Are you planning a vacation to Nepal? The country has more to offer in terms of lodging than merely hotels. Consider staying at a trailside teahouse, a Buddhist monastery, a traditional homestay, or a luxury mountain resort at 13,000 feet for a night or two.
Trek to a Traditional Teahouse
The teahouse is a uniquely Nepalese type of lodging, albeit it is more than its name indicates. They used to be little local shacks that served tea and snacks to passers-by and even provided a night's accommodation for those in need.
Image Source: KimKim
Caption: Tea house in Nepal
Teahouses are now primarily mountain hiking lodges that give a bed and meals. Teahouses are seldom plentiful, but they are an essential element of the hiking experience in Nepal.
Typically, the bed is very inexpensive because guests also purchase their meals there. Food and drinks become more costly as altitude increases since everything must be carried in on foot.
Some teahouses could be more advanced, with thin walls between rooms, outdoor toilets, and little more than a board of wood to sleep on. Others provide additional comforts, such as large meals, good mattresses, and hot water.
Travellers in famous trekking zones like Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang have a broad selection of options to accommodate a variety of budgets. There will be fewer options in more rural regions.
Visit a Buddhist Monastery to find Peace
Nepal has long-standing Buddhist traditions despite having a predominantly Hindu population. Travellers can stay in monasteries all around the nation. Other monasteries offer Buddhist philosophy courses or meditation retreats, and some even set aside housing for pupils.
The Neydo Tashi Choling Monastery Hotel, based in Pharping and Thrangu Tashi Monastery, located in Namo Buddha, are two examples of monastic guesthouses that don't need enrollment in a program. Namo Buddha, Nepal's second-most significant Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage destination, is located approximately two hours drive east of Kathmandu.
Image Source: KTM Guide
Caption: Neydo Tashi Chamling Monastery Hotel
Both the modern and the old wing of the guesthouse at the monastery provide reasonable rates that include breakfast and supper in the dining hall with the monks. The ancient wing is less expensive.
Pharping is essential because Guru Rinpoche is thought to have meditated nearby in a cave. It is located in the hills, approximately an hour south of urban Kathmandu. The Neyo Monastery provides cosy hotel-style lodging at moderate rates with breakfast.
A memorable experience is waking up to the sounds of chanting and drumming monks. The cave, as mentioned above, is open to visitors, as is the adjoining Dakshinkali Temple, a significant Hindu temple where animal sacrifices sometimes occur.
The Kapan Monastery, which is close to Boudhanath, offers reputable courses in meditation and Buddhist philosophy that are appropriate for people of all experience levels for those visitors who do decide to enrol. Everything from dorm rooms to premium suites is available, and the highly affordable rates include food.
Book a Room at a Luxury Mountain Lodge
While walking in Nepal, there are other accommodations than teahouses. For a superior standard of accommodation, tourists might choose to stay in a deluxe mountain lodge in the Everest and Annapurna areas.
After a strenuous day of trekking, it is made simpler to relax by exquisitely built structures and interiors, artwork on the walls, delectable meals, soft beds, hot water, and first-rate service.
The Everest Base Camp trekking path has several locations where you may find Everest Summit Lodges. Pangboche, a Sherpa village and one of the highest continuously inhabited communities in the region, has the highest point. As a cosy spot to rest during your climb, this network of lodges is dedicated to emulating genuine Sherpa architecture and decor.
Image Source: Everest Summit Lodges
Caption: Everest Summit Lodges
A fun, shorter option to the lengthy Everest Base Camp trip, Yeti Mountain Homes operates several hotels across the Everest region on a circular circuit. The lodges feature king bedrooms or twin-share beds that reflect the Khumbu region's culture and surroundings.
Ker & Downey Lodges in the Annapurna area provide stunning, cosy lodging with unmatched views. They are separated by a day's hike and connect to provide a helpful track in the Annapurna. Buildings are made of natural materials and reflect the Magar, Pun, Gurung, and other ethnic groups that make up the local culture.
Consider a Nepali Homestay
A homestay is an excellent way to meet locals and learn about their way of life. Accommodations are minimal, but two excellent homestay programs ensure that tourists get a private room and bathroom, filtered drinking water, and meals prepared in a clean kitchen.
The Community Homestay network works in some locations around Nepal, including Bardia National Park in the west, Chitwan, Lower Mustang, Patan in Kathmandu, and a few sites surrounding Kathmandu Valley, such as Patlekhet, Panauti, and Nagarkot.
Image Source: Community Homestay
Caption: Barauli Community Homestay
Women administer the homestays to provide them with an independent source of income. Bike rides, village tours, and culinary workshops are available to visitors.
The Aapshawara Community Dalit Homestay is another effort in Aapshawara tiny village, around midway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Dalits are thought to be at the bottom of the traditional Hindu caste order. Even though caste discrimination is theoretically banned in Nepal, Dalit individuals face prejudice and restricted possibilities.
The Aapshawara Community Dalit Homestay strives to assist locals to live with dignity and self-respect, to maintain their culture, and to educate guests about this frequently ignored group of people.
Try Boutique Jungle Camping
While more difficult camping is available on some of Nepal's remote hiking routes, boutique camping experiences are available nationwide. These offer the sensation of adventure and closeness to nature that campers like, but with a bit more comfort.
The posh Pavilions Himalayas resort in Pokhara has lately constructed a tented camp on the calm shores of Lake Phewa, dubbed tented luxury eco-villas. There are eight tents, which are spaced apart for quiet and seclusion.
Image Source: Far and High
Caption: Jungle Camping in Chitwan
Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all included, and all meals are produced on the hotel's farm. Lakeside offers complimentary boat transfers, massages, canoeing or kayaking, and walks in the woods.
The Last Resort provides comfortable camping after a hard day of rafting, bungee jumping, canyoning, or canyon swinging for a more active experience. The Last Resort is located about two hours northeast of Kathmandu, near the Tibetan border, and overlooks the breathtaking Bhote Kosi River gorge. The spacious safari tents are placed on gorgeous grounds and include comfy furnishings and (well-kept) communal bathrooms.
Tiger Tops pioneered jungle tourism in Nepal in the 1960s, and it currently provides some of the best camping experiences in the country. They have three lodges: Elephant Camp in Bardia National Park, Tharu Lodge in Chitwan National Park, and Karnali Lodge in Bardia National Park. Although Karnali Lodge only offers permanent structures, Tharu Lodge and Elephant Camp provide magnificent tent accommodations.
Tharu Lodge and Elephant Camp are located in Barauli, a tranquil area far from Sauraha's popular tourist hub. Elephant Camp is unique in that it was created in collaboration with elephant care experts. Guests sleep in tents near the elephants and assist with their daily activities, such as feeding and washing.
Spend the Night on a Sustainable Farm
Farmstays differ from homestays. The emphasis here is on ecologically friendly operations, with visitors learning about the land, the employees, and the crops grown. Herb Nepal provides an exclusive, wonderfully peaceful farm stay experience in the hills of Bhaktapur. Guests may learn about permaculture and spend the night in one of two magnificent rammed-earth cottages.
Visitors are not required to get their hands dirty, but there are opportunities to learn about the farm and go hiking in the surrounding region. They collaborate with Nepali farmers to restore organic, sustainable land usage and herbal processing to impoverished rural areas. Because there is no wifi and limited mobile phone reception here, you may appreciate being off the grid.
Reservations for a Former Palace in Kathmandu
Nepal was a monarchy until 2008, and tourists may experience life as royalty at Kathmandu's historic royal apartments and huge aristocratic mansions. From ancient Newari-style brick houses to Neo-Classical 19th and early 20th century palaces that appear to belong in Vienna, the capital is rich with exquisite architecture.
The Rana-era Baber Mahal Revisited Complex, a refurbished royal complex, houses 3 Rooms by Pauline, a lovely modest guest home. It's operated by a French woman named Pauline, and despite the name, there are four rooms. Each is furnished with antiques, hand-printed linen, four-poster beds, and well-read literature.