With a post scheduled for Christmas, my thoughts turned to places I’ve stayed on this holiday during my travels. One of the most memorable was a humble guest house with plank walls along the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. Armed with a tinsel garland and plastic silver bell that vibrated and played carols, I turned our abode for Christmas Eve night into a festive place while we gave our leg muscles a chance to relax before the next day’s leg of the trip.
This guest house was a short hike up to Poon Hill, the highest point of our journey, and where the view of the surrounding Himalayas was the most spectacular.
Although the entire circuit can take about 18 days, we (my husband and two other couples) had shortened our trek to more than half that in order to fit our vacation schedule. For the shortened version, we flew to Jomsom from Pokhara. Jomsom was the starting point for the several days walk to Ghorepani. From Ghorepani we took a short bus ride back to Pokhara, and then a flight back to Kathmandu.
When choosing the logistics of our trek, we decided to opt for guest house stays. Even though some guest houses might seem no better than camping, the idea of walls and a bed had its charm. Plus, guest houses offer opportunities to visit with other travelers, the guest house owners, and the porters and Sherpas (guides) who accompany people who are trekking.
For us, visiting included many games of Uno which we played each night after circling around a guest house table and ordering momos (Nepalese style dumplings) The Sherpa and two porters we hired played with us.
We had hired the two porters and one Sherpa to help us carry our gear, find lodging and places to eat, plus most importantly, ensure that we wouldn’t get lost along the windy trails of the Anapurna region. As each day passed, we found them to be invaluable in helping us keep pace in order to get to our next destination in time to find a place to stay.
Because we were on a tight schedule, they pushed us past Tattapani, one of the most lovely villages along the way. Known for its natural hot springs, Tattapani is one of the stops trekkers look forward to for the possibility of a restorative soak in the hotsprings or the excitement of a rafting trip. We had barely enough time to order our requisite momos, and notice that poinsettia plants grow to almost small tree size here.
If we did this trip again, I’d stop for a night in Tattapani. And instead of roughing it in a guest house at the lower end of the dollar spectrum, I’d check out New Spring View Guest House and Restaurant. This nine guestroom hotel also offers yoga sessions and spa and Ayurvedic treatments. Hot sulphur baths are free to guests.
Unlike the guesthouses that are a mere step up from a tent, the New Spring View Guest House’s rooms have attached bathrooms with hot and cold running water.
Other amenities include: room service, laundry service, a restaurant and a roof top terrace. There is also a travel desk person who can arrange for rafting trips and other outings. If I stayed here at Christmas, I’d most definitely bring a tinsel garland. And if I could find one, a plastic silver bell that plays carols.
Prices, according to the Spring View Guest House website, range from Rs. 750 for a deluxe room for two people to Rs. 1750 for the same room if all meals are included. A family suite runs between Rs. 950 and Rs. 1950. It’s also possible to just get breakfast or breakfast and dinner.
Currently, the exchange rate is USD/NPR = 0.01137.
Spring View Guest House
Tatapani, Tehsil Karsog, Distt: Mandi (Shimla)
Mr. kushal: +91 98163 – 41911
Phone: +91 – 98163 – 41911 or +91 – 98163 – 08834
Photos courtesy of New Spring View Guest House and Restaurant