Dwarika Hotel

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.

The Hotel

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.


Sweet Suite

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.

Spa Time

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 Lodge

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!






Gozzip short sleeve cardigan
505 AED – navabi.co.uk

Shrimps yellow top
1,415 AED – nordstrom.com

Boohoo high waisted legging
37 AED – boohoo.com

TOMS red flat
175 AED – moosejaw.com

Drawstring backpack
460 AED – mahileather.com

Vintage jewellery
110 AED – zaful.com


Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


Sign up for our newsletter

Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!