You must have the impression that mountains have harsh landscapes, smiling faces, and general hardships. Well, that’s not the only case for Namche Bazaar. With the advent of tourism, Namche Bazaar has one more dimension to add – luxury. Popularly regarded as the unofficial capital of Sherpas, unlike other mountain settlements and Sherpa villages in Nepal, Namche qualifies to be called a town indeed and goes well with its name, as bazaar literally means market.
Namche Bazaar is indeed a market of the Khumbu region and the Everest Base Camp trail. It is the backbone of the area in terms of amenities that it provides. Trekkers also do their last-minute shopping if there is any piece of gear missing. Namche is where trekkers spend the most nights while trekking in the Everest region. Usually, trekkers stay here for two nights for acclimatization while ascending and stay a night while descending.
Being a popular resting point in the region, Namche Bazaar is usually full of trekkers during peak season. All trails lead to Namche Bazaar unless you head towards Mera Peak. For trekkers who seek short hikes such as Everest Panorama Trek for a glimpse of Mt Everest, Namche Bazaar, becomes a destination of its own.
Namche Bazaar caters to different types of trekkers and offers something for everyone. If you are in search of luxury to pamper yourself or just need a place to rest during your trek, Namche promises you both. Do not be surprised to find luxury hotels, cafes, bakeries, bars, pubs, and marts in the narrow and steep alleys of Namche.
Namche Bazaar looks like an amphitheater, nestled on a slope at an altitude of 3440 meters. This town is full of teahouses, lodges, and hotels. This Sherpa town promises to wipe out your memory of Kathmandu for a while, with its vibrancy and facilities. The view of the mountains will help you realize that you are in Namche, and not in Thamel. Namche is a comfortable resting point during the Everest Base Camp trek. Depending on your budget, your need for comfort, and your taste buds, Namche has various options.
While venturing out in the Everest region, luxury is a bonus during your expedition. You can seek for luxury before you head out to the toughest terrains or relax after the completion of your trek. The high-end hotels in Namche Bazaar have got you covered.
There are several luxury hotels and high-end lodges in and around Namche Bazaar. Hotel Everest View is one of the most popular hotels, holding the Guinness world record for a hotel in the highest altitude. The chain of Yeti Mountain Home is another high-end option you can consider. These high-end hotels have paved the way for a new definition, combining luxury and harsh terrains. Trekking is no longer a challenging journey with limited options, thanks to high-end hotels.
Types of rooms
The luxury hotels offer a range of comfortable and well-equipped apartments according to your budget. The luxury hotels like Everest View Hotel promise a view of Mt Everest and other mountains from every room. Each room is spacious with attached bathrooms, sitting area, and stonewalled balconies with amazing views. Rooms also have a dressing area, a study, and a small heating system.
Similarly, the rooms of Yeti Mountain Home is a fine mix of traditional Khumbu and modern style with wood finishing, for a warm and cozy feel. All bedrooms of high-end hotels have either a king-sized bed or twin beds. The beds come with comfortable soft mattresses, warm and clean blankets, and electric mats.
Services to Expect
The rooms of these high-end hotels consist of an electric blanket, a small heater, thermos, and free WiFi throughout the hotel. The rooms have attached bathrooms with hot shower and western-style toilets. You will find charging outlets in each room for your electronic devices. You will get all these services and facilities with no additional costs. The price often includes breakfast
Sanitation is not an issue as these high-end hotels take cleanliness, and your overall experience seriously. For the price you pay, you receive top-notch cleanliness in your rooms, toilets, kitchen, and dining area. Most importantly, toilets and bathrooms, including en suite or common ones, are kept clean and well maintained. These toilets have western commodes, and you need not stress over the squat style ones. They have trained staff supervised by professional hospitality managers to ensure sanitation and hygiene without any compromise.
Food and Water
The luxury hotels are also known for the delicious food they serve. They serve a variety of meals, including continental, Asian, Nepali, and western delicacies. The food prepared by professional chefs will tickle your taste buds, and the view of the mountains will be a great combination. You have a lavish option to drop by helicopter in these hotels, enjoy your breakfast with scenery and fly back to Kathmandu.
The kitchen in these hotels often use homegrown organic ingredients and serve freshly made cuisines. The dining is cozy and warm, heated by a chimney that can accommodate as much as 50 guests at a time. The restaurant is open to external guests too. These hotels serve you boiled water, and they don’t usually charge extra for the bottle of hot boiled water, unlike in low-end lodges and tea houses.
As the name suggests, these hotels are priced at a premium range. The price of a room ranges between USD 150 to USD 200 per night that includes most of the facilities discussed above. You can pay them at the hotel by cash or use a credit or debit card.
How to Book?
You can book and pay for hotels through online booking sites, and debit and credit cards are widely accepted. You can also make reservations through travel and trekking agencies in Kathmandu. Directly booking with the hotels is also an option either through their web sites or through telephone.
These hotels are well-reviewed and highly rated by customers on travel review and booking sites with the highest scoring on location, cleanliness, and quality of services. However, not all hotels have unbiased reviews, and different reviewers have different experiences. We advise you to use your best judgment to come to a decision.
If you feel the Everest region is all about adventure and seeking luxury in these challenging mountains is too much of an ask, mid-range hotels should be your option. These hotels offer excellent service for a lot less money. Although this category of hotels is more expensive than teahouses, they provide pleasant dining and comfortable accommodation. This category of lodges and hotels is increasing as they offer a balance of useful facilities for the price you pay.
Types of Rooms
Mid-range hotels are larger than teahouses and can choose from different categories of rooms. They have basic to deluxe versions and provide appropriate services. Some hotels have choices of single rooms along with twin sharing rooms, and deluxe rooms have facilities similar to high-end hotels. These hotels offer rooms with attached bathrooms, and there are rooms with shared toilets and showers if you are looking to save some money.
Services to Expect
The mid-range hotels provide clean and well-maintained rooms. Attached bathrooms have hot showers. While some lodges may have separate shower rooms with hot water despite having an attached bathroom. The attached bathroom usually has a cold shower, which comes free of cost. The deluxe rooms have electric blankets, a small heater, and charging outlets and a bottle of hot water for no additional fees. Some include internet access while at some hotels, you may have to rely on Everest-Link WiFi connections. These facilities and services may not be equal and standardized across all the hotels.
Hotels in Namche are well managed and maintained and take sanitation and cleanliness seriously. Attached toilets are in western style while common ones will have both western and squat style commodes. As these hotels are usually family-run businesses, they go the extra mile to offer cleanliness, good service, and warm Sherpa hospitality to make you feel at home.
Food and Water
These hotels serve an expansive range of Nepali and continental cuisines. Sherpa cuisines such as authentic Sherpa delicacies such as Rigi Kur (potato pancake), Tzen (millet bread), Sherpa Stew and Tsampa Porridge are must try while you are in Namche. The family-run hotels serve these delicacies in the most authentic flavors. Feel free to ask for local delicacies even if they do not appear on the food menu. They also provide boiled drinking water. Deluxe rooms will have a jar of hot water while you will have to pay for hot water if you are staying in budget rooms. The general recommendation is never to drink untreated water in the Everest region. Boiled water, for sure, is the safest bet.
The price of rooms in mid-range hotels range from NRS 1000 for basic rooms to NRS 5000 for deluxe rooms per night. Some hotels even include breakfast for these prices. Please be advised that these prices are only a range and vary upon the services available at a particular hotel.
How to Book
Booking in advance will secure you the best rooms even during the peak season. Although Namche has a good number of hotels and lodges, you will have fewer choices as hotels fill up fast during peak seasons. So, booking your hotel is one of the first things to do while planning your trek to Everest Base Camp. You can book hotels in Namche using the HoneyGuide website, booking sites, through your travel agency, or directly contacting the hotel of your choice.
The mid-range hotels are one of the best value for money hotels with excellent services and reasonable prices considering the remoteness of the place. Some of the well-reviewed hotels are Hotel Khangri, Hotel Sherpaland, Panorama Lodge, and Hotel Namche with best-rated comfort, quality of services, and cleanliness.
Teahouses were once the only option for food and accommodation in the Everest region. Now, with the budding of high end and mid-range hotels, teahouses have competition. Teahouses are still one of the most reliable and preferred places to rest during the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Namche Bazaar has an abundance of teahouses. With the popularity of the trail to Everest Base camp and other pathways, they provide better services than the ones in off the beaten trails or popular routes like Annapurna Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit treks. They look more like lodges than tea houses with a variety of food options, a large number of rooms, facilities like WiFi, hot shower, and even attached bathrooms. Residents on their property usually manage teahouses.
Types of Rooms
Teahouses are not the destination if luxury is your priority. They provide simple amenities and a pleasant place to sleep. They have twin sharing rooms with a wooden finish that comes with a table. There is also a choice of dormitories with shared toilets and bathrooms. These rooms are equipped with a wooden bed, foam pad, pillow, and a blanket. Some teahouses even have rooms with attached bathrooms. The rooms and beds are not as fancy as they are in their luxury competitors but do their job. Trekkers staying at teahouses often use their sleeping bag and compliment with the provided blanket for extra warmth.
Services to Expect
Teahouses have a solar, electric, or gas heated shared shower room. They charge you USD 2 to USD 6 for a hot shower, while cold showers are free of cost if you dare to. You can also get a bucket of warm water to clean yourself for less money.
Charging facilities are available at dining. It is less common in teahouses to have rooms with charging stations. You can charge your electronic devices for USD 2 to 3 per device and USD 10 for power banks, usually at the counter in the dining room.
Shared toilets may not always be as clean as expected but are usable. However, there are tea houses that have well maintained and clean toilets and bathrooms. Teahouses in Namche are clean and hygienic compared to teahouses in higher altitudes and other off the beaten routes.
Food and Water
Teahouses have a heated dining area and offer a simple food menu with a choice of Nepali and continental dishes. These teahouses also serve authentic local delicacies. You can ask the owner to arrange food that locals prefer. You can feast like Sherpas and experience the food of mountains in an authentic style.
One meal on an average will cost USD 5 to 10 and charge around Rs 300 to 400 for a liter of boiled water. The food may not match your set expectations, but it will get the job done. Although the teahouses prefer making the most from the food menu, they often charge less for the rooms. So, you can dine at the same tea house.
Earlier, the tea houses provided rooms free of charge and made you pay only for food. This trend is still in practice in some areas, although the recent initiation to charge NRS 500 for a room has brought changes. However, due to the prime location of Namche Bazaar, free rooms are hard to come by.
You will get decent teahouse rooms on twin sharing basis in the range of Rs 500 to 1000 per night. You need to pay extra for additional services like an extra blanket, charging, hot water bag, or a jar of boiled drinking water. Unlike in the mid-range and high-end hotels, you have to pay extra for additional facilities. However, they come relatively cheap.
Nonetheless, Namche is still one of the most expensive resting points in the Everest region. The price for food, water, and rooms are mostly consistent across all the tea houses here.
How to Book
It would be relatively easier to find a room during the off-season. However, Namche is a confluence of trekking routes going towards Renjo La pass, Gokyo Lakes, and the Everest Base camp. Since trekkers stay here for two nights to acclimatize and one night during the return trek, the town gets a bit crowded. It is a safe bet to book your teahouse in advance.
You can book either through your travel agency, guide, and talk to the teahouse you are staying to reserve a room. You can also use the HoneyGuide website for hotel bookings. You can also book hotels before you reach Namche by asking the hotel owners at the previous destination. If you visit during the offseason, you can visit the guest houses and lodges on your own and seal the deal with tea houses and hotels.
Tea houses are the best budget options while you trek in the Everest region. Namche is an expensive town where one tends to spend the most. If you like to cut down your expenses, you can stay at tea houses in Namche. Hotel Kamal, Khumbu Lodge, Hotel Camp De Base, Ama Dablam Lodge are some of the well-reviewed and highly rated tea houses in Namche in Tripadvisor.
Besides Hotels and Lodges
It may be astonishing for some to see many restaurants, cafes, and pubs in Namche Bazaar. The main street of Namche has different restaurants and eateries to explore. You will find freshly baked apple pie, cakes, freshly brewed coffee, and ice cream. You will be surprised to find Irish Pub at the highest altitude or Worlds’ highest Japanese restaurant and a German Bakery.
Even though the lodge you are staying at will serve you all the meals, you can always go out to have the last bit of delicious food before you eat Dal Bhat, garlic soup, fried rice, and noodles for a week in the high mountains. If you are coming down from Base Camp, in Namche, you rekindle your love with delicious food.
You can restaurant hop in Namche and find eateries such as Eat Smart, Sherpa Barista, Tomodachi Japanese Restaurant, Namche Pizza House, Illy Espresso Bar, or Herman Helmer’s Bakery.
Bars and Pubs
Although drinking alcohol during treks at high altitudes is not recommended, as it is not going to help you with the altitude sickness. Namche Bazaar has quite a few bars and pubs to make you a spirited trekker. If you want to get tipsy in the mountains, save it for your return trek.
Namche has the world’s highest Irish Pub, popular among trekkers. Café Danphe is another bar for liquor and pool that remains open for 24 hours or when the last customer leaves. You will find exhausted trekkers or successful summiteers (even those who did not!) in these bars, celebrating the successful completion of their trip.