A short drive up from Pokhara town and you quickly leave behind a rather linear real estate development up a hill that clearly shows signs of having been preserved from irresponsible grazing and mindless usurping of forests. Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is spread on a spur ridge that runs east to west and overlooks the mountains and the Pokhara Valley. The southern part of the ridge is dotted with quiet, sparsely populated hamlets and tiny villages while the northern part is well wooded and includes a community forest. These villages date back to some 200 years and depend on agriculture growing crops like millets, maize, rice, mustard and vegetables.
Begun in 1998, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge has set lofty standards in sustainable hospitality and community inclusive tourism. The awards and accolades over the years speak as eloquently as the way the lodge is run today to continue forth as an independent nature based mountain lodge with the same...
Begun in 1998, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge has set lofty standards in sustainable hospitality and community inclusive tourism. The awards and accolades over the years speak as eloquently as the way the lodge is run today to continue forth as an independent nature based mountain lodge with the same ideals under Marcus and Lisa’s private entrepreneurship which they drive with energy and passion.
Know Your Host
Marcus Cotton has been instrumental is making Tiger Mountain a model for how to run and manage a sustainable and sensitive hotel. With a background in conservation, every detail at the lodge is looked through his vision of sustainability and that reflects in all aspects at the lodge.
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge established 1998 set lofty standards in sustainable hospitality and community-inclusive tourism. Located away from the crowded lake side hotels of Pokhara town, this nature based mountain lodge operates under Marcus and Lisa’s vision which they drive with energy and passion. The main lodge on top of the ridge houses a dining room, sitting areas, library and bar, while the cottages built into the hill-sides maximize mountain views. The architecture is mud plastered lime-stone bricks with slated tiled roofs very similar to the villages houses you see around and completely in sync with the gardens and thriving woodlands.
The short, pebbled drive way which doubles up as parking space as well as landing for arrivals and departures, leads up some steps past a few cottages which are ideal for older guests, easy to access without compromising on the views. Further up the incline, gentler for the carefully placed stepping stones, you arrive within view of the main lodge. A flight of stairs opens to a brief open hallway that opens out to a courtyard which looks out to the valley below and the Himalayan skyline yonder. The hallway connects two similar buildings made of stone and slate, a local architectural style that is sustainable as well as suitable for local weather conditions. The building to the right includes spacious seating areas, bar and library while the second building to the left is the dining room with a smaller covered area for buffet lunch that is easy to access from the courtyard. Both rooms open out through large French windows to a verandah right under the roof and leads to an outdoor lawn. This is a convivial space for alfresco meals, cocktails and conversation.
The Eighteen cottages at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge are built into the side of the ridge, mountain views being the deciding factor for their location. The architecture here again is similar to the local village’s homes you will pass by on your walks. Mud plastered lime stone bricks and slated tiled roofs look and feel completely a part of the gardens and woodlands that have been left to flourish naturally while keeping intrusive foreign plantation to a minimum.
Most of the cottages are a set of two rooms one on the ground level and the second on a floor above. Each cottage has a sit-out and opens into a bedroom cum living area, large windows with net and glass for protection and large glass doors to ensure light and air; a brief dressing room and luggage area connects to a modern bathroom. Small details like flip-flops, dressing gowns, umbrellas, torch lights, oil heaters for winter, a bedside flask with purified water, books, board games and special toiletries ensure thoughtful comfort while rugs by the bed, reading lamps, a tea service, fresh flowers, four poster beds with a net curtain spell warmth and an undeniable charm very signature to the lodge. When you slip into your four-poster bed at night, the netting turned in – sleep in bliss and you will wake up early only to see Machhapuchhare in her morning glory!
When the mountains are out there won’t be many takers for the indoors seating unless it is a cold winter night and the fire place in the center is crackling! Winter afternoons in Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge are about sitting out in the sun, drink at hand and enjoying Chef Lalu Mahato’s gently spiced Nepalese delicacies served exactly like it is done in Nepalese homes: an offering of lentils, vegetables, curries, rice and flat-bread on a traditional bronze platter. Dinner usually served in the dining room is an immaculately planned table d’hote and multi-course meal comprising of seasonal vegetarian curries, inspired meat dishes and delectable puddings. Alternately, guests may opt for a Nepali Thali. Special dietary requests and children’s favorites are welcomed.
Unless you are stopping enroute to your trek in the Himalayas or on return, the recommended minimum number of nights that people spend in Pokhara is three to four nights to explore around and to enjoy the lodge. As a base for trekkers heading to the higher Himalayas, the Lodge offers a haven of luxury and indulgence after the demands of a trek. At this time a recuperative massage is the ultimate treat. Asian massage techniques are offered in the privacy of your room. Local men and women have been trained in skills that aid in relaxation by working on the body’s meridian points. Private yoga sessions led by a skilled master are available. A swimming pool set high to the views of the mountains is another area to relax and enjoy the views.
The lodge offers various walks that allow you to explore the area with skilled local guides part of the lodge staff. With emphasis on the rich local culture, birding, flora, butterflies or just plain exercise, there is a walk as gentle or active as any guest could wish. Short forest and village walks, the Gurung Village hike, Pokhara Valley rim and Naudanda hike, Begnas Lake walk , Himalayan trekking and seasonal white water rafting are some of the things to do besides visits to Pokhara and the Phewa Lake.
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is apt for those looking to explore idyllic Nepal. Great for families and kids and especially for those who enjoy nature, long walks and makes for a great base to explore some of the trekking routes.
Tiger Mountain closes from mid-June to mid-September.
“Regenerative Tourism, like its predecessors, is always a journey, never a destination, so we strive to improve and achieve ever-higher levels of thriving within the natural habitat, local communities, employees, and guests who are part of the Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge eco-system.” - Marcus Cotton, Mentor, Tiger Mountain
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is a sterling example for a responsible conservation driven hotel. It has set benchmarks not just in Nepal but is often looked at as a model for the Subcontinent. It ticks all the attributes of the RARE Touchstones, following the ethos of minimal impact on the natural environment, respect, and are working towards preserving and enhancing the bio-diversity of the area and ensuring a low carbon footprint. The lodge is independently verified on responsible practices and have an all staff forum to discuss sustainable actions and monitor results.
While building the lodge, a low ratio of room to land has been reserved and the rooms have been deliberately kept below the skyline to ensure natural horizons are maintained. There is no single use plastic used within the lodge and are currently exploring ways to assist the community with waste management – particularly plastic waste, working to liaise with the municipality and community to protect the natural environment. Bottled water in plastic is not provided and safe filtered water to drink is served. Locally sourced Ayurvedic toiletries are provided and are refillable thus doing away with single use disposable bottles. For purchasing, cloth bags or crates are used.
Waste is managed following the reduce, reuse and recycle norms. Kitchen waste is composted or used as cattle feed, and the manure is used as bio-gas. Glass bottles are sent for recycling while some are used as water bottles by guests for onward journeys. All metal and tin cans are sent for recycling as well.
Engagement with the community is one of the attributes that Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge has been focussed on since the beginning. There is focus on promoting a mutual understanding between cultures to help both guests and the community create a spirit of mutual respect and friendship. They have a dedicated local employee who leads their Community Support Partnership Programme; partners with the community in implementing the community vision for socio-economic development. All staff are from the local villages and the country. The Lodge works closely with the local community with focus on health, education and the local environment. The local school is supported with capital and a teacher mentoring programme. Funding has also been given for the construction of Women’s Group meeting halls, capital funding to Amar Jyoti Secondary School for expansion of school buildings and similar works. In the past, the Lodge has funded community health initiatives and supported the construction of a Red Cross hall for emergencies, training and meetings. A fair wage policy is followed.
Food is sourced locally as far as possible, with many ingredients grown in their own organic garden.
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge provides an annual grant to Shiva Shakti Primary School that supports an additional teacher; and partners the school with the award-winning responsible volunteering agency, People and Places, to provide volunteer teachers to mentor local teachers and strengthen their English language and teaching skills.
Local style and materials were used in the construction design, that reflects local homes; natural cane furniture, local artefacts are used for interior aesthetics.
Wildlife and Nature Conservation is an intrinsic part of the responsible tourism practices as well. Support is given to the local community forestry committee – from financial to technical wildlife inputs to their guides. An annual grant – a combination of wayleave and donation – is provided to the Community Forest User Group (for which the Lodge is an ex officio member) for their conservation and forest management initiatives and also ensures that the lodge guides are available to assist with technical wildlife matters. The Lodge grounds are maintained in a natural way, encouraging natural vegetation and no ‘manicured lawns’. A main contribution to conservation is by data production – monitoring various species – principally waterfowl on the Pokhara Valley lakes and butterflies in the Lodge grounds.
Local activities such as village walks encourage the preservation of intangible heritage, keeping the experience authentic and sincere.
by RMFC-D on 01/02/2022
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is a wonderful place to stay. The panorama of Annapurna and Fishtail mountain from the terrace is genuinely breathtaking; Marcus Cotton (the proprietor and manager...
by SShobrook on 12/24/2021
This was one of the most enchanting and amazing places I have ever stayed. When you arrive at the lodge and walk through the front door you are instantly transported to the spectacular views of the...
by bujendra on 12/08/2021
I have been to few eco sustainable lodges or resorts and its looks bit run down and neglected after few years but I got an opportunity to explore Tiger Mountain Lodge, Pokhara which was exceptionally...