Guest reviewed by luxury travel experts Mona Khalil and Rana Dababneh of Pomalo Travel!
Nepal – Roof of the World
As we descend into Kathmandu, there comes an urge over me to seek endless photo opportunities to catch a glimpse of the famous peaks of the Himalayas, the so-called roof of the world. Yet, I decide to let my eyes follow the curated landscape underneath, the red brick buildings and the rugged paths crossing villages and grasslands. The mountains only seem like the tip of the iceberg of this graceful land, almost literally, as there is so much more to discover and I, for one, really know my time of endless photo moments will come.
Women Only Hosted Trip
I am here on Pomalo Travel’s first hosted trip. A guided travel experience through the eyes of Founders, Mona Khalil and Rana Dababneh. A first for women only, and surely not their last.
The itinerary contains of a lot of flying and sightseeing. A perfect mix of both – as Nepal is just as mesmerizing from high up in the sky, as it is on the sacred lands below. I make sure to indulge in all its uniqueness – from a yoga set up in the courtyard of the hotel to a pottery class with one of the village masons. The craftsmanship and striking handmade brick walled buildings cast a spell on my thoughts. Nepal starts to interest me more than I have intended and in the little time I get acquainted, I know, I can easily fall in love with its beauty, heritage and splendour.
Culture and calm come to together
What surprises me, is the intensity of the houses and temples. The simplicity of the materials is common, yet the details are worth capturing. It is as if the lack of resources is overruled by creativity and inspiration adding detailed finishings, whilst using down-to-earth materials. In the midst of this all, there are little shops and corners, where pottery is made and textiles are woven. Sunken water fountains and sacred courtyards as well as multi-storied houses, all of which are just as beautiful as they are common. And around corners from the most enchanting palaces, temples, statues and stupas, the city offers friendliness and a gentle calm, which is sometimes the all-important factor in cultural travel.
Staying in one of Kathmandu’s most elegant hotels, Dwarika Hotel, the courtyard feels like a retreat, where teas are served and people mingle. When it rains and the outdoor puddles fill themselves with fresh water from the sky, the earthy smells of the bricks escape the terracotta floors, making you just that little more ‘at peace’ with where you are.
Kathmandu is an intriguing place, where you feel you should honour the characteristics of the culture and its welcoming people with a deepened grace, as if the sacred sights are there to keep an eye on you and make sure you are staying in line with Nepal’s ancient traditions. Yet, it feels embedded in your travel spirit and nobody needs to remind you – the surroundings will graciously make you do so.
The rooms are spacious and tasteful, in line with the energy of the city. Muted cream tones create a harmony with wooden elements, with soft lighting by the lamps making this a relaxing space to come back to after an endless day of sightseeing.
Within Dwarika’s House, the spa catches our senses as a sanctuary for healing and purification. It offers an experience modelled upon the ancient traditions of care and respect that have developed in the Himalayan region over several millennia. The name of the spa has derived from the wisdom of the Vedas that claims that our Atman, or self, is made up of five layers of being – the physical, the intellectual, the emotional and the essence of the absolute. Perfectly curated, from start to finish, this wisdom is felt throughout the entire Pomalo Travel hosted trip.
The other nights we sleep perched 1,000 feet above the Pokhara Valley with a spectacular Himalayan backdrop. The captivating Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge provides a perfect haven; an essence of tranquillity. It is here, where I take the time to reflect – it somehow is demanded from the surroundings. A woollen blanket to keep warm and a view of the sunrise over the valley, which directs the wondering minds, are all it takes to sink in a deep calm before the activities of the following days commence.
Seeing Nepal from its from
We catch a flight, and see the Himalayas range and the most famous peak – Mount Everest, which is breathtaking. As if it pulls me in, I can’t remove my eyes from the snowy top. It’s mesmerizing, just the fact that I am now witnessing the highest point on earth. We discover ancient landmarks and indulge in a local cooking lesson in Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu. The family welcomes us into their home, where we make our dinner together the way they know best, where stories are shared and traditions explained.
This trip, we have packed for a purpose (www.packforapurpose.corg) and thus the resources we brought with us find their way to the Sri Amar Jyoti Gaun Pharka School children.
Mind and body indulge
The last night, we indulge in a holistic resort – Dwarik’s Resort – a holistic lifestyle retreat. Where yoga, meditation, Chakra Sound Chambers (with a meditation guru), body treatments even an Himalayan Salt Room is part of the treatments, besides the plentiful walks in the magnificent natural surroundings.
Check out Pomalo Travel Women Only guided tour through Nepal. A truly all-inspiring trip from every angle, and one to cherish for a lifetime.
Go for layers to stay warm and pops of colour to stand out in photos against those stunning Nepalese backdrops!