Trekking over christmas at the edge of kathmandu, Nepal - Dec 26 - Dec 28, 2016

Traveler: Linda F. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

hi there: Our guide and porters were excellent! The first night accommodation was 1 star and that's being generous. I was under the impression that it was going to be a 3 star. Apparently our family of 7 cost $20 USD total to stay there, which is no surprise, as camping would have been more glamorous. I don't know why the tour company went so cheap on us, obviously to save money, but it wasn't fair, given we weren't told we were going to be in a 1 star of less, and if I had known this, I would not have booked with this company, as all the others who I inquired with were all going to put us in 3 star for the same price. The second night accommodation was HORRIBLE and would be given a negative 3 star rating! My family all said (and that's our 5 kids) that it was the WORST place we had ever stayed. There was vomit filling the bathroom sink when we arrived and no one cleaned it until I complained. The kitchen facilities were SO dirty, I refused to have food cooked in it for dinner, and instead bought chocolate bars down the street for my kids to eat. The food for that night was supposed to be included. We ended up paying for it ourselves. Breakfast left us no option but to eat white toast and have a few hard boiled eggs each. It was so disappointing. The beds had dirty sheets on all beds, and the toilet did not flush. There was no running water in the sink for brushing our teeth or cleaning up. Like the first night, our sleep was freezing cold, like we were camping outside. Windows were broken, or didn't shut properly. We could see our breath while eating our breakfast and dinner on both nights. For the price we payed to do this trip, we were ripped off. The third night was the only night that was acceptable with a proper three star hotel. Honestly, if the trip company we were introduced to through your sight told us we would be in 1 or negative star ratings for the first two nights, we would have gone with another company. As I said, the guides were excellent, helpful and very personable, and the last night of our stay was great, but the first two nights really left me no choice but to NOT recommend this company to any of my many, many expat friends. We were NOT satisfied, and very uncomfortable in our stay for the first two nights, and feared for food poisoning, catching a disease from the uncleanliness of the second place, with the vomit, other body fluids present, dirty bed sheets, as well as general uncleanliness. (cigarette burns in carpet, non functioning toilet ( already soiled when we got there) and non functioning water taps in our bathroom sink. Please understand as diplomats, a 3 star rating is a minimum, and if we had wanted to stay in a hovel, we would not have gone with this company in the first place. Though they get an A + on service on a personal level, the accommodations on the first two nights were completely , and utterly NOT acceptable and the second night, completely disgusting in all respects.

Raj was amazing. He hosted us lunch at the office, gave us t-shirts, took us to an outlet store to buy gear and arranged safe transportation, gave us his best guide ( wonderful!) and great porters, the first two nights accommodations were - first - 1 star and second night, - negative 3 star rating, as in "we wanted to leave, but were stranded" and no choice but to stay. I felt like I was a hostage.