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Top Banana’s Elliott Grant on… Nepal

Elliott Grant, Director of Incentives at Top Banana on why Nepal provides the perfect backdrop for unforgettable incentive experiences…

I’ve just returned from a personal trip to Nepal, my fifth time visiting my favourite country in the world. Flying into Kathmandu over the Himalayan foothills fills me with excitement every single time I go. On arrival, you’re immediately overwhelmed by the organised chaos of the city of Kathmandu – the colours, the noise, the smell, the number of cars, bikes, people and animals everywhere is nothing like you can imagine.

For an incentive group or a holiday, there are plenty of hotels to choose from with a few well-known brands such as Radisson. But for me, the stand out option is Dwarika’s just a short drive from the airport. The hotel is a beautifully designed, family owned property which offers a peaceful haven from the busy Kathmandu streets and works perfectly as a base for exploring the city.

From here you can discover all Kathmandu has to offer, from the beautiful religious sites of Bhodnath Stupa, Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath to the three incredible Durbar (palace) Squares. There’s certainly plenty to see and I might be biased but I think the best (and most fun) way to move around the city is on the back of a Royal Enfield motorbike – this also works perfectly for an incentive with lots of local motorcycle clubs happy to help transport groups around the city.

Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal

After seeing the sights of Kathmandu, a visit to the city isn’t complete without a stop in Thamel, the “backpacker” hub of the city. Thamel is busy and bustling, full of bars, restaurants, cafes and endless shops full of climbing and trekking gear and is as busy at midnight as it is at midday. If you have the time while in Kathmandu, it’s well worth taking the famous “Everest flight” – this short trip heads north west from Kathmandu and over the world’s highest mountain for a truly unique experience that you won’t be able to get anywhere else in the world.

After the bustle of Kathmandu, just a short flight away is the adventure capital of Nepal, Pokhara. This beautiful lakeside town is the perfect base for the more intrepid with hiking, climbing, paragliding and mountain biking all available as well as unique experiences such as taking an early morning helicopter flight up to Annapurna Base Camp for a sunrise breakfast. There’s plenty of hotel options around Pokhara, all very well set up for incentive groups and with some great restaurant’s and lots of bars, this makes a great twin-centre with Kathmandu.

Nepal is a country of incredible culture and endless adventurous opportunities. The people are friendly, kind and welcoming wherever you go and whether you visit on holiday or run an incentive there, it’ll be guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.


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