An ideal vacation is, according to us, where one truly unwinds and rejuvenates in a soul-soothing environment – much like a home away from home. A large number of discerning travellers today are turning to homestays as their residence of choice on a holiday. This week, we’ve curated a list of our favourite homestays across India from Mahraja Jagatjit Singh’s palatial 10 acre home to a 200 year old Portuguese manor.
This 10 acre homestay is located in the tiny hamlet of Hamira. Built in the 1950s, Hamira transports you to the era of Maharajas – peacocks strut past the lush lawns as the clear blue waters of the pool set in the Mughal garden invites you for a dip. Don’t forget to enjoy a delicious breakfast spread under the gazebo by the poolside, while here. Meal-times are serious affairs here – dining like royalty with multiple courses of lip-smacking delicacies. Our favourite space at Hamira would have to be the library which is lined up with a multitude of genres. The spa is truly glorious too and there could be nothing better than a massage before dinner to help us unwind and prepare for a restful sleep at this one-of-a-kind homestay.
Set at an altitude of 1660 meters and surrounded by dense Oak and Pine woods, pristine lakes and an abundance of natural flora and fauna, this homestay is a memorable traveler’s spot. There are no newspapers or TVs and no one is need of your immediate attention so while away your time as you take long walks along jungle trails or a boat ride on Sattal Lake or simply go for a picnic to the village nearby. The pace of life here is slow and a much needed respite from the constant grind of the city – the fresh mountain air, gorgeous views and a gracious host who personally attends to all our needs is what we love about this place.
Located in the sleepy village of Curtorim in South Goa, this 200-year old Colonial Portuguese manor is situated on a sprawling 1.5 acre property that’s peppered with fruit trees, flowering bushes, lush lawns and overlooks a seasonal lake. Boat rides and fishing on the Zuari River, photographing tropical birds, going on lively nature walks, splashing about in the serene Corjim lake and visiting exquisite churches with historical significance are among the many things to do around this homestay. If you can’t do without some beaches, Colva, Benaulim and Varca beaches are not too far from here.
O’land Plantation is a 120 acre estate that grows tea, coffee, pepper and cloves, built with naturally sourced materials, there are 3 cottages which offer spectacular views of the lush green tea garden and the valleys beyond. For the nature and adventure lovers, trekking and bird watching within the estate is an absolute must do. Watch tea leaves being plucked by the agile hands of the locals in the garden and later participate in a tea tasting session and learn about the different teas and discover which you like most.
Away from the touristy Shimla and on the outskirts of Barog, this homestay is on the lower slopes of the Himalayas. It provides awe-inspiring views of the Kasauli and Dakshai hills along with the woods around. Breathe in the fresh air, drink the pure mountain water, go for jungle walks and gorge on the traditional delicacies at this hidden gem.
So which one of these amazing homes are you going to plan your next vacay to?