Besides the Crowne Plaza and a Radisson airport hotel, the Hyatt Regency is the only western branded property in Kathmandu. That made our hotel selection easy, but the decision that remained was whether to pay $111 (with 3 friends in the room $37 p/p) or use 5,000 points.
The plan was to spend three nights in Kathmandu upon arrival, then a few nights in Pokhara, and then one night back at the Hyatt in Kathmandu prior to our flight back to the US. For the first three nights, we decided to go with the paid rate as $111 a person seemed cheap enough (and I had a Diamond Suite Upgrade to burn). For the final night, I used 5K of my points, though really only 4K after the 1K Diamond welcome amenity. These would be my final stays as a Hyatt Diamond prior to the introduction of the World of Hyatt program in March.
This trip report/review is part of a series. Coming soon:
- Etihad First Apartment – JFK – Abu Dhabi (AUH) for only 90K AAdvantage Miles…booked day of!
- Etihad First and Business Class Lounge JFK
- Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
- Getting a Shave and Haircut at the Etihad Lounge in Abu Dhabi
- Etihad Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Kathmandu (KTM)
- Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
- Buddha Airways Kathmandu (KTM) – Pokhara (PKR)
- Temple Tree Resort and Spa, Pokhara
- Cathay Dragon Kathmandu (KTM) – Hong Kong (HKG) Business Class
- The Pier Business Class Lounge (re-opened in June 2016)
- Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong (HKG) – JFK Revisited
The hotel is located extremely close to the airport, but it could take anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour to reach the property based on traffic conditions. During our first stay it took less than 15 minutes each way, however on our return (and during a holiday) it took over an hour. The hotel was prepared though and emailed us ahead of time to let us know that they were sending a special air conditioned car to pick us up as they didn’t want us taking a taxi in what would be over an hour of traffic. Very considerate!
It’s an oasis feeling of sorts to leave the chaos of the streets behind upon entering the Hyatt gate. There was a wedding taking place when we arrived (and every day there after…it’s wedding season).
We approached the front desk and were told to proceed directly up to the club lounge for check-in.
Upon arriving to the club lounge, two staff members were already waiting for us. Another staff member brought over juice and cold towels as we went through the check-in procedures. We would be in one of the suites thanks to the DSU.
The lounge itself serves drinks and snacks throughout the day with a happy hour of alcoholic beverages and appetizers from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. More on those in a minute, to the rooms…
The furniture and styling in the suite was a bit dated, but it felt appropriate for Nepal. The suite included one main living room area and then the bedroom. The bathroom was bigger than the bedroom and just shy of the size of the living room. Two jars of cookies (delicious), fresh flowers, and a fruit bowl were waiting for us as we entered the room.
Bedroom – Two large water bottles were replaced daily and additional water was available at the lounge 24/7. The bedroom was quaint and the bed was comfortable in an old-school type of way. A flash light is placed on your nightstand in case of a power loss (there was only one during our stay and it was in the middle of the night).
Bathroom – Fresh flowers and petals could be found in bowls around the bathtub. The bathroom includes a shower, separate bath, and a luggage room.
I should mention that the pictures above are from our second suite. We were only in our first suite for a few minutes before I went to use the bathroom. The toilet bowl had some “foreign matter” on the seat that housekeeping must have missed. The staff (both the lounge and front desk) were extremely embarrassed and had us in a new room within minutes. They also photographed the incident in order to review it with housekeeping management in order to ensure that it never happens again. I’ve left that picture off this blog 😉 ….
During the second trip, there were no suites available, so I had a King room on the Regency Club level. I think I actually liked the room better as I barely used the living room in the suite. The club kings are very large rooms and while the bathrooms are smaller, they still include separate showers and tubs. Club King Room:
Now, breakfast is available in the lounge, but you should DEFINITELY be heading downstairs to the restaurant. There’s an impressive selection of local and international stations and you can tell the staff is extremely proud of the work they put into breakfast. They are also super helpful and friendly, they truly want you to enjoy the start of your day. Seating is available inside as well as outside by the pool. Many warm Nepalese and Indian dishes are available to sample. There’s a dosa station, an omelette station, waffle/pancakes station, and more. You don’t even have to wait for your food, the team members remember your face and deliver it to your table.
In comparison, the lounge breakfast is quite sad, but it’s completely empty, you will be the only person in the lounge…
The happy hour (5:30pm – 7:30pm) up at the lounge is extremely popular. It seems like after a long day of exploring Kathmandu, everyone makes it back to the lounge in time for a few drinks and snacks. Better yet, the staff here are so nice as well that even after the happy hour ends, they are happy to go in the back and refill your alcoholic beverage or grab you any snacks that remain. We were all very impressed by the fact that they knew our names after just one day. In fact, new employees who were not there the day before somehow also knew our names!
Like the pride displayed at breakfast, there’s a team of chefs who prepare the snacks for happy hour. They come out in full attire (chef hats included) and spend time with the lounge attendants ensuring that the food is displayed perfectly. They then all snap photos with their phones and standby as guests sample their creations. Everything was great, though a mozzarella stick in Nepal does not taste like one from the US 😉
The grounds are extensive and beautifully cared for. There’s a jogging track around the property, a pool, jacuzzi, and three full tennis courts.
There’s also a random shady casino in the corner of the property, you won’t see anyone going in or out…
One of my favorite parts about the Hyatt is that you can depart through their back entrance and then walk directly to a few of the local stupas including Boudhanath which you could also see from our room. You can then re-enter the hotel grounds by ringing the bell of the backdoor where a security guard can let you back in.
Fun fact, the hotel offers all guests with Regency Club access (where upgraded or booked), free transportation back to the airport. We had private taxis that were provided and paid for by the hotel on both our trips back to the hotel. The hotel also operates a shuttle into town.
Besides breakfast and happy hour, I’d recommend leaving the hotel for your meals. There are delicious and cheap options in town, while the hotel offers a very good (but quite pricey) Italian restaurant on-site (think $20 for a margarita pizza).
Overall, we truly enjoyed our stay at the Hyatt Regency. The staff were incredible and the property was located close enough to many of the sites we visited. It’s truly a respite from what sometimes feels like the craziness of the city.