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Kantipur Temple House
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447 - 452 of 870 reviews
Reviewed November 17, 2012

I spent one night here prior to transferring to our group hotel before trekking to Annapurna. It was a pure delight with friendly staff and an atmosphere of peacefulness detached from the noise and bussle of the city. Perfect.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank fernhill54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

We stayed in this hotel for 2 nights before heading out to Pokhara. We're delighted that we can stay here again on our return. The architecture is lovely, the restaurant serves really nice local food and the rooms are really comfortable.

Don't get me wrong this isn't a Hyatt or Hilton, but that's what makes it great.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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1  Thank ChrisGrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

We were very skeptical about staying in Thamel (the touristy part of Kathmandu) since we do our best to avoid contributing to the destruction of native culture that much tourism -- like that in Thamel and along the popular trekking routes in the Himalayas -- inevitably does. However, we waited a bit too late to book a room and, being October which is the peak tourist season, were having trouble finding decent hotels with availability. That's when we came across Kantipur Temple House.

At first, we saw it was in/near Thamel and were going to pass on it, but then we saw the efforts they make to minimize their environmental footprint and protect Nepali culture. This is something we feel strongly about and so this hooked us,Then we found out that they are actually at the very edge of Thamel (actually, Jyatha) and on a quiet street and we were sold. We were really impressed when they actually had availability and so booked a total of 5 nights with them (before and after our trek).

After arriving in Kathmandu on a late night flight after nearly 36 hours of traveling from the US and a sketchy taxi ride, it was a *huge* relief to arrive at the Kantipur Temple House. First, the staff is amazing. Not only are they all incredibly friendly, but they seem to be genuine about it. It seems the owner hires plenty of staff so they aren't over-worked and therefore are not stressed. Everywhere you go around the hotel, there are staff cleaning and organizing or otherwise tending to the guests needs. It's truly impressive.

The first thing you notice when arriving is the incredible Newari architecture of the building and the beautiful grounds. Even though it was only built about 1.5 decades ago, the building looks much older and has exquisite, hand-made details throughout. We were constantly amazed at all the little details in the architecture, especially compared to all the generic, modern buildings made out of shoddy concrete that are being thrown up all over Kathmandu. There is even a sort of Buddhist temple on one side with a huge statue. Very impressive and makes you feel like you are staying somewhere unique and are truly experiencing Nepali culture rather than staying in some nameless, characterless hotel where the management cares about nothing but making some money.

Their environmental efforts are impressive, especially in a country like Nepal which has essentially no such mandated laws and has severe environmental problems. They provide free water for Westerners to drink that isn't bottled (well, it is, but they buy it in huge containers and then distribute it to the individual rooms which is more efficient than just giving out 0.5 or 1 liter bottles). They minimize washing of sheets and towels when the same guest is staying in the room. The serve organic food when possible and even make some of their own (try their jam that they provide for breakfast). The promote other businesses that work to preserve Nepali culture and the environment in the face of development (largely brought in as a result of careless tourism).

The rooms, though on the dark side, were spacious and very clean. The bathrooms, sheets, and towels were also very clean. The cleanliness of the hotel in general is definitely up to Western standards, even exceeding them. Each room is unique, and the beds were extremely comfy. They provide a laundry service (not cheap, though) and the front desk can help you with everything from arranging a cab to recommending places to visit to exchanging your money for Nepali rupees for no fee. Breakfast is included in the room and is outstanding with outdoor seating available in their beautiful gardens. They also have a restaurant which provides outstanding food and drink. The owner can often be found mingling with the guests at breakfast, and we talked to him many times. His awareness of how to run a business is truly impressive, from cleanliness to outstanding customer service to serving organic food to paying attention to the environmental footprint. (By the way, he also owns an outstanding restaurant on the other side of town which serves traditional, organic Newari food to which I *highly* recommend a visit.) We even met his daughter who opened an organic shop right next to his restaurant on the other side of town. All in all, the management of the Kantipur Temple House has definitely figured out the right ingredients to run a successful and sustainable business.

The cons ... as I mentioned, the room are a little dark, but this is hardly something to complain about, especially since it actually helps give the place its unique feel. Regarding the quietude of the location, this has very recently changed for the worse. This past summer, several new high-rise buildings (I think they'll also be hotels) have gone up literally *right* next to the Kantipur Temple House, and they are of the ugly, shoddy concrete type. One literally towers right over the grounds. While we were there in October 2012, they were under construction so were very noisy. We especially noticed the noise while staying on the top (4th) floor. We also stayed on the 2nd floor and it seemed much quieter down there, I think because the walls around the grounds help block some of the noise from the street. But the real issue is that all the development around the Kantipur Temple House means traffic on the street is picking up, and what used to be a year ago essentially a dead-end street with no car traffic (remember, cars and motorcycles *continuously* honk in Nepal) is not getting busier and noisier. We talked to the owner about this and he is very disappointed. He tried to talk to the owners of the new buildings about not building so close and so tall, but there was nothing he could do in the end to stop them. He did say he was going to create a facade/wall on the side of the grounds that literally abuts one of the new hotels, and this should help improve the situation visually and aurally. Also, especially while on the 4th floor room, we could hear the humping and thumping of nearby club music, though faint. However, keep in mind that the area in which the hotel is located is still much quieter than the rest of Thamel. It is, after all, in Jyatha on a side-street rather than a thoroughfare.

They only had one working computer for internet access, but to be honest, I don't go to Nepal to surf the web so this didn't bother me; we only used it to check into our return flight. By the way, they do have free wi-fi throughout the hotel that seemed to work pretty well though we never really used it much.

Another minor complaint was low water pressure in the shower. The water was plenty hot (and plenty of it), but sometimes it seemed like it was barely coming out. We're all about conserving water so its not that we expect raging torrents, but you can get low-flow shower heads that use the same amount of water but with more pressure.

The only other con is the price is a bit steep. My wife and I, after 5 days in the Kantipur Temple House and experiencing a lot of different places in Nepal and Kathmandu, still feel it is worth it and will almost certainly be staying there again if (when!) we go back. But I would like to see them knock $20 off their nightly room rate and maybe a bit off some of their dinner items.

All in all, this place is a gem in Kathmandu. After our 2-week trek, we couldn't wait to get back to the Kantipur Temple House. And we can't wait to go back next time we visit Kathmandu. We can't recommend this place any more strongly. You will be treated like royalty while knowing that you are helping to preserve Nepali culture and minimize your environmental footprint in a country that definitely needs more tourists to take this path.

Jonathan & Sarah, USA

Room Tip: Top 2 floors seem a bit louder since they are higher than the walls and pick up more sound. Check out the owner's other restaurants and tours he runs as part of a larger umbrella organization, all prioritizing preserving Nepali culture and minimizing one's environmental footprint.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jonathan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Hotel was built in Nepalese style and is located in Thamel. Here you can unwind after a hectic day. Great rooms and good breakfast. Very friendly staff too. If it's within your budget, we definitely advise the Kantipur Temple House!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank PetraBulk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We stayed at the Kantipur Temple House on two different visits to Kathmandu--once in September and again in October. We had room 201 in September, and a room on the first floor in October. Both rooms were fine, but we really loved 201 because it was a bit larger, had lovely polished wood floors, a small sitting area, and they brought us two fans to keep us cooled off in the hot weather. The staff was wonderful - helpful always, and even though very busy on our second visit, unfailingly polite and kind. The rooms were clean but simple. Bathrooms had a shower only, with a small sink and a tiny fan but no real window. They were adequate but again, simple. Beds were the usual variety being fairly hard, but the pillows were good and we slept very well. The potential for noise is pretty great because the hotel is built around a central courtyard and rises up 4 or 5 levels. When people were in the courtyard their voices were audible in our room, but everything at night was very quiet.

The Kantipur is a beautiful hotel with a lovely design which looks like a very old house, but was actually built about 14 years ago. There is lovely detailed woodwork, beautiful tiles and a quiet garden. The hotel is behind one of the main Thamel streets and very quiet with almost no traffic. The front garden and courtyard afford great privacy. We always felt safe in the hotel and in the surrounding streets as well. Thamel is a noisy, busy place with lots of construction, traffic, pedestrians, rickshaws, taxis, buses, trucks, bicycles, etc. The Kantipur Temple House is serene and quiet by comparison. The only drawback for us was the lack of an elevator, but the stairs were not steep and all our luggage was carried up when we arrived and down when we left which was a big help. There is some construction going on but we were out exploring during the day and were not bothered by this.

Breakfast is served buffet style and includes cereals, cheeses, breads, toast, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and eggs cooked to order, as well as bacon, ham and sausages. There were three different types of fresh juice. The hotel provides drinking water and encourages guests to fill up their own drinking thermos rather than bring in plastic bottles. There is a real awareness here of sound ecological practices. I also enjoyed the young cat that lives in the front garden. She had a piece of bacon from me every morning as a reward for her polite behavior. We ate in the restaurant of the hotel twice and found the food to be very delicious and very inexpensive - a wonderful combination.

Considering the price and location of this hotel, the attractive architecture and details of construction, the friendly and helpful staff, I don't think you could do much better in Kathmandu. We were able to walk to almost everything in the center city and found people to be friendly and kind without exception. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Dedphred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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