Gambling on the future

Rows of palm trees greet visitors on arrival, lining both sides of the driveway to the entrance of Tiger Palace Hotel. At the back are more palm fronds bordering both sides of a canal and the hotel’s swimming pool -- the ambience is reminiscent of beach resorts in Dubai or Thailand. Just that a jungle forms the backdrop, and not an ocean.

Nepal’s latest and biggest foreign investment in the hotel industry, the Tiger Palace Resort, is located on the booming Bhairawa-Butwal corridor. Despite this, being amidst forests gives it a wilderness feeling. Owned by the Australian Silver Heritage company that specialises in gaming, the resort opened in March, and is designed to cater to the expected boom in tourists, pilgrims and luxury-minded visitors from India.

The resort has 100 rooms, two villas, a gym, spa, and a 123m swimming pool, supposedly the longest in Nepal. From some rooms guests can step directly into the pool, and swim to Cabana Avenue restaurant, or walk over to dine at Ramro Chowk. The hotel plans two more restaurants and also plans to expand rooms to 300 in the second phase, and perhaps another Resort soon in Jhapa in eastern Nepal.

Tiger Palace employs close to 800 locals, says its general manager Brett Model: “A lot of people are leaving Nepal to work, but many are coming back. We have employed some incredible talent who have returned with experience in hospitality in Dubai, Qatar, Malaysia. They are great assets.”

With Lumbini 30 minutes away and Chitwan hours away by car, Tiger Palace Resort is well situated as a stopping point for visitors to the two World Heritage Sites. It targets the busy international traveller with multiple attractions. The resort also boasts of Nepal’s largest casino of international standard, and now that it has its ownership dispute sorted out, is looking forward to a busy autumn season.

Brett Model adds: “We wanted to be the first and largest 5-star integrated resort in Nepal, and we are happy to be the first in this market. I am very excited for what the future holds for Nepal’s tourism industry. We can offer an inspiration for others to push forward in business and improve the tourism sector.”

Package for Nepali citizen:

Double/twin room on bed & breakfast plan, Rs9,000 nett per night.

Offer: Book 2 rooms and get a room complimentary on EP basis. Or, book 2 nights and get a night complimentary on EP basis.

Package for foreigner visit the website here.

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