Best hotels and hostels in Pakistan

  • Lodging in Lahore

    Regale Internet Inn

    Attracting a constant stream of travellers, this mellow little guesthouse is the place in Lahore to meet fellow travellers. Moreover single females will not have a problem here.

  • Lodging in Shigar

    Shigar Fort Residence

    The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has overseen the remarkable restoration of this stunning fort-palace into a singular historic getaway and informative museum. As you might expect, the rooms in the rambling palace are all very different, with enough authenticity to make you feel privileged, if not regal, and enough 21st-century comforts to make you, well, comfortable. For those who prefer a little more modernity, the rooms in the garden house have satellite TVs.

  • Lodging in Gilgit

    Horizon Guest House

    This excellent guesthouse with five spick and span rooms is run by trekking guides Abdul Bari Rana and Ty Gordon, who also run Lost Horizon Treks & Tours from here. It's in a quiet area of Jutial, about 400m east of Heli Chowk, set well back from the road. Look for the large Family Health Hospital and then the sign to the guesthouse. Pakistani, Chinese and Continental dishes are matched with several delicious Astori specialities such as chapsum (vegetable with cheese, chicken or beef rolled into a chapati and fried) in its restaurant. It also serves environmentally friendly filtered water.

  • Lodging in Gulmit

    Hunza Marco Polo Inn

    This hotel boasts an attractive garden and a knowledgeable and helpful host. The rooms in the old wing are quite comfortable but those in the new wing (under construction at the time of research) will have central heating, bathtubs, telephones and 'eventually' Satellite TV and internet connectivity. The new wing also houses the grand restaurant, which can be recommended for its spring water and other liquid refreshments.

  • Lodging in Gilgit

    Gilgit Serena Hotel

    Gilgit Serena is the best hotel in town, superbly sited above town and giving views across the valley to Rakaposhi peak. The cosy, plush rooms have TV, phone and balcony views. The service is excellent, breakfast is included in the tariff, and there is a free shuttle bus for guests visiting the bazaar or catching a flight from the airport. There's an excellent restaurant (Dumani) and nightly barbecues in the garden are of interest to nonguests. It is also the best place to buy books in the area.

  • Lodging in Chitral Town

    Hotel Hindukush Heights

    Around 10km north of Chitral Town, this hotel sets itself apart by more than just location. Owned by the former mehtar's family, it's something of a boutique offering. Spacious rooms are beautifully decorated in Chitrali style, complementing the tremendous mountain views around every corner. Service is immaculate, and the restaurant worth the effort of getting here (call in advance). Popular with tour groups, so reservations in summer are recommended. A jeep hire from town is Rs500.

  • Lodging in Pattan

    Kohistan Tourist Inn

    The best and biggest option for travellers in these parts is set on a bend of the KKH, about 2km south of Pattan. The hotel has bright, clean rooms with wire-screened windows and the friendly manager is a great source of local information. There's a (proposed) tea garden beside the churning Chowa Dara Khwar, which will be great for weary travellers. The hotel restaurant has a small vegetarian and Continental (chicken gruel!) selection along with the typical curries and Chinese favourites.

  • Lodging in Karachi

    Sheraton Hotel

    The common areas of the Sheraton feel a little tired compared to the opulence of some of its peers, but an extensive renovation programme means that it's catching up fast. As a result, rooms vary according to price - from slightly old-fashioned to the glitzy Tower Rooms, possibly the swankiest hotel rooms currently on offer in the city. Elsewhere in the hotel there are five restaurants, the usual pool/health-club combination and an excellent branch of Liberty Books.

  • Lodging in Minapin

    Diran Hotel

    The best accommodation is provided by Diran Hotel, in a walled orchard east of a large mosque. Rooms vary in comfort and size, and prices vary with the seasons, but you are sure to find something that suits. The excellent restaurant here has several tasty local specialities, such as chicken gorkon, cooked in a traditional stone pot. Trekking guides and porters and jeep safaris can all be organised at the hotel, where you can also find information on short walks.

  • Lodging in Karachi

    Pearl Continental

    Karachi's most sophisticated hotel by a head, the PC has stylish rooms, slick service, various amenities and a handful of top restaurants: Sakura serves the best Japanese food in town and the Royal Elephant serves excellent Thai cuisine, and there's a nice coffee shop in the lobby (wi-fi enabled). High standards has meant that the PC is the one top-end hotel that has no trouble in filling its rooms, so is the one place where discounts are few and far between.

  • Lodging in Dir & the Lowari Pass

    Dir Hotel

    This former guesthouse of the Nawab of Dir has three annexes enclosing a small garden, with something to suit most budgets. The cheaper rooms sit over the shops, face the road and have cold showers, with the standard rooms larger, quieter and with hot water. The VIP suites see you accommodated in grand colonial style, with high-ceilinged rooms with deep chairs, fireplaces and even a dressing room. The garden is shared by a couple of stately Siberian cranes.

  • Lodging in Karachi

    Avari Towers

    As befits its name, Avari Towers literally looms over the competition as the tallest hotel in town. It's a fine choice and doesn't skimp on its guests, offering complementary services like mini bars where other hotels charge. Rooms are restrained (except for a surfeit of pillows), and there are three restaurants offering Japanese, Chinese and barbeque, the latter on a rooftop that has the best views in the city. Also tucked away is a bar serving alcohol.

  • Lodging in Quetta

    Quetta Serena

    Quetta's plushest hotel by a comfortable margin, the Serena is unusual among top-end hotels in that it looks like it actually belongs to its surroundings - its design echoes local architectural styles, with Baloch textiles, woodwork and local marble continuing the decorative theme inside. The rooms (all with wi-fi) are suitably refined with high-quality service from staff, plus there are two good restaurants, a tennis court, pool and a good bookshop.

  • Lodging in Harappa

    Archaeological Department Resthouse

    Located near the museum, this is the only accommodation possibility at Harappa itself. Although it's nothing flash, it's by far the most convenient (and peaceful) accommodation on offer; however there are only two rooms. To stay, you must book in advance either here or through the Department of Archaeology (Lahore; h08:00-15:00 Mon-Thu & Sat, 08:00-noon Fri). Meals can be prepared by the chowkidar (caretaker) with advance notice.

  • Lodging in Karimabad (Baltit)

    Hunza Baltit Inn

    The attractive and low-key Hunza Baltit Inn is managed by the very professional Serena Hotels group. The spotless rooms are surprisingly tiny but do have TV and first-rate bathrooms and share a sunny balcony from which to take in the view across to Baltit Fort. The rooms have either double or twin beds. There's a large and popular restaurant here, as well as a Hunza-decorated room for traditional dining. Breakfast is included in the tariff.

  • Lodging in Islamabad & Rawalpindi

    Serena Hotel

    Set in beautifully landscaped grounds, the sleek Serena has swish rooms, all immaculately decorated, with five-star goodies like flat-screen TVs, luxurious bathrooms and stuffed minibars. This elegant property incorporates traditional and contemporary design styles that include oodles of marble-work, wooden panels and rich fabrics. Amenities include terrific restaurants, a health club, irresistible patisserie and modern business centre.

  • Lodging in Bagrot Valley

    Bagrote Sarai

    Perched on a ledge up above Chirah, with postcard-perfect views of Diran and the Hinarche Glacier, the basic Bagrote Sarai is literally at the end of the road. There's a panoramic dining hall in which to unwind, and above it the simple rooms are arranged on terraces (you can lie in bed and look out at the mountains). The bathrooms are in a separate building and there are more terraces above the rooms where you can pitch a tent.

  • Lodging in Chilas

    Shangrila Indus View

    The budget rooms are overpriced as they lack a view and show wear and tear. The deluxe rooms are rather similar but do have wire-screened verandas and a river view. The VIP rooms have attractive mock-traditional décor of mud walls, double beds and a tub in the bathroom, and are definitely the best rooms in Chilas. All rooms are air cooled. The recommended restaurant has Pakistani, Chinese and Continental cuisine.

  • Lodging in Islamabad & Rawalpindi

    Chateau Royal

    Good value for long-term stays, or simply for anyone allergic to conventional hotels, are the many private guesthouses tucked away in the residential backstreets. They offer comfortable rooms and cable TV; breakfast and/or airport pick-ups are usually included in the tariff. Room rates are fixed but you should be able to negotiate a discount depending on how busy the place is and how long you're staying.

  • Lodging in Islamabad & Rawalpindi

    Jacaranda

    Good value for long-term stays, or simply for anyone allergic to conventional hotels, are the many private guesthouses tucked away in the residential backstreets. They offer comfortable rooms and cable TV; breakfast and/or airport pick-ups are usually included in the tariff. Room rates are fixed but you should be able to negotiate a discount depending on how busy the place is and how long you're staying.