Located off the dusty main road of the Boudha district of Kathmandu, a stone’s throw from Boudhanath Stupa and inside walled grounds, sits Hotel Tibet International, a lap of high rise luxury. I had the pleasure to spend three nights here, while attending the Himalayan Travel Mart Conference and it was an experience which made me want to stay longer!
Hotel Tibet International
There’s a lot to like about Hotel Tibet International, so I’ll try my best to be critical. This five-star business luxury hotel is like the Nepali version of a Sheraton. Its rooms have an international feel to it with little flourishes of Tibetan influence and craft. Unlike its sister Hotel Tibet in Lazimpat, where I stayed when I first arrived in Kathmandu, it has a more professional business quality style than it does a personal and local charm. Some travelers prefer either one or the other in a hotel, but I like both.
The hotel is different from its surrounding environment of Boudha. Boudha can appear straggly with the dirt roads and dust, but it’s almost as if the hotel is a fortress, trapping all that seemingly chaos outside. Immediately, my blood pressure felt like it dropped the moment the taxi rolled into the driveway.
Luxury Comfort Being the bigger sister of Hotel Tibet in Lazimpat (read my review), Hotel Tibet International commits to luxury over boutique.
Spacious Rooms with air conditioning are ideal for refreshment on Nepal’s hot and humid days.
Classic & Modern Style : Unlike the charming coziness of its boutique sister, Hotel Tibet International has a classic and western business style with a touch of cultural class to accommodate every type of traveler.
Excellent Location: Located in Boudha, the hotel is 5 minutes from the sacred giantess, Boudhanath Stupa (I could see the top of the stupa from my room window!).
Complimentary Water One thing that stood out to me is that the hotel is generous with bottled water. You might be able to boil water to make tea in your room, but you cannot drink tap water straight in Nepal. This is one of the few hotels which offers complimentary liter-sized bottles of water. Thumbs up!
I loved my room design. It was minimal and elegant with a touch of charming Tibetan tapestry and decor. There were wooden floors (I’m not a fan of carpets where I can’t see the dirt) with a dash of a carpet to create the idea I had a mini sitting room. My room even opened to a view of the Boudhanath Stupa. Unfortunately, some construction stood in the way. So if you get my room next year, then you should have a great view.
I think the photo says it all.
You have dining options near Boudhanath Stupa or you can take your meals in your hotel.
Shangri La Kitchen on the hotel’s second floor serves Tibetan and Chinese cuisine, with a bit of continental flavor. They serve a simple continental breakfast with egg option or fruits.
Shambhala Tea Garden is an outdoor cafe patio serving a small breakfast buffet. I preferred eating here as its outdoors, tranquil and the buffet is humble but presents more options than the hotel restaurant. Ironically, the breakfast buffet here was nowhere near the large spread of its smaller sister counterpart, Hotel Tibet in Lazimpat.
Private dining rooms with karaoke sets are also available.
Service & Amenities
Haven’t had much chance to use its service. The one time I tried, there were many foreign travelers clamoring the receptionist with questions and I think the receptionist was hoping I’d leave so she could deal with whatever the mess was. So I eventually left and tried sourcing the information elsewhere. Hospitality isn’t as personal or friendly as with Hotel Tibet Lazimpat, but takes a more impersonal business attitude as you would get with western hotels.
Airport transport is available through the hotel at a fee; they contact a taxi pickup for you.
Shambhala Spa offers massage and rejuvenation.
Carpet Showroom showcasing a large variety of fine, hand -wove, pure Tibetan wool carpets. Some are mixed with silk.
When I first arrived into the Boudha neighborhood, I was underwhelmed. The main road was in such disrepair, kicking up dust and dirt everywhere and the hotel was undergoing construction, so you can’t see it from the road.. Occasional resident cows parked in the middle of sidewalks or roads, along with dogs. The streets are lined with apparel shops, a (the equivalent of 7Eleven)
But Boudha is much larger than one road and even that road had character, reminiscent of the wild wild west feel of Leh. Boudha has a large Buddhist/ monk community and Tibetan cafes, hidden in smaller streets surrounding Boudhanath Stupa. The hotel offers a welcome springboard to exploring the nearby community a little more.
10-minute drive from Pashupatinath Temple and Kathmandu International Airport.
Disclaimer: I received a three-night complimentary stay in order to do this review. As always, all thoughts expressed in this article are fully my own.
Watch my video experience
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