The Secret Shop of Dhaka

Carved wooden doors.

Carved wooden doors.

A treasure trove packed into a riddle. Villa Ideas (formerly Ideas Manzil) is a guesthouse (ranked high on TripAdvisor) but it’s also a shop and a restaurant. They have set menus and the food is freshly made. It’s good. We went for lunch and to shop, and the staff at Ideas Manzil had decorated the table with flowers, textiles, and silver salvers. There is a wood carpenter, a leather worker, and a weaver on staff. The range of what one can have made seems endless: leather bottle holders, leather coasters, wood doors, carved fabric hangers… plus all the stuff to buy: boxes, brass, jewelry, Bhutanese textiles, Nepalese rugs, Bangladeshi folk art, lamps, vases, carved wooden walls and spandrels on carved columns (family crest carved into the wood — why not?)…

One of the guest suites.

One of the guest suites.

One must make an appointment to shop here. The proprietor says that he will open a retail corner but… can it remain interesting? Finally, will this place last? Will it remain interesting once my friends have bought all the treasures collected over a lifetime?

Also, does a fabulous job on meals which must be ordered in advance.

The table set for lunch.

The table set for lunch.

Some of the goods for sale.

Some of the goods for sale.

4 responses to “The Secret Shop of Dhaka

  1. Always good to meet someone with discernment and who can appreciate quality. Ideas Manzil comes from a 35 year history of art, craft and design development – when the first craft boutique (Shetuli) was commenced in 1977 in Dhanmandi. Ideas Manzil is meant to be a reflection of Bangladesh and all it’s treasures. That is why Ideas Manzil will always remain special and unique. That is why there will always be treasures to find in our guest house and showroom.

  2. Pingback: Dhaka-townian’s 100 Eats and the Top Ten Restaurants in Dhaka | M's Adventures·

  3. Pingback: Secret Restaurants and Speakeasies in Buenos Aires | M's Adventures·

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