Finding a great and comfortable hotel in Thamel, Kathmandu can be quite hard. True, Thamel is indeed the main tourist area of Kathmandu, but it may be said that standards for hotels in Nepal are definitely not the same as those in The West – or even in other parts of Asia.
As the country is mostly visited by backpackers and hikers who are happy to stay in a $5 dollar room, the tourist industry is geared towards those tourists and their needs. We found that, while we are very happy to rough it, we wanted something a bit nicer for our first big holiday abroad since we moved to Dubai.
We stayed in a cheap hostel during our trip to Lebanon and wanted something comfortable, something nice.
We found two great hotels: Kathmandu Home Hotel and Nepal Pavilion Inn which were both located in the heart of Thamel. I will very happily write a review about these two hotels, but in this post I will only look at hotels with a score of 9/10 or higher.
As you might know: for my hotel write ups I look at reviews on several websites and I look at pictures on Google Maps as the pictures on hotel booking websites might not always tell the whole story (there’s a story behind this, but that’s not for now!)
So here are the 5 best hotels and hostels to stay at in Thamel, Kathmandu!
Hotel Jampa is the hotel Joshua and I wanted to book first – but it was completely booked. Jampa is located on a nice and calm street in the middle of Thamel. The rooms look very clean – both on the hotel booking sites and on Google Maps.
I am a sucker for 1-star reviews because that is where the gossip is! I literally could not find a single 1-star review for Hotel Jampa (which means a lot on the world wide web).
Guests mostly comment on the rooms being spacious, the staff being very polite and the great location of Hotel Jampa. I also noticed that the breakfast looks amazing. It is not always very easy to get a good hotel breakfast in Kathmandu, but the breakfast at Hotel Jampa looks delicious.
Next time I visit Kathmandu I would stay at the Nepal Cottage Resort. Hands down. Joshua and I walked past this hotel and we were in awe by how quiet it was. Let me tell you that getting a hotel on the busy street (Hello Oyo!) is not always a great idea. In fact: it is an incredibly stupid thing to do.
Thamel is not only the spot where tourists stay, it is also the place to party for locals. One of the hotels we stayed at was directly opposite a night club and I can tell you that it was rather uncomfortable!
Nepal Cottage Resort is a collection of nice rooms in bungalow style buildings with a nice and big green garden in the middle. It literally is an oasis of rest. I would say that the rooms do not look as nice as those at Hotel Jampa, but the beautiful garden and the possibility to enjoy a pint of Ghurka beer in the garden makes up for a lot.
Another thing Nepal Cottage Resort has going for it are the bathrooms. People who often travel to Asia will know that – unlike in The West, bathrooms are often not equipped with a shower and serve more as a wetroom (you literally have to keep your toilet paper outside of your bathroom!). Although the bathroom of Nepal Cottage Resort also is a wetroom, there is a curtain to keep the water from literally going everywhere!
Looking at the bad reviews for the hotel, there was one 1 star review with no explanation. Other 3-5 star reviews talked about the rudeness of the staff and the breakfast not being impressive.
I have to say that breakfast in Kathmandu hotels – especially in Thamel, will never really be great. Even the 4 star hotel we stayed in when our flight was cancelled had breakfast that was okay but not very great.
When looking through the 10 star reviews I note that these are commenting on how amazing staff and breakfast are and that these reviews are massively outnumbering the 5 reviews that gave a rating of 3 to 5.
If only Joshua and I had the money…
Apsara Boutique Hotel is absolutely beautiful (to Nepali standards). Not only is the view from the rooftop terrace and restaurant to die for, they actually have a bath in the room!
Like I said before: most hotels will have a shower in a wetroom. Having a bath in your hotel is like super de luxe! I love taking baths and I honestly missed doing so when travelling to Nepal. Especially since we walked so much and I would have loved to give my muscles a break in a steaming hot bath.
Another thing this hotel has going for it is the fact that it actually has elevators! Yes! Elevators. In the two hotels we stayed at we literally had to go up and down 5 floors to our room – and the day after a massive hiking trip that can be very difficult (I was walking like a penguin, guys!)
Looking at images made by customers I can say that the rooms look just like the rooms advertised on booking websites and that – again – the view is absolutely breath-taking.
One guest gave a 1-star review saying that the rooms were not as described, the location was poor and the food was disgusting.
I can already tell you that, looking at the map and having a decent understanding of Thamel, that the location is great! Especially when you want to discover Kathmandu by taxi. Just crossen Lekath Marg will allow you to bargain down the price of taxi’s more than when you would hail a cab in Thamel.
Here again: the people saying that this hotel is absolutely amazing (10 stars) outnumbers the one complainer massively.
Kumari Boutique Hotel has a 9.6 score over more than 750 reviews which probably makes this one of the best reviewed hotels in Thamel.
The rooms look spacious and the massive windows let in a lot of light. Looking at the pictures uploaded to Google by guests I can say that the rooms look exactly as advertised and that the breakfast looks delicious!
They serve a buffet breakfast with lots of different kinds of food – European and local, to choose from.
Although the views and the terrace at Kumari Boutique Hotel might not be as good as Apsara’s, you will pay a lot less.
Looking at reviews I can happily tell you that there are no reviews under 5 points and that the lionshare of the reviews ( 659 of 757 – 23/04/2019) is 9 + points!
Hotel Roadhouse is another one of my favourite stays in Kathmandu. It perfectly combines Western design and décor with a true Nepali feel and Nepali hospitality.
I absolutely love the white and airy look of the rooms. I would say that if you are looking for a more or less western experience in the middle of Thamel Kathmandu you should book Hotel Roadhouse.
The bathroom looks very luxurious and I would actually say that if you come back from a trecking trip and you want to rest out in Kathmandu, this might be the hotel for you. It provides you with all comfort you need in a great and quiet setting.