Before there was a motorable road to Pokhara. When Baidam (now Lakeside) was just a farming village, Hotel Fewa was built among some ancient trees on the shore of Lake Fewa. The year was 1972. Stone and timber were ferried across the lake. Other materials such as cement, steel and glass came to Pokhara on porters' backs.
The hotel was built by Min Bahadur Gurung who has been minister of Forests in Nepal's first democratic government. He later expanded the hotel, attached bathrooms and put in a water pipe from a spring in the forest across the Lake. (This remains an excellent source of clean water.)
Hotel Fewa has attracted a wide range of travelers over the years. It's location has allowed it to avoid much of the development that has changed Pokhara. It remains a quite place with the best view of Lake Fewa although it is just a few minutes' walk from a busy shopping area.
In 1997, Mike's Breakfast took over the management of Hotel Fewa. It has been refurbished with new bathrooms, a wide veranda, a new kitchen, inside and outside dinning areas and redecorated rooms. The location remains the same- right at the edge of the lake and the food is the best- Mike's Restaurant.
After getting the main building refurbished and the restaurant up and running, there were still nine little srooms that were barely habitable (with a very common bath) on the south side of the property next to the lake. These were torn down to the foundations with the stone saved for rebuilding. We decided to build Nepali style rooms that would be beautiful and comfortable.
There are certain aspects of living in a Nepali house that a foreigner comes to dislike although the experience on the whole is one of beauty , simplicity and spiritual comfort. Among these are smokey harths, doors that are too low, small windows, and a lack of toilet and bathing facilities.
When building our six Nepali cabin rooms, we tried to avoin these and a few other irritants while maintaining the integrity and feel of a village house. The cabin rooms are built of stone, mud and wood, retaining the small scale of a typical Nepali house. The doorways are taller, there is a fireplace with chimney; the windows are as large as stone construction allows; the floors are hard surface which do not need besmearing with cowdung on newmoon and fullmoon days; and there are attached bathrooms with hot showers. Four of these rooms have a sleeping loft with a double bed. Downstairs there is a fold-out sofa which also becomes a double bed. The other two rooms have only one level but also have double beds, fireplace and attached baths. One also has an upstairs porch with a very nice view.
In front of these rooms is a small tree-shaded garden with stone pathways and a low stone wall at the edge of Lake Fewa. A quiet place to sit and read or watch the people (and water buffaloes) bathing in the lake, the boats comming and going and the magnificient sunsets.
Some Special Features of Hotel Fewa:
Lunch and dinner include an appetizer or soup, an entree, a desert, and a non-alcoholic beverage.
DISCOUNT / COMMISSION POLICY
Some questions and answers:
Mike's BreakfastWhen asked about the history of Mike's Breakfast, Mike Frame will say:" It all started with a pitcher of Newari raksi." This was in 1987. The raksi, made by Devesh Shrestha's mother, was the catalyst that helped Devesh and Mike develop a plan for Mike's Breakfast. Mike, of course, forgot the whole conversation. The next time they met, Devesh said that it could be done. Mike didn't quite know what the "it" referred to but soon recalled their plan.
A year of red tape later, Mike's Breakfast opened it's doors for the early risers. Why just breakfast? Mike only wanted to work in the morning but found that was not very practical when paying rent for the whole day. Soon Mike's Breakfast was also serving lunch and dinner but it was too late to change the name.
Over the years there have been some changes. Devesh sold out Dilip Baniya who remains the Nepali partner and manager of Mike's Breakfast in Katmandu. The landlord decided to destroy the restaurant near Durbar Marx, so a new site was found with a charming old house and a garden to be developed in Naxal. Mexican food was added to the menu a few years ago by popular demand. Mike visited all the Mexican restaurants in Minneapolis - yes, Minneapolis - and St. Paul and brought back menus and cookbooks.
Now, Mike spends most of his time in Pokhara where Mike's Restaurant has opened at Hotel Fewa. The lake front location with beautiful old trees fits well into the tradition of Mike's Breakfast. The other elements are also there: good tasting real food, good music, an informal garden setting, friendly staff and reasonable prices.
REPORTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD"MINNESOTA A HOME COOKING REACHES NEW HEIGHTS" - The Minneapolis Star - Tribune
"A fashionably eccentric garden restaurant in Kathmandu, Nepal" - The New York Times.
"The place I truly like is Mike's Breakfast - Mike offers huge breakfasts, limitless coffee, generous lunches and good classical music" - The Bangkok Post
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