Managed and owned by the Lamayuru Monastery, Hotel Niranjana is the best place to stay in Lamayuru if visiting the monastery is the main agenda. There are home-stays and small guesthouses run by families in the village but they are a little further out and would require a bit of a walk & climb to get to the monastery.
This 4-storey structure has a large restaurant and a store selling general supplies on the ground floor. The upper floors house the single and double rooms with common bathrooms and wash basins on every floor. Our double room was quite spacious with large windows overlooking the monastery’s courtyard. Here we could sit on the ledge and spy on the monks who were practicing some dance moves for one of their upcoming festivals.
The double-bed and comforters were clean and comfortable. Shelves on the wall provided ample storage and a couple of chairs and a coffee table gave us a place to lounge in. The bathrooms though old with broken fixtures were relatively clean – of course, this could be because at that time there were hardly any other occupants on our floor. A geyser provided hot water for a bath during the times that electricity was available, which is usually between 7pm and 11pm every evening.
We ate all our meals at the on-site restaurant, which served local as well as continental food. After having had to subsist on Dal-Chawal and/or Maggi for the past few days, Madhu and I were overjoyed at being able to gorge on French Toasts, Pizzas and Crepes – all vegetarian, of course, and quite well-made! Prices were reasonable too but since we ate so much, our food bills turned out to be much higher than the cost of stay (Rs.500 per night for a double-bed)!
For the price, this is a great place to stay. I wish they had rooms with attached bathrooms as well, which could have been had at the village guesthouses. But that would mean losing the accessibility to the monastery that Hotel Niranjana provides – not sure if it would have been worth it!