As the screenwriter of a much-loved series (well, except its end) once said, “Winter is here”. Now what is the best thing to do in winters? Getting cosy in your thick blanket. Nibbling away on hot soup in front of a fireplace. Gorging on some barbecued food around bonfires. Sunbathing in the afternoon Sun, preferably in a garden or a veranda. The list would go and on (erm, much like me) but folks first and foremost we are sharing with you our top 5 pick of luxury homestays in Himachal. If you’re looking for an escape to the mountains with not a very packed itinerary but rather a snug stay and some self-pampering as you interact with warm locals, well, then this is the list for you.
1) Sanjiv’s Aira Holme Retreat, Shimla
In the year 2004, couple Billy and Sajiv started their home-stay. Located in the popular hill station of Shimla, this home-stay has been carefully placed away from the throngs of tourists visiting Shimla.
Nestled among rows of trees, the property offers breath-taking views of the Tara Devi temple and Chail forests. With only 2 bedrooms, the property is a home opened by a welcoming couple for you to experience their laidback mountain way of life. With its no phones factor, this is a true break from the city life. They even have a library which they happily let you access. So, book lovers pick out something that tickles your brain and make yourself a comfy spot, maybe in their attic or in their seating spaces in the abundantly green garden.
Approximately Rs.6,000 per night
2) Gone Fishing Cottages, Tirthan
Dimple and Upendra “Uppi” Kamra are a couple who love travelling and exploring. Amongst their many adventures, they made one to Tirthan Valley 20 years back. Left smitten by the valley, the inception of the Gone Fishing Cottages occurred. The accommodation is located next to a stream. Wake up in the morning listening to it gushing softly or if you’re feeling adventurous (as one always should!), then dip your feet in the icy water. The nooks and corners of the cottages are done so tastefully that you will begin to feel at home in the hills. The walls have been made with local material and the hosts are proud to say that each and every piece of furniture has been made by them. Head here for your much-needed escape.
Approximately Rs.6,000 per night
Click here to check out another cozy homestay in Tirthan Valley!
3) Lal Kothi, Raison
Where heritage meets luxury at a hill station, that’s where the Lal Kothi in Raison took birth. Built in 1941 (yes, you read that right!), the property has maintained its wooden and mud walls. The “kat-kooni” Himachali style of architecture has been preserved and passed down through the decades. The luxurious bedrooms will charm you with their old-world style and ancient styling. All of the rooms are surrounded by fruit orchards, so, get your piping hot tea as you gaze out of your window. And if you’re feeling too cold, simply head to the fireplace in the living room and make yourself toasty. For our foodie friends, they have gourmet meals made from ingredients picked out from their organic and herb farms garden. To top it all, the river is only a 5 minutes short walk from your abode.
Approximately Rs.8,000 per night
4) Darang Tea estate, Kangra
Gifts come wrapped in pretty paper and this homestay comes wrapped in tea gardens for as far you can see, mountain peaks and drooping trees. Dating back to 150 years, it is one of the earliest plantations laid in India. A completely cut off set up, it gives you the space to literally hear birds chirping in its picturesque surroundings. You can explore the nearby hill stations of Dharamshala, Mcleodganj or if you’re up for the road trip, even Bir Billing. Return to the rustic vibe offered in the four luxury cottages here. You will find a space for yourself as you spend your time here in the mountain mist. Are you ready to gift it to yourself?
Approximately Rs.3,100 per night
5) 7 Pines, Kasauli
If a plush getaway without the feeling of a typical hotel is what you’re seeking then this is the property for you. Tastefully done interiors with wooden walls and stunning views are in store for you at this one in Kasauli. Away from the main crowds, a winding road lined by wildflowers will bring you to your destination. Nature lovers this is your home away from home. Be it the food served for your palates or the curtains or furniture adorning your rooms, there is a connect maintained to nature throughout. The location is also home to as many as 37 species! Blue Whistling Thrush, Gray Treepie, Brown Breasted Woodpecker, etc. are some of the notably known birds in the area. The veranda will draw you with its potted plants, gorgeous garden and more. For the much needed me-time or even time with some closed ones, this property will leave you feeling rested and wanting to return soon.
Approximately Rs.8,467 per night
So, friends, I guess you’ll soon be packing up your thick sweaters and lounging about in one of these. Sip that cup of coffee as you indulge yourself in the hills. Wish you a very cosy and warm winter ahead.
Click here if you are looking for budget stays in Himachal!
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