I arrived at 06.00am at New Delhi airport from Helsinki to take a fast taxi to the hotel before the morning rush. As a Finnish passport holder a visa on arrival is possible but only 60 days after the last visit. I did not know that when I had agreed to meet a friend in Delhi on my way to Bangkok. The passport officers kindly ordered me back to Finland or to Kathmandu where I could get a visa! So I jumped on a plane to Nepal at midday and arrived under clear blue skies to this very dusty but intriguing small city. I had seen that the Shanker was well regarded by Tripadvisor and that they offered a 60% discount on last minute deals on their website. I could have got a USD10 deal for Madhuban Guest House that my neighbor enthused about but I wanted to be sure of sleeping well that one night.
And that I did! The hotel is certainly from the old world but the gardens are green and well kept. The older staff are really traditional colonial style polite people who treat all guests like VIP's. The younger staff were modern and friendly - unlike the older staff members they did not salute me each time I past. The reception was very helpful on arrival. The room was a touch tired with dark surfaces but everything worked well including Internet.
The restaurant was fun and had a big menu of good dishes. The bar was the best part - small an intimate where you could chat with others and enjoy a good meal and drink.
The next morning I got my visa at the Indian Embassy - that's another story - but it is worth mentioning that Shankers is near this embassy and right next door to the embassy is a small agency that can make the application and physically apply for and deliver all the documents on your behalf so you do not have to wait around all day in the queues.
The hotel is near Tummel- the big market - getting thereon foot is just 10 minutes - but at night this is tricky because there are no street lights!
One night in the Shanker was great - the gardens and the pool are exactly as they are photographed...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Shanker, Kathmandu is a heritage hotel, housed in a 19th-century palace in the heart of Kathmandu city. It was the royal residence of the rulers of Nepal, from 1894 until 1964, when it was converted into a hotel. The facade and traditions were kept intact but the interiors were redesigned to give travelers the kind of comfort they'd expect of a world class hotel. The hotel is characterized by exquisite and authentic objects d'art. For example, the carved windows displayed in the lobby bar are over 200 years old. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shanker Hotel Kathmandu