Summer Preview: 9 Indian Mountain Homestays You Need To Check Out This Season Vol. I

Summer Preview: 9 Indian Mountain Homestays You Need To Check Out This Season Vol. I

The migratory season is upon us. As the March 21st Equinox draws near and passes us by, birds migrate to the South to seek respite from the heat while we take flight in search of a spirit of escapism which might just save us from the gruelling routine of stifling summer heat and stagnation. But our perennial favourite getaway, and perhaps that of a majority of the Indian youth as well, will always be the scenic mountains and hills which our country adorns in its varied geographic gifts.

We’ve done the weekend getaways around Mumbai, we’ve thrown white sand beaches and river-side gazebos your way for Goa season but now the time has come to take things to the next level, literally. We scoured through scores of enticing homestay options available in a few of the most famous hill stations in India, and unsurprisingly, we were anything but disappointed. While these are strict budget options for the frugal minded below Rs 5,000 a night, fret not as this is just a first in our series of summer homestay options. Time to start dreaming about that summer getaway designed to leave your Instagram followers fuming in scenic jealousy.

Where: Katrain, Manali

Boasting of being the only tree-house cottage in Himachal Pradesh, Ambrish seeks to provide a mix of modernity and tradition with an authentic tree-house experience. The treehouse provides the kind of grandiose Himalayan view that inspires great works of literature and art, so it’s particularly perfect for the more lonely, expressive traveller. Located in Katrain, a good while away from the noise and fumes of central Manali city, it also offers simple and yet comfortable home style accommodation. Ideal for solo backpacking, couples and families with two children, they offer home-cooked meals as you take in the fresh air and surround your summer with clouds.

Price: Rs 3,500 per night

Where: Vashist, Manali

Nestling 2,000 metres above sea level, Scott and Ashima’s cottage-style house of granite and wood is not an easy find, just the way we like it. The only route that one can take to reach the property is a 40-minute walk up a steep path through apple orchards and waterfalls, but the destination is every bit worth the journey. The house offers an idyllic setting for journeys aching for peaceful relaxation, photography, sports and long walks to reconnect with nature and more importantly, oneself. The hosts also offer their guidance and company to ensure that you have a fun and vivid experience of Manali.

Price: Rs 1,200 per night.

Where: Dhomsu, Manali 

A hostess whose family has the legacy of starting Manali’s first guest house is renowned for providing excellent homestay experience and Indu Banon wears her hat well. With Villa WoodRose she offers a spacious property surrounded by apple and pear orchards, waterfalls and snow-capped mountains. Trekking trails, beautiful temples, lush meadows and pine forests along with the modern amenities and design make Wood Rose a perfect destination for groups with varied tastes.

Price: Rs 3,500 per night

Where: Raison, Kullu Manali

The Johnsons have been residents of Manali since the 1920s, making a name for themselves in the horticulture and hospitality business as well as helping with the development of the Raison locals. The White Cottage is situated on the same estate as their residence and offers an old-school vibe of simple living with furniture which would be labelled as precious antiquities by the urban folk. The antiquated charm of the interiors and the expansive surroundings that oscillate between orchards and scenic mountains make this a deal too tempting to refuse for nostalgia lovers.

Price: Rs 5,000 per night 


Where: Sister’s Bazaar, Landour, Mussoorie

Prospect Point is a 1.25 acres heritage property in the cantonment town of Landour. The property has two well-furnished cottages with five rooms and an exquisite wooden bar. The fire-place equipped rooms make it an ideal mountain stay, not to mention the fact that one gets a 360 degree view of the Himalayas from Prospect Point itself. The kitchen is equipped with modern equipment to aid your stress busting sessions with some culinary release. Now that’s our kind of holiday.

Price: Rs 5,000 per night

Where: Simla

An apartment might seem like a weak argument to make in a list consisting of expansive mansions and cottages, but the strategic location of Akshay’s holiday home apartment in Simla has left many guests swooning. The one bedroom apartment with five beds offers one close proximity to the local markets while his personal outdoor terrace is perfect to soak in the picturesque view of the hills, valley and incredible sunsets. If this was not all, the graciousness and professionalism of Akshay in helping the travelling guests has made it a favourite Simla homestay destination so it’s well worth your time if you want to disconnect from the city, but only just a little.

Price: Rs 3,800 per night

Where: Chail, Simla

This unique studio apartment at 6,000 ft in Himachal offers modern interiors and settings such as an open kitchen. Located in the middle of Chail, Kufri, Shimla and Giri Pul, the hallmark of modernity is interestingly surrounded by dense forests and wildlife such as foxes,pheasants, deers and leopards. While the scenic views in the comfort of an urban living space have us bedazzled, the owners have some pretty strict rules about the conduct of guests in the premises. These would almost be deal breakers for few, until of course they look at the views offered. Then again, maybe not, so pick your places wisely.

Price: Rs 4,400 per night

Where: Sattal

A rustic wooden cottage provides travellers a chance to explore Sattal, a little known hill station in Uttarakhand.  The one acre estate is surrounded by five lakes and is a treat for bird watchers to look at the various migratory birds that visit this natural and unpolluted hill wonder. While the cottage bears all the hallmarks of being charmingly old and rusty, the interiors and furniture offer modern aesthetics with beautiful lanterns to dimly light up your mountain nights.

Price: Rs 4,726 per night


Where: Naldhera, Simla

The reserve forests of Naldhera tuck away this summer home, located at an altitude of 2,044 metres with every room of the huge cottage having a view of the forest and the valley. The Forest Cottage is located just a kilometer away from the  18-hole Naldhera  Golf Course, the oldest golf course in the country which again offers unparalleled scenic views.

Price: Rs 3,000 per night.

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