The hotel is known for its efforts in cultural preservation. It started when founder Dwarika Das Shrestha decided to save old wood carvings from traditional Kathmandu buildings that were about to be thrown away. In 1952, Shrestha saw carpenters cutting up an intricately carved wooden pillar of a demolished old building, to use it as firewood. This inspired his lifelong effort to save and reuse these historic carvings. Later put into a room that housed a single masters student from abroad, the carvings garnered such interest that Shrestha found the idea of constructing guest rooms with traditional wood carvings, and thus began the hotel venture. Shrestha also revived the technique of “Dacchiapa,” the Newari traditional method of making carved bricks. Shrestha died in 1992.
The hotel is still managed by the Shrestha family, and now possesses a large private woodwork collection. The restoration workshop that the late Dwarika Shrestha established in order to revive wood carvings as early as 1962 is still in operation, although only used for significantly damaged pieces.