If you want to stay somewhere special while exploring the historic temples and palace in Durbar Square in Patan, a suburb of Kathmandu, then Cosy Nepal ticks the box.
I stayed in Yatachhen House, a 400-year-old building just a minutes’ walk from the square.
After a day of haggling, bumpy taxi rides, beeping motorbikes and traffic fumes, I felt a sense of calm each time I stepped into its private courtyard.
My double room overlooked a pomelo tree in the middle of the courtyard. Quiet and spacious, the room had exposed brick walls, dark wooden floors and thin cotton curtains that danced in the breeze when the windows were open.
The house was the first building that the French owner, Camille Hanesse, renovated.
“I have a great architect friend from Nepal,” Camille explained. “Yatachhen House belongs to his family. In 1994 everyone thought he was crazy, because no one renovated old houses back then. Old buildings kept being destroyed. But he dismantled it, kept the structure and raised the ceilings, and we opened it in 2013. We wanted to show locals you can find a purpose for them, because architecture is culture.”
“In Newari houses the kitchen is always on the top floor for religious reasons; no visitors enter, so it’s kept private and pure. But our kitchen is on the ground floor, because his grandma still lives here, and my friend wanted her to experience the energy of visitors coming in and out of the kitchen as she cooks for herself and her family. At 83, she says it keeps her young.”
“We now have 10 houses, with 40 rooms or apartments within those houses, all 200m from Durbar Square.”
The rooms vary from a single room to a duplex with a balcony that used to be a summer home for kings in the Malla period, in the 1700s. Whichever you choose, you’ll have access to a shared kitchen and comfortable mattresses, air conditioning, hot showers and hair dryers, which can be scarce in Nepal.
Guests have included the Chanel model Saskia de Brauw, the Polish actress and model Kasia Smutniak, Miss Nepal 2019 and Sanam Puri, the lead singer of the Indian pop rock band Sanam. So Cosy Nepal is good enough for rock royalty as well as kings.
Cosy Nepal Office, Yatachhen House, Swotha Square Ward 18, 44600 Lalitpur, Nepal.
Tel: (+977) 9860 111 757 / (+977) 9813 901 670
Call from Durbar Square and someone from the hotel will come to meet you on foot.
Type of Hotel: Short, Medium and Long-Term Accommodation
Number of Rooms: 40 rooms, apartments and houses across 10 buildings.
Price Band: Low to medium with rooms costing from £24-£126 a night.
Insider Tip: Enquire about kitchen classes, where you visit a food market or make momos (dumplings).
Reviewer’s Rating: 10/10
Photographs courtesy of Cosy Nepal