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Keeping Up with Tradition Hotel Heritage, Bhaktapur

Newari culture and architecture come together in a wonderful blend of traditional aesthetics and modern accommodation.

Standing tall in the heart of Bhaktapur Durbar Square is Hotel Heritage, beautifully incorporated into the Newari architecture that surrounds it. Blending the beauty of tradition with the ease of contemporary living, Hotel Heritage provides you the best of services while preserving the culture that surrounds it. On entering the premises, we are greeted by a large brick building with carved wooden windows. The walls inside are lined with copper mandalas and various masks of gods and goddesses. We are then led upstairs to see the rooms.

You have the option of three classic rooms to choose from: single bedroom with a king-sized handcrafted bed, twin bedroom, and triple bedroom, perfect for families. The amenities of each room are the same, with television, internet, air conditioning, a safety deposit box, an attached bathroom with a bath tub that is stocked with only herbal products, and a mini-fridge, on request.

Keeping true to their word, all aspects of the rooms are rooted in tradition, from their floors to their lights. All the furniture in the rooms and throughout the hotel are created from recycled wood and hand-carved by local craftsmen to give their finishing rural touches. The beddings are also locally made, using materials such as felt that is made in Nepal itself, rather than adding any foreign element to the rooms. The floors across the hotel are all traditional slate, rather than marble, and as further addition to the traditional touches, there are also Nepali artworks on the walls of the rooms, such as that of the Kumari House of Bhaktapur and another of a Nepali farmer tending his field.

The lights throughout are warm and inviting. Adding a more Nepali touch, they have used straw mats rather than regular domes for these lights, and the lamps themselves have Nepali paper lokta incorporated in them. They’ve also used old traditional pieces as furniture, using a sanduk as a table to keep your belongings. Walking down the staircase, you encounter many more trinkets of tradition, such as a traditional pottery wheel that has been propped up for display, and bottles of local seeds that line the windows.

Another attraction to the hotel is its conference room, the Mithila Room. It can accommodate about 30 guests, and is perfect for family gatherings and corporate meetings. As expected, this room is decked out in Mithila paintings, from the walls to the tables. Before you enter this room, you enter the Kutumba Restaurant, which is decorated in traditional elements, such as sketches of Hindu gods and goddesses, and the use of traditional pottery wheels as tables. Moving on to their souvenir shop, a small mud cottage with a straw roof, it holds a rustic appeal, and provides handmade local fabrics, such as pashmina and knit cotton, as well as other locally made products. The entrance to this little cottage is decorated with bamboo planters.

As part of their expansion plan, they are planning to build a larger conference room, apart from expanding their garden. The new conference room will stick to its roots, being furnished by recycled wooden pieces that are hand-carved by local craftsmen. This new conference hall can be used to host banquets and bigger events than the Mithila Room can accommodate, with the addition of an open bar. Along with that, they are hoping to expand their garden, so that they can host village-themed events such as makai bhutne, chyura bhutne, chatamari making, and brewing of local raksi, among others, to entertain as well as educate their guests on the daily lives of Bhaktapur locals. A wonderful blend of traditional aesthetics with modern accommodation, Hotel Heritage is where you must stay if you want to engross yourself in traditional Newari culture and understand its deep roots.