Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, Nepal

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by Jaimito Cartero, Apr 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Checked into here last week. I guess it's supposed to be the nicest hotel in town, but Kathmandu is a bit hectic, so not quite like any other Hyatt I've been to before. If you have moderate to low expectations, you'll be fine.

    I booked a corporate rate that included breakfast and airport transportation. The hotel isn't real expensive. Normal rates are $150 or per night plus 23% or so tax/service fee. I think airport pickup is normally $7.

    The airport is certainly interesting. You can get a transit visa for $5 if less than 1 day in the country, or $25 for a 15 day tourist visa. You normally need a passport style picture. I couldn't find my stash of them, but they let it go. They can take pictures there, as well. Pretty helpful staff, overall. I had originally thought the transit visa was good for up to 5 days, so stood in the wrong line. Once I found out that, they were nice enough to not make me wait in the long line.

    Went downstairs to get my checked bag. Had lots of porters wanting to help. Since my luggage was easy to handle with the free luggage carts, I declined. When going through the security check line, which was long, I got corralled by a couple more porter guys who said I didn't have to stand in the line. They then took me around the x-ray machine, and just smiled at the security guy.

    There was a big sign saying, "No bribes" in the downstairs area. After going around the machine, the two guys start asking for money. So I said, "Oh, you want a bribe"? They smiled and said, "Yes". I then mentioned that I wouldn't want them to get in trouble, since the sign sign said no bribes. They don't look so happy now. I then smiled and said, 'Oh, you want a tip". Then they started smiling again.

    Stopped at an exchange kiosk, and they seemed to have a decent exchange rate. I wasn't going to spend much local money, but changed $20 anyway. When he handed the money over, it was short some money. I looked at him, and he said, "Oh, commission". On the bottom of the sign, waaaaaay at the bottom, it says 100 NR minimum commission.

    Went outside, and had tons of people asking if I needed a taxi. Across the road a guy with the Hyatt sign was there. Motioned to him, and he met me. Took me to the hotel van, where one other customer was waiting. We waited for another 10 minutes for another guest, but they never came, so we left.

    The streets are pretty hectic here, with motorbikes going around you everywhere, cows laying down in the road, but interesting to see, certainly.

    It took about 15 minutes to get to the hotel. It's in the middle of a normal neighborhood with lots of small shops, and also some large Stupas nearby.

    Check-in was a bit slow. They couldn't find my booking details. No real recognition of my Diamond status. Asked when I was flying out, told them 4 days later, late at night. Asked for a late checkout, and was told that 1pm was the very latest without paying more. I've never had quite this early of a checkout when I've requested later, but figured I'd find something to do.

    Was upgraded to the club floor, with club access. Nice view of the pool, but tons of pigeons outside on the ledge. The weather wasn't bad, so I opened the window, to find it covered with pigeon droppings. In the early morning and evening, these pigeons are quite loud. I asked the club desk if this was normal, and told that all the top floors have the same problems. Perhaps it's cultural, but I know at most other hotels, they put out fake owls, or have little spike strips they put so birds can't nest there.

    The only extra amenity in the room was a box of chocolate covered cake bites. No fruit, welcome letter, or other gift. Every room gets two large bottles of water per day.

    Not sure why, but had a headache every day after the first here. Pollution, very dry air? Not sure.

    Breakfast downstairs was okay, but would get boring quickly. Lounge only had finger food. Much harder to turn into dinner if you're a cheap bastard. I found most of the staff helpful, but junior staff not really an asset. They would really do much better if they had some hot items for the happy hour period.

    The electricity went off at least 10 times each day. Usually only for 15 seconds, but up to a minute or two. Even got stuck on the elevator once. Only for a couple minutes, but still annoying.

    Walked to the nearby Stupa, which was nice until I got to the Stupa itself. I'm a big guy, and since parts of Asia girth is equated to wealth, I'd be a very rich man. Had over 100 people following me, crowded around me, taking pictures, with a lot of people trying to touch me, most often old ladies.
    [​IMG]
    I had planned at eating at the recommended restaurant (Flavours?), but really had had enough, so went back. Had 30 follow me for a bit, going down to 10 who followed me all the way to the corner of the Hyatt property.

    [​IMG]


    I've got a fairly good sense of humor about such things, but it got overwhelming after a bit. I went into shops a few times to escape. I doubt that most people will have any problem. I'm unique looking. :)

    When checking out, I had no problem using my Costco Hyatt certificates. Since the booking was made with USD, had no loss whatsoever. On the overage ($20), was give a 70.65 NR to 1 USD rate, which is good. Very quick checkout. Nothing wrong with the bill, and no problems using the certs at all. I did checkout at the club desk, which may have helped.

    Was also able to get them to extend the checkout to 4pm. And then hang in the lounge until I needed to leave for my flight in the late evening.

    I'll see if I can add some pictures later.
     
  2. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    "Not sure why, but had a headache every day after the first here. Pollution, very dry air? Not sure."
    It may be the altitude.
     
  3. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Well the altitude is only 4300 or so feet, so I don't know that that is it. Of course for the last couple of months I've been at or near sea level in CGK, BKK and SIN, so I guess it's a possibility.
     
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  4. yaffa
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    yaffa Silver Member

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    I'd love to see some photos. Just looked it up on Wikitravel because the stories I've heard about KTM are in line with your findings. Did you have time to go to Patan? That place looks amazing.
     
  5. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I haven't figured how to add pictures, but will research it later. I tried a couple of times.
     
  6. joanek
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    joanek Silver Member

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    Those pigeons freaked me out. I had a lovely room, loads of windows, and pigeons going nuts, fighting on the ledge, bumping the window, coos that sounded like jet engines. I asked them to please move me---I couldn't stand it. The manager thought I was crazy, and he told me I was giving up one of the nicest rooms in the hotel---but I couldn't stay a minute longer. They moved me to the presidential suite, no pigeons. I returned a few weeks later, and some minor royal was in the suite, so I was placed in the adjoining, smaller, suite, and still no pigeons, even though there was a nice patio.
    All else i remember about the hotel is the power going out a few times a day. Club was nice, ground were lovely.
     
  7. I stay there all the time.

    When were you there Jamie? I was just there 2 nights ago on Friday-Sunday.
    There are some good things to do, the Stupa you went to, there is a temple were they do outdoor
    cremations by the river that incredible to watch..
    If anyone has any hotel questions, pm. I'm there 1 or times a month,
     
  8. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I was there from Thursday to Sunday night. Left on the late KA flight to HKG.
     
  9. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Marc: What type of bird do you fly into KTM?
     
  10. I was your pilot.
     
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  11. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Ah, no complaints on the flight. J was only 1/3 full so had plenty of room to stretch out.

    How do you like the direct approach landings at KTM? I arrived on TG and this was the first flight that I ever recall doing one.
     
  12. KTM is a one way strip. we land on 02 and take off the opposite way 20. It's by far one of the most challenging approaches in the world. IIRC we were 222 out of 285 so there was a bit of room. Chockers of freight down below though! Very heavy takeoff.
     
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  13. Travis Swanson

    Travis Swanson Active Member

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    Jaimito Cartero -- Great to see your review from this hotel! You're review from the Bali Hyatt was of great help when I stayed there a while back, so I was excited to see the review for Kathmandu! We were fortunate to be able to book a suite for 8K points a night for 5 nights. Seems from the post that you weren't all that impressed by the offerings at the club. Finger food for breakfast and not much for the happy hour offerings? I hear they offer a free shuttle to the city, were you able to take this? Any recommendations on sites to see in/around Kathmandu? We will be traveling with our 1 1/2 year old, so you'll most likely just take a couple day trips. Thanks for the help and it was great to see your post. Appreciate the review!
     
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  14. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I only got the airport pickup/drop off.

    You can walk fairly easily to a stupa nearby. You might get a little bit of locals gawking at you. I'm a bit unique looking, think Buddha-like. I had over 100 people following me. I wouldn't worry about it, unless you're similar looking. :)

    I got not much help from the front desk. The club desk was much better. If hordes of pidgeons bother you, make sure your room isn't innundated with them.

    I could eat downstairs, and preferred that for breakfast.
     
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  15. Daniel

    Daniel Active Member

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    Travis - How did your trip end up? We'll be taking our 13 month-old twins, booked suite (8K points) for 3 nights before going up to Nagarkot. Any recs for activities in KTM with young toddler? Thanks!
     

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