I've just returned home from my fourth or fifth stay at Kantipur Temple House, indicating just how much I like this place. Over many brief business trips to Kathmandu, I have stayed at many different hotels, from extremely high quality and price (Dwarikas) down to backpacker hostels. But I keep returning to Kantipur Temple House because I love the vibrancy of the Thamel location, the friendliness of the hotel staff, and the beautiful architecture of the main buildings and grounds. It really is quite unique, and while not being rock bottom lodging, does offer exceptionally good quality, security, and value in that 3-star bracket.
The outside garden dining areas are beautiful, the front door and gate are manned by security staff 24 hours per day, yoga is offered in the garden in the morning, and recently the hotel has reduced the number of rooms, purchased and demolished a neighbouring building and has doubled the size of its grassed lawn. Kantipur Temple House also has a very strong mandate for sustainability, doing its best not to pollute or waste resources.
Coming into summer however, there are a few things that I find harder and harder to accept, and which make me question whether I will return or seek alternative accommodation on my next visit.
1. Lack of uninterrupted power. Due to insufficient power generation in Nepal, most of suburban Kathmandu suffers from power load shedding, with power being turned off throughout the city for up to 12 hours per day or more. I am a business traveller and need uninterrupted power, but due to its commitment to sustainability, Kantipur Temple House refuses to use a diesel generator to provide back up electricity during the power outages, as is provided in the other major hotels around the same price bracket. Battery power does keep a minimum number of lights going, but while the power is out, rooms get hot, wifi doesn't necessarily work, and it is impossible to use my laptop extensively before the battery is drained.
2. Lack of airconditioning. During the winter this isn't so much of a problem, but during the summer, the lack of airconditioning in rooms is energy sapping. A fan is provided in the room, but this isn't a ceiling fan, and when the power is off, so too is the fan. If you are coming in the summer, request a room on the internal courtyard away from the exterior walls, to avoid the heat.
3. Difficulty of access. Kantipur Temple House is on a small alley off Jyartha Marg in Thamel. This narrow lane is tight at the best of times, but in the last year there has been a lot of accommodation building going on around KTH, and the narrow lane gets more and more difficult to navigate, even in the tiny Kathmandu taxis. I worry that this will only get worse as the new hotels are completed and competing for space.
I suggest to the hotel that in order to stay sustainable and non-polluting, if they won't use a diesel generator to provide continuous power due to its environmental pollution, then perhaps they could put solar power panels onto their roof terrace, which is no longer utilised by guests. Even if only a small number of rooms (preferably on lower floors) were initially provided with airconditioning, and continuous power and wifi (and priced as "executive rooms") and other rooms gradually added, then this would greatly assist those guests who wish to use the hotel for business, rather than just a tourist or trekking stay. Just a suggestion.
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- Also Known As:
- Kantipur Temple House Hotel Kathmandu
- Kantipur Temple Hotel
- Kantipur Temple Kathmandu