--BY ARCHANA PRAJAPATI
With breathtaking panoramic views of the Annapurna Himalaya range along with Rupa and Begnas lakes, Rupakot Resort is spectacularly located on a high ridge approximately an hour’s drive from Lakeside, Pokhara. Spread across 200 ropanis, the resort is surrounded by lush greenery which adds to the overall scenic beauty of the resort.
Pushpa Adhikari, the Chairman and Managing Director of Rupakot Resort came up with the concept of establishing a luxury tourist retreat 16 years ago (2001). A professional with an academic background in Hotel Management, he spent seven years (from 2001 to 2008) acquiring the land for the resort and has been completely engaged in the resort since 2012. "While designing the resort, I consulted with many people to construct one of the best retreats in Nepal," says Adhikari.
According to Adhikari, the Rupakot Resort is based on a 'Mountain Village' setup theme with the following salient features:
Nature: The resort is built atop the hill at an elevation of 1,100 metres above sea level with an almost 360 degree turn of nature and unique bio diversity. It has around 1,000 acres of lush green forest.
Luxury: It has a wide spread area which is carefully structured and generously outfitted with convenient modern amenities to ensure maximum comfort and luxury.
Heritage: About 25,000 hand carved stones were used to construct the resort. The area of the resort houses 10 separate cottage-styled buildings with 42 rooms altogether each representing a traditional Nepali village with spacious verandas. It is an ideal place for researchers, nature lovers and holiday makers.
The Rupakot Resort was constructed at a cost of Rs 500 million. Around 40 employees are operating the resort. However, in 2015 after opening for just two months, the resort faced hard times due to the earthquake and the border blockade. "During that time, business was down to zero. But business is back to normal with the blockade over," says, Adhikari. He expects business to see a further growth from September when the tourist season in the country starts.
Services and Facilities
The resort provides an extensive range of personalised services and facilities to its guests. All rooms are equipped with modern facilities, are spacious, properly air- conditioned and have either twin queen size or double king size beds, individual private balconies from where guests can have outstanding views of the majestic peaks of Machhapuchre, Annapurna, Manaslu, Dhualagiri and the scenic beauty of nearby lakes. Every room includes a luxury en-suite bathroom, a LED flat screen TV, well-stocked mini bar and tea and coffee making facilities. Free Wi-Fi is available at all rooms and throughout the resort. Similarly, Nepali, Continental, Chinese dishes along with other cuisines are available as per the demand of the guests. Adhikari says, usually Continental food is highly demanded by guests.
The resort has connections with tour and travel agencies from where guests can make their reservations and book their rooms online. It has also established a sales office in Kathmandu that approaches different corporate clients to promote the business. Similarly, the resort also focuses on social media as well as various other networks to advertise its services. "Most of our visitors know us through word of mouth, social media and travel websites," mentions Adhikari. The resort has also received favourable reviews from travel blogs such as Trip Advisor which has helped in its marketing and promotion.
It is generally known that Nepal has only been able to attract tourists in tiny numbers compared to its real potential. This has created problems for Rupakot Resort like other hospitality ventures.“There are various problems in the country’s tourism sector that are stopping us from welcoming foreign guests in substantial numbers,” says Adhikari, adding, “Our air service infrastructure, for instance, is just not good enough to attract international tourists.”Meanwhile, after taking a massive hit from last year’s twin events, the resort has been trying to revive itself even as the country’s tourism sector is gradually recovering.
According to Adhikari, the resort is planning to add 30 more employees in the near future. The resort is also planning more upgrades. “We aim to complete a swimming pool, spa (massage, beauty parlor, sauna and steam bath) and conference hall for our guests as soon as possible. To encourage guests to come, we are also planning to provide occasional schemes and discounts on special occasions," mentions Adhikari.
Under its CSR activities, Rupakot Resort has been providing clean drinking water to the local villagers. It also offers scholarships to local students. The resort has also been active in wildlife preservation. "We have established many water pools for birds and animals in the resort’s periphery to retain them from migrating during the dry season," says Adhikari.
• Location, scenic beauty of surrounding and attractive construction
• Spacious, full of modern amenities
• Good weather and environment
• Lack of proper road infrastructure
• Lack of skilled human resources
• Service upgradation
• Best holiday destination for foreign and domestic tourists
• Challenges in maintaining quality service in distressed times
• Located in remote place where there is no easy access for internet services
• Unstable political scenario