We are All Going on a Summer Holiday…
If this classic Cliff Richards number is giving you major vacay goals, here’s a handy list of the top 10 resorts and homestays to make your dreams come true.
It’s the last of the summer hols before monsoon takes complete charge of the landscape and paints it green. Whether you are an adventure junkie, foodie or just a laidback tourist waiting for the hills to provide the much-required R&R, there’s nothing like a cool mountain getaway to beat the heat. Here’s our selection of the 10 best idyllic homestays and resorts in Uttarakhand, Bengal and other exotic destinations in India that offer a picturesque view of the mighty snow-clad Himalayas in the clouds:
The Verandah, Bhimtal
Nestled in the town of Bhimtal in the state of Uttarakhand, The Verandah is a five-bedroom cosy and traditional Airbnb vacation home, which can give many top-end resorts in Bhimtal and Uttarakhand a run for their money. Reaching the homestay is a journey worth cherishing with spectacular scenery as you wind up the mountain overlooking the Naukuchiatal Lake. The home has been styled tastefully with all the modern amenities without harming the hillside cottage vibe. Expect fully-functioning fireplace, pine ceilings, and a shelf stocked with a large collection of books.
If you’re planning to head out, check out the lakes—Bhimtal, Sattal and Naukuchital—as well as towns of Nainital, Ranikhet, Almorah and Mukhteshwar.
Grab Your Friends, Spread a Rug, and Don The Old Straw Hats For Some Picnic Under The Sun
House Luxury Cottage, Manali
Airbnb has found a hidden gem among cottages in Manali that is open to weary travellers—The Taara House. It is located three kms away from the main city centre and is a mix of classic and mid-modern style architecture and interiors with the use of Burma Teak, English Oak, and Pine. The highlight of this two-bedroom cottage is the glass house that lets you spend an evening gazing at the stars or alternatively soak up the warm winter sun.
The bedrooms have Scandinavian light fixtures, customised furniture by Anthologie Design and fine art collection, which is graceful contrasted with Himachali touches such as Bukhari, the local form of fireplace.
Don’t forget to visit the Hadimba Temple which is half a kilometer away from The Taara House and a hike through the Reserve Pine forest.
Spread over 4.5 acres, Rakkh Resorts in Gamrota is a getaway from the tourist-driven hustle bustle of McLeodganj and Dharamsala. The 15 luxuriously appointed rooms of the resort open up to the vistas to the mighty Dhauladhar mountains and sleepy villages in the valley below.
With a keen focus on sustainability, Rakkh Resorts connects with nature where locals play an important role. Head for the specially designed hikes and bike trails through the surrounding tea gardens, quaint villages, pine forests to hilltop temples and to a local Tibetan Monastery. Back at the resort, share tales of discoveries with each other while relishing ‘dhaam’, a Himachali feast.
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Mahindra Binsar Valley Resort
Binsar is located in the lap of Kumaun Himalayas and is a preferred destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The other big highlight are the vast expanses of Rhododendron in full bloom during summers. Enjoy all of nature’s bounty and more at the 31 apartments—all equipped with the modern-day comforts that you can retire to after a busy day of activities planned by the resort. From the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Jageshwar temple, Chitai Golu Devta Temple and Dandeshwar Temple, there’s lot to sight see.
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Mahindra Dharamshala Resort
The picturesque locale of Dharamshala offers an escape from the hubbub of the city with the resort’s 23 chalet-style apartments. Enjoy the breath-taking views of the Dhauladhar ranges as you go for a nature walk or go on day hikes around Dharamshala and enjoy the views of the Himalayas. You can also head to the nearby tea gardens or Bhagsu waterfall. If you are an adventure lover, try the Triund Trek from where you can enjoy the views of the Moon peak-Indera Pass. The Tibetan handicraft centre is a must-visit to catch a glimpse of the refugees working on carpet weaving.
in the Himalayas, Narendra Nagar Tehri - Garhwal
One of India’s foremost spa resort, Ananda in the Himalayas is a must-visit for spa-lovers and wellness buffs. Located on a 100-acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate, Ananda in the Himalayas integrates traditional Ayurveda and yoga with fitness and wellness to balance and harmonise one’s energy. From a simple detox to weight loss, Ananda has a wide array of programmes and treatments to take care of your mind, body and soul—a philosophy built by its founders, Ashok and Neelam Khanna. The retreat first opened its doors in 2001 and ever since has been a name to be reckoned with in the wellness resorts across the world. Apart from their specially designed fitness programmes, the resort focuses on cuisine driven by the tenets of Ayruveda.
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Saffronstays Tridiva, Gwaldham
On top of Talwari, a village in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, is a warm and luxurious homestay that offers spectacular views of the snow-capped Nanda Devi Range. SaffronStays Tridiva, Gwaldham, Uttarakhand is a holiday home put together with a lot of heart and soul—the living room has a stone fireplace; warm, colourful fabrics, old wooden artefacts and geodes. Talwari is an ornithologist’s haven and while staying at SaffronStays Tridiva you can look out for of the winged inhabitants of the area. Local sightseeing spots include temples such as Badhangari Temple, Gwaldam Naag, Angyari Mahadev, Machchi Taal, Budhdha Temple to name a few. For the more adventurous, Gwaldam is popular with trekkers as the point of commencement for treks to Roopkund Lake, Kuari Pass and Nanda Devi Yatra.
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Amayaah Palash, Rishikesh
Overlooking Rishikesh and the Ganga river valley atop a hill is SaffronStays Amayaah Palash. The luxury villa is contemporary in style with elements of nature seamlessly incorporated into its design. Intricately designed pieces bedeck the home, right from the wooden furnishings to plush floral upholstery, every small detail adds a classy and opulent touch. There are a total of five bedrooms, three of which open to a view of the picturesque landscape, while the remaining two give an unhindered view of the star-speckled night sky.
Conveniently located, you can head to Rishikesh to check out the Maha-Aarti, Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula. Also a hub for adventure sports, one can go zip lining, river rafting, abseiling, trekking, mountain biking and more.
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Tea Eastate, Darjeeling
On the banks of River Rangeet, in north Bengal is a tea plantation from a bygone era. Originally set up by a Scottish tea company, the estate is currently run successfully by Husna-Tara Prakash. At Glenburn Tea Estate, you can relive the glorious days of tea estates and plantations while marveling at the glorious Kanchenjunga.
You can learn all about the exquisite tea that is produced in the region, learning about the meticulous process and even tasting it. There are several fishing spots and hiking routes in and around the estate that you can challenge yourself with. You can also head to nearby towns of Darjeeling and Kalimpong for a day full of activities.
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The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg
Image courtesy: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg
A veritable paradise
on earth, Kashmir is the true gem of the Himalayas. The Khyber Himalayan Resort
& Spa in Gulmarg promises to be an unforgettable experience. The 85-room property
is located a short walk away from Gulmarg
Gondola, the ropeway that will take you to Kongdoori Mountain. In the summer season, you can opt for trekking, trout fishing or even try your hand at golfing; skiing can only take place once it snows.
The hotel is designed in typical Kashmiri architecture and carved with luxurious walnut timber. The rooms are decorated with exquisite traditional Kashmiri silk and wool carpet as well as hand-made furniture. Amenities include a heated indoor swimming pool, spa, kid’s club and more. The Khyber Spa is facilitated by L’Occitane, offering luxurious and holistic spa treatments inspired by the rituals of Provence, France.
Featured image: Shutterstock.com
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