An Oasis of tranquility in the midst of KathmanduBy Dr. Jan L. Beaderstadt
kathmandu, nepal – The traffic in Kathmandu can drive you nuts. It seems like no matter what time of the day you go out, there is always a traffic jam. The narrow streets of Kathmandu, combined with the motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic can easily set anyone’s nerves on edge. Combine that with the ever present cacophony of car horns, and you long for the quietness of the mountains. My taxi driver pulls into the long drive way of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kathmandu. I’m here to spend one night having rest and comfort in what many say is the finest hotel in all of Nepal. Situated on 37 prime acres in the city, it is a place of tranquility and peace. Even before we reach the hotel lobby, the noise of the Kathmandu traffic quickly fades away. As I step out of the taxi, I suddenly hear a bird singing as well as the soothing sounds of water – fountains playing their own harmonious melody in water splashing on clear pools. My nerves begin to slowly unwind as I check into the spacious lobby. I am greeted to the sounds of a traditional three man group sitting cross-legged on the floor playing traditional Nepali songs. A group of flight attendants stand around laughing and talking as I make my way to the check-in counter. After listening to a taxi driver swear and cuss his way through the slow Kathmandu traffic with never a smile on his face, the sight of the staff smiling further relaxes me. Any pressure and crabbiness I have seems to instantly melt away.
The staff at the reception desk must be used to harried guests arriving with jangled nerves from the streets. They speak smoothly and demonstrate a special touch that few hotels really can offer. A bellboy quickly grabs my baggage and key as we make our way across the spacious lobby to the elevators. The lobby is large, and in the center are Buddhist and Hindu shrines, recreating the peacefulness of the Eastern religions within this oasis of tranquility. I get onto a large elevator car that quickly takes me up to my room. My room is a combination of modern; beautifully blended with traditional designs. My bed is a king size bed resting on a Tibetan carpet, hand woven in a dark cream color with traditional designs. The rest of the room is dark hardwood floors that add a touch of Nepal to the environment.