Let’s face it luxury is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of Nepal! So I was delighted to find Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel whilst googling during my trip planning phase. Dwarika’s Resort is locally owned (they have a sister hotel in Kathmandu that is also great) and located at near the top of the Kathmandu Valley about one hour from Kathmandu.
Dwarika’s Resort is huge! However, there are numerous paths and friendly Nepalese people with buggies making it easier to get around. It has a slightly magical feel with some of the most stunning views I have seen at a resort. I travelled solo and found that not only was it quite easy to meet people the staff were so friendly they felt like my buddies by the end of my 3 nights.
Every room at Dwarika’s Resort has massive windows and stunning views over the Kathmandu Valley – they almost look like a giant tv screen! They are beautifully decorated and the giant king size bed was extremely comfortable. The bathroom was an interesting pebbled floor and had a wonderful bath with a view over the valley as well as a big powerful shower. Good quality ground coffee and plunger were in the room as well as tea. I also had a massive private terrace area above my room.
One of my favourite local touches at Dwarika’s Resort was that each day you received a scarf of a different colour in your room. These colours are chosen by Nepalese tradition as being the optimal for that day of the week. The staff ask guests to wear these scarves. It is a lovely touch and most guests participate.
Surprisingly Dwarika’s Resort don’t do their own toiletries. There was lovely lemongrass soap and then they have small ceramic containers for shampoo, shower gel etc. There is then a range of branded toiletries available. My favourite was the Himalayan range of toothpaste, moisturizer etc – when in the Himalayas etc!
There is a stunning infinity pool located near the top of Dwarika’s Resort. It was made for Instagram – make sure you do the slightly dangerous walk along the edge to get a stunning picture of yourself walking on water with the Himalayas in the background! There are lounges as well as day beds and the pool is next to the restaurant used for lunch so it is very easy to get pool snacks and drinks.
The spa consists of about 12 different huts which are used as treatment rooms. I did two treatments whilst I was there. The first was a singing bowl treatment. I had never heard of this before I went to Nepal but it had its own special hut and the singing bowl expert had to come from Kathmandu! The treatment started with a chat about blockage areas. He then moved the bowl around my body and then proceeded to use it to massage my back whilst it was ringing.
It was unusual to have these sound currents whizzing through my body but in an enjoyable way and it made sure I was very in the moment. He finished the treatment by putting a large bowl upside down on my head and then banging it. OK I know that sounds the opposite of pleasant and I would not have wanted to have a hangover but it was quite therapeutic!
I also had a Himalayan trekkers massage which was fantastic.
Dwarkika’s Resort has three restaurants and a bar. The poolside restaurant is the place for lunch. The main restaurant is Nature’s Flavours and this is where breakfast is served. The breakfast is fantastic – a great range of cold and warm with the fantastic local yoghurt and honey. There is a hot breakfast/omelette man who does fabulous egg dishes.
Nature’s Flavours is also then open for dinner. The menu changes every night and is based on what is locally available. Dwarika’s Resort actually has a farm up the road and many ingredients are sourced from there. The food was delicious and this was my favourite. There is also a Japanese restaurant which I tried one night. Although it was beautifully done I was still a bit hungry by the end so it was back to Nature’s Flavours the next night!
Importantly there is a bar and there is wine! Of course it is not cheap but there is some decent sauvignon blanc which is also available in the other restaurants.
The views at Dwarika’s Resort are just amazing. There is a building called zero point at the top of the property which has 360 views over the valley so you can see the sun rise and set. Tea is served at sunset and sunrise every day. I was there in May so things were a little hazy and often only the outline of the mountains could be seen in the distance. Apparently September/October is the best time to go for amazingly clear views.
Yoga and meditation sessions run twice a day and you can sign up for these in the main building. There is also the chance to do one on one sessions. I did yoga each morning and the teacher was excellent. I also did a chakra sound therapy session which was ok but not amazing. Pottery, painting and local walks are also on offer.
What I most enjoyed at Dwarika’s Resort were some of the quirkier local experiences on offer. The Himalayan salt room is filled with pink Himalayan salt and it is recommended that you spend 20 minutes in there which I did every day. There is also a meditation maze at the top of the property. You take your shoes of and wander the maze (the actual maze is very low so you won’t get lost) and this is best experienced after a meditation session.
There is just something about mostly buddhist countries that gives the air a slightly magical feel. I really felt this at Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel. I loved how much they incorporate the best of Nepalese traditions and foods to provide a completely unique luxury spa experience.
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Also published on Medium.