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 Dhulikhel Resort Dwarika whilst googling during my trip planning phase. Dhulikhel 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.
If you are looking for some support in planning your trip to Nepal I highly recommend you have a look at PassePartout and speak with Laura.Check Prices for Dhulikhel Resort Dwarikas
Dhulikhel Resort Dwarikas 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.
Dhulikhel Resort Dwarikas: The Rooms
Every room at the 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 Dhulikhel 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 optimal for that day of the week. The staff ask guests to wear these scarves. It is a lovely touch and most guests participate.
Dwarika Dhulikhel Resort – The toiletries
Surprisingly Dwarika’s 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 Dhulikhel 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.
Dwarika Dhulikhel Resort – The Spa
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.
Dwarika Dhulikhel 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 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.
Dwarika Dhulikhel Resort – The views
The views 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 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 off 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 give 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.Check Prices for Dhulikhel Resort Dwarikas
How to get to Kathmandu:
Or try my favourite Middle Eastern Airlines – particularly if you like flying Business Class! I flew with Qatar Airways business class when I went – read my Review of Qatar Airways Business Class here.
This is one trip where you MUST take out travel insurance! I certainly ended up using mine! Click here for a quote on travel insurance.
Everest Base Camp Trek Guided Tour Options
For a really good comparison of tour options available check out Viator.Compare Everest Base Camp Trek Guided Tours
I travelled with Exodus. Exodus is the biggest tour operator for Everest Base Camp so there are quite a few benefits in going with them in terms of expertise, access to the best teahouses etc. They also know what they are doing and are very organised. As Exodus is a big deal in Nepal anyone working with them locally will be keen for this to continue and therefore service levels are pretty good.
In terms of UK based tour operators, we saw quite a few G Adventures groups during our trek. They tend to stay at the same kinds of tea houses and have a similar setup. I have also heard that Intrepid are a good operator for base camp.
I have written several blog posts on my Everest Base Camp Trek Experience which you may enjoy reading:
Boutique Hotels in Kathmandu
I recommend enjoying some luxury pre and post the Nepal Tea Houses! Without question the best boutique hotel in Kathmandu is the lovely lovely Dwarika’s – Read my review of Dwarika’s Here. It isn’t exactly boutique but as options at a higher boutique end are a bit low in Kathmandu I am going to list the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu.
Kathmandu has some more basic boutique hotels that offer great value for money. Dalai-La and Kantipur Temple House offer traditional Nepalese style. Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa is somewhat more modern with its offer. Uniquely for Kathmandu, its interiors are heavy on white!
Looking for a hotel in Lukla? I am afraid there aren’t any boutique options – Click here for the best Lukla options
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Also published on Medium.