After a long trek through Nepal’s Himalayas, the Fishtail Lodge is a dream come true. Set on a peninsula in the center of Lake Pokhara and surrounded by views of the world’s highest mountains, the Fishtail gives guests a feeling of peace and seclusion—and it is a secluded hotel. After all, reaching the hotel requires a short crossing on a boat or shuttle-float (provided by the hotel).
Whitney and I found the lodge by pure chance, and found it to be one of the most delightful travel experiences of our lives, with views that are the best we’ve ever seen and service that was world class. We visited Pokhara after a 10-day trek along the Annapurna circuit. We arrived in town exhausted, aching from head to foot, and dreaming of a soft bed and full breakfast. When we finally reached Pokhara and saw the lights of the Fishtail Lodge glittering across the water, we knew we had found our Shangri-la.
Fish Tail Lodge is well known for being featured in the book “The Thousand Places to See Before You Die”. We don’t always agree with the places selected for that book – but Fish Tail Lodge and the mountains that surround do deserve to be seen at least once during everyone’s lifetime.
We spent two nights at the lodge. We woke up each morning and enjoyed the huge buffet breakfast and then made the short crossing to the mainland on the hotel boat (which is propelled by a pilot wielding a long pole). We rented a scooter and spent our afternoons and evenings enjoying massages ($5 an hour) and steak dinners (less than $10).
While the surrounding mountains are among the highest in the world, Pokhara itself is not far above sea level and the temperature is more tropical than Himalayan. On a sunny afternoon, plan on enjoying a dip in the lodge’s pool followed by a nap in a lounge chair.
While the rooms are businesslike and comfortable rather than opulent (think of a Holiday Inn), the views from the hotel grounds are incredible. Dozens of peaks are visible on a clear day and the hotel’s namesake, the 22,0000 foot Fishtail (or Machapuchare), looks down on the city like the Matterhorn on steroids. There are more luxurious hotels in the Pokhara area, but none with the idyllic setting, jaw-dropping views, and history that Fishtail can claim.
The lodge has been one of Nepal’s most desirable addresses for year. Prince Charles, Jimmy Carter, and dozens of other politicians, royals, and celebrities have visited – no doubt attracted as much by the polite service as the beautiful mountain surroundings.
A stay at Fishtail Lodge is a stay that you can feel good about. All profits from lodge are donated to a fund that provides cardiac care and education to Nepal’s poorest residents.
- Address: P.O. Box 10, Lakeside, Pokhara, Nepal
- Rooms: 60
- On site: Restaurants: One restaurant/bar. Fitness: Swimming pool.
- Reservations: +977-61-465071
- Price: $$$
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