Traditional Comfort is a new and stylish boutique hotel in Kathmandu, but it comes with a twist: as the name suggests, it is equipped with modern comforts, but the design principles are traditionally Nepali.
Traditional Comfort sets itself apart from many boutique hotels in Kathmandu—and indeed, the world over—for its amazing attention to detail. On close inspection, every item in the hotel—from the bricks, to the carved wooden beds, to the paintings and statues within alcoves in the corridors, to the printed bedspreads and cushions, to the intricate jhyal (windows)—are individual and hand-made. Visitors eager to learn about the traditional crafts and culture of the Kathmandu Valley can do so before even leaving the hotel.
Kathmandu has a very rich tradition of handicrafts, particularly amongst the Newari community in Patan and Bhaktapur. The Newars are the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley, and many aspects of architecture and design that are taken to be traditionally Nepali are in fact more specifically Newari. Workshops can be found throughout the backstreets of Patan and Bhaktapur, and tourists are welcome to drop into these, whether independently or with a tour group. But it takes large, modern projects such as the building of Traditional Comfort to ensure that these craft traditions continue to thrive in the twenty-first century. Traditional Comfort has invested in not just sustainable tourism, but sustainable cultural preservation. Generations of artistic and cultural knowledge are embodied in the artisans still active today, and this knowledge can continue to be passed down to the younger generations when contemporary projects embrace the richness of Nepali tradition.
Of course, this is a boutique hotel, and all of this beauty and attention to detail would amount to little if the quality of the sleep at Traditional Comfort wasn’t excellent. But it is. The hotel is located in Kamal Pokhari, a short walk or taxi ride from touristy Thamel and upmarket Durbar Marg. It is far enough away from the nightlife and busy roads that you can get a peaceful night’s sleep in the large, comfortable beds, but close enough that you can easily have a night out on the town if you want. Durbar Marg is just a ten minute walk, and has some of the best restaurants in Kathmandu. Lively Thamel is another ten minutes’ walk beyond, and is the place to go souvenir shopping or catch some live music.
Another benefit of Traditional Comfort being a little bit removed from other hotels is that it is the tallest building in the vicinity. Therefore, the rooftop views of the city are almost unobstructed. Although the hotel doesn’t have any garden space down below, the beautifully adorned rooftop above more than makes up for this. The rooftop is the ideal place to sit with a drink and enjoy the sunset, or curl up with a book. The shaded seating areas are all covered in traditional cut copper roofing, made to resemble traditional Newari temple architecture.
Every detail inside and outside of Traditional Comfort has been carefully designed, and it’s this attention to detail that sets the place apart from other mid-range boutique hotel in Kathmandu.
By: Elen Turner