The following accommodations are scattered all over the Kathmandu Valley, including places outside the city limits. Many of the best options are in and around Thamel. It's a touristy area, but it's a convenient place to base yourself: it's close to tour offices, shops, restaurants, nightlife, and several other points of interest. That said, if you're looking for a quieter night's sleep, consider a hotel elsewhere in the city, like Patan, Budhanilkantha, Boudha, or Bhaktapur.
The number of boutique hotels in Kathmandu is growing, especially in Patan. These hotels often combine the ancient woodworking traditions of the Newar culture with the modern comforts of other boutique hotels around the world. Many heritage buildings have been carefully renovated and transformed into elegant rooms. See a complete list of the best boutique hotels in Kathmandu.
1905 Suites, Naag Pokhari area
The four rooms at 1905 Suites are located in a restored historic building that dates from 1888. The spacious rooms are bright and airy, with natural wooden floors and white linens. The hotel is attached to an indoor-outdoor restaurant that specializes in international food made with local produce. 1905 is located in an upmarket residential part of Kathmandu, behind the eastern wall of the Narayanhiti Palace and near the peaceful Naag Pokhari. It's about a 20-minute walk from Thamel. If you happen to be at the hotel on a weekend, don't miss the Saturday morning farmers' market in the neighborhood.
Thamel Villa, Thamel
Thamel Villa is a newly opened boutique hotel in the heart of Thamel, an area better known for its budget rooms than beautifully renovated villas. It's an ideal option for travelers who'd like to be based in the neighborhood, but who also want the refinement of a boutique hotel. The building was once a palace belonging to Bahadur Shumsher Rana, the son of a Prime Minister, and was one of the first Victorian-style buildings in Nepal. The rooms are beautifully decorated with wooden floors and beams, exposed brick walls, classic furniture, and both traditional and modern artworks and artifacts.
Baber Mahal Vilas, Singha Durbar Area
The Baber Mahal Revisitedcomplex is a renovated Rana-era palace that has long been known as a venue for some of the finest food and shopping in Kathmandu. In 2016, doors opened at the newly added Baber Mahal Vilas boutique hotel. These stylish rooms are furnished and decorated according to various themes, including Victorian era, Buddhist-inspired, and Newari-style. The exterior also reflects various Nepali traditions, with ornate Neo-Classicism in some parts, and solid structures making a nod to Mustang-style architecture in others. While Baber Mahal Vilas is located in a somewhat out-of-the-way location near the Singha Durbar Palace, there are plenty of nearby dining and shopping options in the Baber Mahal Revisited complex.
Dwarika's Hotel, Pashupatinath & Dwarika's Resort Dhulikhel
The original Dwarika's Hotel in Kathmandu is one of the finest hotels in Nepal. It has the distinction of not being an international chain: it's Nepali through and through. The owner founded it in the 1960s as a way to help preserve and reinvigorate the traditional Nepali craft industry. Decades later, it's a living museum of Nepali crafts, and each room is full of individual artworks and antiques. It's located on a busy road near the Pashupatinath Temple.
90 minutes' drive from central Kathmandu, Dwarika's Resort Dhulikhel takes the luxury and elegance of the original hotel and puts it in the hills just outside the valley. There are stunning mountain views from the outdoor areas, and sunsets are particularly memorable as they light up the snow-capped Himalayas.
Gokarna Forest Resort
Gokarna Forest Resort is located within a 470-acre forest that was once the private hunting playground of Nepali kings. It's about a 20-minute drive from central Kathmandu. The resort is surrounded by one of Nepal's only golf courses, as well as a large protected forest where you can see monkeys, deer, and even leopards if you're lucky. Rooms have large windows that look out over the forest and golf course. There's an onsite spa, pool, gym, and sauna. Guided walks can be arranged around the forest, or you can go on an excursion to a nearby temple.
Himalayan Height Resort, Hattiban
For an affordable resort getaway in the hills, check out Hattiban Resort in the south of the Kathmandu Valley. It is part of the Everest Summit Lodges group, that have beautiful lodges throughout the Everest region for a comfortable accommodation option while trekking. The resort is peaceful as it's surrounded by pine forest. There are good views of Kathmandu below and the Himalaya, behind the northern edge of the valley. Accommodation is in individual cottages, and there's a spa and sauna facilities.
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Shechen Guest House, Boudhanath
Shechen Guest House is attached to the Shechen Monastery, which is located in the back lanes of the Boudha neighborhood. All rooms have attached bathrooms and face the monastery's pretty gardens. There's a good vegetarian restaurant onsite, Rabsel Café, that serves delicious and healthy food. The rooms don't have views of Boudhanath Stupa, but the quality of the rooms and service is higher than many hotels that feature stupa views.
Kathmandu Guest House, Thamel
Kathmandu Guest House is a legendary hotel in the heart of Thamel. It's been around as long as tourists have been coming to Nepal. Its key feature is its large garden with lounge chairs: a perfect place for relaxing and planning the next day's adventures. It's located right in the center of Thamel, but it's easy to forget that when you're inside, as it's set quite far back from the main road. Rooms overlook the garden, and many have brightly painted walls and other quirky accents.
Hotel Manaslu, Lazimpat
Another classic hotel founded in 1972, Hotel Manaslu appeals to travelers who like classic Nepali design. The interior is decorated with lots of carved dark wood that's reminiscent of traditional Newari carving. There's an inviting swimming pool in the garden. It's located in a quiet neighborhood off Lazimpat Road, a 20-minute walk or 10-minute taxi ride north of Thamel.
Shivapuri Heights Cottages, Budhanilkantha
About 20 minutes' drive north of central Kathmandu is the beautiful and welcoming Shivapuri Heights Cottage. While the location is a bit far from central Kathmandu, it's an easy drive to get there and there are plenty more peaceful attractions in the vicinity, such as the Shivapuri National Park and the Shiva temple at Budhanilkantha. You'll enjoy superb views across the city and excellent home-cooked food is served on the terrace or in the cozy dining room.
For more places to stay around the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley, see our complete list of recommendations.
Cheap & Cheerful Hotels
Sometimes you just need a place to stay that's clean and affordable. The following options meet those criteria, and unlike many inexpensive options around town, they also offer good service and a bit of extra charm. Save your rupees for something else—like shopping or dining out in Kathmandu—and check into one of these budget-friendly hotels.
Hotel Ganesh Himal, Thamel
Rooms at Hotel Ganesh Himal are simple but attractive, with lots of natural wood accents and a minimalist vibe. The hotel has been operational since 1977, so some parts of the property feel slightly outdated. But the hotel also features a new wing with more expensive rooms. And it has an appealing garden space for guests that's missing at many area hotels in a similar price range.
This hotel is located just southwest of Thamel: it's an easy walk there. Note that some of the more expensive rooms fall within the mid-range, both in terms of price and quality.
Hotel Vajra, Swayambhunath
Hotel Vajra is another affordable option with leafy gardens and several pleasant common areas, including a library and a rooftop terrace with views over Kathmandu. One of the main perks is the location: it's situated on the way to Swayambhunath Stupa, a major tourist attraction that's just a short walk away from the hotel. Conveniently, Hotel Vajra is also just a short taxi ride or moderate walk through a mainly residential area to Thamel, so it's not far from restaurants, nightlife, shops, and tourist offices. Being a little farther from the tourist hub means it's much more peaceful, with no noisy nightclubs to disturb your sleep. If you're on a strict budget, opt for a room with a shared bathroom. But be aware that some of the more expensive rooms could be considered mid-range.
Homestays & Farm Stays
Staying in a local home or farm is a quick way to have an unforgettable cultural experience. Accommodations are basic, but you're here for the conversations around the kitchen table, not the in-room amenities.
Herb Nepal, Bhaktapur
For a down-to-earth farm stay experience near Kathmandu, try Herb Nepal. This organic farm in Bhaktapur offers simple overnight accommodations (and farm-to-table meals) as well as agricultural training and workshops. The staff works with Nepali farmers to bring organic, sustainable land-use, and herbal processing back into poor rural communities. The accommodations were constructed with a natural building technique called "Rammed Earth"—built to be eco-friendly, durable, and earthquake resilient.
Community Homestay Patan
Community Homestay arranges homestays at various places around Nepal. It's a win-win for hosts and travelers alike: homestays are run by local cooperatives of women who open up spare rooms in their houses for paying guests. Hosts receive training, education, and an independent income. Travelers can enjoy a real homestay experience, learning how to cook Nepali food with their hosts, going on sightseeing walks with them, and participating in a range of different experiences. In Kathmandu, there are several of these homestays in the old parts of Patan. While the accommodation is not luxurious, it is comfortable and clean, and each home is unique.
You could also consider staying in an Airbnb, with a wider selection of rooms and locations becoming slowly more available in Kathmandu. Keep a close eye out on which part of the Kathmandu Valley your place is in when selecting your Airbnb, though, as you'll still want something that is convenient for accessing Kathmandu's main sites and restaurants. For a list of our favorite places, check out our Top 10 Airbnbs in Kathmandu.