The Homestay Culture
One of the fastest cultures picked up in Travel is “Homestay”. There was a time when unregistered guest houses used to be famous. To keep a track of the same, Govtt thought of licenscing them in few states. After keeping a nominal standard check with no taxes levied to the guest, they were given a name “Homestay” wchih our websites or global travellers also love calling as “Bed & Brekafast” or “BnB”.
AirBNB.com is one of the dominant players as of now. MakeMyTrip & Yatra are trying their best to get the Hosts registered & offer the same.
Few of the Homestays you cant miss visiting when travelling next:-
1. Gone Fishing Cottages: This by far is a little new property by the river in the Tirthan Valley. Taken care by Dimple who otherwise is an avid traveller & a language professional to kill her weekends. 4 cottages, pahaadi touch, open spaces is what one is looking for a change away from the hustle bustle of the cities. Windows kept open & the winds flowing within the room. Homecooked pahaadi food although Italian is definitely an option. For the non veggies, the local Bakra is not to be missed.
2. Guns & Roses, Kasauli: Once Maharaja Ranjit Singh dreamt of seeing Shimla from his place when he wanted to wake up. That’s how Chail Palace was setup. Col Sethi (Retd.) with a similar desire had this place in Kasauli which he has been developing since a decade now. An offering of 2 & 3 bedroom sets, an individual lawn, cute balconies, cosy walk paths nearby is all it takes to define the place. Just a kilometre before the Kasauli market toll is his standalone property ‘Guns & Roses’. Go as a Guest & come back as a family. That the warmth of our retired Colonel.
3. Mahal Farms, Kasauli
4. Krish Rauni, Matiana:
Krish Rauni Resort is situated at a height of 8,000 feet at Matiana in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal is a part of the Great Himalayas of India. It is on the Hindustan Tibet Road (NH22),Now NH 5 – only 45 kms. ahead of Shimla.
As the name suggests it is set amidst an extensive Apple Orchard overlooking a vast valley. It’s surrounded by Apple trees, lush green fields of cash crops like potatoes, cauliflower, peas, cabbage etc.
Being situated on the ridge one can enjoy the view of rising sun on one side and the grandeur of the setting sun on the other side. There is a huge terrace overlooking the valley. A perfect place to enjoy breakfast under the umbrella and spend hours of leisure sitting under the stars during dinner time.
5. The Veergarh, Shoghi:
Located only ten kms short of Simla off the Chandigarh Shimla Highway, VEER GARH is perched on the hill side along the road to the famous Tara Devi Temple in Shimla.
A drive in fully serviced bungalow. Has 6 tastefully furnished bedrooms with large balconies over looking the snow clad hills across the Chail Glen. An opportunity to bask in the mountain sun while the toy train whistles past your door step.
6. Dolly’s Appartment, Goa
An independent two bedroom on the first floor of the house in the silent street of Baga. Jutst 200 metres from Dominos is our Dolly (75 year old Goase not liked to be called aunty). With 3 cute balconies opening to the tall trees. A well located Homestay with a kitchen & lounge. To rent a scooter & car, Dolly arranges it all. An open minded lady, gets angry if back home by 10 in the evening. ‘Goa is not to be about home. Its about being at the beaches always.’ One has to visit her to meet her & see Goa through her eyes.
7. Rokeby Manor, Mussoorie
As much spoke about is less. Rokeby Manor is an experiential heritage home oozing with heritage character having been restored to its original 19th century décor. This heritage building is resplendent with elaborate brick arches and niches, intricate stone walls, real wood floors and beams, and cosy fireplaces. Spend a quite day at Rokeby Manor the vintage cottage with colonial feel.
High up on the Himalayan Ridge, Eat at Emily’s and enjoy the serene surroundings of Landour. Perched on the first floor of Rokeby Manor overlooking the Mussoorie ridge line, Emily’s offers a stunning view and food to match.
Rokeby Manor was listed amongst the top 15 hill-stations hotels in India by TripAdvisor in 2015.
8. Bird & Beyond, Ranikhet
Unique homestay in pristine, rural Garhwal Himalaya. 3 bedroom cottage overlooking grand views of the eternal snow peaks – Nanda Devi, Trishul & more. A mountain log house, in the lap of the Himalayan snow peaks, with the company of birdsong and rural pastoral life.
Few words of love by Kiran Chaturvedi: The drive from the foothills of the Himalayas at Rishikesh 200 kms up to the high ridges of the Central Himalayas around Guniyala was an interestingly gripping one to say the least! Dense clouds that blocked all vision, hairpin bends, raging river gorges, crumbling landslides and washed away roads were just some of the adventurous encounters we faced.
Barbeque & Bonfire available on Request.