What of the generations of dedicated staff who have cared for and loved the hotel over the past decades? What is the motivation behind this? Who will come to visit and stay here? Why buy a hotel with such history and beauty only to destroy it?
It is indeed sad to see what is left of the beauty and greenery of Kathmandu being replaced by an ersatz culture that makes it indistinguishable from any other place in the world. This is not just a ‘colonial’ or ‘bideshi’ speaking, I am now in my 60s and have lived most of my adult life in Kathmandu. I had my first child here in Patan Hospital in 1986.
I have witnessed many of the changes and troubles this amazing country has faced, and the way in which each crisis has brought out the best in the Nepali people. It has always humbled me, and my attachment is strong.
Despite all that has happened here, I have always felt optimistic about Nepal’s future, and this is because of my admiration and trust for the Nepali people, especially the youth: their enthusiasm, creativity, and intelligence. The skilful rebuilding of some of Kathmandu Valley’s iconic landmarks has taken my breath away.
Still, many of the old buildings have been torn down, the remaining open spaces are being built over, but the planned destruction of the Summit Hotel has spurred me to speak out.
It is a place of memories for me for sure, and it is where the footsteps of many like me have fallen. Nepal has always welcomed its tourists, and over the decades the Summit Hotel has had many repeat visitors. Guests just kept coming back. What a huge loss for Lalitpur, and the Valley’s communities.
It may not be too late for the promoters to rethink their ‘development’, stop the bulldozers and preserve the quiet beauty of the Summit Hotel for posterity.
Anne Goldie has lived in Nepal since the 1980s. She has started a petition to save Summit. Sign it here at change.org.