Away from the hustle bustle of Nainital, Freddy’s Bungalow is a restored colonial bungalow housed on a sprawling forest estate and surrounded by beautiful trees – jamun, oak, cedar, paper Mulberry and many more. The walks around the bungalow are splendid offering views of lakes, bird watching, and some historical experience. So, the only sound you’ll hear while residing at the bungalow is that of nature-rustling tree branches, chirping birds and the moving wind. Imagine waking to a beautiful view of the mother nature with the soothing sound all around you to fill your soul with happiness and relaxation – Sounds tempting! Doesn’t it?
About the history of the bungalow, it was home to Fredy Smetacek Jr., where his father Fredy Smetacek Sr. chose to live with his wife and raise their six children. While staying thre, Fredy Smetacek Sr. developed a passion for studying butterflies, and started a collection that eventually grew over 10, 000 specimens. Much of this collection is on display in the bungalow itself, while the rest is on display in the Butterfly Museum, which is close by. This is something that will definitely interest you while you are there.
The hotel has the understated elegance found only in houses built before the age of décor one. The white walls contrast nicely with the dark polish of the wood. The items of furniture have clean, straight lines and classy upholstery.
The property can take up to eight people in total. The four bedrooms are dreamy and cozy having their own personality and distinguishing features, e.g. an antique wood-panelled bathtub and ornate dresser in one room, and a sitting area under a sloping roof in another.
A little library set in an alcove between the rooms has a variety of thrillers, travel tales and comics; a tinge of happiness of all the book-lovers as you can spend a long time sitting on one of the wooden stools turning the pages.
All the rooms have a second door opening to a common rear verandah running along the length of the house, which is a perfect spot for everyone to huddle up and watch the beautiful sunset.
There is also an artistically done sitting area in the bungalow with its walls adorned with butterfly collections.
The views around are breathtaking, but it’s also the fact that Fredy’s adopt eco-friendly practices and uses no plastic. In keeping with the principles of sustainable development, they’ve ensured that the staff is mostly local and the foods are procured from the farms nearby – an added bonus! So, don’t forget to sample the Kumaoni cuisine here. Whatever you want to have, both veg and non-veg, just discuss with the manager and chef in advance, and be ready for a blast of flavors.
How to reach?
June Estate, Bhimtal, is about 6-7 hours by road from Delhi. Trains run from Delhi (Old Delhi and Anand Vihar stations) to Kathgodam, stopping at Haldwani, from where taxis go up to Bhimtal.
The feeling of living in the lap of nature, and having the opportunity of exploring the forest trails, lakes and the quaint neighbourhood; makes this bungalow a top pick if you want to have a relaxed and rejuvenating weekend away from Delhi.
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