Varnabas Museum hotel throws its doors open todayThe Rs1.31 billion property displays the grandeur of Nepal’s cultural heritage.
The Varnabas Museum is all set to throw its doors open on Thursday, five years after its construction started.
The hotel in Baluwatar, Kathmandu is called a museum for a reason. Artefacts on themes ranging from geography to culture are on display in its lounges, rooms, and restaurants.
A refreshing gazebo with live Nepali music welcomes the guests to a lounge and then suddenly transports them to a distant and lavish era of Nepali history.
Rising from the lower floors to the upper floors is like an ascent in Nepal’s altitude, as the themes of each floor transition from the Tarai to the hilly regions and then to the mountains.
Each suite offers a distinct immersion into Nepal's diverse village life, meticulously crafted from indigenous materials like Nepali wood, elephant grass, bamboo, and bakkhu fibres.
The 48 suites in the museum are all uniquely named after the villages of Nepal, such as the Chitwan suite on the 2nd floor, the Dhampus suite on the 4th floor, and the Dhunche suite on the 7th floor.
In each piece of furniture and design, there is impeccable attention to detail, from the selection of flooring and tiles to even hand-painted walls. Every comfort is accounted for with the amenities of the spa and jacuzzi.
Its restaurant, Kharka-La, can cater to more than 200 guests at a time in a fine dining experience with an open kitchen. Its uniquely named tables can be booked online.
Varnabas has its own Everest too, which is a top floor designed to represent the mountain and its surrounding peaks, en route to which guests pass through Gokyo (the swimming pool) and South Col (the bar).
Rajendra Bajgain, founder and managing director of Gurkha Encounters, who is also a lawmaker, is the mastermind behind the project.
“My mission with the Varnabas Museum is to make it an immersive experience for the whole of Nepal. It symbolises the ethnic diversity of Nepal, popularly known as char jat chhattis barna ko sajha fulbari (a common garden of 4 castes and 36 ethnicities),” he said.
The museum is thus named Varnabas, meaning the home of many Varnas.
Built on an 48,000 sq ft area with a total investment of Rs1.31 billion, the hotel is a blend of indigenous Nepali culture in a world-class grandeur.
The opulent designs were crafted in their initial phases by Thai architects at Nova Studio, which carried out landscaping work. Then design was taken over by Sanjay Bahadur Thapa, an architect and urban designer who trained and practised in the US and internationally.
The selected artefacts on display at the museum were curated by Swosti Rajbhandari of the Nepal Art Council.
Mingma David Sherpa, the world-renowned mountaineer, also collaborated with the Varnabas team, as he was impressed with the mission and vision of the museum hotel.
Sherpa is the youngest person to climb all the 14 eight-thousanders.
“I offered to join the hotel with no contractual obligations because the way the Varnabas was designed to give back to the community is praiseworthy. The promotion of the idea of inclusivity for all is exceptional, said Sherpa.
Varnabas has also planned to collaborate with social organisations to dedicate a portion of every earning to the families of mountaineers lost in ascent and towards the treatment of cataract surgery patients.
While the construction was estimated to be completed in 2 years, it was extended to 5 years due to various issues in design and construction.
The museum hotel will have month-long opening-related activities.