As Delhi continues to choke due to the dangerous levels of air pollution, we recommend these six Unhotel destinations where you can breathe freely and the PM is a figure you need not worry about:
- Cottage in the Hills – LandourLandour is the crown jewel of Mussoorie. A small cantonment town, it has managed to retain the air of a quiet hill station.This little nook in the Himalayas is home to household names like Ruskin Bond, Bill Aitken, Tom Alter and Vishal Bharadwaj among others.
But even with its famous residents, Landour has managed to keep its old world charm. And our Unhotel is proof of that! With rooms overlooking the valley, interiors that exude warmth and cosiness, it is the perfect place to pause, unwind and relax. Choose from the vast collection of books and DVDs the cottage has to offer, and settle in, as if you were at home on a cold, rainy Sunday. Even the staff is hospitable and welcoming with many stories about Landour.
Enjoy the cool, crisp mountain air, long walks on circular paths and the nostalgia of the Raj. Our quaint little cottage is tucked away in the mountains, only a walk away from the little town cafes in like Café Ivy, Emily’s, Char Dukaan and the famous Landour Bakehouse. Perfect for a break from city life.
Distance from Delhi: 282 km
- Mountain Retreat – MukhteshwarNestled in the midst of a valley and the mountains clad in oak and rhododendron forests near Mukhteshwar, lies this serene Himalayan mountain retreat. It is the perfect place to be any time of year. This homestay is as quaint as the hamlet it lies in – it is comfortable, warm, cosy and every corner has a story for the keen traveler. Locked on all sides by nature, it is ideal place to unburden and recuperate. All rooms have unspoilt views of the Himalayas too.
There are many activities to indulge in here like hiking on nature trails, bird watching, stargazing and of course catching up on that book you’ve been dying to read or that game of carrom to play with the kids. The silence of the mountains is truly astounding.
Distance from Delhi: 347 km
- Home on the Hill – UdaipurAbout 10 minutes from Udaipur’s city center lies our homestay – ‘Home on the Hill’. Perched on a small hillock tucked in between lush green fields, this boutique homestay promises the traveller an experience of heritage mixed with nature.
This Unhotel is ninety percent self sustained, with a dairy farm, solar electricity, rain harvested water and home grown grains and greens. There are a variety of activities for guests to do at the farm including cycling tours, yoga classes, farm walks and heritage Indian cooking demonstrations. The host Major Durga Das is a keen bird watcher and loves taking out his guests on a spree. Meanwhile, the hostess Jyoti will cook her guests up some delicious Rajasthani preparations with fresh ingredients from the farm.
This Unhotel is perfect for unwinding after a long week in office. You can have some family time, catch up on your blogging or explore the farm. The best part about this Unhotel: it is pet friendly!
Distance from Delhi: 660 km
- The Rustling Pine – DalhousieThe Rustling Pine, is perched atop the Himalayan village of Bhariyata very close to Dalhousie. Away from the touristy spots, yet close enough to Dalhousie, this mountain abode offers a great escape to those coming from the plains. The cosy rooms at this Unhotel have breathtaking views of the Pir Panjal range; at night, you can see the town lit up. What’s more, the home cooked Himachali food served here is to die for!
While connectivity can pose an issue, guests are encouraged to indulge in more off the grid activities like trekking, picnicking, walks and hikes, and excursions to villages nearby.
Come here for an authentic Himalayan rural experience, mingle with the locals and hosts or just do nothing – we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Distance from Delhi: 500 km
- Walking Safari Lodge – CorbettOn a secluded bank of the western Ramganga river lies the Walking Safari Lodge, one of most remote wildlife lodges in northern India. Accessible only by a 2 km cross-country walk and raft across the river waters, this lodge is a wilderness paradise unlike any other. Stay within the forested hills with elephants, wild boar, deer and langurs for company. It is a place where conservation meets tourism.
The lodge was built with the purpose of creating a rich experience for true wildlife enthusiasts that would not be detrimental to the ecosystem and would be able to support local communities at the same time. In keeping with the true Corbett fashion, each cottage has a large veranda from which to watch the wildlife. But do not let the modesty of the rooms fool you; they are as comfortable as any other. An even with the limited access to many ingredients, the healthy and varied meals are a highlight. Forget the city life and be one with nature here.
Distance from Delhi: 245 km
- Sanctuary in the Hills – JilingSnuggled between the raw beauty of Kumaon hills, the Sanctuary in the Hills is a one-of-kind getaway. Located 6,000 ft above sea level, the journey to this Unotel is amazing on its own – you will traverse through beautiful terrace farms and oak forests.
A stone bungalow (main building) with its solar heated swimming pool and plush glass-windowed library, this Unhotel screams luxury. The glass conservatory comes with a state of the art home theatre system, a posh dining area and also includes an exterior viewing deck and a fireplace for those cold days. The cottages spread over 100 acres of land make for a resort that is an exploration in itself. The view on one side stretches down to the plains and on the other side the iced peaks of the Himalayas. On a clear day, the entire Nanda Devi Range is on display.
Not to mention the culinary delights waiting here – all sourced from the resort’s own glasshouse.
This getaway perfect to rejuvenate your body and soul in the environment of a luxury private resort. Distance from Delhi: 327 km