You couldn't miss Kathmandu Guest House (KGH) even if you wanted to. Located at the heart of Thamel, KGH has seen hundreds of hotels, shops, and restaurants come and go. But the hotel has stood the test of time and more than four decades after it first opened it gates KGH is still one of the most well-known landmarks in the area.
Karna Sakya, founder of the KGH chain, welcomed his first guests in 1968 into an old Rana mansion which had been converted to accommodate 13-rooms. In April, the guesthouse opened its newest wing, Siddhi Anex which was named after Sakya's parents.
Today the 141 rooms cater to a range of guests from those on shoe-string budgets to those who like to be pampered in luxury all under one roof. Even with the additions, the hotel maintains its old world charm and is a tasteful fusion of tradition, simplicity, and modern comfort.
Starting at $2 per night, the lower end rooms are very basic and guests have to share bathrooms. Standard rooms offer more facilities, and some have air conditioning. Special rates are available for week or month long stays. Pay a few extra bucks and get the garden facing rooms for the spectacular view and quiet surroundings. Deluxe rooms (pic,below) have more space and amenities while the super deluxe have fine rugs, air conditioning, and services that are at par with five star hotels. Like all other businesses in Kathmandu, KGH is not immune to Nepal's chronic energy crisis, but solar power keeps all rooms brightly-lit during power cuts.
The hotel boasts of three restaurants, the Bahal Café which serves international cuisine, Laskus with its traditional Newari dishes and the Clay Pot Oven which is renowned for its chicken tandoori and pizzas. But it's advisable to avoid peak hours.
"There is nowhere else in Kathmandu we would rather stay. The staff are very attentive to our needs and make sure we are well looked after and each year we are back, we have seen the hotel improve," say the Contis who have been regular guests at KGH for more than 20 years.