Babermahal Vilas in the heart of Kathmandu offers tranquillity and a peek into one of the most important parts of Nepal’s history
Babermahal Vilas is a place that has exceeded every limit with its astounding architecture and subtle yet elusive beauty that bleeds history and quiet resilience. This is what sets it apart from other stereotypical hotels and establishes itself as a unique Boutique hotel; although small but bearing a grand personality.
When you step into the stone paved paths of Babermahal Vilas, with its white washed walls and Corinthian pillars you know you are not stepping into an ordinary hotel. Huge chandeliers hang from the ceiling as it casts sharp glints of light on the ornate marble staircases where life like paintings of Rana Prime Ministers hangs against the wall. The place boasts eloquently of class and luxury that perhaps a century ago couldn’t have been bought by money. But now Babermahal Vilas has opened its doors to a whole generation of people who’d want to experience true luxury.
Although in the centre of bustling Kathmandu where noise and clamour is unavoidable, Babermahal Vilas is surprisingly quiet. There is a subtle peace in the spiral staircases, in the narrow corridors highlighted with the breathtaking artworks of local artists. Talking about art, one cannot mention Babermahal Vilas without mentioning art. The architecture itself is an artistic prodigy. The Villas has three main buildings each influenced by three major types of architecture in Nepal; first the original Baroque European architecture that was introduced in Nepal during the Rana regime, second; the authentic Newar architecture and lastly the Lo Manthang architecture of Mustang. In its utter perfection, it celebrates the unique history of Nepal through its Corinthian pillars, Akhi Jhyal and a broad base.
The rooms were an equally enthralling sight, at par with the architecture of the buildings they are housed in. The rooms were basically of four types to fit the variant needs of people; the first type are the Royal Suites (Chandra suite and Baber suite) that are as regal as their names suggest, and dripping in luxury. Their walls are lavishly decorated with antique photographs while the ceiling is beautified with a huge chandelier whose bright yellow light cast shadows on the carefully arranged wine glasses and red velvet cushions on the huge beds. With private living room, balcony, modest bathroom, LED TV, private bar, snacks and air conditioning, the Royal Suites cannot get any better or more satisfying.
Other equally beautiful yet cost effective rooms are the standard rooms which come in a decent a size without compromising the services of air conditioning, LED TV, private bar and a locker to keep your valuables. Each room is decorated with antique and local pieces of furniture. But the most striking and unique was the Machan Room that was made in a traditional style without compromising the modern amenities. The traditional flavour of the room was evident in the tiny wooden Newari staircase that led to a roofed bed, an antique wooden partition that decorated the open space and the copper basin in the bathroom. Each article spoke of authenticity and tradition found in the Newari culture.
Although sitting on only in 8214 square feet of land, the tiny boutique hotel has it all from a shop selling the hotel’s merchandise, a tiny bar, a comfy restaurant, a spa offering a wide range of treatments and a gym. Babermahal Vilas has a lot to offer in spite of its limited size, from tranquility to a tiny peek into one of the most important parts of Nepal’s history.
If you step into this tiny artistic hotel, you cannot help but be amazed by its sheer beauty. It’s always the tiny details though that grabs attention; the ornate wood work of the windows, the dimly lit spiralling staircases, the sharp elusive light of the chandelier and the antique photographs that hangs on the wall. These are the very things that stay in your mind even after you’ve left this hotel.
Shuvekshya Limbu is a writer at nepaltraveller.com. An avid reader and traveller who has travelled to Hogwarts and Middle Earth and lived to tell the tale. She spends her time discussing literature and metaphors of life.