Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is a large metropolis. Not only does it have a vibrant culture and art scene, Kathmandu is the gateway to trekking Mount Everest, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. I discovered the best place to stay in Kathmandu this year when I found Hotel Shanker, upon the recommendation of our local guide. We stayed for 3 nights and had the most relaxing experience.
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Hotel Shanker is located on Lazimpat Road, just outside of the main tourist attractions like Thamel and Durbar Marg. A 5 minutes drive/taxi ride will bring you to the heart of the city. You can also walk, but taxi is quite cheap and worth it for avoiding the heat and dusty roads. The hotel is also right next to the Narayanhiti Royal Palace Museum, which we regrettably did not explore. Overall, we really like the location. It is away from the hustle and bustle yet convenient enough to get around.
We got the standard room during our stay. It honestly felt more like a deluxe room. The room is spacious and the king size bed is super comfortable. Especially after our intense 9 days trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, we slept like babies in the bed. The other highlight is the hot shower in the bathroom. The shower head had good water pressure which I really liked. I am quite picky about this, I must admit. If we ever get the chance to stay at Hotel Shanker again, I definitely would like to stay in their actual deluxe suite, which looks stunning in photos.
Hotel Shanker is one of the oldest hotels in Kathmandu. However, it is maintained extremely well. The entrance lobby looked like the palace of my dream. I loved the white columns, the pretty chandeliers, and fresh flowers decorations. The hallways are adorned with many paintings showcasing Nepalese culture.
Outside the building is a tranquil garden and the hotel pool. For us, many hours were spent here. There are lounge chairs by the pool as well as changerooms, a bar and towel services. I recommend coming in the morning for an enjoyable swim with the whole pool to yourself.
Shanker also has a lovely spa that we took full advantage of. I tried the swedish massage while my partner got the aroma therapy. It is $60 each but you get 30% off if booked before 2 pm. The masseuses were really professional and helped ease the tension in our sore post-hike muscles. Alan liked it so much that he went back for another treatment before we left Kathmandu.
The breakfast buffet is a grand feast featuring everything from Nepalese, to Asian, to Continental cuisine. Everyday, we ate our weights in pastries, curry, roti, cheeses, fruits, and everything in between. (I know…We mix foods. We are gross) There is also an egg bar where the chef can whip you up a fresh omelette or even an egg benedict.
Lunch and dinner are not included in the price. You can choose between paying for the buffet or ordering a la carte. We got the lunch buffet once and was not very impressed. The selection is significantly smaller than breakfast. So I would suggest getting a la carte instead. The grilled salmon and greek salad were probably our favorites. If ordering them two times in 3 days is any proof.
You can also indulge in the room service for NO EXTRA CHARGE. This was a surprise to me. I don’t usually get room service under the impression that they are expensive. But after taking a look at the menu in our room at Shanker, we realized that it’s free. So for the first time ever, I had dinner in bed and felt so spoiled.
The Shanker staff are very friendly. We had a very smiley Nepalese grandpa who would always greet us at the door. It’s possible to be served in English or Hindi (and Chinese apparently! I should have investigated that more). And the ground security makes the property feel very safe.
Best place to stay in Kathmandu – Hotel Shanker
Overall Rating 9/10
Other things we liked about Hotel Shanker include the reliable WIFI (Again, it felt like heaven after having no connections for days while we were in the mountains), the prompt room cleaning everyday, and just the staff’s attention to details. Lastly, the price is really a steal for how exceptional the overall experience is. After our time here, we agreed with our local guide that Hotel Shanker is the best place to stay in Kathmandu and we highly recommend it to anyone visiting the city.