2017 has been a year of travel for most Indians. People are traveling, taking vacations and eager to experiment. And in this new bloom, the one trend that is increasingly coming forward is the rise of homestays vis-a-vis hotels. Homestay as a concept is becoming the go to for the adventurous and experimental traveller. Not only is it easy on the pocket but also provides a home like atmosphere with easy stay options, homely food and exotic settings.
Let’s look at the most popular homestays across India which have continuously trended as the best in this segment.
Vikram and Paaro Ranawat’s home, Jaipur
The couple who run this place have their heart firmly paced here. Vikram is a retired army officer and Paro is a Rajput lady with strong ancestral legacies. Their home is open, spaced out and airy. The marble flooring, terrace, the bedrooms with a private lounge and a quaint cottage in the garden, are some of the pulls for this place.
Mr and Mrs Mehra’s home, Dehradun
Set in a quiet residential area, the house has everything a beautiful abode at the foothills of the Himalayas needs to have. Amazing views of the Mussoorie mist capture your attention. It’s a homely set up with the Mehra’s providing generous anecdotes and delicious food from their repository.
Sirohi House, Old Delhi
The former home of the Maharajah of Sirohi, this townhouse is close to Civil Lines, in the thick of Old Delhi. With the old-world charm of ornate fireplaces, carved wood, antique furniture and accessories, this place is a must. The rooms are well equipped with modern amenities and the communal lounges are wonderful to sit, relax and chat up in.
Capella, Northern Goa
This is a goan house in a quiet little village between Mapusa and Baga beach. Run by a couple, they also have an Italian restaurant, J&A’s in Baga. The rooms are spacious with modern bathrooms. The verandas are huge and provide the right place to sit and relax. The food consists of homemade curries, rice and salads.
Spiti Homestays, Himachal Pradesh
There are 14 homestays in this community, spread across six high-altitude villages all in the isolated Pin Valley, set against the frosted peaks of the Himalayas. This is one of the rugged, real world kind of homestay option with mud-and-brick dwellings. Yet the rooms are clean and colourfully furnished with local fabrics. Dive into the home-cooked Spitian cuisine and enjoy the breath-taking scenery, freshness of the mountain breeze, the local hospitality and the Yak safaris. This is enchanting.
Nelpura, Alappuzha, Kerala
This is a 150-year-old home of a Syrian Christian family, Mr. Chacko and his wife Salimma. The farm consists of a few watery acres of paddy and coconut palms just off the River Pampa. A traditional Keralan house, it provides three guest rooms and fresh food. Enjoy the country boats, the lazy drool of the village and the beautiful churches in the vicinity.
Evergreen Estate Bungalow, Mundakayam, Kerala
George and Anju Abraham’s 1950s house looks just so non-Indian. Yet it offers a true experience of traditional plantation life in this part of the world. Visit the Pullakaya River, the village rubber factory, Mundakayam’s colonial-era planters’ club. Food is straight from the oven with home cooked specialities like appams with mild vegetable stew, meat-ball curry, banana fry and fresh passion fruit juice.
Glenora Homestay, Wayanad, Kerala
The house is set in 90 acres of coffee, pepper, betel nut, lime, ginger, guava and avocado. The rooms and the cottages are modest yet comfortable. Activities include trekking, jeep safaris, badminton and trips to Sunrise Valley, Meenmutty Falls or the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
Nandan Farms, Sawantwadi, Maharashtra
In the Sindhudurg region of southern Maharashtra, this rustic, home offers two guest rooms opening on to a wide veranda that overlooks Ammu and Ashish Padgaonkar’s farm – 12 acres of cashews, pineapples and coconut palms. It’s the real India experience with modern amenities. To the east is Amboli, the little hill station in the Sahyadri hills and to the west, the beaches of Vengurla – both are less than 20 miles away. Try a local bullock-cart ride or relax in the farm!