I remember the day when I took a bus from Tansen to Pokhara, Nepal. After that long, uncomfortable journey, all I wanted to do was to crash onto a bed and sleep for hours. But the fact was that I didn’t have a place to go. I didn’t make any booking in advance and I was clueless where to go.
After reaching Pokhara, I walked for almost 45 minutes to find a suitable place to stay. My mind was blank and I couldn’t make a decision. It was a hot day and I was getting annoyed at myself for not making a booking prior to my arrival.
This is when I remember sending an email to a place called ‘The Castle Resort’ while planning my trip a month ago – and receiving a response. “This could be my place,” I thought and I called them. The lady on the receiving end was Sofia, who instantly recognized me and welcomed me to their place. I had absolutely no idea where it was located and she sent a taxi to pick me up.
This is how my memorable time at The Castle Resort Pokhara began. Here’s my review of this ‘castle’ on the hills of Pokhara, Nepal.
Note: Apparently there are many ‘Castle Resorts’ in different cities of the world. So they prefer their name as ‘The Castle Resort Pokhara.’ I have mentioned the same name in my review below.
When Sofia invited me to their place, I had no idea it was located on a hill. “Where the hell are we going exactly?” I asked the taxi driver when were slowly riding through the curvy, bumpy, unfinished road up the hill.
“It’s going to be better when we reach up there,” the taxi driver told me with confidence. After a few minutes, we finally reached the place and took some stairs to enter The Castle Resort.
As soon as I climbed up, I remember stopping for a minute and taking a 360-degree view around the place. It was simply amazing. The driver was right. The bumpy ride was totally worth it.
Surrounded by scenic beauty, The Castle Resort Pokhara has the famous Phewa Lake and world peace stupa on its one side. On the opposite side, you can see beautiful mountains and Sarangkot. The village of Methlang is about 45 minutes of walk up the hill from here.
The place itself had a nicely managed garden with lovely flowers and different trees all over the place.
When the property was built up some two decades ago, there was no road to reach up there. They built stairs with rocks to reach there. These stairs are still in place and if you prefer climbing them, you can reach the Castle in less than 15 minutes.
Right after I took a look around, my tiredness was almost gone and now it was time to meet people who invited me to this beautiful place.
Joe and Sofia: The Heart and The Soul of The Castle Resort
The first person I met there was Joe, who was sitting in the bar with his friends – smoking his pipe and enjoying beer.
Joe welcomed me to the place and told a staff member “C2..!” – winking at me. I followed the staff member Ganga to my room and put my stuff in there before taking a cold shower to relax my body.
In a few minutes, my energy was back and I could care less about the hot day. I walked to the bar and sat with Joe and his friends. Sofia came there soon after and all of us sit in the bar talking about things.
Throughout my stay at the Castle Resort, I enjoyed Joe’s company. Once an avid traveler, Joe – hailing all the way from Ireland – is a kind-hearted man with a touch of humor. His cheerful personality is indeed the ‘heart’ of the Castle. He always made sure I had a pleasant time at their place.
Sofia stayed in touch with me via Skype as she flew to Europe the next day of my arrival.
They began building the Castle Resort back in the year 1998 when there was nothing but trees around the location. For almost 20 years, Joe and Sofia have been active in the local community – earning them respect from the locals.
Like Joe and Sofia – their female boxers Tigra and Kylie are friendly, too. Expect some bark from them when you first arrive at the place, but that’s how they greet guests, you see? Both of them are sweet and love to have people around.
During my stay, Kylie and I became good friends. I never liked dogs in my life but Kylie is the first dog I came to like, after all.
Rooms and Services
I was allotted a Double Room with a king size bed. The bed was nicely arranged and so were the other things in the room. There was a wooden wardrobe in the room. A full-size mosquito net was present over my bed.
The attached bathroom was spacious. There was a shower with hot and cold water availability. I used hot water only once at 4:00 am and found it working.
Because of the way the rooms are designed in circular shape, the room might not feel very spacious with a bed, a wardrobe, and a bathroom. But for me, it was enough space to spend my nights in the room as I would spend my day outside enjoying the beautiful location.
Other rooms at the property include two cosy cottages (small double rooms) and a family room that can accommodate up to 5 guests. Two more rooms are under renovation at the moment.
All these rooms had an outdoor table where I used to sit and work while admiring the beauty around me.
One of the best things about The Castle Resort is the outdoor swimming pool. The pool is a gift during the summer and attracts many day-visitors who come there especially to enjoy the pool.
An Irish pub is where guests can enjoy drinks. Being a hardcore Irish by heart, Joe always stocks his Jameson whiskey. Other local and international brands of liquor are also available at the bar. An on-site restaurant serves Nepali, Continental, and European dishes.
During tourist season, they often throw pool parties with live DJ sessions. Enjoying your drinks by the pool, listening to live DJ, and playing ball in the heated pool during winter – seriously, it can’t get better than this.
A volleyball cum badminton court, a trampoline and table tennis are also present at the property. The pool and sports activities are included in rooms’ price. Day guests can enjoy them at a nominal price for the whole day.
Other activities that can be arranged from The Castle Resort include trekking, paragliding, airport shuttle, pickup and drop-off from and to the town down the hill, BBQ etc.
The Castle Resort is a large property. Keeping it clean and maintained is a task on its own. The staff members work hard to make sure the place stays clean.
One of the first staff members I would always see early morning would be Devi cleaning the pool. He also maintains the garden along with a lady gardener.
The room service is available daily or on request. The cleaning lady neatly cleans the room and the bathroom – leaving nothing to complain about.
Other areas like the pub, the dining area, and common bathrooms are also kept nicely cleaned.
The Castle Resort has a garden where they grow different vegetables. Their rice and many vegetables come directly from their own garden – making sure you always have fresh veggies to enjoy. The drinking water served at the place comes directly from the mountains – and is filtered before being served.
During my stay, I thoroughly enjoyed the food. I tried almost everything available on the menu and I must say the food I was served was pleasant in taste, quality, and quantity.
Guests can enjoy a standard breakfast that includes tea/coffee, eggs, sauté potatoes, bread, butter, jam, and a glass of juice. There are other items available to choose from, of course.
In dinner, I began with my order of Honey Chicken Sizzler. I also tried steak and other beef items, curries, rice, and other dishes I don’t remember. Enjoying my dinner in candle light was a nice experience.
In desert, my favourites were chocolate momos. Those tiny little devils filled with chocolate and served with chocolate dip were marvellous wonders. If you love chocolate, you must try their momos.
Ignoring very few instances where my food was salty or not served as I ordered, everything I had at The Castle Resort Pokhara had a long-lasting impact on my taste buds.
Besides Joe and Sofia, there were other staff members taking care of the pub, restaurant, kitchen, garden, and cleaning.
Since my first day at The Castle Resort, I found some of the staff members a little odd. They wouldn’t talk much, and often respond with a simple ‘yeah’ or ‘nah.’ It was hard to find someone who could ‘communicate’ besides yes or no. I am sure it must be this way because of the language difference, but I still expect a little more responsiveness.
The guys at the bar who managed orders for food and drinks sometimes mixed up orders – even completely ‘forgetting’ what was ordered.
The helping staff like the cleaning lady Suku, the gardener Devi and the security person available at night were friendly and all of them used to greet me every time we met. They were courageous and ready to help with anything they were asked – even if it wouldn’t be a part of their role.
Overall, while some staff members were helpful, there were some who need to be trained to be more friendly and helpful.
The Castle Resort Pokhara Review: Summary
I spent over three weeks at The Castle Resort Pokhara. Located on top of the hill, its location could be considered as the best feature of The Castle Resort. While some guests find it difficult or inconvenient to reach the property, most guests love coming up the hill – either via vehicles by the road or climbing the stairs – to enjoy the place.
Nice rooms, notable cleanliness and delicious food combined with Joe and Sofia’s ultra-friendly gesture works like a charm for this place. The swimming pool and the Irish pub are cherries on top, of course.
If you prefer a quiet place located away from the noise of the city – The Castle Resort is your place to be. Surrounded by beauty all over, this amazing property combines ideal location, over-the-top hospitality and delicious food with great value for money.
If you do end up there, be ready to be surprised by mesmerizing views around the place. There’s some sort of feeling about the place that can only be felt if you reach there.
Planning a trip to Pokhara, Nepal? Go ahead and book your room at The Castle Resort. If you don’t wish to stay there, still make sure to visit the place as a day-guest to enjoy the pool, food, and drinks. I’m sure you will enjoy your time as much as I did.
The Castle Resort Pokhara Review
Rooms and Services
Value for Money
With spectacular views, over-the-top hospitality, delicious food, and great value for money, The Castle Resort Pokhara is one of the best places to stay in Pokhara, Nepal.