Why visit … Just a short flight away from Dubai, the Himalayan nation of Nepal is a beautiful and inspirational destination. Home to historical sites and some of the world’s most breath-taking natural landscapes, Nepal is ready to welcome tourists following the devastating earthquake in April 2015. I recommend a twin center- immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Kathamandu, then head to the mountains to Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Himalayan Shangri-La for some rest and relaxation.
Why not … head to the peace and tranquility of Kathmandu’s Garden of Dreams. Located near the former royal palace, this neo-classical garden with its sunken garden, pavilions and pergolas was inaugurated in 1920 to pay homage to Nepal’s six seasons.
Credits: Garden of Dreams, Kaiser Cafe (above) Dwarika’s ( below)
Stay at … Dwarika’s Hotel. This exquisite gem hidden away in Kathmandu oozes culture and ancient charm. People-watch in the courtyard amidst fine Nepali craftsmanship and marvel at the Shrestha family’s efforts to capture and recreate the beauty and spirit of the ancient valleys.
Then head … out of town and up, up up to the mountains. Newly opened sister property Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel is a spa and wellness retreat set on a bluff, less than an hour from Kathmandu. Lying along an ancient trade route between Kathmandu Valley and Tibet, the chaos and fumes of Kathmandu give way to peace and tranquility punctuated by panoramic views over the snow-capped Langtang mountain range. Upon arrival you feel you are ensconced in the trees, almost floating alongside the clouds.
Elegant and welcoming, Dwarika’s Dhulikhel comprises 40 suites, each with indoor and outdoor sleeping and lounging spaces, whilst meanwhile the spa cabins, chakra sound chambers, yoga and meditation spaces are scattered across the hillside over 22 acres, allowing guests to really be at one with nature.
Take a … culinary and cultural journey at Krishnarpan at Dwarika’s Kathmandu. I first visited the restaurant in 2009 and whilst we only took six courses (there are between six and 22), I still remember the subtle flavours and the delighted hush which fell over our party as the copper trays arrived. As with sister property Dhulikhel, all vegetables, salads and herbs are grown on Dwarika’s farm, whilst grains and rice are sourced from their property in Chitwan.
Green and clean …with an eco-conscious philosophy, Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhen has been built using local stones and wood, unbleached cottons are incorporated throughout whilst solar lighting has been integrated into the design ensuring the footprint of the property is as low as possible.
Be inspired … proverbs and quotes can be found throughout the interiors and outdoor spaces of both properties. My personal favourite is the Bedouin proverb ‘When you sleep in a house, your thoughts are as high as the ceiling, when you sleep outside they are as high as the stars’.
Amos-phere loves … the Ayurvedic massage in one of the spa suites, before heading to your outdoor lounge area with fresh ginger tea. From there you can gaze upon butterflies dancing on the breeze. And should you fall asleep, rest assured you are following the advice put forward to sleep outside … so your dreams and thoughts can be as high as the stars.