July 7- World Chocolate Day - marks the date when chocolate was first brought from the Americas to Europe in 1550. In celebration of the "food of the gods," Aloft Kathmandu Thamel, managed by Shanti Hospitality Management Services (SHMS), hosted a chocolate infused soiree as their pre- opening event and as a huge chocolate fanatic I was more than happy to be a part of this unique chocolate experience.

As expected, the impeccable service could be felt at Aloft Kathmandu Thamel from the moment you step inside their doors, with staff welcoming guests with tika and shawl and then accompanying us for a quick tour of the hotel. Inside, the hotel indeed looks different by design, with an eclectic, modern vibe. This hip establishment in Thamel has 167 rooms and caters to today’s modern traveler who craves a jet-setting style and a vibrant social scene. Urban-inspired design, accessible technology and innovative programming centering on music, and food and beverage makes Aloft unique in the traditional hotel landscape. We were then led to the an intimate setting at the Nook restaurant, where a three-course meal awaited us along with a menu personalized with our names - a thoughtful and sweet gesture indeed.

Director of Food and Beverage Deependra Singh and Executive Chef Shailendra Singh opened the evening welcoming us along with local social media influencers and celebrities, and shared how at the beginning of something new, everyone tends to start with something sweet. In that spirit, the sweet infused evening was being hosted as the countdown begins for the opening of the Aloft Kathmandu Thamel. Our meal was led by Executive Chef Shailendra Singh and Executive Sous Chef Rajeev Shrestha who both have years of experience in the culinary world. The two amicable chefs had specially prepared a chocolate infused three course meal, inspired by and incorporating the range of flavours of the sacred cacao bean. The meal included homemade chicken liver pate with caramelized apple, fig and chocolate orange sauce for the starter; pan-seared chicken with a Mexican chocolate sauce as the main, and concluded with a frosted chocolate parfait.

As the night progressed the venue filled with laughter, refreshment, and satisfied palates by the end; the General Manager, Mr. Vikram Singh, thanked everyone by sharing, “Aloft Kathmandu Thamel is different by design, and we wanted our guests to enjoy the same. We hope you enjoyed the chocolate inspired delicacies with a twist and do stay tuned for vibrant music, design and technology infused experiences in the coming days. We will be bringing in more experimental and new age food to entice your taste buds in the days to come.” For the free-spirited, for the trend-setter, for the go-getter, the next-gen of hotels, Aloft Kathmandu Thamel is targeting to open in August 2019.