the lap of nature : park village resort
In one of his letters written to his children dated 17th April, 1994, Mr. Karna Shakya confesses that he is “slowly pulling out” of his social works. Having already resigned from the Honorary Consul post, Nepal Television Board, King Mahendra Trust, and soon from Nepal Heritage Society, his attention seems to have shifted towards tourism. In the same letter, he says how Kathmandu is starting to become extremely populated, making it out of demand for hotels. Thus, he expresses how he wants to do something different, and the obvious choice being the outskirts of the capital. And as he had dreamt, it was a resort in Budhanilkantha.
To those unfamiliar with the the marquee name of Karna Shakya, he is an environmentalist, hotel entrepreneur, and philanthropist. However, all of these titles do not do full justice towards his contributions. Being instrumental in bringing awareness for the conservation of our natural resources, establishing the first ever cancer hospital in the country, and then solidifying Thamel as a tourist destination for the world over, he is an inspiration for the whole nation. And this time around, we look into the mentioned dream; Park Village Resort.
Now, in the same letter, Mr. Shakya mentions that he hopes to open the resort in 1997. And by the time, the trees in the premises will have grown and make the whole place lush. This goes to show that this resort was not like any other; it cared, and still does, about the environment. And to be convinced, all one has to do is take a stroll around the huge 5 acre land that’s densed with more than 2000 blossoming trees that lend themselves to be homes for butterflies, dragonflies, and 75 different species of birds.
Park Village is a part of KGH, and is subject to the same superb level of hospitality all the other hotels and resorts of KGH express. On arrival, you are greeted by a warm and smiling staff that will take care of your reservation. Then, you will be ushered to your room on an electric tuk tuk which is a nice gimmick, but an even better nod towards the environmentalist ideals of Mr. Shakya. Besides, you will need a bit of help navigating through the huge expanse the resort is; not that you will enjoy the walk as well.
And within this vast area, Park Village houses cottages, apartments, and villas, all in addition to their suites, making it seem like a perfectly planned little hamlet.
The most adorable of them all is the Cottage Wing. It is a string of 48 studio type cottages, and the whole lot looks like a dreamy neighbourhood that you seem to have a memory of, but very well know that you’ve never encountered something quite like it.
Approximately opposite to it is the Habitat Apartment. Each unit is complete with bedrooms, a living area, a fully equipped kitchen, a private balcony to soak up every evening glow, and a generator in case of the worst. With a strong architecture, the apartments are great for those with a long stay in mind.
Right next to the Habitat is the Hamilton, named after the famous British botanist, Dr. Francis Buchanan-Hamilton, who explored the woods of Shivapuri during the 1800’s. The building has 24 rooms similar to Habitat, and with balconies that gaze at the same forest Dr. Hamilton studied.
As Park Village hosts a lot of event and conferences, they have gone as far as to take care of those who attend them. Nalanda House is an ideal accommodation for the delegates to rest up before they go about drafting plans and equipping themselves to make the world a better place.
And right at the end of the garden resides the Swiss Cottage Villa. Designed as a luxury penthouse, guests who stay here can enjoy large windows that bathe the plush interiors with lovely light. And since it is nested amongst lush and mature trees, guests are ensured privacy and seclusion to enjoy the nature around them.
Walking back to the main console, the path is decorated with gazebos and a few shrines for the guest to soak in the greenery around them a little bit more. And on that very walk to the left resides the pool the resort is renowned for. Sparkling with tranquility, the pool is deep enough to relax and big enough to do laps. And when a swimmer get hungry or thirsty from it all, they can just walk up to the various restaurants and bars that line the deck of the pool. And if they want to sweat it out even more, a gymnasium lies waiting.
Speaking of the restaurants, the resort offers 6 options: Earth Watch Restaurant, Pagoda, Buddhanel Restaurant, Al Fresco, Water Hole Bar, and the Swimming Pool Snack Bar. All of these are quite near to the reception, and not far from the attractions, and cater to any palate there may be; be it gourmet continental, humble oriental, or just some expertly pressed java.
To conclude, Park Village Resort is not like other resorts. Resorts are typical to be located in the laps of nature, but as civilization plays its toll to reach the outskirts, Park Village creates that lap. In essence, what started out as a dream of a visionary man is now an oasis reminding us that we are but a part of nature. Hurting it will only hurt us in return. And we need to work to do the opposite of that.
WORDS: TNM TEAM // PHOTOGRAPHY: GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR