Weekend Bliss

Destination Issue 79 Jul, 2010
Text by Lim Wei Yang / Photo: Alex Teh

Green Valley Resort, located within the Shivapuri NationalPark atop Tokha Hill, is a quaint weekend getaway destination that suits families looking forward to a close knit bonding session and outdoor, away-from-town good fun. It is a fine choice for urbanites escaping the frantic pace of Kathmandu city life to take a well deserved breather at this quiet hillside lodge.

Green Valley feels like your second home on the hillside and serves as a convivial retreat in winter or summer. During the colder months, morning walks in Kathmandu are a shadowy affair. Cold air sinks onto the valley floor and the darkness is shrouded under fog. Thanks to its higher location, the Green Valley Resort receives the first sight of the dazzling sunlight even before the valley floor catches its rays. Warm up in the comforting sunshine as you stroll outside your holiday house and take in the balmy hilltop air. In summer, sweltering heat builds up in the urban landscape, but up the hill a perpetual breeze ensures a comfortable atmosphere.

Getting to Green Valley Resort is not a problem, as the management provides transportation for the 30-45 minutes ride from Durbar Marg. If you wish to drive there yourself, however, head northwards from the city center past Maharajgunj and beyond the Ring Road to Buddhanilkantha, then you turn onto the road leading up to the Shivapuri National Park entrance. Around a quarter of the way up the winding tarmac you will reach the park entrance, manned by the Nepal Army. The park entrance fee is not covered in the accommodation cost, so guests pay a nominal amount which is used to fund conservation efforts.

About two kilometers inside the park, beyond the entry gate, as the tarred road gives way to a dirt track, keep a lookout on the left for the village of Dandagaon. Green Valley Resort is there, nestled within. Do not expect to see an ostentatious signboard to show the way. Rather, simplicity is Green Valley’s selling point and it maintains a modest appearance. Steer your vehicle cautiously down a narrow gravel path that snakes its way between villagers’ homes. Right after the first bend in the path stands the forest-green entry to the resort.

Located on one of the highest hills on the valley rim, the resort provides an unobstructed view of the Kathmandu Valley. Watch the city lights come on at dusk as if the valley floor is reflecting the night sky. Guests should enter the park premises before 6:30pm, as entry is not allowed after that.

The resort is the former residence of Tom Chris, architect of the Tea House Inn in Nagarkot and the Riverside Springs Resort at Kurintar (on the road to Pokhara). Although it has been four years since he moved out, the original look of the property has been largely preserved. It is as if Tom Chris just moved out the day before guests arrive. The resort’s two houses are neatly furnished with fittings and décor that contribute to a homely feel, giving guests a sense that they have returned to their own countryside home.

Of contemporary design, the bigger of the two houses has two bedrooms while the smaller house has one. The houses are spaced out comfortably from each other so that holiday makers do not feel isolated, yet not too near to feel an intrusion on personal space. This thoughtful use of space will appeal to guests who come in big family groups. Occupants can easily mingle together and have their meals in the garden or gather and enjoy each other’s company.

The cost of your stay covers accommodation and transport, though meals are charged separately. You can bring food and cook it yourself using the well- appointed kitchen, or you can ask the management to create a fixed menu and have a chef whip up a feast for you. There is no package deal on offer at the moment as the management does not wish to force upon guests a pre-defined list of activities. Rather, guests have control over their time and activities at the resort. There are several things that can be done on your own in the areas around Green Valley Resort.

Stroll about in the undisturbed wilderness or visit the surrounding ethnic Tamang villages. If you ascend higher up the northern face of Tokha Hill you can see the Langtang Range on a clear day. Guides can be arranged by the management. The hillside is home to numerous flora and fauna species and nature enthusiasts will have a field day. There are orchids and rhododendrons in season, and lots of bird and animal life. The well-marked but uneven roads and trails running along the contours of Shivapuri National Park make for challenging biking. If it is off-road mountain biking that interests you, then bring a bike along for your stay. But if you prefer doing nothing, then prop up your tired feet, lean back onto cushy pillows and just relax. Let the refreshing breeze billow against your weary cheeks and let your stress be blown away. If you have been doing too much work in the city, then Green Valley is the right place to do absolutely nothing.

Green Resort Valley’s location accounts for its attraction to those seeking an accessible and brief getaway.  Green Valley’s considerably closer proximity to town translates into shorter traveling times for its guests. As Green Valley Resort is a new development, you have the privilege of being among the first few to grace its rooms rather than just be one of the many who have stayed at other, more crowded popular lodges. Though the facilities at Green Valley are fairly basic, the accommodations are more than adequate for a short break. If you go for a peaceful time, you probably don’t want or need the distractions of glamorous casinos or noisy pubs. It’s a great place for you and your family to get away from the clamor of city. 

For enquiries about Green Valley Resort contact President Travel and Tours; phone 422.0245.