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“Loved this place”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Himanshu Homestay

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Himanshu Homestay
Ranked #76 of 432 Kathmandu B&B and Inns
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Loved this place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2014

My daughter and I visited as apart of Earthbound expeditions excusion for Nepalese cooking class. The food we made was delicious-best we had while in Nepal. The hospitality was first rate--we felt part of the family. The location -a bit outside of Kathmandu-in the suburbs was awelcome relief from the frantic polution of the city. It is a lovely retreat-quiet and comfortable.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Clevelandocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2014

Traveling to Nepal on my own for my second time I wanted to experience a bit more of the Nepal culture. For my three night stay the family were very welcoming and caring, they made you feel a part of the family. In the mornings the two young boys took us for a walk around the local neighborhood which was great to get out and see how the locals live.
The rooms were very clean and comfortable, and equipped with a hot shower.
Twice a day we ate dal bhat and throughout the day several cups of milk tea. It was great to eat food made by locals rather than tourist version you get in Thamel. While I was there they taught me a game with 5 small rocks, while I was really bad at it, they had a lot of patience and more than happy to teach me and share their culture.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sam k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2013

The homestay is close to the edge of Kathmandu and close to the jungle covered hills of the national park. (It used to be the royal reserve). After the urban density of Kathmandu it's great to have the sounds of birds in the jungle.
The homestay is located in the garden of a beautiful house built in the traditional style but with modern amenities.
The cooking is fantastic and the atmosphere is so friendly you feel like part of the family. There're children playing through the house and it's a lovely home experience.
You're able to walk to Swayambhunath without too much trouble (30 mins or so).
Highly recommended

Room Tip: Sit on the rooftop just before dusk to see and hear the birds return to the jungle for the night.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank James D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2013

I chose a homestay for my third trip to Nepal so I could learn how people in another culture live, which isn't fully possible when staying in a tourist-oriented hotel or guest house. The family is a typical Nepali extended family, with two parents and two young sons, a widowed grandmother, and an adult sister, a wonderfully sweet woman with a learning disability.

On the first morning of my Kathmandu homestay, four small boys, aged four to eleven years, all wanted to meet the American. I welcomed them into my comfortable room, with attached bath. Many of my belongings enthralled them. Next they escorted me to the garden, where the oldest son, Arjan, showed me each plant and instructed me to take its picture.

Arjan showed me his turtles next, then introduced me to Lucy, the guard dog. She's kept in a kennel during the day, but roams the garden in this well-to-do suburb at night to keep intruders at bay. Most homes in the neighborhood appear to have dogs, which cause some noise in the night. Lucy is a sweet dog, and welcomes my pats.

I was then led, a boy holding each hand, to the temple down the road. They told me to remove my sandals on the threshold, and the boys took me around the temple, telling me the names of the Hindu god represented by each sculpture. Each bell in the temple was rung vigorously, and I was told to do the same!

Nepalis typically eat two large meals a day. At the start of the day, Nepali tea is generally served (as a guest it was brought to my room), then between nine and ten in the morning a large plate of dal baht is eaten (rice and lentils), usually accompanied by spicy vegetables. Knowing I am used to eating breakfast, my family made a special meal of rice porridge or oatmeal for me. But after a number of days I eventually dropped this meal, to get my eating in synch with the rest of the family, as I found it impossible to eat the dal baht mid-morning so soon after the rice porridge or oatmeal. In the afternoon Nepali tea was again served, and then a large meal of dal bhat was consumed once more in the evening.

The wife Anshu offers a Nepali cooking class, which two Swiss girls participated in during my stay. They learned that pumpkin leaves make a wonderful dish not dissimilar to spinach, and that jack fruit, with the right spices, is a lovely accompaniment to rice and lentils. They also learned how to make alu paratha, a delicious bread stuffed with potatoes. Following the class, Anshu took the girls to the local masaala, or spice shop, where they purchase freshly ground spices to bring home.

One of the uncomfortable moments I repeatedly experienced was when a female member of the household, usually Anshu, sat and watched me eat, without eating themselves. As a guest I was served first, usually followed by a male member of the household. I was not sure if the women ate last in this culture, or if it was because there was a foreign guest present. After many meals I finally asked. I was told that this happens because Nepalis eat with their right hand; it is dirty until they finish eating and rinse it off. Therefore, the woman serving me, using her right hand, does not want to start eating herself until she is sure that I do not want second helpings (which are continuously pushed on you until you say, "Pugyo, Pugyo," meaning "Enough! Enough!"). But caste does come into play, too. So does the right of mother-in-laws to eat first.

The homestay is not that far from the tourist center of Thamel. Most guests who only spend one night are driven there and back in a car. However I was there for much longer, and I learned to take the micro bus, using a billboard as reference for when I needed to get off. At first I used Thamel primarily for its internet cafes, until I located one only a 10-15 minute walk from the house. I was the only Westerner in this neighborhood, which is extremely welcoming. The young school children in particular greeted me with "Namaste" as I walked the streets.

In total, I spent six nights at Himanshu homestay, before departing for the Dhading district on a service project that Earthbound Expeditions, the owner’s trekking company, assisted me with. In these six days, I gained a much greater insight into Nepali culture then I ever did before on my previous visits to Nepal, which totaled over eight weeks! Although I was not staying with a typical Nepali family, this one has more wealth than most, it gave me a window into the culture that I could not have obtained otherwise. Even spending one day and one night was a learning experience for the Swiss girls who took the cooking class. I also formed lasting friendships, especially with my fellow animal lover, seven-year-old Arjan. He gave me a drawing of a bird landing on a tree, eating a bug. It’s on my mantle at home.

The low-down: The room I stayed in has an attached bath with western style toilet, and an on-demand hot water heater that provided a nicer shower than many I’ve had in Kathmandu guest houses in Thamel. The room was clean, spacious, and nicely furnished, although the new bed was a bit hard. The courtyard is beautiful and the large covered porch an enjoyable place to hang out and talk with the family. A convenience store is nearby in case you have a hankering for a coke or Pringles, or in case you’ve forgotten any necessity.

The family was extremely attentive. One morning I had a migraine and they were so concerned over me and took wonderful care of me. I really enjoyed getting to eat non-touristy Nepali food, and ate many side dishes not on a typical tourist menu that were fantastic! I actually found it hard to leave, I had such a wonderful time during my homestay!

Room Tip: Room with widows on two sides provides cross breeze
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Himanshu Homestay

Property: Himanshu Homestay
Address: Manakamana Marg (Red House) | DhugeDhara, Banasthali, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Region: Nepal > Central Region > Bagmati Zone > Kathmandu Valley > Kathmandu
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #76 of 432 B&Bs / Inns in Kathmandu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A traditional Nepalese home stay, with three double en suite rooms - each with their own private entrance. Situated near the forest on the edge of Kathmandu, yet just four kilometers from the city center. Simple breakfast and airport pickup/drop off is included. We offer a cooking class in traditional Nepalese cuisine. ... more   less 

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