An oasis of luxury tiger palace resort
Before we start this off, I think it’s best to establish how big this resort actually is. Talking to Mr. Brett Model, the General Manager at Tiger Palace, says that the property is 16 Bigahs. Now, Bigahs is not a unit we use often here in Kathmandu, so it’s about 6.4 and a bit more Acres. Then again, numbers have a hard time building a picture. Thus, to give you an idea, 16 tennis courts fit in an acre comfortably. So 16 x 6.4 is 102.4, which basically means that the place is huge; huge enough to make it one of the biggest resorts in Nepal. And given the fact that it is an integrated resort, meaning that it has a casino, and has the longest swimming pool in the country, nothing less can be expected from this colossal size.
With that in mind, when we approached them to do this feature for our TNM Travel, they replied with a prompt ‘sure thing, come over’ and went as far as to actually fly us all the way to Bhairahawa. From the start, we were taken aback by how hospitable they are. When we did get there, we were driven to the resort and were further astonished by how the greeting rows of palm trees in the drive way framed the mammoth architectural marvel, making it look like as if the location was in Las Vegas or Dubai. If you were to drive in at night, I’m sure you’d feel like Bond in Casino Royale.
The exterior of the building is a sight to behold, we’ve established that already. But I believe that it’s important to point out that the architect who made the structures is a New Zealander. With that in mind, the strong lines composed of brickwork and concrete that can be felt in Bauhaus architectures can be felt in this facility as well. With bold walls accented by tall windows, the resort’s main console feels as staunch as a tiger. The modernist approach flows back to the two blocks that house the rooms and go on to continue around the swimming pool, further extenuating that sense of modernity and stoutness. Everything feels aesthetically unified, yet unique in their own regard.
Let’s not let the outside shadow what’s inside. Upon entrance, there is the entry to the casino to the right, an arcade of premium shops follow, and to the left, tall windows that bathe all of these attractions in the glow of the sub-tropical sun. All of these walk up to the reception that is looked over by a grand and contemporary chandelier. The front desk is handled by polite and knowledgeable staffs who are more than ready to handle any inquiry. The chairs and sofas that furnish the area have all been imported from various parts of Europe to ensure that the sense of luxury Tiger Palace strives for is achieved. After the reception, two corridors lead left and right and then towards the two blocks of rooms and suites.
Here, there are contained 100 rooms, of which 3 of them are Suites. The Superior rooms are the smallest of the accommodations the resort offers, but that does not mean it’s small. It’s spacious enough to indulge in the uber comfortable queen sized bed and make use of all the modern amenities. Then, the Deluxe has a touch of extra space and a bit more of those amenities. The Suites then are a bit more luxurious then the mentioned, with a space enough to include a sitting area, a king sized bed, a capacious bathroom, and a direct access to the pool; it’s a room for indulgence.
Away from the room blocks are the two Villas; Tiger, and Leopard. Both of these house a master and a guest bedroom, separate dining and living areas, and private access to the pool. As Tiger Palace likes to put it, it’s for the VIPs, for the big players who want a rare level of luxurious retreat.
I want to say that this is one of the features that highlights and solidifies the true identity of the Tiger Palace Resort. The pool is 123 meters of tranquility, making it the longest swimming pool in the country. It is segmented into 3 parts: a large common play area, a private area for the Villas, and another private area for the Suites. The pool is just 4.7 feet deep yet the pleasure it supplies is not shallow. Be it lapping around, floating still, or just basking by the pool, you will be treated to a mirror reflection of the sky, enveloping you in relaxation.
The water is low in chlorine as well, so you’re not going to regret jumping in. And when you do jump in, the sweltering 36 degrees of the sub-tropical Bhairahawa (sometimes 42 during the months of June and July) seems blissful. You can further enhance this paradise by swimming up to the pool bar of Cabana Avenue and ordering your choice of poison, which are served in unique plastic glasses, meaning that you can take it into the water with no fears of breaking anything.
Being a luxury integrated resort, Tiger Palace does not compromise with the food they serve. Primarily, they have 2 restaurants. First, the Ramro Chowk resides in the main console of the resort. They offer tantalizing flavors from the East and the West by serving breakfast buffets and a la carte. With an exciting arrangement of inviting and homely Indian dishes, freshly baked breads and pastries, and easy to digest cold cuts, the restaurant is a great venue to gather and gear up for the day ahead.
As mentioned earlier, the Cabana Avenue is along the swimming pool, and unlike Ramro Chowk, this restaurant focuses on Continental cuisines and a more upscale palate. This is where we dined for our dinner where we were recommended to try their best selling and signature dishes, as prepared by Chef Niraj Budathoki, which we gladly did.
First, we were served their mocktail of the day, the Shirley Temple; a cooling refresher of Sprite, grenadine, and a garnishing orange. Then, it was followed by the warm and hugging flavors of the Mushroom Soup with a side of scrumptious Garlic Bread. Next, their best seller was ushered to our table, the Volcano Prawns. Served in a martini glass, the Prawns were creamy with a slow and building kick of spiciness. And to balance it all, a smooth punch of the coleslaw mellows the hotness, bringing us back and prepping an appetite for the main course. Being a pool bar, they stuck to the theme and served us an artful arrangement Mixed Grill. Comprising of lamb rib, chicken thigh (which I must add were the tenderest), sausage, and assorted veggies, were all grilled to perfection by Chef Budathoki and served with an interesting sauce of beetroot.
Mr. Prabhakar Khadka, the Director of Sales and Marketing, who had joined us for dinner informed us that Chef Budathoki makes everything by himself, all from scratch. And it could be really felt in the desert. We were served yet another art piece in the form of the Cheese Cake, served with a delightful Blueberry Mousse and Preserve, a Chocolate Kiss and Twist.
With that being said, I must say that Bhairahawa is a strange location for a resort. Now sure, you go to a resort to relax, but generally they tend to have attractions around so that guests can go over and travel around. Lumbini World Heritage Site is 30 minutes away, Chitwan is an hour and a half, an ostrich farm is more or less a stone’s throw, and that is pretty much about it. So why did Tiger Palace choose this location when its focus is on tourism?
I put this very question forward when we met Mr. Model and he told us that their chief clients are Indians. That being the case, tourists and thrill seekers can easily cross the border and drive up to Bhairahawa and enjoy themselves in the resort and its casino. Then, once the International Airport opens up, which is just 10 minutes away by the way, guests from the world over will be ushered in. That is a really smart move; in a market where there is none, they’re creating its own market.
And it’s also interesting that this resort has been around for no more than a year. Yet, they have been the spot for destination weddings, corporate MICE’s, and massive pool parties. Just recently they hosted the biggest pool party in Nepal, the Grind III, and they intend to do more. And that’s where their tag line comes in: Dare to go Wild! They want you to come over and let loose. And if you’re someone who has been wanting to do just that, this is the place for you. But maybe you just want to chill out. Fret not. They’ve got you covered as well.
Mr. Brett Model, General Manager
Tiger Palace Resort is a part of the Silver Heritage Group as Tiger 1. With a work force of international experience, they are located in the lush lap of Bhairahawa, Tilottama – 17, Rupandehi. If you’d like more reasons to schedule a trip over here, they have an amazing offer going on. If you book 2 nights, you get another night on the house (EP basis). Visit them at www. tigerpalace.com, or call them at +977 71512000 to book that trip you deserve.
WORDS: NIRVEEK PPJ SHAH | PHOTOS: GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR