Finding the Right Hotels in Kathmandu (Budget to Mid Range)
There are tons of options when it comes to finding hotels in Kathmandu – from shoe-string budget to 5 star accommodations. Sometimes it might be a little confusing finding the right balance between facilities & the cost. In this article I will share my personal experiences aiming to help you choose the best hotels in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu Hotel Tips:
- Setting a Price: Most hotels in Kathmandu let you negotiate the price. You can directly go there and bargain. But what I like to do is, I call the hotel and negotiate over phone. This gives me an advantage and often I can get the deal I want. I found that when I am already at their lobby, they are less likely to reduce the price. This way, you may get a deal cheaper than what’s quoted in the hotel booking websites.
- Airport Transfer: Most 3 star hotels offer only one way airport transfer. But if you ask before confirming your stay, there is a chance that they will give you both way transfer.
- Free Breakfast: Most of the hotels provide free breakfast, but not all of them are buffet. Cheap ones will only give you set breakfast options – which is completely fine. Just make sure to manage expectations.
- Backup Power: There is 12+ hours of load shedding in Nepal everyday. So you should inquire about power backups before confirming the rooms. (Update 2019: There seems to be no more power shortage in Kathmandu. So, the risk of severe load-shedding is lower)
- Location: Thamel is the central tourist area with lots of restaurants, souvenir shops, hotels & transportation options. I, like most other tourists, prefer to stay in Thamel. Some would argue that it is too crowded and noisy. But I love how alive the streets get with people & colorful shops.
Hotel Nepalaya, Thamel – Budget Hotel: I stayed in this hotel for 5 nights, during Everest Base Camp Trek and again during Langtang Trek. I originally booked standard rooms but upon my return they had upgraded me to the more specious delux room, which was a nice surprise. The rooftop restaurant was nice too. Being on the 7th floor it had a good view of the city skyline and also of nearby hills. As most of the other budget hotels in Kathmandu, they did not offer backup power during power cuts (2016). Though they had emergency light in the room, during power cuts there is no elevator and to charge the devices I had to go to the reception on the ground floor. Anyway, the hotel staff are great & I would love to visit this hotel again (which I did 3 years later). Great location in the middle of Thamel. 4.5/5
The Address Kathmandu, Thamel – Budget Hotel: The rooms are clean, sleek & spacious. We got 2 rooms as I was traveling with my family. At first glance we really liked the hotel. But during our 2 nights stay there, our feelings changed a bit. The fridge in both the rooms were broken and the staff seemed a bit cold – nothing serious though. The location is in an convenient location in Thamel. If you want halal food, there is one restaurant right across the street. 3/5
Hotel Gangjong, Lazimpat – Mid Range Hotel: My wife and I stayed in this hotel during our first trip abroad. We were young, full of excitement & we absolutely loved this hotel. Back then we didn’t “know” about Thamel & ended up booking this hotel which is a little farther away. As a result we burnt a few hundred of rupees on Taxis whenever we needed to go dining or shopping. Now that I think about it, the hotel itself was “okay”. We stayed in a big enough clean room with city view. Being away from all the hustle of Thamel was great for sleep too. The hotel had 24 hour power supply & the buffet breakfast was good. But there are cheaper options in Thamel. 4/5
Kasthamandap Boutique Hotel – Mid-High Range: This small hotel was very delightful. The staff was very friendly, rooms were beautiful and breakfast was small but buffet! We loved how the walls in the rooms had landscapes painted into them. It really brought the boutique feel to the rooms. But it was most expensive of the 4 listed here. I think I paid 3500 rupees per night here (2017).
I hope you will have a great time in Nepal. Lastly I would like to say that hotels actually don’t matter. Kathmandu is a lovely city. Nepal is a lovely country. Just keep and open mind and enjoy!