Review: Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Introduction: Journey To Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, And Kuwait
Review: Air France Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: Korean Air Business Class 747-8 San Francisco To Seoul
Review: Korean Air Business Class 777 Seoul To Kathmandu
Review: Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Review: Kathmandu Airport Lounge
Review: Drukair Business Class A319 Kathmandu To Paro
Review: Le Meridien Thimphu
Review: Le Meridien Paro
Hiking To The Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan
How We Spent Our Time In Bhutan
Review: Drukair Economy ATR42 Paro To Dhaka
Review: Presidential Suite At The Le Meridien Dhaka
Review: Dhaka Airport Lounge
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class A330 Dhaka To Kuwait
Review: Sheraton Kuwait
Review: Kuwait Airways Lounge Kuwait Airport
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Kuwait To Shannon
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Shannon To New York


We spent three nights in Kathmandu prior to our visit to Bhutan, and for me the hotel choice was obvious. As a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist, there was only one hotel I really considered, which was the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu. I had heard good things about the hotel, and best of all, it’s a Category 1 Hyatt property.

That means a free night redemption costs just 5,000 points per night, or you can book a Points + Cash booking for 2,500 points plus $50 per night. On the surface an outright points redemption is actually a better value (since I don’t value Hyatt points at two cents each), but we made a Points + Cash reservation since those stays qualify as eligible elite nights, while outright free night redemptions don’t.

As a point of comparison, the paid rate at the Hyatt Regency was ~$200 per night including taxes and fees, so redeeming points was by far the best value.

We had arranged for a hotel car to pick us up at Kathmandu Airport (which cost 20USD), and I’m happy we did, because the airport arrivals area was insane. Based on looking at Google Maps I figured the ride to the hotel would only take about 15 minutes, though it took almost 45 minutes due to traffic. Kathmandu is a crazy city.

However, things calmed down the second we drove through the Hyatt’s gate.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu exterior

As our car pulled up we were greeted by one of the front office associates, who escorted us directly to our room for in-room check-in. I find this is often one of the benefits of ordering a hotel car — when the hotel knows exactly when you’ll arrive, they can better customize your arrival experience.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu exterior

The hotel had a peaceful little outdoor area with a small water display.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu exterior

Past that was the reception area.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu reception

Past that was the main part of the lobby — I don’t quite know how to describe it, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. 😉

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu lobby

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu lobby

In the very back of the lobby was tons of seating.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu lobby

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu lobby

The elevators to the guest rooms were at the back of the lobby and on the right. We were brought up to the fifth floor, where our room was located. Outside the elevator we turned right, and were brought into a hallway with eight rooms. This hallway required a key to enter. I’m not sure if this is intended as an additional security measure or just intended so that someone could potentially rent out all the rooms in one section and have some privacy.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu hallway

We were assigned room 510, the last room on the right at the end of the hallway.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite exterior

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu floorplan

We got a suite — sweet! This was my second stay since the World of Hyatt program kicked in, under which Globalist members get unlimited complimentary suite upgrades on a space available basis. In this case we got an upgrade without even asking.

The suite had a large living room.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite living room

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite living room

There was a sitting area with a couch and two chairs, all facing a coffee table.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite living room

Across from that was a console with a TV in it.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite living room

The living room was fairly sparsely furnished, and back near the entrance was a desk with two chairs, which doubled as a dining table.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite living room

Right by the door was a cabinet which had some complimentary fresh fruit and freshly baked cookies.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu welcome fruit & cookies

There was a door separating the living room from the bedroom. In the bedroom was a king size bed, which was extremely firm. I’m usually pretty sensitive to this stuff, but for whatever reason I slept fine in spite of how firm it was. Meanwhile Ford had trouble sleeping because of this.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite bedroom

Across from the bed was a TV.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite bedroom

Next to the TV were two huge bottles of water, along with a kettle and some instant coffee and tea.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu kettle & bottled water

Then to the side of the bed was a chair with an ottoman.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite bedroom sitting area

On the bedside console was a jar containing a bunch of chocolates — just what we need after a long day of flying. 😉

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite chocolates

The bathroom was connected directly to the bedroom, and featured a single sink, bathtub, large walk-in shower, and partitioned off toilet.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite bathroom

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite bathtub

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite toilet

While the shower was large, it was poorly designed, as there was no easy way to turn on the water without getting in the shower first, meaning you typically got sprayed with cold water. It was tough to aim away the showerhead.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite shower

Toiletries were provided by Aqua Shui Water, which I can’t say I’ve seen before.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu toiletries

Also off the bedroom was a walk-in closet.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite closet

Both rooms overlooked the hotel’s property, as well as the city in the distance.

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Hyatt Regency Kathmandu suite view

Overall I was impressed by the room. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a Four Seasons, but for Kathmandu, and especially for a Category 1 Hyatt property, the room was awesome. I do wish the mattress would have been a bit softer, but that’s a minor detail in the grand scheme of things.

My one major gripe about the stay was the wifi speed. The wifi was really slow, almost unusually so at times. I have the flexibility to travel constantly, but one thing I really struggle with is slow wifi, since it doesn’t allow me to get my work done. Ultimately I realize Nepal has many challenges, so I’m not necessarily blaming the hotel. However, it is something to be aware of. For what it’s worth, the wifi at the airport lounge on departure was much faster.

Because of my Globalist status we had access to the Regency Club, located on the sixth floor. Here’s a letter explaining the services offered for club guests (I don’t believe the free airport transfer is available to those who receive club access through status, which is fair enough):

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The lounge was near the elevators on the sixth floor. There was a pretty swanky hallway along the side of the lounge.

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club entrance

The lounge itself was quite large, with a variety of couches and tables.

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club

We visited the lounge one evening during the happy hour, which goes nightly from 5:30PM until 7:30PM. The spread was decent — definitely better than what you’d get at a US property — though not really a substitute for dinner, as you may find at some other international properties.

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

There was a selection of self serve liquor and wine.

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening drinks

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening drinks

I’ll let the pictures of the food speak for themselves.

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Club evening spread

Overall it was a solid spread, though perhaps the most interesting aspect of the lounge was overhearing others’ conversations. It seems like there are a significant number of people who live at this hotel — many people seemed to know one another. Several people talked about how they had just taken trips, but how it’s now nice to “be back home again.”

We also had the choice of having breakfast in the restaurant at no additional cost, so that’s where we ate every morning. The Cafe is located on the ground floor, and is open for breakfast from 6AM until 10:30AM.

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant

There’s even outdoor seating, though most mornings it was too chilly to sit outside (at least given how early we ate).

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant outdoor seating

The breakfast buffet was fantastic. In addition to Western options, they had tons of food from India, Nepal, etc.

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

There was even a big selection of fruits and veggies, and you could pick out which you wanted for a freshly squeezed juice.

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

There were also made to order omelets, waffles, pancakes, etc.

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast buffet

Below is a sampling of some of the things I picked out from the buffet.

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast

I also had a veggie omelet one day, which was good.

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Hyatt Kathmandu restaurant breakfast

One night we ordered room service for dinner, which was reasonably priced. The food at this hotel was top notch across the board — I was very impressed.

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Hyatt Kathmandu room service

In terms of other amenities, the hotel has Club Oasis, which is the spa and fitness center.

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Hyatt Kathmandu Club Oasis spa

The fitness center had a decent amount of equipment, though was on the small side. I was also surprised by how many people were using it. I went there at 6AM one morning, and almost every machine was being used (I took the below picture when I came back at a later point, when it was still quite full).

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Hyatt Kathmandu gym

Just outside the gym was the pool, which was nice and seemingly always empty.

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Hyatt Kathmandu pool

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Hyatt Kathmandu pool view

Service at the hotel was exceptional across the board. Everyone seemed so genuinely hospitable, from the Regency Club staff, to the breakfast staff who remembered our preferred drink order every morning, to just about everyone else we interacted with. Then again, I found the people in Kathmandu to be friendly in general.

After three interesting (though crazy) nights in Kathmandu, it was time to head to Bhutan. Our flight was leaving early in the morning, so suffice to say we were a bit worried when we had the below note slipped under our door the night before.

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We left extra early, though fortunately the demonstrations were canceled.

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu bottom line

I was impressed by the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, especially given that this is just a Category 1 property. The hotel is charming, we got a great suite upgrade, the breakfast was excellent, the staff were friendly, and the hotel had a convenient location within the city (though with traffic in Kathmandu, it can still take quite a while to get places).

I’d recommend this hotel in a heartbeat.

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Comments

  1. I think you are able to sleep anywhere now because you are exhausted from your crazy schedule/travel. In your last few reviews you have said something along the lines of “I don’t sleep well on firm/angle flat beds, but for whatever reason I slept well.”
    Your body is so exhausted you could probably fall asleep on a bed on nails.

  2. Lovely hotel. The true conservative or the fake liberal in me wants to stand on that balcony there and tell thousands of starving people below to work harder to rise up and be able to live in such grand places, while the poor sobs die of starvation.

    I feel like Paul Ryan!

  3. That seems way too nice to be a Category 1 Hyatt when you consider some of the Hyatt Places in out of the way locations that are above that.

  4. You missed out on one of my favorite hotels in the world. Dwarikas. It’s so sad to see you travel 12,000 miles and say Hyatt is the obvious choice. You missed out big time !

  5. I stayed there in December and got a suite that was a duplex: double height living room area and the bedroom upstairs.

  6. Nice review! Thanks for the additional detail on the bed.

    I think the c+p is the better value. If the room is $200, then the redemption value of all points redemption is $200/5,000 or 4 cents per point. On c+p, it’s ($200-$50)/2500 or 6 cents a point.

  7. Beachfan — your assessment of value is incorrect. The $200 the room costs is irrelevant. It could be $300, it could be $400, but the value you get from your points isn’t connected to that cost.

    The value you get from your points is the room/food/location/etc. of the hotel, all of which is unconnected to the price of the room. For that value, Ben could pay

    5000 points OR
    2500 points + $50.

    Since Ben values the points at 1.5 cents per, that means his options were

    $75 worth OR
    $87.50

    As he said, he paid for the most expensive one (though with reason)

  8. Sorry James K, but of course the price is relevant. How could it not be. If the room was $20 wouldn’t you pay cash? If it was $2,000 wouldn’t you never pay cash if an award was available at those rates

    Looked at another way, going all points is an extra 2500 points to save another $50. So you are choosing to redeem those extra points for another 2 cents each.

    For the same 5,000 points, plus $100, you could stay 2 nights and get 6 cents/ point. How is redeeming for 2 cents a point more valuable than redeeming for six cents a point.

    If you had an infinite number of points, then you would always do as much as possible when the redemption value was above your personal valuation. But no one does. If you only had 5,000 points.

  9. Hi Lucky,

    For someone who values his privacy, and who has blogged about how he couldnt work due to people talking on the phone at the poolside, should you have been attempting to overhear peoples conversations? No malice bro, just asking.

  10. @Lucky

    Why not ask for a mattress topper? Most 5 star (and above) hotels can ‘customise’ the bed. If they don’t have toppers, ask for extra bedding (duvet/comforter) to be placed above the mattress. I do this often in Asia as they tend to have firmer beds there.

    @James K

    Beachfan is right. Ben doesn’t value points at 1.5c (or 1.8 rather?), that’s the minimum floor. We try to save as many points as possible for a redemption more outsized (closer to 3 cpp).

  11. I stayed here a year or so back for one night just before leaving Nepal (seeing it was close to the airport), and I have to say that one of the best features of this hotel is the grounds. Just walking around in the gardens, it is quite apparent what a stark contrast it is to the surrounding city. And it’s also really close to some key sights in Kathmandu, which can be accessed via a special path from the hotel.

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