For those visiting Nepal, there haven’t been a lot of options to spend the night in Bhaktapur. A new addition to the neighborhood is changing all that. Hotel Heritage, a short 7-minute walk from Bhaktapur Durbar Square, is a destination in itself.
History comes alive in this establishment where Malla, Rana, Newari and Mithila influences, as well as Hindu and Buddhist traditions all blend effortlessly to create a tasteful, cozy and unique hideaway. Every part of the hotel has an intriguing story to tell.
With an aim to preserve ancient architecture and traditions, the owner, Mr. Prakash Dhaubadel has collected construction waste from the demolition of old structures, and refashioned them for various uses at his hotel.
The hotel façade is constructed of bricks salvaged from the demolition of Rana-era palaces, and almost all of the furniture in the hotel is either antique, or built from repurposed wood at least 200 years old. One of the antique windows in the hotel was pulled out from a bonfire at Shivaratri by the discerning Mr. Dhaubadel.
That is what the charm of Hotel Heritage is all about. Every piece here has a story, a history, the handiwork of Nepali artisans, and a flavor of the local community.
The jute-blend fabric on the couches is designed especially for the hotel, while window trimmings are made out of hair decorations used by an older generation of Nepali women. The little copper soap dishes, and custom-made bathrobes are a delight.
The banana carpets on the floor are sourced from Dhangadi, and the Mithila artwork in the hotel is painted by 6 artists from Janakpur, on-location. Handmade lokta paper is used throughout the hotel.
Every bit of the hotel is unique, a deep bow to Nepali tradition and culture. However, no modern amenities have been sacrificed.
Mr. Dhaubadel has had 37 years of karate training, and is a Dan and referee. He also actively participates in his community. His discipline, attention to detail, and deep sense of social responsibility is visible in every part of the hotel.
The artisans he commissioned are now flooded with new business after their products were placed at the hotel. And Mr. Dhaubadel plans to help the community by giving more jobs at the establishment to single mothers. He is also working on cleaning up the nearby Mangal Tirtha river.
The perfection at this hotel extends to food and service. The Kutumba Restaurant serves traditional Nepali, as well as continental food. Everything is delicious, down to the homemade rakshi served in a traditional goblet.
The staff is lovely. As soon as you get there, you receive a warm welcome, Sherpa-style, with a scarf. The hospitality carries on to the delicious little cookies waiting for you in your room, and the staff’s anticipating, and catering to your every need.
The hotel is located close to major attractions, being walking distance from Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and pottery square. Nagarkot, Suryabinayak, Sankhu, Panauti, Namobuddha are all a short drive away. Guided hikes and bicycle rentals are also available.
Mr. Dhaubadel was born and raised in Bhaktapur, and is intimately familiar with the history, traditions, and hidden treasures of the area. He is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge, and helping you build an exclusive itinerary.
Hotel Heritage will leave you thoroughly pleased, prompting you to add your impressions to the guest book at the lobby, replete with rave reviews. To sum up, as one of the guest reviews said, Hotel Heritage is "a five star experience from beginning to end."
Review: Mamata Pokharel
Photos: Kumar Ale