift shop that carries locally made objects. In the hotel’s Nepalese restaurant, Krishnarpan, you can order a Nepalese feast ranging from six courses to 22. In traditional Nepalese style, you remove your shoes and sit on cushions while being served the most delicious food on antique dinnerware by beautifully dressed Nepalese hostesses. The Dwarika’s Hotel does a fantastic job of restoring and preserving the cultural and architectural history of Nepal.
|The Dwarika’s Hotel – suite rates start from US$400 (about A$385) for the Heritage Junior Suite, from US$470 (about A$452) for the Heritage Executive Suite and from US$1,800 (about $A1,731) for the Royal Suite|