History

In the year 1885 A.D, Bir Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, one of the most distinguished of the powerful Rana Maharajas and a renowned builder and musician, built the most elegant palace theatre in Kathmandu.

 

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The History

Bir Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana

Maharaja Bir Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, was the 11th Prime Minister of Nepal. He is remembered as a statesman who made important reforms and infrastructure improvements.
Born: December 10, 1852, Kathmandu
Died: March 5, 1901, Kathmandu

Rana Dynasty

The opulent Ranadynasty began in 1846 and during the following century Kathmandu’s gorgeous neoclassical architecture bloomed to compliment the decadent life of grandeur of the Ranas.

Lal Durbar Palace

Forty years later, continuing in the tradition of Rana splendour, Jung Bahadur’s nephew, Bir Shumsher Rana, built the grand Lal Durbar or the Red Palace as a theatre and residence for his family. The red marble was shipped in from Italy and carried from Calcutta to Kathmandu on the backs of porters along with many other precious items. Mirrors and chandeliers were also imported from Europe – no expense spared in homage to the decadence of the era. The Maharaja’s bedroom, now the Dynasty room is a classic example of the opulence in design and execution with gold embossed walls, gilt mirrors and exquisite chandeliers.

Boris Lissanevitch & King Tribhuvan

Nearly a century after the Rana rule began, in 1944, King Tribhuvan met a charismatic Russian by the name of Boris Lissanevitch in Calcutta at the infamous 300 Club. Boris was a chef, a former ballet dancer and Russian Army deserter and the king was fascinated by this enigmatic character. Thus started the beginning of a friendship that could be considered to have changed the course of Nepal’s history. Soon after the King invited Boris and his young bride Inger, to Nepal for Prince Mahdendra’s wedding. There was no looking back for Boris – he immediately fell in love with Nepal and soon took up residence in Kathmandu.

The Royal Hotel

Whether Boris did actually have any involvement in restoring the Shah dynasty to power remains rife with speculation but there is no doubt, it was his role in opening Nepal to foreign tourism that changed the country forever. In the early 1950s, Boris opened the Royal Hotel in an old Rana palace. This was Nepal’s first luxury hotel and a place fit for western dignitaries and tourists. For many years, the Royal Hotel’s bar and restaurant, the Yak & Yeti, was a popular destination for the few expats working in development, mountaineering parties that were staring to gain momentum and the local elite. There wasn’t really any competition and the Royal Hotel became a famous destination in circles abroad. As tourism in Nepal boomed and other hotels were established, business at the Royal Hotel declined and in 1969, the famous hotel closed.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant

The Yak & Yeti restaurant and bar of the Royal Hotel had been a popular destination so Boris opened another restaurant in the Lal Durbar palace along with his business partner, RadheshyamSaraf. This was still the only fine dining restaurant in Kathmandu and garnered a good reputation with Boris’ creative international menu. The idea of expanding into a hotel followed naturally and after four years of building, the Yak & Yeti Hotel opened on 27 September 1977 to celebrate world tourism day. Initially 120 rooms, in the early 90s, an extension of an additional 150 rooms was added bringing the total to 270 rooms for this 5-star property. The new wing was designed to compliment the style of Lal Durbar and throughout the property traditional Nepali features have been preserved to offer an exceptional environment while providing all the modern facilities and comforts required for 5-star luxury.

The Yak & Yeti Hotel as it stands today is inextricably linked to Nepal’s colourful history, proudly showcasing the beautifully restored Lal Durbar space as part of Kathmandu’s biggest convention center. Artefacts and antiques have been lovingly preserved throughout the property maintaining the Rana splendour of long ago.

The Chimney Restaurant

There is something about the dining room centered around the warm glow, or the history, or the savory food, a night in The Chimney...

Certificate of Excellence
  • Excellent Location & Stay

    "Visited Kathmandu on business tour & stayed in this hotel. The rooms have centralized AC with temperature control switch. Has a flat TV, minibar and all such amenities in the room. Garden facing rooms have excellent view. In all excellent experience"

    - Vasudev68

    tripadvisor
  • Lovely hotel and staff in the heart of the city

    "Really enjoyed the amenities and the staff is all so kind and service oriented - very centrally located and convenient for dining, shopping and tours. Beautiful gardens and relaxing lounge as well as a wide variety of food options - the best hotel service I have encountered anywhere!"

    - MelanieK0131

    tripadvisor
  • returning to my home from home

    "as the title says this is my home from home while in Nepal as ever I love this hotel returned in 2017 for Dashain festival time as ever my guide was Uttara fantastic lady also used Vespa valley for a vespa ride around Kathmandu fantastic food safari. As a footnote this is the hotel Beck Weathers used to recover after the ill fated climb on Everest"

    - travelingchefEngland

    tripadvisor

Paryatak Marg, Durbar Marg,
ward no. 1, Kathmandu District,
Province 3, Nepal
Tel: +977 1 4248999, 4240520
Fax: +977 1 4227781, 4227782
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