A Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

A Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

A couple of weekends ago I got the chance to stay at the lovely Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, a five-star hotel in the Boudhanath neighbourhood. Aside from the luxury, I was happy to explore Boudha a little bit more, as it’s a part of the city that I haven’t spent much time in. I wrote about the weekend on Inside Himalayas. You can read the full article on the site, or an extract below. You can also read my review of the Club Oasis Spa here. “Although most visitors to Kathmandu opt to stay in Thamel—the central neighbourhood full of travel companies, hotels, souvenir shops and restaurants—a calmer alternative is Boudhanath, or Boudha for short. The area is known especially as a Tibetan enclave. The Boudhanath stupa is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist site outside of Tibet itself, and has been a pilgrimage site for centuries. Although the golden pinnacle was damaged in the 2015 earthquake, swift fundraising within the local and international Tibetan community meant that restoration was complete by the end of 2016. In November 2016, a grand re-consecration ceremony was held, which was an important day for Tibetan and Nepali Buddhists. While there are accommodation options in Boudha to suit all budgets, a stay at the Hyatt Regency Hotel is a real treat, and worth the 5-star price tag. A great thing about this luxury hotel is that its range of facilities provide a full experience, rather than just a comfortable night’s sleep. As well as the 280 elegant,…

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Club Oasis at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu: Spa Review

I love a good massage, but I’m currently pregnant and that makes the usual therapies uncomfortable or impossible. Yes, ‘pregnancy massage’ is a thing that exists, but I haven’t found a good one in Kathmandu. So, last weekend when staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Boudhanath, I opted for a couple of other treatments instead: a pedicure and a facial. I’ve been to a few spas in Kathmandu, and think they can be divided into two categories: luxury spas, and those that offer good, affordable, reliable treatments but are a little rough around the edges with the decor. Club Oasis is definitely, definitely in the luxury category. The ambience is calm with candlelight and the sound of running water, the facilities and accessories are spotless, and the staff knowledgeable and attentive. I started with a pedicure. I mentioned that I’m pregnant? Well, I can no longer reach my feet, so there’d been a bit of neglect down there (not something I’m proud to admit, considering I once boasted a 75-nail-polish strong collection). The 45-minute treatment started with removing the remnants of my old polish, a foot soak, and then exfoliation and massage, before trimming and painting my nails. The selection of polish colours was good, and I chose a sparkly pink-gold. While I enjoyed the treatment, I always feel a little put out receiving a spa treatment that I could have done myself at home. My feet felt (and looked) better afterwards, but there was no real heel scrubbing,…

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Day Hikes in Lower Mustang

Day Hikes in Lower Mustang

I’d been wanting to travel to the Mustang region of Nepal for a long time. It’s an ethnically and culturally Tibetan region of Nepal, north of Pokhara and the Annapurnas, that sits in the rain-shadow of the Himalayas. This last year I’ve really gotten my fill of Tibet and little-Tibets, with my trips to Ladakh in India and Tibet itself in China, but Mustang and its $500 permit still eluded me. However, it’s only Upper Mustang for which you have to pay the pricey permit. Lower Mustang (the area around Jomsom, Kagbeni and Muktinath) is accessible and, while not completely permit free, much much cheaper. Thanks to Inside Himalayas and Redhouse Lodge Kagbeni, I travelled to Lower Mustang in February. I flew from Pokhara to Jomsom, an easy 30 minutes through the mountains, rather than go overland via Beni, a trip that would’ve taken around 10 hours. Most people visit Lower Mustang on the way through to Upper Mustang, while on the Muktinath trek/pilgrimage or as part of the Annapurna Circuit trek. But, as I found out, it’s a worthy destination in its own right. I wrote about day hikes around Lower Mustang for Kimkim.com. Check out the full article here, or read on for an extract. Day hikes in Lower Mustang “The Lower Mustang region of Nepal sits on both the classic Annapurna Circuit and is on the way to mysterious Upper Mustang, but it deserves more attention as a destination in its own right. Spending four days to…

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Nepal Insider Guides on World Nomads

Nepal Insider Guides on World Nomads

A few months ago I wrote a series of articles for World Nomads. While World Nomads is a travel insurance company (which I have used quite a lot in the past), they also have a growing travel website, with useful articles on a wide range of destinations. While they do have a lot of articles on staying safe while travelling (so you don’t have to claim on that insurance!) there’s also a lot more practical destination info there too. They specialise in ‘insider guides’ to destinations, and have just published their Nepal insider guides. I am one of their insiders! Here’s a list of the articles I wrote for them, so you can check out whichever may be of interest. 10 Temples and Cultural Landscapes You Must See in Nepal 7 Whitewater Rafting Trips in Nepal for Every Level 8 Incredible Safari Adventures You Must See in Nepal Top National Parks for Adventure Travelers in Nepal 6 Day Trips from Pokhara You Won’t Regret 8 Nepali Festivals Every Traveler Should Experience Why Nepal is the Next Ecotourism Hotspot  

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The Hardest Trek in Nepal: Dhaulagiri Circuit

I’m putting this trek in my “so hard I probably won’t ever do it” basket. But nevertheless, the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek was an interesting one to research and write about. The eighteen-day trek around Dhaulagiri (8167 metres) gets up to some high altitudes (over 5000 metres) and requires trekking through snow, as well as camping in it, even during the warm seasons. Due to its difficulty it’s not an exceptionally popular route. But it does sound like a good challenge for those who are very fit, very experienced trekkers who want to try something different. I wrote this article recently for Kimkim. Read an extract below, or the full article on Kimkim. Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: One of Nepal’s Most Challenging Treks The Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is challenging, and a real adventure for experienced trekkers who are looking for an expedition-like experience. From farming villages in the Himalayan foothills to high alpine pastures, uninhabited valleys and close-up views of several peaks over 8,000 meter, this circuit trek is breathtaking and exciting at every stage. Trek Overview Starting in Beni (a two-three hour drive from Pokhara), the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is a rugged, high-altitude camping trek in one of the lesser-visited areas of the Annapurna Himalayas. The first few days follow the Myagdi Khola River to the Chhonbardan Glacier, at the foot of Dhaulagiri. The landscape changes from tended farmland to barren, often snow-covered rocky mountains, all with views of Dhaulagiri and other Himalayan giants ahead. As you get higher, the predominantly…

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