Shangri-la Kathmandu reopens with all the new world safety measures and old-world charm
James Hilton, an English novelist, in the year 1933 published his well-received novel ‘The Lost Horizon’ where he first penned the word Shangri-la to be a place of tranquility and a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the mountains. Shangri-La has since then become synonymous with an earthly paradise.
In the heart of bustling Kathmandu Hotel Shangri~La, Kathmandu promised guests and patrons a quiet and tranquil oasis for decades until COVID 19 struck and left the world in confusion and fear. The virus created a path of fear and disruption of the ‘old’ ways we enjoyed and took for granted.
As Nepal’s hospitality industry attempts to regain its grace and hotels around the world come to terms with the new order, Hotel Shangri-la, designed by the famous Irish artist, Desmond Doig, finds new horizons that celebrate traditional values and warm hospitality with modern safety measures to comply with government and WHO safety standards.
The hotel reopened on August 3, and as I made a visit for lunch, I noticed the new safety protocols everywhere. But thankfully, the old charm lives on and I felt assured that the Shangri-la continues to be that oasis of tranquility in a world ravaged by uncertainty.
Area General Manager, Samir Banerjee and his team have worked intensively on hygiene protocols. This is evident as you drive into the property. At the entrance visible signage guides you through the process of disinfecting your shoes, belonging or luggage, checking your temperature, leaving your contact traceable details and then sanitizing your hands before entering the lobby.
The reception area has glass screens, check-in safety protocols and the possibility of a contactless check-in through their app. Continuous sanitation is ongoing as staff can be seen frequently disinfecting the lobby, public areas and contact and touchpoints such as furniture, elevators, door handles and toilets. (photos) rooms and public areas.
I’m told the best hospital-grade disinfectant is used and that rooms are also made safe with extra emphasis on sanitizing areas and items that have higher touch contact.
The rooms and reception have sanitizers, 3 layers masks and latex gloves for guests to use readily. Housekeeping has upped its ante and rooms are cleaned and sanitized with the precision of an ICU between checkout and another check-in. They are also sealed for 48 hours between this.
As I was there for lunch as I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was not the only one longing to be back at the Shangri-la. The sprawling garden that is perhaps most loved by locals in Kathmandu has now been set up with delightful canopies at a very safe distance from each other and outdoor seating can also be enjoyed on the covered portico.
The Beer and Burger offer is ongoing and should be a good incentive to get you there for lunch, an assortment of sandwiches and of course the delightful lamb chop is also on the limited menu for now. Takeaway service has also been started with items from the restaurant and the bakery picking up steam.
Feeling confident about the safety measures being employed in the dining process, I settled down to enjoy my lunch. It started to drizzle, brining freshness and the aroma of earth and nature in the award-winning Shambala Garden, designed by the legendary Desmond Doig himself.
It felt good to be eating out… it felt good to be able to get back to the things we love to do and took for granted. As I enjoyed the flavours, I realized that in a world that has changed so drastically, something remains the same. Despite all the new world safety protocols the charm of the Shangi-la lives on.
And that is something that creates hope in a new horizon.
For reservations and more info call 4412999 Extn: 7518