Dwarika’s Hotel is a love letter to Nepal.
The property is literally built from Nepal’s past, out of ancient relics lovingly rescued by founder Dwarika Das Shrestha. The story begins in 1952. After witnessing two men in Kathmandu use the carved pillars of an ancient Newari structure to stoke their fire, Dwarika saw a need to preserve and revive Kathmandu’s architectural legacy. He began scouring the Kathmandu valley, collecting carved window-frames, door-frames and pillars whenever an old building was brought down.
In 1972, Dwarika used his collection of salvaged pieces to begin building Dwarika’s Hotel. In the process, he mobilized Kathmandu’s few remaining wood carving masters to create a restoration workshop to train young artisans. Skills and techniques that were quickly fading were revived, including the production of Dachi apas—tapered glazed bricks unique to Nepal and key to Kathmandu’s unique architecture. With time, a new generation learned how the carvings reflect the iconography, rituals, lore, and beliefs of the valley civilization.
Today, the property is a sanctuary created from pieces of Nepal’s heritage that otherwise may have been lost. Extremely rare carvings, such as window-frames from homes and courtyards of the Malla period, are unassumingly incorporated into the property. Its draw is magnetic. It has become a place for honeymooners to celebrate their love, for old-loves to reconnect, and for lovers of architecture and Nepalese culture to experience their passion manifest in physical form.
Absolute Travel’s Katie Lotz visited in June 2014. June is monsoon season and though not usually the recommended time to visit Nepal, there is no question that monsoon has a certain romance—the rains wash away the old and fertilize the land, making way for new beginnings.
“Dwarika’s Hotel feels alive,” says Katie. “I could immediately sense that each detail was composed with love. It is a stunning architectural ode of compassion, a place of utter peace.”
As Katie described the garden pool, the treed courtyard where musicians play traditional Nepali music, and the rooms and hallways adorned with 15th century windows and ancient artwork, we knew Dwarika’s was a different kind of property.
Higher in the Himalayas is Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel. If Dwarika’s is a tribute to Nepal’s architectural history, then Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel is an homage to Nepal’s natural heritage. A scenic country drive through rural villages and past enormous hill-side statues connects the two. Tranquility is waiting. Go to Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel to revive a sense of wellness and closeness to the earth. With cliff-edge lounges, an infinity pool that gazes on snow-capped mountains, and utter ease between the indoors and the outdoors (pebbled bathrooms, stargazing telescopes in several areas, enormous windows overlooking the mighty Himalayas, and private roof-top daybeds define the experience) how could you not? Between meditation, pottery, and yoga sessions, Katie hiked through the mountains, sampled spa treatments that use the region’s medicinal herbs, and wandered through the gardens.
“Staying at Dwarika’s is like living out a love affair with Nepal. Is there anything better than that to share with someone you care about?” Katie asks.
Get in touch to learn more about a custom adventure in Nepal and a stay at these much-adored properties.