Nice hotel, poor customer service - cleanliness is average by US standards
My $.02, this place should be redecorated and renamed to the Shanker Palace or something. It has a lot of potential. Yes, this is a fomer palace. The hotel and the grounds are palatial. The decor in the lobby and the walkways are exotic woodwork. You won't get this anywhere else in Kathmandu. The location is nice and is located away from the road construction and noise and the dust. The hotel management was really good with emails and we made all the reservations through emails. They offered a better deal if you booked directly through them with airport transfers etc.
The breakfast spread was the biggest I've ever seen. The menu is different everyday and the food quality was good. The best upma and chole bhature in town. Even the Nepali version of quesadillas were great (parathas with cheese). The hotel even packs a boxed breakfast if you have an early flight. The hotel staff makes you feel royal. From the person who opens the door for you to the room service folks, everyone greets you when they see you.
No issue with power cuts, heat or A/C. The hotel always had power and went to backup generator when you lost power. The hotel is safe - we had 4 bags in their 'cloak room' for 4 days and had no issues.
We arrived at 8am after an international red-eye flight with small kids. We were shocked that the room was not ready for us after an overnight flight. The front desk guy 'Ramesh' with the Nepali hat would not give us the room saying checkin time is noon! I tried to convince him multiple times and even offered to pay extra for an early checkin. You could see that he was lying that rooms were overbooked. Such poor customer service -- such folks should be fired (if he is not part of the family run business). Leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Our family of four were sleeping on the lobby couches before we were given the room.
The rooms were small and we upgraded to the 'suite' for almost $40 more. The welcome drinks and gifts were a nice touch. The rooms have seen better days and in need for an overhaul. The rooms were dusty with musty odor (no vent in the bathrooms). We asked the room service to clean and mop the room.
Kathmandu has a myriad of hotel options (from $8 rooms to $500 rooms). Personally, we didn't stay in Thamel thinking it would be dirty/dusty. Thamel turned out to be surprisingly nice and bustling part of Kathmandu. I would pick up a nice hotel in Thamel the next time I'm in Kathmandu. For $100/night, I don't think Shanker was worth it.
- 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