Everyone has their own picture of an ideal place of refuge for when they want to recharge their physical, emotional, and mental batteries. For some, it’s a quaint heritage house overlooking a verdant valley or, perhaps, a warm cabin in the mountains. If your thoughts stray to similar ideas of the perfect retreat, then, maybe, it’s time for you to consider taking a trip to Himachal Pradesh in India for some healing time.
A tranquil state that boasts arresting views of the Himalayas all year long, it’s a great destination for some quiet me-time or a relaxing vacation with your loved ones. Himachal Pradesh also offers a good selection of homestays, for your lodging needs—some, too beautiful to resist.
Here, we round up five of our favorite homestays in Himachal Pradesh:
Meena Bagh, Ratnari
Having been featured in National Geographic Traveller and Condé Nast India, Meena Bagh in Ratnari definitely makes an impression. Sitting in the middle of a massive apple orchard, this eco-friendly, solar-powered bungalow promotes luxury in serenity all the while being surrounded by nature. This four-bedroom home’s design is reminiscent of traditional Himachal houses, which are known for their earthy tones with occasional bursts of bright colors, warm lighting, sun-roofed ceilings, and indoor fireplaces. Come during the winter months (January to March) and you might just be treated to a dramatic snowfall.
Starts at 29,590 INR (418 USD) per night
Gone Fishing Cottages, Tirthan
What was once a humble family cottage became a complex of rustic family homes—all made with local materials by the couple who founded the place. Tucked away from the tourist-heavy Banjar, Gone Fishing Cottages are situated on the banks of the Kalwari stream and in the eco-zone of the UNESCO-listed Great Himalayan National Park. Perfect for outdoorsy folks, it is lapped by nature, with orchards, farms, and forests enveloping it. If you want to experience fishing by the Tirthan River (as you should!), hosts Upendra and Dimple Kamra will gladly arrange it for you.
Starts at 6,000 INR (85 USD) per room
Taara House, Manali
Stunning is an understatement when describing this blissful glass-and-wood classic, mid-modern abode. With a lush pine forest as its background and the breathtaking Himalayas as its foreground, Taara House is yet another labor of love by a family who wishes to extend the warmth of their home to travelers. The boutique cottage is mainly made with reclaimed or recycled wood, and features spacious and stylish bedrooms marked with traditional Himachal and Scandinavian touches. It also has a sit-out, where you can breathe in the fresh air and admire the fog-laden mountains as the day wears on.
Starts at 13,000 INR (184 USD) per night
Sanjiv’s Aira Holme Retreat, Shimla
This stone-walled, wood-paneled home has quite a story to tell. It was built by the British in 1870 and was called Morefield Grange. For a time, it served as a residence of dignitaries, who came to Shimla for the summer holidays. It was then passed on from one generation to another, with the owners maintaining its vintage charm. Today, it is managed by Birinder Singh a.k.a. Billy, an artist by profession, and his daughter. During your stay, you might want to browse through Billy’s extensive collection of books or enjoy a warm cup of tea while taking in the vistas of the valley below.
Starts at 5,400 INR (76 USD) per night
Experience a stay in a traditional Kaathkuni structure (interlocked stones and wood along with mud-plastered walls) in this architectural masterpiece. The homey space flaunts a scenic views of the Himalayas and valley from every room as well as a garden area where you can laze around. With its bright interiors (and the delicious dishes it serves), you are sure to have a cheery retreat here.
Starts at 2,200 INR (31 USD) per night
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