Dwarika's stunning architecture and design was inspired by the architectural traditions of the Newari Kings. The door and window frames are some of the features that follow these astounding forms. Dwarika's was inspired by one man, Dwarika Das Shrestha, who saw some ancient carvings being burnt as firewood - this became a passion to collect as much as he could over the years to save them from going up in smoke. In 1988 he brought it all together and opened the hotel, merging together several old traditional Newari houses around a central courtyard and incorporating everything he had collection - a haven from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Dwarika's houses an extensive collection of artefacts from the 14th century onwards and has won awards for the preservation of Nepalese heritage in the Kathmandu Valley. Put simply, you will walk in and simply say wow.
Dwarika's contains 87 sumptuous rooms and suites, each with its own individuality and character. They are delightfully furnished, with luxury red and black fabrics giving it a dash of old and a flash of new. They all come with modern amenities, yet contain antique period furniture, handmade fabrics and boast meticulous attention to detail. Some have inviting four-poster beds, and expect amazing bathrooms with sunken bathtubs. There are four room categories ranging from the smaller Heritage Deluxe Rooms, to the Junior Suites, Executive Suites and really rather impressive Royal Suite (just think what antiques and carvings adorn this suite!).
Famed for its food, Dwarika's uses local cooking techniques to produce cuisine of highly original quality and taste. Do absolutely try Krishnarpan, with its superb Nepali tasting menus (up to 22 courses!). There is also a superb Japanese restaurant, Makos and an all day dining restaurant, Toran, which opens out into the central courtyard. For those who want to be rewarded after a trek in the mountains, then head to the Fusion Bar which overlooks the swimming pool and can offer a range of drinks.
The hotel has a glorious swimming pool designed to reflect the grandeur of the 12th century Malla Dynasty baths, and is located in the central courtyard. Dwarika's also has a superb spa - perfect to iron out those trekking aches and pains!
It goes without saying that you will be heavily rewarded in choosing Dwarikas's - we think it is one the best city hotels to be found anywhere in the world and when you arrive you will just be smiling at how amazing the story behind the hotel is, and how this little haven away from the hubbub of Kathmandu is so truly very magical.
Dwarikas has a choice of wonderful rooms and suites for you to stay in. Heritage Deluxe Rooms, Heritage Executive Suite, Heritage Junior Suite and the Royal Suite. The rooms and suites have beautiful custom-made furniture and organically produced linen. The Royal Suite has formal and informal meeting spaces, a private lounge, a gorgeous bedroom and a luxurious bathroom.
Children are welcome but there are no specific facilities.
Facilities at the Dwarikas includes an outdoor swimming pool, three restaurants and massages at the Pancha Kosha Spa whose influences come from ancient Himalayan traditions. There is also a shop selling books, jewellery, Thangka paintings, handicrafts and Nepali Pashmina shawls. There is a small library and WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
The Fusion Bar is located just off the courtyard and is open during the day and well into the night, The bar seems to blend old and new rather well. They have a range of drinks on offer some cold, refreshing beers, a good wine list and a range of cocktails. Friday is the most 'happening' night when you can expect a live band and a Nepali barbecue.
Krishnarpan is simply the best Nepali restaurant in Kathmandu and takes you on a culinary journey through the cuisines of Nepal. It offers a slow dining experience, taking influences from the grand banquets held by the Newari Kings of old.
You can opt from 6 to 22 courses (yes this isn't a typo) and are prepared using the freshest vegetables from the Dwarika's vegetable gardens. You are served on traditional brass and earthenware condiments and we feel it provides the perfect post-trek experience.
Mako is a superb Japanese fine dining experience in a minimalist and Zen-like restaurant that blends the ancient feel of Nepal with the traditions of Japan.
Toran is an all-day dining restaurant and offers a range of international dishes if you need a break from trying Nepali dishes. You can sit outside in the courtyard, or head into the restaurant when it might get a little chillier.
|Kaiser Cafe (off site)|
Kaiser Cafe is run by Dwarikas and is located close to Thamel in what is called the Garden of Dreams and is open 9am to 10pm. We absolutely love heading the Kaiser Cafe for a light lunch and just walking around the gardens. They offer a continental menu, and it is perfectly located to tie in some of the cultural sights such as Kathmandu Durbar Square. Do note that the Nepalese Goverment charge 200 rupees (£1.50) to enter the gardens, but it is well worth it!
|Pancha Kosha Himalayan Spa|
The Dwarika's Spa draws on ancient Himalayan treatments and takes its name from the Vedas that claims that our Atman or self is made up of five layers of being – the physical, the intellectual, emotional and the essence of the absolute - which together ensure an authentic and balanced experience of life. There are a wide range of massages and treatments on offer.
In the hotel you can enjoy the library with extensive literature about Nepalese culture, the beautifully designed pool and a range of massages at the Pancha Kosha Spa. Activities in the surrounding area include white water rafting, trekking, mountain flights and visits to historical sites.
When to travel
Nepal has a Monsoonal climate with four main seasons. Autumn and spring are the two most favourable seasons for visiting Nepal. Autumn (September to early December) brings in clear weather with sunny days and warm nights. Spring (March to May) with occasional rain falls. From June to September, is the monsoon season. Uncomfortable time to visit as the climate of Nepal at this time of year brings about hot weather and rain falls almost every day.
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Location and directions
The Dwarikas Hotel is located at Battisputali Road, just about 2 km from Tribhuvan International Airport and within a walking distance from the most sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath. Transportation to and from the hotel is very convenient as it is quite close to the Ring Road, linked with all major roads of the city. The hotel is about 15-minutes from Kathmandu Durbat Square and 20-minutes from the markets and restaurants of Thamel.
How to get there
10-hour flight (with one change) to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. Transfer to the hotel takes about 5-6 minutes.