Where to stay in Nepal
There is a wonderful variety of accommodation in Nepal from simple mountain tea houses to converted traditional farmhouses. In the main tourist areas of Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan there are large numbers of excellent hotels with something to suit all budgets. Even the more simple hotels will often have lovely gardens or rooftop terraces that offer great mountain views.
Once you get into the countryside, much of the nicest accommodation is in traditional homesteads that have been converted into comfortable small boutique hotels. These are packed with character, each room furnished with antiques and interesting handicrafts made by local villagers.
Other hotels have been built specifically for their location and may be perched on a dramatic hilltop, overlooking the raging Trisuli River or the gently rolling hills of the Kathmandu Valley. Here the views are everything and rooms often have small balconies to enable you to relax and enjoy the perfect sunrise or sunset.
Once you get up into the mountains on a trek, the nature of the accommodation changes. Most families will choose to trek in either the Annapurna or the Everest Region, both of which have a well-developed trekking infrastructure. Here you will usually stay in teahouses, the traditional trekking accommodation where you stay in simple (private) rooms and share communal facilities. There are usually pleasant gardens where you can sit out in the afternoon to drink in the views after a morning trekking, and a dining room where in the colder months trekkers will gather around the fire for a game of cards.
These teahouses are simple and inexpensive and all offer excellent trekking food. This doesn’t just mean rice, curry and daal (although this is always available) but also pancakes, porridge, pizza, macaroni cheese, fried rice and so on. Therefore you can be sure that even the fussiest children will be able to find good fuel to ensure that they are ready for the following day’s trek!
There are also increasing numbers of trekking lodges popping up in the mountains. These are a step up from teahouses as they offer private en-suite facilities and more reliable hot water, which can be a great bonus.
In some trekking areas there are also more luxurious lodges available (particularly in the Everest region), which offer high-end comfortable accommodation. These are often quite expensive as everything has to be brought in either by porter or on a mule train.
How do high-end and mid-range hotels compare?
One of our favourite hotels in Nepal is the Famous Farm in Nuwakot. Sitting high on a hilltop above the confluence of the Trisuli and Tandi rivers, and with a backdrop of mountains, the Famous Farm occupies an undeniably beautiful location. The hotel itself consists of a number of converted traditional farmhouses dotted around steeply terraced land.
Children will enjoy exploring the farm, perhaps helping to collect the eggs in the morning or pick vegetables for dinner. There is a swing in the garden to keep the children happy whilst you have a pot of fresh tea (or a cold beer) and admire the views.
Perhaps take a gentle walk down the valley to the charming small Newari town of Nuwakot with its traditional bazaar and many craftsmen. There is no traffic here so it’s great even for travellers with young children.
Rooms are all different and are beautifully (although simply) furnished with antiques. The only thing to bear in mind is that ceilings and doorways are low so taller visitors need to take care (as discovered the hard way in our case!).
It is also interesting to compare different levels of hotels available in Nepal and this can be easily demonstrated in Chitwan.
For those on a budget (or who just want a real local experience) it is difficult to beat the Tharu Community Homestay. Located on the edge of Chitwan National Park this community programme is owned and run by local Tharu villagers. Although this is called a homestay, you don’t actually stay in someone’s home but in simple but attractive cottages in the village.
The location is lovely, right on the edge of the fields with a river running past the front. Children will love watching the elephants that are brought to the river to bathe or perhaps taking part in one of the village activities. You can get henna tattoos on your hands, learn how to make roti (the local flatbread), go on a guided nature walk in the nearby fields or take an ox-cart ride through the village. Throughout you will have lots of opportunities to visit the locals who run the homestay and will get a real insight into life in this part of Nepal.
For those seeking rather more comfort, the Barahi Jungle Lodge is idyllic, occupying a wonderful location on the banks of the Rapti River. Accommodation is in individual small thatched cottages that blend contemporary and traditional Nepali design. There are lovely big beds with colourful cushions, lamp shades made from wicker fish traps and hand-carved chunky wooden chairs.
Each cottage has an area out the front with comfortable chairs where you can enjoy the views before heading off on safari. There is a gorgeous pool, the food is sensational and the service is second to none. Highly recommended!
These are just a few examples of where to stay in Nepal that past travellers have enjoyed. All our holidays are tailor-made, so once we have found out a bit more about you and your family, we will suggest a range of properties that we think will suit you best. Get in touch for firsthand advice on all aspects of family travel to Nepal.
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
Nepal in pictures
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