Stare at the soaring peaks of Nepal’s most famous mountains from your own private terrace – or the edge of the serene infinity pool – at boutique hotel The Pavilions Himalayas. This eco-conscious stay near Pokhara takes pride in giving back to the community, offers guided yoga sessions and harvests grown-on-site ingredients for its mountain-view restaurant. You’ll have your pick of Himalayan hiking trails to wander down and temples to marvel at. Prefer a bit of pampering? Down to the spa for ayurvedic treatments you go. Tell your friends you’re following in Edmund Hillary’s footsteps; we won’t say a word…
Get this when you book through us:
A four-course Nepalese dinner for two (excluding drinks) on the day you arrive
Noon; earliest check-in, 2pm. Both times are flexible, at an extra charge, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £141.30 ($194), including tax at 24.3 per cent.
Rates include à la carte breakfast: choose from farm-fresh eggs, cured meats, juices, tea and coffee, and freshly baked treats.
Learn how to make traditional dumplings, curry, tomato chutney and kheer – a favourite Nepalese dessert – with the hotel’s chef (at an extra charge) then tuck into your hard work for a very satisfying lunch.
At the hotel
Free WiFi. In rooms: TV, iPod dock, minibar and tea- and coffee-making kit.
Our favourite rooms
Each spacious room has a private terrace and sweeping views of the awe-inspiring landscape; if you want the most direct mountain views, swing for a Pavilions Grand or a Pavilions Chalet.
The infinity pool looks out over the rice paddies, and parasol-shaded sunloungers are lined up on the pool terrace. Drinks and light bites can be served poolside, so you won’t have to miss out on the view when you get peckish.
Svastha spa has two treatment rooms, a sauna and a menu of ayurvedic treatments, all of which use custom-made Himalayan products. Unwind with a pampering session any time between 8am and 8pm.
Bring your most comfortable athleisure gear for on-site yoga and guided meditation sessions.
Mountainous terrain and stairs mean the hotel is sadly not wheelchair accessible.
All ages are welcome. Extra beds (US$80 a night) can be added to Pavilions Grand and Pavilions Chalet rooms. Babysitting can be arranged for US$15 an hour (minimum of three hours).
The hotel is powered by solar energy, uses green cleaning products and light bulbs, and espouses a zero-plastic ethos. The restaurant uses vegetables and dairy products from the on-site farm, and both rainwater harvesting and composting programmes are in place. The hotel also donates to the community school and manages its charitable work under Right4Children and the Pavilions Foundation.
By the fireplace in winter, or outside by the pool in the warmer months.
Keep it casual in cosy, post-hiking gear, but slather on the insect repellent if you plan to sit outside (you want to have dinner, not be dinner).
Hanging swing seats line the side of the open-all-day restaurant, which is in the main pavilion building. Take your pick of indoor or alfresco tables and settle in for traditional Nepalese fare (or go for Chinese, Indian or Western dishes) – mostly made with ingredients sourced from the adjacent farm. Tuck into dinners of Nepalese momos (vegetable or chicken dumplings), crispy chisapani tango (a classic dish of shredded potatoes and Szechuan peppers) and pan-fried tawa fish. For pudding, there’s spiced orange and chocolate mousse or banana-bread pudding topped with a decadent drizzle of salted caramel and a scoop of ice-cream.
Blue lights glow behind the bar, which is next to the restaurant in the main pavilion. There’s a substantial collection of beer, wine and spirits – we’re partial to a refreshing, post-trek G&T – and a menu of light bites (salt and pepper mushrooms, chicken kebabs and popcorn prawns) to keep you going.
The restaurant is open daily from 7am to 10pm. Bhetghat Bar pours drinks from 10am to 10pm.
The full menu – including drinks – is available during restaurant hours for in-villa dining.
The hotel is at the base of the Himalayas, with pinch-yourself views of 8,000-metre-high Manaslu.
Pokhara Airport is 30 minutes away by car; the hotel can arrange transfers for up to five adults for US$23 each way.
Most visitors don’t do any driving of their own; self-drive rental cars are virtually non-existent in Nepal, and you’d need an International Driving Permit (IDP) before getting behind the wheel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Get to know the very green property with a stroll around the grounds or a guided visit to the farm. In for the relaxation? Take part in guided yoga sessions or float in the mountain-facing infinity pool. If you’re interested in Nepalese cuisine, private cooking classes with the hotel’s chef can be arranged on request.
It should probably go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: the Himalayas are a really good place for days spent hiking mountain trails. A little too on the nose? Keep your sight-seeing water-based with a visit to the second-largest lake in Nepal: Phewa Lake is just outside Pokhara. Head there for gentle kayaking outings and a visit to Tal Barahi Temple, which rests on an island in the middle of the lake. You can also snap ace photos of the mighty mountains reflecting on the water’s serene surface and the dome-shaped World Peace Pagoda, set on the lake’s southern edge. Keep your distance from the edge at thunderous (after the monsoon season, at least) Devi’s Falls, or explore the limestone Mahendra Cave, famous for its stalactites and stalagmites. In Pokhara town, poke around the Old Bazaar for traditional trinkets and marvel at the hilltop Bindhyabasini Mandir, one of the area’s most important shrines.
The hotel’s rural setting means there’s not much in the way of local dining spots. Luckily, the on-site farm and open-all-day restaurant means you’ll be well looked after when hunger strikes.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in the Himalayas and unpacked their hiking boots and yoga gear, a full account of their mountain break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Pavilions Himalayas in Nepal…
Over the river and through the wood… to the Pavilions Himalayas you go. Surrounded by rice paddies and a rather well-known mountain range, this sustainability-focused stay protects the surrounding landscape and gives back to the community, so you can feel extra good about your locally grown four-course Nepalese dinner, your knot-banishing ayurvedic massages and your quality time floating in the sleek infinity pool. Need another hit of virtue? Get back to nature with Hillary-approved day hikes, book in for meditative yoga sessions and try your hand at chef-led traditional cooking lessons; they all come with a side of impressive mountain views.