Family Hotel Review: Namo Buddha Resort, nr. Kathmandu, Nepal.
Located 45 km southeast of Kathmandu and surrounded by farmland is the hilltop Namo Buddha Resort, a wonderful place for kids to run free.
Best For: Breakfast with Himalayan views; big kids and teens (but all ages welcome).
Reviewed by: Victoria Westmacott
Why You’ll Love It
Located 45 km southeast of Kathmandu and surrounded by farmland is the hilltop Namo Buddha Resort. This small, German-owned property is made up of twelve family-friendly mountain cabins built over a series of steep terraces at a height of 1800m.
It’s a simple affair; the cabins are cosy but basic and depending on which category of house you choose you may have to used the shared shower block. Meals are served communally in the dining room or on the outside terrace where, fingers crossed, you can enjoy the snap-worthy snow-capped views of the Himalayas.
Namo Buddha is all about enjoying the great outdoors and the main activity here is walking, followed closely by doing nothing whatsoever. It’s a popular spot with families, many who live in Kathmandu and who escape to Namo Buddha to enjoy the fresh air and countryside rambles whenever possible.
Why The Kids Will Love It
Family-friendly Namo Buddha Resort is a wonderful place for kids to run free. It may not be an obvious choice for families with toddlers owing to the terraced hillside, but we saw plenty of mini globetotters having a ball when we visited.
There are no organised activities for kids and children will have to make their own fun. That said, the staff are lovely and simple touches such as the homemade cookies and drinks upon arrival, go a long way to making the whole family feel at home.
The grounds are perfect for adventures and games of hide and seek and the surrounding countryside hides walks aplenty of varying degrees of difficulty. We saw that some guests (expats living in Kathmandu) even brought their own mountain bikes. We also heard that there’s a big trampoline for kids to bounce around on, check when you book to see if it’s operational.
Namo Buddha is made up of 12 houses of varying sizes positioned around the grounds. Constructed by local carpenters and craftsmen in the traditional Nepali style, these cabins have been fashioned from clay and bricks with slate roofs. You’ll see traditional wooden window frames and window shutters and inside wooden beams line the ceilings. The cabins are basic but snug and cosy. All have private toilets but the small houses share a communal shower block. The bathrooms are basic (don’t expect any free toiletries!) and the eco-showers quite difficult to use…meaning they must save a lot of water!
All houses have electric heaters, WiFi and a private veranda. There are no TVs in any of the rooms (or anywhere in the resort), no fridges / minibars and no tea / coffee making facilities.
Small House: There are six small houses. These have one double bed and a single loft bed positioned on mezzanine levels about the sitting area. Access to the beds is by a wooden stepladder and can be precarious – especially for little kids! The cabins have their own private toilet but share the communal shower block.
Medium House: The four medium houses are larger with a double bed positioned upstairs and a single bed downstairs. These houses have a proper staircase and there’s a trap door at the top for privacy. Three of these cabins have ensuite bathrooms, the fourth has a private bathroom positioned in a separate unit just a few metres away.
Large House: The two large houses can sleep up to six people each. These cabins have two separate bedrooms and each has a private bathroom.
Best Rooms For Families: We don’t recommend the Small Houses for families with little kids unless they are happy for children to sleep downstairs in the sitting area. The Medium and Large Houses are much better suited to families owing to the layout and space. The hotel allows one extra bed per unit.
All meals are served in the communal two-storey dining room. Breakfast and lunch are served on the sunny terrace overlooking the mountains and dinner is served inside. The focus is on vegetarian food and the property has their own organic farm where they grow vegetables, grains, flowers and fruit. They collect milk from their own cows and honey from their bees. The kitchen has a wood-fired oven where they make their own sour dough breads, pizza and other bakery items. Whatever Namo Buddha doesn’t grow themselves they purchase from the local market.
Breakfast Breakfast includes homemade breads and jams such as yellow raspberry and mulberry as well as cheese, fruit, eggs cooked to order and fresh juices. Coffee and tea are in plentiful supply.
Lunch & Dinner Lunch and dinner are both set menus. Lunch is a main dish followed by desert and dinner is a three course. When we visited we enjoyed a spinach soup to start with, a vegetarian dish for main course and then chocolate pudding for desert.
For Kids: There’s no dedicated kids’ menu but you can request simple dishes in advance. The fixed menu is very kid-friendly anyway. Room Service is available.
Activities for Parents
It’s all about Mother Nature at Namo Buddha so lace up your walking shoes and explore the surrounding countryside.
Head to nearby Phulbari village and enjoy a cup of masala tea with the locals.
Visit the Namo Buddha Stupa, one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites south of the Himalayas. The Thrangu Tashi Yangtze Monastery, home to more than 250 monks, sits opposite.
Relax on your veranda with a cup of lemongrass tea and enjoy the beautiful snow-capped views.
Activities for Kids
Fresh air, open space and some awe-inspiring views make Namo Buddha the perfect place for inspiring adventure, exploration and a love of the great outdoors in young globetotters.
Explore the countryside, go for walks and visit the local villages for a glimpse of local life Nepal style.
Go with a group of friends with kids a similar age and let them roam free around the property.
Some guests have reported a giant trampoline perfect for little legs to bounce on, however it was not operational when we visited.
Babysitting available with advance notice, electric heaters provided (no central heating), common room, no cots, one extra bed allowed per cabin (but there is not a lot of extra space!), the Large Houses have two bedrooms, laundry, no spa but there is a flotation tank and a sauna, no swimming pool, WiFi (complimentary, but service and connections are patchy).
At the time of writing rates were as follows:
Small House €40/45 (approx. US $52/59)
Medium House €55/65 (approx. US $72/85)
Large House (6 people max) €85 (approx. US $111)
Rates are based on two people sharing. Extra beds / people are charged extra. Rates do not include taxes or breakfast. Please contact the hotel directly for an exact quote based on your family’s requirements.
When to go:
The Kathmandu valley doesn’t have extreme weather seasons so it’s possible to visit at anytime of the year. That said, the summer months (May to September) can get hot with temperatures often reaching 30C and above. The winter months (December to February) see bright sunny days with average daytime temperatures of 20C. However, the nights can get very chilly, although it never snows in the Kathmandu valley. The monsoon rains fall from June to September.
Location & Travel:
Namo Buddha Resort is situated 45 km southeast of Kathmandu near the Namo Buddha Stupa in Nepal.
Tribhuvan Airport is Nepal’s only international airport located in Kathmandu. Some international airlines that currently fly to Nepal include Air China, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Qatar Airways and Thai Airways International. Namo Buddha Resort is located 36 km from the airport.
Travelling by car from Kathmandu takes approximately 2 hours. To reach the resort from Kathmandu, pass Bhaktapur and Banepa, continuing to Dhulikhel (23 km from central Kathmandu). When you reach Dhulikhel turn right to take the paved Sindhuli-Highway for 8 km to reach the village Kavre Bhanjyang. The village of Kavre Bhanjyang is not visible from the road, only a bus stop on your right. Immediately after the bus stop turn right onto the rough road (“Namo Buddha Road”). Continue on this road for 4.8 km to reach our hill. The entrance road to Namo Buddha Resort will be on your left.
Contact The HotelFor more information or to make a booking enquiry, visit the hotel’s own website by following the link below:
Reviewer’s Top Tips!
1) Remember your shampoo and toiletries as Namo Buddha only provides soap.
2) If you’re planning on doing any walking, bring a kiddie backpack or baby sling for little globetotters. This is not pushchair territory!
3) Saturdays (the Nepali day off) attracts a lot of day visitors who set up picnics in the nearby woods. There tends to be a lot of loud music and singing. What do they say? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?!
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