Life & Soul Magazine’s Travel Guide to Eco Spas will whet your appetite for a vacation that brings healing to holidaymakers in accommodations that work in harmony with the planet.
18. The Pavilions Himalayas, Nepal
Nepal’s Pokhara is known as the gateway to the world famous treks in and around the Annapurna mountain range and beyond. Closeby but far enough away to escape the hustle-and-bustle in Pokhara, The Pavilions Himalayas is an eco-friendly boutique resort that supports rest and relaxation.
Nestled in a valley near Phewa Lake, on the outskirts of Pokhara, The Pavilions Himalayas is surrounded by farmland, forested hills and a mountain-fed river. At The Pavilions Himalayas there’s no escaping the majestic Himalayan mountain range that peers down on this rural, eco-friendly boutique resort, whether you’re viewing it from one of the resort’s 14 luxury villas, all of which are powered by solar and renewable energy; the outdoor infinity pool; or The Pavilions Himalayas most recent addition – the eight tented villas, accessible via paddle boats across the idyllic Phew Lake.
Embracing the laidback vibe of rural Nepal, just a 30-minute car journey from Pokhara Airport, The Pavilions Himalayas is at peace with its natural environment and local Nepali traditions. Each of the villas, designed in a traditional Nepali rustic style with modern comforts, are crafted with natural, locally sourced materials including wood and stone, while Nepali artifacts complete the interiors.
The tented villas of The Pavilions Himalayas Lake View, with their open design, give the feeling of sleeping under the stars and reconnecting with nature while enjoying modern luxuries. A short paddle boat ride away from the main resort, The Pavilions Himalayas Lake View provides guests with a more secluded retreat located between the region’s cascading rice fields and the Himalayas. Like The Pavilions Himalayas’ villas, the tented villas have been created using natural, sustainable materials, with the addition of al fresco rain showers.
The Pavilions Himalayas has a distinctly community vibe, which is down to the local community that are at the heart of The Pavilions Himalayas’ operations. Working together with the local community, the resort’s goal is to employ 50% of the local village, and assist the rest of the 50% to learn skills so they can develop their own businesses and farms.
Locals with knowledge of Ayurveda provide signature treatments at the on-site spa using mountain botanical products. A saltwater infinity pool, set amidst rural tranquility, enable visitors to relish mother nature. While a jacuzzi, sauna and yoga studio complete the resort’s wellness facilities.
Sustainability is an integral endeavour at the eco-resort – The Pavilions Himalayas also reclaim rainwater which is harvested to create bio-gas, while the on-site farm provides produce for the farm-to-table restaurant. Its efforts to be a fully sustainable operation extends towards supporting the community school, as well as managing The Pavilions Himalayas’ own charitable work under Right4Children and The Pavilions Foundation.
“Our philosophy is all about giving back,” says Douglas Maclagan, philanthropist and founder of The Pavilions Himalayas. “We do this via our three Ws: providing local, sustainable Work to the village community; Wealth, as we reinvest around 50% of all net profits into life-saving, life-changing opportunities for the most disadvantaged children and young people in and around Pokhara; and Wisdom, reflecting our belief that we must protect our environment by operating an ecologically sustainable business model.
“Guests will leave feeling uplifted after staying with us, and take something positive away through having left something valuable behind that helps to sustain our social projects.”
With Pokhara closeby The Pavilions Himalayas is ideally located for those seeking adventure activities including trekking and white-water rafting, but what’s also great about The Pavilions Himalyas is that it’s equally as good a venue for families and for those wanting to experience the Himalayas, and embrace its tranquility while focusing on their physical and spiritual wellbeing, without the trekking.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com