Nested at the end of a cul-de-sac, only few meters away from the heart of Patan, Kathmandu valley’s second largest city, Traditional Homes Swotha is the perfect haven when in need of peace, tranquility and authenticity.
Experiencing Kathmandu’s happy chaos, one can wonder why this city is often associated in Westerner’s eyes with self-discovery and soul-searching. How can you possibly find or simply listen to your inner-self, when the sound of traffic, “Om Mani Padme hum” or Bollywood pop resonating from every corner, are even covering up the voices of hopeful street sellers?
Break away from all this agitation! True Nepal is just a taxi ride away. The destination is less famous but definitely worth of being. Patan, also called Lalitpur, is the oldest city in the valley, a real open air museum. Its medieval city, the Durbar square, is surely the most beautifully preserved of the country and has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. As the English journalist Perceval Landon has described it in 1928: « As an ensemble, the Durbar Square in Patan probably remains the most picturesque collection of buildings that has been set up in so small a place by the piety and pride of Oriental man ».
Charmed you will be, but well rested? With all that this cultural treasure has to offer, your schedule will be packed with some heavy “must-see” attractions. And if you’ve just came back from an exhausting trek in the neighboring Himalayas or plan to add your name to the long list of brave tourists who have set foot on the highest peaks, some beauty sleep should be compulsory.
Among plethora of hotels burgeoning in the City of fine arts, Traditional Homes Swotha is the best choice for Nepal enthusiastic travelers who don’ t want to compromise on luxury. This simple and stylish bed and breakfast is the perfect example of the growing trend of sustainable hospitality. Once a nearly abandoned century-old Newari residence, the building has been renovated by a couple of patrimony lovers, who took on the challenge to give a modern and yet elegant make over to its already charming wooden structure and red bricks façade. By conserving the warmth and original appeal of this heritage building, Traditional Homes Swotha provides to its guests a comfortable and truly unique experience.
After a day of crisscrossing Patan’s narrow streets and marvel at its everlasting discoveries, gaze at the sunset from the upstairs panoramic terrace. The view is breathtaking. Admire from a different angle the Buddhist and Hindu architecture dating as far back as the 14thcentury, and take some more pictures- if your camera memory card can handle it- as the sun is setting in between the stupas, religious shrines and the Ancient Royal Palace.
Starved for more physical food after all the temple hopping? Head downstairs to Café Swotha, in order to have a taste of Nepalese multicultural cuisine. Try out some tasty vegetarian stews or curries, mo-mos (Tibetan dumplings), western soul food or Indian inspired dishes. End this feast on a sweet note with the succulent and traditional juju dhau,the King yogurt from Bakhtapur, or the homemade cheesecake, the best in Patan!, as proudly advertised on the menu.
And if your soul is longing to share an intimate moment, just relax in your cozy and eco-friendly room. Luxury comes here guilt-free. All the curtains and bed sheets are made of locally produced cotton. Shampoos and soap are thoughtfully created by Nepalese craftsmen. The guest manual reminds you that sustainability is synonym of respect for the earth in general but for the local population and their traditions especially. Being green is above all a responsibility towards yourself and others. In a third world country such as Nepal, it becomes a real luxury to have that kind of consideration. During the winter season especially, power outage are part of the everyday life. Rather than owning a fossil fuel generator, Traditional homes Swotha stayed true to its values and warns his patrons that only the most necessary will be provided in those few hours of insufficiency. Solar pholtovoltaique panels do offer a limited back-up and the friendly and very helpful staff will accommodate you if your computer or any other electrical appliances need a little boost. An individual heater is also provided in each room if you feel too chilly but why not asking for another blanket or a kettle instead?
Keep in mind that what defines Swotha is its timeless charm, a well balanced mix of modern comfort, eco-friendly vocation and ancient traditions. So disconnect yourself from the world outside, pick up a book, reflect upon your cultural and spiritual journey and immerse yourself in the moment. Your stay will leave you longing for more, which is really not a surprise when you realize that « Swotha », the name of the neighborhood which welcomes the establishment, means literally in Newari language: « auspicious location ».
Phone number : 00 977 1-5551184