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The Happy House


When Guru Rinpoche fled the Mongols in the 8th century, he began a search for hidden beyul valleys. He found one such sacred space in the pine-clad valley that now contains The Happy House.

This valley inspired the moustachioed mountaineer, Count Guido Monzino, who created an idiosyncratic Shangri La that Edmund Hilary came to love and live in. Today this ‘salon for the mountain literati’ offers you its spiritual, Sherpa heritage and spectacular setting.

On a wide green terrace, flanked by moody pines, fluttering prayer flags and mist-encircled, seductive peaks, the luxurious interiors contain masterpieces of thangka wall art, heritage furnishings and a welcoming staff who ensure you feel at home.


Located in the cradle of Sherpa culture, just outside Phaplu in northeast Nepal, The Happy House rests in a valley bowl shouldered by Hilary’s favourite views of Everest.

A little more detail

·       Cultural heritage & history

·       Stunning setting

·       Hiking & mountain biking

·       Yoga & relaxation

From a client…

This place has a fascinating history, a wonderfully welcoming ambiance and the most beautiful mountainside setting.

Image gallery

Lounge at The Happy House
Double room at The Happy House
Dining room at The Happy House
Library at The Happy House
Hiking at The Happy House
Outdoor dining at The Happy House

Why we love it

Discover what to expect from staying at The Happy House

A sense of history

This is where the Sherpas first settled and defined themselves as they escaped persecution and where Edmund Hillary paid back his love of their culture by building hospitals and schools. The wooden floorboards hid the family, who still manage the house, from Maoist fighters during the civil war. History pervades the building and its fixtures, its thangka paintings on the wall, elaborate religious carvings and its leather sofa and gambling table that were carried by Sherpas for Count Monzino’s extravagant expedition.

A sense of place

From the pine trees surrounding the thick stone walls and heavy temple doors of The Happy House you can watch as the mists lift to reveal all of the Himalaya’s 8,0000-metre peaks. Nearby you have dense rhododendrons and forests strung with the silver beards of lichens. Walk out to the mountains and monasteries and learn about the spiritual significance of this area. Here Guru Rinpoche meditated, in this cave the print of his hand can be seen and Junbesi’s beauty made the moon descend to bestow a kiss upon it.

What can you do there?

Begin each day with a quiet moment or two taking in the views before an invigorating yoga session or a quiet meditation. Arrange a short walk or energetic trek in the lower Salleria, to Pikey Peak, Junbesi or Chiwong Monastery, with a focus on learning more about Sherpa culture and history. Enjoy the rush of mountain biking downhill to work up an appetite for a feast of earthy mushrooms and garden-grown greens and squashes served on beaten copper plates by a roaring wood fire.

A Sense of Belonging

Whether relaxing by the open fire, enjoying a massage, meditating to the sounds of singing bowls, or heading off on a personalised trek, this place makes you feel at home.

We think you may like this journey…


Rhinos & Rhododendrons

Taking an alternative approach to a classic Nepal combination, this journey contrasts the heady and hectic streets of Kathmandu with the open savannah of Chitwan National Park. Slow down to search for tigers and rhinos amid the wilderness, before strapping up your boots for a light trek between two atmospheric lodges in the Himalayan foothills around Pokhara.

Price from: £2,290 US$2,790
Ideal length 11 days
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