What looked like tiny cabins from afar, later turned out to be extraordinary villas that you could live in forever.
Pokhara has three of the 10 tallest mountains in the world, making it one of Nepal’s top trekking destinations. It is well known among the locals as a retreat, with clean streets and cleaner air, picturesque lakes, and the Himalayas. It is truly an escape, and a well known adventure destination.
A rocky endless road, away from all the hustle and bustle of Pokhara, situated in a seemingly random village, lies the magnificent Pavilions Himalayas. What looked like tiny cabins from afar, later turned out to be extraordinary villas that you could live in forever. As we approached the entrance to the Pavilions, the car crossed a crystal clear stream with the cold wind blowing, and the trees as far as the eyes could see: it’s the perfect getaway.
As soon as you enter the pavilions, you’re greeted by a mass of maanes and a cozy outpost with sofas and golden gajurs, giving us a feel of the whole place. After crossing a small bridge, you see a huge wall waterfall, and then are greeted by the hotel staff with khadas, which they put around our necks and bade us a good stay in the Pavilions Himalayas. As we headed upstairs to the club house, the wall on one side is filled with sombreros painted black, which provided a contrast to the red walls; may seem like a simple touch, but you get a perspective of how much effort has been put in to make each and every corner of this resort exquisite.
How to Get There
The resort is a 30-min drive away from the Pokhara airport, located in Pumdi-Bhumdi, Chisapani, a village near Fewa Lake. The resort has arrangements for transportation to travel to and fro from the main city so that you don’t feel isolated. If you want to arrive to the Pavilions in style, you can always charter ahelicopter as it also has its own private helipad
The restaurant has exquisite interior decoration, infusing both the traditional and the modern. With huge bells and swings hanging from the ceilings, and a cozy fireplace in the middle of the restaurant, this eatery gives very relaxed vibes. You can also dine out on the patio, looking towards the infinity pool and the hills beyond where the World Peace Pagoda sits. The backdrop of the bar in the restaurant of the clubhouse is one-of-a-kind, with the stupa designs engraved in carved silhouette fashion across the black wall, with blue designs that take your breath away. When the lights are switched on in the evening, these carvings get blue lights of their own, which makes them look even more remarkable, and wherever you sit you will not be able to miss them, for they are reflected on the glass walls and doors of the clubhouse.
From Chinese to Japanese to Continental, Pavilions has everything to offer. I must recommend the sushi platter, it was perhaps one of the best that I have ever had in my life. A friend who claimed to hate sushi almost finished the whole plate, fighting for the last sushi on the plate! So, you can only imagine how truly amazing the sushi tasted. The presentation of the sushi platter made me instantly whip out my phone in order to snapchat the plate before anybody could help themselves. But, don’t restrict yourself to only international cuisine; they offer amazing traditional Nepali dishes with fresh organic vegetables grown in their own garden, which yields enough to sustain their restaurant. What they do not have they buy form the local farmers, thus helping them economically. They even bake their own breads and muffins for the breakfast service every day. Everything is healthy and fresh here, and everything will tantalize your taste buds.
The resort is completely self sufficient in terms of cooking gas and electricity, as they use bio gas and solar to run the resort. It is a completely plastic-free zone, where the only plastics you will see are the wire cables in your villas. Even the shampoo and the shower gel that they produce at the Pavilions are bio degradable! This is because they have their own rainwater harvesting for individual villas, and they recycle the water that we use while washing our hands, taking a shower, and flushing the toilet, using the proper method to separate black water and grey water, which then goes on to become biogas and compost. And, perhaps, we cannot call the fruits and vegetables entirely organic, if the chemicals from the soaps and the shampoos are dumped on the grounds. The toothbrushes are specially imported, and are wooden, with bristles made of bio degradable material. They also only have paper soaps. The mattresses that we slept in are imported from the U.K., made by a company called Hypnos. It has camel and horse hair as its top layer, and is completely eco-friendly, and their linen have a three hundred thread count. They have insulated each of the individual villas which help to maintain an average temperature of 23 degree Celsius, thus doing away with the need of air conditioners and heaters, which in turn, saves both the environment and the energy resources.
What to do There
Pavilions Himalayas is an adventure destination, offering many adventure activities. Pokhara is famous for paragliding, and with over 40 different companies flying every day, the main area gets really crowded. So, Pavilions has its own private paragliding area exclusively for its guests. Standing amidst nature and a village itself, they offer village walks and hikes to nearby hills, Shanti Stupa being one of the main attractions to hike to. Pavilions offers bird watching, as well, from rose finches to fly catchers, and all you need is a pair of binoculars. You can even contribute on local social projects by volunteering and sharing your experiences, and provide meaningful assistance to small children and women of the locality. Pavilions is a working farm; and residents are more than welcome to experience farm life here, from working in the fields to milking the cows and picking your own fresh vegetables from the gardens.
The resort also has a year-round outdoor pool with fresh water that has no chemicals whatsoever in it; it is only treated with salt. The only pool to have a marble base in the whole country, swimming here is a completely new experience.
First thing you realize when you get the keys to your own individual villa is the vajra hanging on a very antique looking key. Each villa has a rustic name: Ratna, Padma, Surya, etc. engraved on a wooden plaque outside. The lights in front of the villas are automatic, so as soon as you reach there, they light up. As you enter the villas, most have a sitting area with a plush sofa and a flat screen TV. They have very traditional decor, with khopas containing amkharas and karuwas. Even the ties used to tie the curtains are dhagos traditionally worn by women to tie up their hair. The attention to detail is quite amusing. All the villas have a screen door that opens up to an individual patio with a sofa and a table to enjoy the scenery around. There is a well-stocked fridge in every villa, complete with a French press and a little box full of sugar packets and tea bags and a pot of ground coffee.
All in all, Pavilions Himalayas is an experience of a lifetime. Once you reach there, you do not feel like coming back, and you forget all the woes and the hustle and bustle of the life that waits for you outside the bubble of serenity that the resort provides.