The Best Boutique Hotels to Book in Kathmandu, Nepal
Marvel at ancient palaces, temples and shrines in Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal | © John Dambik / Alamy Stock Photo
Kathmandu is popular with backpackers en route to treks in the Himalayas, but the accommodation here isn’t all hostels and dorm rooms. The capital of Nepal is also home to nip-and-tuck hotels featuring courtyards, traditional Narali interior design, libraries, and temple-like respite after a day of exploring. Whilst many choose a simple guesthouse in Kathmandu, you can escape the bustle at these boutique hotels, which are some of the best places to stay in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu Guest House by KGH Group
Photo courtesy of Kathmandu Guest House
At the centre of this hotel, in the busy Thamel area, there’s a pocket of mellow green space. It’s filled with mango trees, firework-bright potted flowers, a seven-foot brass Vajra sculpture and a Walk of Fame that lists famous people like the Beatles and Jimmy Carter who have stayed at the hotel over the years. Choose a garden room and you get access to a shared balcony that overlooks the greenery.
Courtesy of Traditional Comfort Boutique Hotel, Hattisar / Expedia
The interiors of the 36-room Traditional Comfort boutique hotel are Newari – a style of design originating from the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley. There are plenty of wooden beams throughout the hotel, sculpted bronze, decorative tile work, and the intricately carved wooden windows known as ankhi-jhyal. In the guest rooms, the bed linen has been hand-printed using traditional block painting techniques. Visitors are welcomed with a watermelon juice and given a traditional welcome scarf.
Tajaa Pha The Heritage Home, Patan
Courtesy of Tajaa Pha The Heritage Home, Patan / booking.com
The Tajaa Pha looks out over the herb-green waters of Kamal Pokhari pond in the old town area of Patan. You can spy the pond from some of the rooms, but the best place to take in the view is from the rooftop terrace. A traditional home-cooked breakfast is served here – don’t miss the bara (lentil paste pancakes) – and on clear days, you can see all the way to the Himalayan mountains.
Shivapuri Heights Cottage, Budhanilkantha
Courtesy of Shivapuri Heights Cottages, Budhanilkantha / Expedia
In the foothills of the Himalayas, on the edge of the Shivapuri Heights National Park, these red-brick and dark-wood cottages serve up IMAX-worthy views of the Kathmandu Valley. Watch sunrise and sunset and catch rainbows arching across the valley when it rains. Book the hot tub and you can lap up the views as you bathe in the water. Alternatively, take it all in from the main veranda, where guests can enjoy a communal dinner at night.
Traditional Homes – Swotha, Patan
Courtesy of Traditional Homes – Swotha, Patan / Expedia
This boutique hotel is just around the corner from the Unesco World Heritage Durbar Square, with all its temples and sculptures. After a busy day’s sightseeing, visitors can relax on the roof terrace and look out over the red pagoda rooftops of Patan to the Himalayas in the distance. Enjoy meals from the ground-floor Café Swotha up here – try the thali, an assortment of Nepalese dishes topped off with a custard-like Bhaktapur yoghurt for dessert.
Kantipur Temple House, Thamel
Courtesy of Kantipur Temple House, Thamel / Expedia
With red bricks, wooden beams and carved wooden windows and balconies, the design of Kantipur Temple House is textbook for the Kathmandu Valley. The whole place wraps around a courtyard filled with a stone water feature, brass bells, sculptures and the scent of marigolds. Make sure you make time for a meal here. Dishes are made using ingredients from the hotel’s organic farm and you can choose to sit on floor cushions at low tables to dine.
Courtesy of Hotel Vajra, Swayambhu / Expedia
This pagoda-style hotel is located near the old pilgrim trail up to the Swayambhunath stupa (Monkey Temple) complex. It’s home to a library, where you can see Sanskrit and Tibetan texts alongside Western books. There’s a meditation and yoga area known as the Great Pagoda Hall, which has an ornate frescoed ceiling. For warmer evenings, there’s a garden filled with flowers, Buddha statues and a trickling water feature.
Hotel Friend’s Home, Thamel
Courtesy of Hotel Friend's Home / Expedia
A five-minute walk from the centre of Thamel, this boutique hotel makes a great base camp for sightseeing in Kathmandu. Gear up for a day of exploring with a piled-high plate of breakfast – the staff are known for remembering how every visitor likes their eggs – washed down with a masala tea. Unwind at the end of it all with an hour or two in the rooftop bar with its lantern lighting and flower-filled terracotta pots.
Kathmandu Boutique Hotel, Thamel
Courtesy of Kathmandu Boutique Hotel / Expedia
The Kathmandu Boutique Hotel is set inside the former 19th-century home of a Rana dynasty courtier, with delicately-carved balconies and a columned entrance. At the heart of the hotel, there’s a meditative garden where colourful Tibetan prayer flags twitch in the breeze. You can enjoy breakfast here in the mornings and there’s an evening menu, too. The dal bhat – traditional lentil curry – is highly recommended.
Courtesy of Nomad Hotel, Lazimpat / Expedia
The Nomad hotel in the residential Lazimpat area teleports visitors back to the West. Rooms and apartment suites are filled with Danish-style furniture and thoughtful touches like Marshall amp speakers. The breakfast and brunch menu features dishes such as organic acai bowls and American pancakes with salted caramel. The restaurant, meanwhile, serves modern Italian. However, if you need a reminder that you’re in Kathmandu, you can walk to Durbar Square in 30 minutes.
These recommendations were updated on June 17, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.