The Best Hotels to Book in Kathmandu, Nepal, for Every Traveller

Apsara Boutique Hotel boasts a tranquil courtyard garden, ideal for afternoon tea
Apsara Boutique Hotel boasts a tranquil courtyard garden, ideal for afternoon tea | Courtesy of Apsara Boutique Hotel / Expedia
Photo of Richard Collett
27 January 2022
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Before heading off into the Himalayas in search of mountaintops and teahouses, take the chance to fuel up, kit up and rest up in Kathmandu. Enjoy a level of comfort – and opulence – that you’ll sorely miss on the trekking circuits when you’re battling the altitude, or recuperate in the luxury spa after making it to Everest Base Camp. From the boutique to the glamorous, here’s our picks of the best hotels in the capital of Nepal – bookable on Culture Trip.

Apsara Boutique Hotel, for stellar rooftop vistas

Apsara Boutique Hotel courtyard restaurant at night
Courtesy of Apsara Boutique Hotel / Expedia

This is a smart high-rise Kathmandu hotel with some traditional architectural touches. There’s a pleasant courtyard restaurant, and the large rooms have bendable reading lamps, polished-wood floors and thick mattresses on the beds. Get your Himalayan fix by heading up to the rooftop terrace for views of the Langtang and Ganesh mountain ranges. It’s situated just at the edge of the Thamel tourist zone, which means the hotel suffers less from street noise than places right in the centre of Thamel.

Hotel Moonlight, for rubbing shoulders with mountaineering elites

Hotel Moonlight terrace with mountains and city beyond
Courtesy ofHotel Moonlight / Expedia

Claiming a key location in the Thamel tourist district of Kathmandu, the Hotel Moonlight has been a part of the bedrock of Nepalese tourism for years. At any one time the expansive courtyard gardens, complete with a bar and restaurant, attract everyone from local bigwigs to legendary Himalayan mountaineers – Reinhold Messner is a regular. The choice of rooms is as varied as the bar-side conversation partners, but all accommodation is spacious, classically styled, quiet and well-equipped. A very helpful, ever-smiling team of staff round out one of Kathmandu’s best hotels.

The Dwarika’s Hotel, for a stay fit for royalty

A double bed at Dwarika's Resort with trad decor including parquet floors
Courtesy of The Dwarika’s Resort / Expedia

If you’re harbouring royal aspirations, then the Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu is the luxury boutique hotel for you. Its 80 rooms draw inspiration from the royal suites of past Nepalese monarchs, while the spa and swimming pool will help you to relax like a king or queen. This regal hotel successfully preserves the rich cultural history of the Kathmandu Valley in its decor and service, with the highlight being a dining experience at the Patan Museum Cafe, where Nepal’s culinary and artistic heritage is all for the tasting.

Hotel Le Himalaya, for sightseeing on foot

Hotel Le Himalaya room with elegant decor and parquet floors
Courtesy of Hotel Le Himalaya / Expedia

Hotel Le Himalaya is one for the sightseers, as this spacious hotel is within walking distance of Kathmandu’s major tourist attractions. Get in some last-minute training before your trek into the Himalayas by walking to tourist spots such as Thamel (15 minutes away) or Kathmandu Durbar Square (30 minutes away). Back at the hotel, you can enjoy a few Everest beers in the Laza bar, or take to the rooftop restaurant for a fine-dining experience with views over central Kathmandu.

Baber Mahal Vilas, for Victorian-style luxury

Baber Mahal Vilas courtyard with water feature and traditional decor
Courtesy of Baber Mahal Vilas / Expedia

Looking for a boutique property run by the family of one of Nepal’s most famous heads of state (and who isn’t in Kathmandu for that reason?)? Then Baber Mahal Vilas is the only hotel for you. Pleasantly designed by the descendants of Maharaja Chandra Shumsher Rana (who was prime minister from 1901 to 1929), this hotel offers both ministerial comforts and service. The traditional rooms, heritage suites and royal suites evoke a sense of Victorian-era Nepal, while the hotel library is packed with old books that you can leaf through at your leisure.

Hotel Shanker, for a stay in a 19th-century royal palace

Hotel Shanker outdoor pool with exterior of hotel beyond
Courtesy of Hotel Shanker / Expedia

History buffs will relish a stay at Hotel Shanker, which had a former life as a royal palace, dating back to 1894. Since the Nepalese royal family vacated in 1964, this hotel has been giving weary travellers a touch of the high life. As you’d expect, it lies in the centre of Kathmandu, offering 94 regal rooms, alongside a spa and a swimming pool. At the Kailash Restaurant, you can eat fine Nepalese food under a cavernous carved ceiling, while the cocktails and fine malts at the Kunti Bar are fit for a Nepalese king.

Gokarna Forest Resort, for a tranquil forest retreat

A bedroom with a double bed, red rung and bare brick wall at Gokarna Forest Resort
Courtesy of Gokarna Forest Resort / Expedia

A retreat to the Gokarna Forest Resort is for anyone looking to escape the city. Just 10km (6mi) from Kathmandu, the Gokarna Forest was also once the private domain of Nepal’s royal family. Today, it’s a protected reserve, and it truly is a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. You can take a locally guided forest walk in search of deer and Hindu temples hidden in the jungle, before playing a round of golf on the hotel’s 18-hole course. Unwind at the Harmony Spa, relax around the indoor pool and then sample the food of royalty at the Durbar Restaurant.

Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee, for superb onsite dining

Crowne Plaza Hotel outdoor pool with palms and gardens
Courtesy of Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee / Expedia

Looking for a place to stay in a quiet part of the capital? In the Tahachal district, the Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee is a perfect choice. You’re only about 4km (2mi) from Kathmandu Durbar Square and the capital’s major tourist attractions, but also far enough away to escape the hectic nature of the city. The hotel has a relaxing spa, or you can cool off outside in the swimming pool. Bao Xuan serves up authentic Chinese cuisine, while Kakori claims to be “the best Indian restaurant in town” – why not try them both and see which one you prefer?

Kumari Boutique Hotel, for personalised service

Kumari Boutique Hotel room with wood floors and tv, view of traditional temple
Courtesy of Kumari Boutique Hotel / Expedia

For understated comfort over regal grandeur, book the Kumari Boutique Hotel. It draws inspiration from Kumari, a Nepalese goddess who offers up energy and revitalisation for anyone who worships her, the sort of atmosphere you need after a trek into the Himalayas. Close to Thamel, the hotel only has 20 rooms, ensuring that all guests are treated to personalised service. Staff can organise airport shuttles, laundry and car- or bike-hiring services.

Hotel Mulberry, for a rooftop infinity pool

Hotel Mulberry outdoor pool on rooftop terrace with city view
Courtesy of Hotel Mulberry / Expedia

Hotel Mulberry might be in the middle of Thamel’s narrow, crowded streets, but as soon as you’re lounging by the rooftop infinity pool, you’ll be far from the maddening crowds. The Cocoon Spa offers you the chance to unwind next to the pool, while you can continue enjoying the panoramic views of Kathmandu from Koya, the rooftop bar. This hotel is one for spa-loungers looking for a personalised retreat in the city centre.

Need to truly unwind during your stay in the Nepalese capital? See the best spas in Kathmandu. Heading elsewhere? Discover our guide to the best boutique hotels in Pokhara and book now on Culture Trip. Fancy a weekend getaway? Check out our guide to the best weekend getaways from Kathmandu.

Stuart Butler contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on January 27, 2022 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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