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For years thousands of people have been hiking in Nepal and either camped or stayed overnight in local teahouses. The term teahouse trekking thus became synonomous with walking in the Himalayas. Tales of dark, dirty and smokey teahouses became the stuff of legend. However, in certain areas, particularly the Everest, Annapurna and Langtang regions these old teahouses evolved into something much better and became trekkers lodges. Still basic and simple though and rarely with en suite facilties. A sleeping bag remains necessary.
Once again in the Everest and Annapurna regions things evolved even firther and along came the advent of an even higher standard of trekking lodge. This time with proper beds, fresh bedsheets and those all important en suite facilities, as well as some additional basic creature comforts in the way the rooms are appointed. Thus they became known as luxury trekking lodges, and perhaps when compared to a basic teahouse, or even a locals home, then they are quite a luxury. In fact considering where these lodges are located - often many days from the nearest road- how they were created is quite mesmerising if you stop to think about. Take a toilet for example. Just how did such a heavy item get there?
As the term luxury trekking lodge has become widely used, we use it too. However, we would suggest that they should not be considered as some sort of 5 star luxury hotel. They are certainly not that. Certain limitations due to location etc still apply, so rooms are unheated (for example) although some provide electric blankets, whilst others will provide hot water bottles.
We prefer to think of these luxury lodges more as comfort lodges. But, then again, considering where these lodges are located and that they provide comfy, cosy beds and private western style washing and toilet facilties, then the ability to enjoy a hot shower in the "middle of nowhere" must surely be considered a luxury in itself.
Comfort (luxury) trekkers lodges are found mostly in the Annapurna and Everest regions .
In the Annapurna region the luxury trekking lodges are located around 4-5 hours walking apart and all are at moderate altitudes. The trekking between the various lodges is somewhat easy/moderate. Around 4-5 days of trekking is required to complete the horseshoe trek from one side of the Modi Khola Valley beneath Annapurna, to then cross to the other side of the valley beneath Fishtail. Starting and finishing in Pokhara.
The Everest luxury lodges are 5-6 hours hiking apart (as a general rule). You would fly in/out of Lukla from Kathmandu. The Comfort Lodge trekking in the Everest region is at a much higher altitude than the Annapurna region, so some acclimatisation days as part of your vacations along the way are absolutley necessary. Because of the altitude the walking is on the more challenging side of moderate, with one particularly notable uphill slog to Namche Bazaar. But, reaching here you would have a mandatory rest/acclimatisation day. The Comfort Lodges do not extend all the way to Everest Base Camp itself. But, from the highest one (and from others too) there are magnificent views up to Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. Realistically 6-9 days are required to enjoy the Everest region, depending how far you want to go of course!
Combining both the Annapurna and Everest regions for your walking holidays is naturally possible. We would recommend hiking in the Annapurna region first to get your legs a bit stronger and your lungs a bit more ready for the Everest region.
Higher standard trekking lodges in the Everest & Annapurna regions