Kathmandu Landing in Kathmandu can be daunting: it’s set in the stunning Kathmandu Valley and is home to a twelfth of Nepal’s total population. Raised 1400m above sea level, this literally breathtaking city is worth easing your way into. Therefore it’s best to make yourself at home at Dwarikas hotel, the pinnacle of Luxury Holidays to Nepal. This lovingly created property is the personal project of Dwarika Das Shrestha who bought the land in the late 1950s and over 20 years curated an elaborate personal-home-cum-hotel. The hotel, still owned by his family, is a unique homage to Nepalese culture and the perfect place to unwind and get your bearings in Kathmandu. Perfect for family holidays to Nepal, the hotel has all the facilities you could hope for in your attempts to cleanse your mind body and soul. Educate yourself in the library, bathe in the pool inspired by 12th-century royal baths, or indulge yourself in the Pancha Kosha Spa. Once you are well and truly rested have a wonder around the fascinating temples of Kathmandu. The key areas and sites being: Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Swayambunath.
If you feel touched by the spirituality of these places – wander over to the Kopan Monastery and wonder whether you might find inner peace through one of their 10-day introductory courses. A different breed of Nepal holidays: 6:30am starts, half-day silences, and guidance from Western sanghas and Tibetan lamas make this both an intimidating and intimate opportunity for those genuinely intrigued by Buddhist culture.With your appetite building head back to the hotel and eat at one of the three in house restaurants specialising in Nepali, Japanese, and fusion cuisines respectively. Or if you want something a bit different why not try Chez Caroline. In a former royal stable house, this little French haven serves up very respectable gastro cuisine. With steak, wild-mushroom tart, imported cheeses and Pastis liqueur on the menu you might be shocked to find yourself in a lush outdoor courtyard in Kathmandu.Trekking Head away from the indulgences and spirituality of Kathmandu and fly over to Pokhara. The flight itself being, arguably, the most spectacular mountain flight in the world, gliding alongside the Himalayas you get views of some of the world’s highest peaks, including Everest. Pokhara is the heart of trekking holidays in Nepal with many possible routes panning out from here. Make your base at the Tiger Mountain Lodge. The architecture is strictly functional but the views are to die for. That isn’t to say they haven’t added a lovely ambiance through a magnificent fire-pit centred lounge, a grand alpine-style dining space, and a chatty and amicable owner, Marcus. Add to this impeccable service, eco-friendly ideals, and culinary delights cooked from their own organically grown produce and you have a fantastic place to get ready for your adventure.For those who flew out here for full on trekking holidays in Nepal, there are all the options. A 5 day trek to Ghandruk and back, a small village at 6,560 feet with stunning views and home of some of the Ghurka soldiers, will take in a the enchanting Modi valley and Birethanti village. Whilst there are also options for the serious trekkers to do the 21-day Annapurna Circuit, one of the world’s most renowned treks. Passing through four regions, two low lush sub-tropical Hindu areas and two higher Buddhist areas, this “tea-house trek” takes in religious sites and villages along the way. For the more laid-back traveller indulging in more local walks around Pokhara also pays dividends with beautiful lakes like Phewa Tal where you can rent a boat and row, or be rowed, across this mirror like surface.
ConclusionNepal holidays are inherently adventurous due to their altitudinal nature, however they need not be arduous. Trekking holidays in Nepal are certainly the big draw, but alongside that you have a booming luxury holiday market and an amazing aura of spirituality to explore. You almost feel as if the free-spirited origins of Nepalese travel have been converted into forward thinking tourism options. With comfort comes the development of family holidays in Nepal, the level of services provided means even those of us without the legs to hike for more than a day can have an awe-inspiring time in the mountains of Nepal.
Dinesh Singh has extensive experience in organising luxury holidays to Nepal for Natural Mystic. He frequently enjoys Nepal holidays himself, and is an expert at creating tailor-made family holidays in Nepal and trekking holidays in Nepal for clients from around the world.