Gilgit Baltistan in the north of Pakistan is where I have spent the most time over the last few years. Why? This area is the gateway to all the big mountains, treks, and climbs, including the K2 Base Camp Trek.
Good choice for wanting to come here!
Skardu is cut off from the humid heat of southern Pakistan and there is a very distinct tourist season: from April to October. Other times of the year it is too cold and ice and snow close off any access to the city. Hotels are also seasonal and in the busy season, you must absolutely book in advance if you want to lock down anything good.
These are the best hotels in Skardu for every budget to ensure you have the best possible stay in one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan.
At a Glance: The Best Hotels in Skardu
Now the words “Eco” and “Pakistan” don’t go together most of the time – straight up. That said, Byarsa is a beautiful hotel with great views, a peaceful garden, and well, they do their best when it comes to the environment including being one of the first hotels to have a recycling program!
Breakdown: The Best Hotels in Skardu
Now you have seen a glimpse of my favorite places to stay in Skardu. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what makes each of these properties special.
I’ll mention right now that if your only goal is to find a hotel in Skardu with fast wifi – that hotel does not exist. All of the hotel wifi connections on this list are about the same; they almost never work.
$$ | 2 star | Located Near the Bazaar | Great Views from Balcony | Buffet Breakfast
If walls could talk, you would want to listen to the stories coming from Mashabrum. Here, trekkers and mountaineers gather for rest before and after their excursions, and stories of adventures are shared from across the world.
It is a big hotel with more than 50 rooms and often sees large groups come through here. From your spacious balcony, you can enjoy unmatched views of the surrounding mountains, giving you a preview of where your adventure will take you once your expedition starts.
Their large dining hall is a favorite amongst guests as there is always a delicious local meal waiting for the hungry travelers. You can expect a comfortable stay in their semi-clean and spacious rooms, perfect if you want to kick back after a long day full of adventure.
The hotel is also conveniently located with easy walking access to the market and shops in town. Hotel Mashabrum is full of character even if its management stopped caring about service a long time ago. An absolute classic hotel in Skardu.
Be sure to tip Hussain – the older gentleman porter – well if he helps you with your luggage.
$$$ | 5 star | Amazing Food | Big Garden | BBQ Area
The complex history of this region is part of its appeal, and Serena Shigar Fort has perfectly captured the essence of Skardu’s past. The hotel is in a remote location outside of Skardu and the fort dates back more than 400 years. There are five suites and fifteen rooms that have each been painstakingly restored to reflect the luxury that nobility might once have experienced here.
Thirteen rooms are found in the original fortress and a further seven in the newly added Garden House. Garden House rooms have a few more modern amenities, like TVs and room service. The spacious heritage suites were once rooms for Royal women, as well as the Raja’s mid-season quarters.
Their world-class restaurant, Fong Khar Restaurant, creates Pakistani, Balti, Chinese and Continental specialties and uses ingredients from their very own cherry orchard and vegetable garden. Enjoy these delectable dishes in the al-fresco garden covered in a grapevine and overlooking the Shigar stream.
Each room encompasses the original medieval structure of the fort with strong wooden pillars and stone floors. Its rough bones are offset by luxurious furnishings, plush linens, and stylish locally inspired décor. It is a proud heritage hotel that pays homage to the wondrous history of Gilgit−Baltistan.
$$ | 3 star | Great Views | Daily House Keeping | Airport Transfer
The hotel is nicknamed “Heaven on Earth” and upon first glance, there is no doubt why. It was the first tourism resort in the north of Pakistan and they have built on its exemplary reputation for almost 40 years.
Tranquility washes across the grounds beside the calm waters of Lower Kachura Lake. There are plenty of options for your stay ranging from deluxe family suites, to Swiss Cottages, and lakeside rooms.
The iconic red roofs of the buildings create a stunning picture amongst the lush green trees and manicured lawns and each room is elegantly decorated to ensure utmost comfort.
They offer housekeeping and room service and there is a fleet of Jeeps ready to take you on marvelous day trips in the nearby valleys. The restaurant located in the pagoda and Lake View Restaurant serves authentic and elevated Pakistani cuisine. There is also a modern café in the fuselage of an airplane that crashed close to the resort.
I should point out that Shangrila is FAR from Skardu. It takes 30-40 minutes to reach here by road, depending on traffic, etc.
$$ | 2 star | Shops on Site | Picnic Area| Wifi
On the edge of the Indus River is a budget-friendly hotel that will still offer you a comfortable and clean stay with some of the best views in Skardu. Eat and Read hotel has double and twin rooms for as little as $35 per night. Rooms have panoramic views across the valley and river and are all modern and tidy.
It is only 3km from the airport and they offer a free airport shuttle. There is also a garden and terrace where you can enjoy your deliciously prepared meals surrounded by stunning views. Each room comes equipped with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. The property does not allow children younger than 14 so you are guaranteed a peaceful stay.
$$$ | 4 star | 5 minutes walk from Kachura Lake | Wood Finished Rooms | Wifi
This is the first eco-friendly hotel in the region and the name means “place of summer”. The hotel sits on Kachura lake and is engulfed by views of three spectacular mountain ranges; Hindukush, the Karakoram, and the Himalayas. Nowhere else in the world will you be met by such a magnificent picture. The hotel aims to provide an all-encompassing vacation destination, promoted by the best in Pakistani hospitality.
The hotel has not one, but two marvelous restaurants. Apricot is where you will enjoy your complimentary breakfast every morning with stunning garden views and they also serve a range of enchanting continental and local dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. The second, Tumbrak, is a quaint café that serves refreshing juices, teas, and coffees.
If you are looking for the ultimate romantic afternoon, book an intimate picnic for two. The hotel will whisk you away to one of the majestic local attractions like Basho valley, Deosai, Katpana desert, and Chunda and set up a tented picnic with an elegant spread made in the Byarsa kitchens.
Everything from the heavy wood accents, to the velvety walls, demure lighting, and soft linens culminate in an unforgettably luxurious experience. Some rooms even feature deep concrete bathtubs for a deep soak after a long day of exploring. Byarsa has taken many steps to ensure sustainability and minimize its impact on the environment including recycling programs, resource-efficient amenities, and eco-friendly excursions.
$$$ | 4 star | 10-minute drive to Skardu | Flower Garden | Restaurant On-Site
A short drive out of town is Hotel Himalaya, a stately-looking hotel with pristine lawns looking out at the mountains. Attentive and welcoming staff will make your stay even more pleasant and the tastefully decorated rooms are clean and comfortable.
It is a little outside the main tourist area and visitors enjoy the stillness of the area. Enjoy your breakfast on the lawn from where you can admire their stunning rose garden and the surrounding mountains.
They have single and double rooms as well as twin rooms and executive triple rooms. Sixteen rooms altogether, each with daily housekeeping. You can also enjoy a day trip arranged by the hotel and make use of their free airport pickup service.
$$$ | 4 star | Airport Transfer | Outdoor Fireplace Room Service
If you are looking for an inexpensive hostel-like stay, look no further than Indus View. Situated on the banks of the Indus River, you are spoiled with views of the stunning landscape. They have both mixed dorms and private rooms for up to three people. Sometimes budget travelers pack many more people than that into the rooms (don’t abuse it by packing 10 in!).
The quaint garden area is perfect for enjoying an Asian breakfast and unbeatable views. Patrons rave about the staff’s friendly and welcoming demeanor and the excellent value for money the property offers.
Best of the Rest
Hispar Hotel ticks all the boxes needed for a relaxing, modest getaway in Skardu. The hotel is impeccably clean and all the rooms are cozy with basic amenities. Large double beds look out at the mountains and all rooms have an ensuite bathroom and flat-screen TV. Reliable, fast Wi-Fi is also available in all the rooms.
The property is a mere 4km from Skardu’s center and it has easy access to all the major attractions. A big attraction at the hotel is the Ibex Restaurant on site that serves a variety of Pakistani, Thai, and Chinese food as well as various BBQ options. Rooms come in a variety of sizes from a double room to a deluxe king room and all have attractive price tags. This is the best hotel if you are looking for a good quality stay at a good price. It’s a win-win!
Hotel Mountain Lodge has taken their property up a notch with colorful cottages sitting at the foot of the mountain. Its slight elevation offers untainted views of the valley from each cottage’s patio. The garden has quaint domed gazebos, perfect for watching the stunning sunrise and sunset.
They offer free bikes to explore the area and there is a fitness center on-site if you want to break a sweat during your stay. Along with the free Wi-Fi and airport shuttle, you can also enjoy room service. They serve a scrumptious a-la-carte or continental breakfast and the on-site restaurant, Dewanekhas, creates an assortment of traditional Asian dishes.
The hotel offers guests a wide range of activities at an extra cost including cooking classes, tours showcasing the local culture, and live music events.
Glacials Inn is only 2km from the town center and perfectly located for people who want to walk around town to explore. Some rooms are clad in a dramatic wood finishing giving them a warm and cozy atmosphere. The dining area where you can enjoy an optional extra breakfast is equally homey and inviting.
The deluxe single rooms and double rooms all have great mountain views and come complete with a TV and toaster. It is also one of the few pet-friendly accommodation options in town and there are a few thoughtful extras like extra-long beds, a wake-up service, and dry-cleaning.
It’s all in their name. LOKAL supports local businesses and endorses entrepreneurs from the area. It is the country’s first chain of budget hotels and its main aim is to promote local businesses and collaborate with them in mutually beneficial ways.
All the rooms have been decorated by local craftsmen and artists who have created stylish and modern furniture that is complemented by a few traditional touches. Each room and terrace has a stunning view over the Indus River and the mountains beyond. Softly lit rooms with plush linens and rich colors are ultra-inviting and comfortable.
There is also breakfast served in the garden or on the terrace daily. Make sure to make use of their insider experience suggestions to be “in the know” of all the best local restaurants and places to see. You can even fish like a local by casting a line in the Indus River!
Once you arrive in Skardu, you will immediately feel immersed in Balti culture and the precise of the big mountains all around. There is not another place like it on earth.
As you read, there are plenty of fantastic accommodation options in Skardu where you can rest in between your adventures. If you made it to the end of the article and still have not found anything yet, well, go back and re-read it!
I hope you found this list of the best hotels in Skardu helpful.