A palace built in the European Neo Classical design around 75 years ago by a Rana family, which ruled Nepal for 104 years, has now been transformed into a character type hotel named “Kaze Darbar”. Kaze means wind in Japanese and Darbar is Palace in English.
Though established a year ago only, the ‘Wind Palace’ is class apart from other stereotype hotels in Kathmandu. Preserved and renovated to its old form, the building reflects the heritage, architecture and history of Nepal.
Centrally located in Kamalpokhari of Kathmandu, the hotel is promoted by a well-known tourism entrepreneur of Nepal — Prithbi Shrestha. Shrestha is also the managing director of Nepal Kaze Travel and Nepal Panorama Trek. With experience of more than 25 years in the Nepali tourism industry, Shrestha said they chose the old building and renovated it to its original form in a bid to make foreign tourists familiar with Nepali culture and heritage and promote Nepali culture and heritage in the international arena.
Though opened a year ago only, the hotel has already served tourists from countries like Germany, France, Spain, Japan and Thailand, among others. In this short span of time, the hotel has been successful in getting positive responses from the visitors. “Frequent visits and long stay by guests aptly explains the hotel’s popularity among its visitors,” added Shrestha.
Reflecting the architectural concept of European Neo Classic design, the building has been built entirely with bricks, mud and woods. Similarly, terracotta tiles have been used as roofing materials. As the hotel is housed in an old building, its 60-centimeter thick wall and wooden floors help to maintain good favorable temperature inside. “Normally, our rooms stay cool in summer and warm in winter,” added Shrestha.
There is a beautiful ‘chautara’ in the inner courtyard of the building. ‘Chautara’ is a common sight in the village trails of Nepal where locals and trekkers take rest during their journeys. The open-sky courtyard is one of the attractions of hotel where guests can relax or stay in the peaceful environment far from the hustle and bustle of city.
The hotel provides all the basic facilities to its guests. “But we don’t have modern facilities like television and mini bars, among others, because we want our guests to feel the local culture,” he said, adding that the hotel is environmental friendly.
Kaze Darbar has a total of 22 rooms with attached bathrooms. All the rooms have wooden floorings. Five of the rooms have Japanese style bath tubs. The hotel supports payment through Visa/Master card and provides facilities like currency exchange, airport pick-up/drop, vehicle hire, and free Internet to its guests. It also has an in-house souvenir shop.
The hotel also houses a restaurant named Darbar Restaurant and Bar which serves typical Nepali set meal, Japanese and Continental cuisines. According to Shrestha, the restaurant serves locally grown organic vegetables, organic tea and coffee, and homemade delicious cakes to its guests.
Kaze Darbar has 30 well-trained and friendly staff members who are fluent in English and Japanese languages. “Their positive attitude and the commitment to quality service is our added asset,” said Shrestha. He also said the hotel was planning to develop and support a perma-culture farm to produce organic vegetables and foods to cater to the guests.
According to Shrestha, peaceful ambience despite being in the heart of the city, organic foods (along with fresh organic herbal tea), heritage and history of the building itself, and friendly staff members make the hotel stand out among hundreds of hotels in Kathmandu.
“We welcome all types of guests from all around the world. I would like to ensure that they will experience cozy and comfortable stay while in the hotel,” Shrestha said.