On our way to Bhutan, we had a two night stopover in Kathmandu (Nepal). Of course we needed a place to stay.
When we started our online search, there were a few things we were looking for in the accommodation. We wanted to be the downtown area. This would give us the chance to be walking distance from the main attractions. We were hoping to find something not too noisy. We did realize though that it was probably impossible n a big city. Last but not least, we loved the idea of finding something traditional Nepalese. However we weren’t sure yet what that was!
While navigating on various accommodation sites we stumbled on Kantipur Temple House. By the description and photos it seemed to check all the boxes: in downtown, peaceful area, with a traditional look and as a plus it also offered half board! We booked immediately!
What we didn’t know at the time of the booking was what a magical experience it was going to be for us to be here!
Kantipur Temple House is in the heart of Thamel, one of the most touristic areas of Kathmandu. This neighborhood is full of shops, restaurants, tour agents, trekking shops, cafes and bars. You can spend hours just wondering around and exploring many narrow streets! When you come to Nepal you don’t need to have everything booked in advance you can simply do it here, there are so many options!
The hotel is in a great area of Thamel. It is away from all the traffic and noises, however everything is at walking distance. Here you can truly enjoy a much more quiet and peaceful environment, believe me, something very unique for Kathmandu!
Once you enter the property you feel like you are going back in time. You are surrounded by a garden, which our kids enjoyed in full. We comfortably sat outside sipping tea, while they run around. For a moment we forgot of being in the heart fo the biggest city in Nepal!
About the resort
Kantipur Temple House was built in 1998 and its goal was to preserve the cultural heritage of Kathmandu by building a structure that resembled a temple. In fact the hotel is built in the native Newari architecture. This was a style used mainly in stupas, monasteries and temples. It is characterized by brick work and wood carvings.
The hotel has 48 rooms of different sizes, all provide views over the garden or the courtyard. They all incorporate traditional handicrafts and wooden floors and are furnished with local handmade elements.
There is also a delicious in-house restaurant, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks throughout the day. There is a great selection of food offered, from Nepali, Indian, Chinese, Thai and Continental cuisines. The meals at the restaurant are all cooked with organic food from selected farms around Nepal. They also grow most of their products in 2 eco friendly farms.
While staying here, we had a chance to do a cooking class in the hotel in order to learn some of local dishes that we enjoyed. Here is the first video of the cooking lesson.
Traditionally, meals are eaten seated on the floor in Nepal. However they also offer chairs and regular tables. In our case, we like to embrace tradition! Nepali also eat with their hands, our kids did love that aspect of their tarpon as well!
Their unique green approach
What sets Kantipur Temple House apart from any other hotel in Kathmandu, is the fact that it is an eco-hotel with a social responsible philosophy. It tries to protects the environment in every possible way!
Kantipur Temple House has no televisions/bathtubs/AC/central heating system to avoid excessive energy consumption. But no worries the hotel is not too hot in the summer and not too cold in the winter. Plus they provide hot water bottles and electric blankets. Our kids loved going to bed at night and feeling their covers so warm!
Kantipur Temple House has a “no plastic philosophy” and avoids generating waste by no use of plastic bags and bottles. They provide for the guests, free water in jugs in the bedrooms and bottle refilling stations throughout the hotel. For the hot water, electricity and the power outages they have switched to solar power instead of traditional diesel generators for backup.
Why do we consider this hotel unique?
Once we left Kantipur Temple House, after our 2 day stay. We rebooked another three nights for the time we were going to be back in Nepal a few weeks after. Why?
The location. As mentioned before, we loved the area and most of all we loved not being in the middle of the chaos but still having easy access to shops, restaurants and cafes. Our kids absolutely loved the outside area. They could be wild as much as they wanted without us worrying that they might break something!
The environment. We were looking for a traditional structure and we found it! The rooms, although most have some characteristics in common, they each have a slightly different decor that makes them all feel unique. On the last floor there is also a common area where you can leave a book and take one, plus a terrace outside where you can see the surroundings. My kids and I loved going up there to read and draw.
The staff. We were welcomed with kindness and friendliness from the first moment we arrived, so it was no surprise that we all wanted to return!
The staff always did everything they could do to help us. Whether it was make sure that everything was ok in our rooms, or give us a tip to not miss Holi Fest that was taking place that day or make sure we bought everything we needed before Nepal went into lockdown. Our kids were always greeted with a smile and everyone happily interacted with them.
Something valuable that we have learned during our travels, is that a hotel can be have the best decor, the best accessories and the best structure, but what truly makes the experience wonderful is the staff! At Kantipur Temple House you will have this experience, because the staff combined with the beautiful structure are what makes it truly exceptional.