The Shangrilla Lodge in Phakding in 2015. We stayed here on the first night and the second last nights of Everest Base Camp trek.
Our First Lodge Experience
I remembered the lodge pictured above from our first 2013 trek. We didn’t stay there then. Our flight from Kathmandu to Lukla was delayed about four hours due to fog. We were trekking solo, without a guide or porter and had no accommodation booked.
We arrived in the late afternoon in Phakding and wanted to look at some lodges before we decided on one. Our main focus was getting our own bathroom.
The small villages are generally along the trail going up the hill. Exhausted on that first day of our trek the last thing we wanted was to walk up and down checking out lodges. All I wanted was a shower and bed. We only had the energy to check out two. I remember walking past the Shangrila Lodge (pictured above) lots of young people were listening to music, talking and laughing sitting on the terrace. Party central, I thought. Not for me, I wanted to go to bed and sleep. Early. So we walked on past.
We decided on a lodge at the lower end of the trail. Our room had a western toilet and a shower however there was no hot water left. So we got wet and froze drying off in our room. Lodge rooms have no heating.
I was falling asleep at the table waiting for our food. I was in bed and asleep by 6:30.
Accommodation Along the Everest Base Camp Trail
Sleep – The Bedrooms
- Accommodation is basic with the exception of Namche Bazaar where you can pay for more a reasonable room and bathroom. However there are some very expensive hotels in the lower part of the track, see the bottom of the post.
- Rooms are very basic. Two beds, a window and not a lot of room. I did see double beds in some rooms but generally it was single beds.
- If you are lucky there may be some sort of window sill or small table for small things you want at hand during the night. Sometimes there are hooks on the wall.
- There is no heating in the rooms.
- Most rooms don’t have a mirror. There are no power points. Forget the hair dryer.
- Mattresses are thin and hard just like hotel beds in South East Asia.
- We were always provided with an extra blanket for each bed.
Room With a View
The view from our lodge /hotel in Namche Bazaar. Our hotel in Namche was a lot more upmarket. We had power points in our rooms, electric blankets, chairs etc. Obviously this accommodation was more expensive than the majority of the accommodation.
- We had western style toilets in all the hotels we stayed in.
- I have read blog posts about only having squat toilets but we never stayed in lodges where this was the only option.
- Plumbing can be problematic.
- The toilet, shower and basin in the lodge in the first photo was shared by a lot of rooms. We were the only guests on our outbound trek and there were only two guests heading back to Lukla. If we had to share with a lot of guests we may not have stayed there.
Heat – The Dining Room
The main room of the lodges is the dinning room where there will heat. A dung fueled fire will be the centre of the room and be the sole source of heat.
People sit in the room, chat, read, write up notes, swap stories, if there is wifi you will access it from here. This is the place where you will meet people coming in the opposite direction and tell you about the weather and conditions ahead. Most lodges will have a small supply of chocolates, chips, bottles water, toilet paper etc you can buy.
You will charge your phones, camera batteries etc in this room, too. This will be charged to your bill.
- You must eat where you stay. The owners make their money from the food you eat.
- You pre-order food before dinner and for breakfast the next morning.
- Avoid meat. I would say don’t eat meat.
- Lodges often grow their own vegetables. Eating organically grown veggies on the trail was great.
- If you are a tea drinker and take milk rethink that. I drank black tea on the trek.
- The menus can seem quite large but more than likely you will find things you like and stick with the same food.
- Popular meals are Dhal Blat and Sherpa Stew.
- Remember to try some apple pie. Apples are grown along the trail.
There are no ATMs along the trail. Take enough cash for your entire trek.
Get your rooms ready for bed before you eat your evening meal. The light probably won’t be great and it will be cold in your room. So you will be able to get straight into your sleeping bag.
There are limited nice lodges. The Yeti Mountain Home group is one group, very nice but expensive in comparison to other lodges. We didn’t stay in any. If you wanted to sample the Everest Base Camp trail and maybe climb to Namche Bazaar and check out Khumjung and Khunde, Thame structuring your trek around their accommodation.
We enjoyed staying our night in Monju Guest House. The garden setting is a bonus. Most people walk through Monjo but on our first trek, wanting to start off slow we stayed here and then walked to Namche Bazaar the next day ( day 3 of our trek ).