Redesigned in a modern taste, this hotel might appeal to those groups of people who want to experience the bygone Rana age in comfort and luxury.
Walking through the chandelier-lit corridors of the Royal Empire Boutique Hotel is nothing but surreal. There is that royal feel to it – in its antique sofas and glossy magazines spread on the table, in the ancient gramophones and telephones kept like protected pieces in a museum, and often in the stern portraits of Rana prime ministers hung on its walls. This is the part that might appeal to many history lovers, who can now spent their trip to Nepal in this 18th-century palace that was once home to Juddha SJB Rana, one of the most popular Rana prime minister and celebrated architect during the same era.
The iconic whitewashed walls, huge elevated Corinthian pillars and a stunning water fountain at the front porch represents signature elements of a Rana Palace. If one looks from outside, it seems like nothing much has changed here although the entire interior inside has been adjusted to fit to a more modern taste. The walls have been decorated with eccentric patterns, the lobby has been complemented with a TV rather than shelves of books and the furniture is more contemporary.
Royal Empire is as royal as the name suggests, if royal in fact means luxury, ostentation and something grand. The first room right around the corner of the lobby is the Royal self-Catering Apartment and the first word to describe it is that is baronial. The ceilings are coloured in a vibrant yellow with a mix-match pattern, while on the walls the wallpaper is in a patterned style like the rest of the hotel. The room consists of an en-suite bathroom, personal kitchen, a Billiard, private internet connectivity, mini bar and all the other facilities available in a standard hotel room. Who wouldn’t love all these in a single room? It will certainly appeal to a person who seeks luxury, comfort as well as privacy. But if it is simplicity and serenity one seeks than it will definitely only appeal to the previous group of people.
Like the self-catering room, the Royal Heritage suite is quite spacious and open. It comes with a indoor swing and a balcony that overlooks the garden. What is admirable about the room is its intriguing architecture. When looked above the ceilings stretches to a long array of patterns made from wood and concrete. Whereas the attention seeking patterns of the walls and ceiling might be too incompatible for some people’s taste. It would not be wrong to say that the interior in the room certainly lacks some cohesion and could have done better if it had stuck to simplicity. Other than that, the rooms are comfortable and equipped with all modern amenities to make one’s stay cosy and convenient.
Perhaps for a true royal and luxurious experience, one could opt for another Royal Heritage suite at the topmost floor that once belonged to Juddha Sumsher himself. The room opens to a small waiting area where guests can wait before admitting to the main suite. The room itself is wide and long, and gives a stunning view of this quiet part of town. The architecture of the creator’s room himself is not below the expectations. Slim Corinthian pillars with elaborate arches adorn the corners and the architecture of the ceiling is quite fascinating.
Apart from the Royal suites, the Executive suites are basic, minus the ostentatious charm of the other rooms. Nevertheless, it still has that royal charm. The hotel itself is complete with a spa topped off with Sauna Rooms and Jacuzzi that provides your essential relaxation massages. The Crown restaurant is set in a long room which is quite open and relaxing while serving multi-cuisine delicacies.
Royal Empire, with its regal charm and modern outlook, might appeal to people who’d want to observe Nepal’s history through its intriguing architecture while still living in comfort and luxury. But for those who prefer simplicity, this might not necessarily be the right choice.
Shuvekshya Limbu is a Content Writer at Nepal Traveller.