Heading for Uttarakhand this summer? Looking for some place to stay away from the usual tourists? Bored of staying at the regular hotels and resorts?
Presenting some hidden and secretly kept destinations in Uttarakhand to cheer your vacation up, and to rejuvenate your soul this summer.
See the list of offbeat stays in Himachal Pradesh in earlier issue
In this issue:
- The Dak Bungalow, Peora
- Fredy’s Bungalow, Bhimtal
- The White Peaks, Nainital
- Mary Budden Estate, Binsar
- Innisfree, Almora
- Kuflon Basics, Uttarkashi
- Cottage in the Hills, Bhimtal
- Maati, Munshiyari
- Itmenaan Estate, Almora
- Jilling Terraces, Nainital
- Himalayan Village, Sonapani
- The Retreat, Bhimtal
The Dak Bungalow, Peora
The Dak Bungalow (Bangla) at Peora is a magnificent old British inspection bungalow built in 1905 along the silk route, on what was the Kathgodam-Almora-Bageshwar bridle road.
After years of dilapidation, the bungalow was leased by Pradeep & Shubha from the District Board in 2005, and refurbished as a homestay. Its original architecture, walls, fireplaces, wooden ceilings and grand verandas were retained, offering an indulgence in colonial royalty, homely hospitality & panoramic Himalayan views.
Fredy's Bungalow, Bhimtal
Fredy’s Bungalow is a place to experience authentic living in the midst of cedar, pine and oak forest overlooking stunning peaks and valleys. There is nothing like watching the sun rise and set keeping aside the usual life rush, while sipping on a hot cuppa.
The Bungalow is a colonial home refurbished into a resort while keeping its authenticity intact and features 4 exquisite rooms with antique interiors to recreate a living in a colonial era. Every element be it interior or exterior is sure to delight the wanderer in you. It’s absolutely worth taking time off to experience a living here while you set out on trails and explore the regions around or survey the in-house butterfly collection.
The White Peaks, Nainital
This homestay is perfect for writers, poets and artists who can take advantage of a serene environment and create the best of their works. Located in a hamlet called Gagar in Uttarakhand, this house is surrounded by enchanting silver oak forests on all sides.
There is a breathtaking 180-degree view of snow-capped Himalayan peaks at the distance and a peaceful company of varied birds who have made this place a home. One can even go on a day trip to Nainital, which is just an hour’s drive away.
Mary Budden Estate, Binsar
Mary Budden Estate Binsar is a 19th century heritage home beautifully restored into a luxury homestay for the discerning guests wanting to spend time amidst serenity and tranquillity of the Himalayas.
The homestay is one of the privately owned estates, set on 5 acres of land, within the Binsar wildlife sanctuary near Almora. Retaining its abiding charm, the estate is a cozy hideaway to unwind and reconnect with the nature.
Innisfree, Hawalbagh, Almora
Innisfree Hawalbagh is the adopted home of Lat, a descendant of Kumaon’s royal Chand Dynasty and a Burmese princess. Together with Lat’s Latvian wife Julia and their mother Aunty Kiran, they warmly welcome travellers into their home and lives.
The moment you take a small detour from the main road to reach this beautiful hamlet settled in the midst of clouds, mountains and temples, you experience the exhilarating feeling of being free in the mountains. The fragrance of wild flowers & mountain trees next to the Kosi River is a scent that can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet it will conjure up memories of your childhood summer. The Old Bungalow has come alive with the hosts and their warm hospitality.
Kuflon Basics, Uttarkashi
A half hour drive from Uttarkashi, this homestay in the Garhwal Himalayas is nestled quietly at the edge of the village and the home of a young couple who quit their high-flying jobs in the cities to move back to the mountains they love. They have lovingly handcrafted two brick huts with five rooms and three Swiss tents to host travellers and share their slice of mountain paradise. Such comfort so high up in the Himalayas is a real treat.
Indulge in Anil and Sree’s warm hospitality, hearing tales of their adventurous lives in the mountains and their transition from city life. Stroll through the village to meet the friendly mountain folk, sample local and fusion recipes made with local ingredients often found wild in the forest, hike to neighbouring villages that sit atop pretty terraced valleys, trek into the higher reaches of the mountains, and lay back on the “stargazing rock” to spot shooting stars and constellations in a starry night sky.
Cottage in the Hills, Bhimtal
A snaky uphill drive from the Bhimtal lake will take you to another dimension filled with untouched nature, fresh air, vast himalayan flora and flawless beauty. And amidst all of this, you will stumble upon a small fairytale cottage facing the lower himalayas and terraced slopes filled with assorted shades of green.
A home deep in the lap of nature where in the mornings you will wake up to the melodious chirping of the birds singing in the woods with the first ray of the sun knocking your door and in the night you will gaze seamlessly into the sky of a thousand stars.
This homestay is far, very far. Not from mankind, but from pollution and the madness we face in our daily lives. Located at Sarmoli village, on the upper reaches of Munsiyari town in Uttarakhand, peace and serenity prevail along with the best of natural beauty in this place.
Priceless views of snow-capped mountains and the valley below make the stay here an unforgettable experience for anyone who’s a traveller at heart.
The homestay is run by an NGO called Maati Sangathan, which focusses on providing the local women a livelihood through an eco-tourism initiative.
Itmenaan Estate, Almora
Away from the hustle bustle, set amidst lush green terraced plantation, towering pine and oak trees and vibrant red rhododendron, in an authentic offbeat rural setting, Itmenaan Estate near Almora, as the name indicates, offers utmost laid back and serene ambiance to unwind.
This Kumaoni style retreat, aesthetically restored from 100 years old regional stone houses to promote sustainable and eco-friendly living, is nothing less than a fairy-tale setting.
Jilling Terraces, Nainital
After a moderate walk through large conifers, thick oaks, luscious rhododendrons, a stray horse chestnut, laden peaches, plums and apple trees and after crossing a few seasonal waterfalls, just as you are about to reach the top of the ridge, you are confronted with a charming 80-year-old stone house with a backdrop of Nanda Devi and the surrounding peaks.
Set in a 100 acres of flora and fauna of Uttarakhand, Jilling Terraces is the perfect weekend getaway from Delhi to abscond to when you just want to curl up and breathe in spectacular views or spend some quality time with your loved ones.
Himalayan Village, Sonapani
Located amidst beautiful orchards, pine and oak trees, an ideal spot for those with an inclination towards trekking! Explore the adventure of trekking through trails based on your level of complexity and comfort.
The 12 cottages offered to stay are well connected yet retain their privacy. The venue detaches visitors from the world of television soaps and takes you on a different journey altogether – one that is closer to nature and its virgin beauty.
The Retreat, Bhimtal
Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, this venue will please a conventional heart. Conceived in the 19th century, this getaway location is ideal for one and all – be it nature lovers or trekkers, those with creative inclinations or the ones seeking solitude for meditation.
Give a boost to your appetite with Indian and Continental cuisines in the comfort of a rustic location. This dignified property, home to diplomats across the globe, offers the perfect holiday experience with an ancient touch to it.