Often known as tea houses, mountain lodges provide simple but comfortable accommodation when trekking in the mountains of Nepal. There are numerous lodges in most trekking areas, with two or three lodges in most villages found every few miles, although the villages and lodges get more spread out the deeper you go into the mountains.
It is not possible to reserve the lodges in advance, and the lodges used will depend on how fast you trek, so we can never guarantee the exact lodge but most are very similar. The lodges provide small but comfortable rooms which generally only have a bed and window. Warm bedding is provided, but it is best to bring your own sleeping bag. The toilets are shared, normally of the squat variety. Lodge staff can light a fire to provide hot water for showers on request (usually there is a nominal charge for this). There is generally some electricity from solar-power for lighting, and if there is an excess it may be possible to charge up batteries, but this cannot be relied upon. The quality of the lodges tends to go decline as you travel further you travel from civilisation, so the first lodges may have electricity and flush toilets, while the most remote lodges have only very basic facilities.
Each lodge has its own restaurant, which serves simple but good quality trekking food. As all supplies have to be carried by porters and there is no refrigeration, it is best to avoid meat but there is lots of high energy trekking food available such as fried rice and noodles.
Although the accommodation in the lodges is very basic, they do give you the chance to have a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed and eat a decent meal in a warm dining room after a hard day trekking.
Open: The mountain lodges, also known as tea houses, are open all year, though in winter temperatures can be very cold, and summer coincides with the monsoon, so spring and autumn are generally considered the best times to trek in the Annapurnas and Everest Base Camp.
Location: There are lodges at many locations along the popular trekking routes in the Annapurna region and the Everest Base Camp trek.
Rooms: The number of rooms varies from lodge to lodge, but all are small. Rooms are functional, usually with two beds and bedding including blankets, designed to provide a good night’s sleep and an alternative to camping. There are shared shower rooms with some lodges having hot water but others just cold water, and flush toilets or the more simple hole in the ground variety. Activities: Trekking from lodge to lodge.
Facilities: These vary, with the lodges at lower altitudes (the busiest) generally having better facilities that those higher up. All have a restaurant which is the main communal area and is heated at night. Some have electricity in the main area and charging facilities, for which you pay locally, offered subject to availability.
Dining: Nourishing home-cooked dishes based on rice and noodles Dal bhat, a traditional dish of lentils and rice, is often served. Lodges at lower altitudes tend to offer a wider choice of food. Tea is the usual hot drink and some lodges also serve beer. Many lodges sell snacks. Porridge is the norm at breakfast, with some lodges also offering cooked egg dishes. It is wise to avoid eating meat during the trek (there is little or no refrigeration at lodges) and keeping to a vegetarian diet. Food supplies are limited and meals are offered subject to availability.
Children: Mountain trekking is generally not suitable for children under about 10 years of age.
Health: This is not a malarial area.
Communication: Some lodges have Wi-Fi internet access but this can be unreliable. Mobile phone reception is similarly unreliable. The higher you trek the less internet and phone service you should expect.
"Exactly as expected. Basic but good food and comfortable. The view in Ghandruk was perfect"