About Us

What is an Unhotel ?

UNCOMMON STAYS

UNHOTEL started as an outfit selling uncommon, soulful stays, that are hard to find and are a treasure trove for the discerning traveler.  From selling just stays, the company has come a long way in crafting experiences built around the hand-picked Unhotel accommodations, spread all over the country. We now take our guests to international destinations to stay in places that remain true to our philosophy. The company is run by a Team of passionate, creative travel devotees who create tailor-made holidays, treks and experiences around the globe. The team is guided by a panel of experts who are our Mentors.  Unhotel trips are never run-of-the-mill, are not available in  travel brochures, entail staying in special places, and, is either a small group tour with fixed dates, or a handmade one based on our guests’ tastes, requirements and timelines. Our Trip-leaders are experts in their respective fields and lead the trips with enthusiasm and passion.

The international trips we offer are usually multi-activity based and take you on culinary journeys, wine trails, heart of the African wildland, outback Australia, adrenaline pumping challenges, trekking in Patagonia or simply sailing a cruise liner in the Gulf of Alaska. From hiking and biking in Ireland, running in Peru’s Octoberfest Marathon, romantic Danube river cruises  in Europe, boating & barging from Holland to Belgium, our know-how, local intelligence, and a web of intimate relationships allow us to craft trips and treks from the adventurous to the romantic, luxury to budget, or a surprise brew of both. We can help you savour the traditional nomadic culture of Kyrgyzstan, or sample some of the most spiritual churches and incredible food of the Republic of Georgia; offer you trekking and safari options in lesser explored Ethiopia, or help you explore the white-sand beaches, waterfalls, hilltop fortresses and cave networks of Haiti.

Authentic. Personalised. Creative. Memorable.

We are committed to providing you with authentic, personalised, comfortable and creative sojourns. We work with established and passionate partners in every country who know how to take care of every little detail. Our specially curated and unconventional selection  allows for short breaks and  long haul vacations. Our team has over three decades of experience in the travel and hospitality business, and will work closely with you to create tailor-made journeys,  that will provide you with in-depth destination knowledge and bespoke itineraries,  complete with expert guides and information, and the best ‘Unhotel’ places to unwind and relax in style and comfort.

THE UNHOTELIERS

ARE A SMALL BAND OF CORPORATE RENEGADES. MAY THEIR TRIBE INCREASE



Manish Sinha
FOUNDER, CEO

A passionate adman, Manish spent over 2 decades in the advertising industry where he helped build digital marketing & communication strategies for the likes of Airtel, Samsung and Nokia. Stints at JWT, Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Mudra and finally as Chief Strategy Officer at Digitas.

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He took the road less traveled and forayed into entrepreneurship as Co-founder of Oravel.com (now Oyo Rooms) and later as Founder of Cinnamon Stays and Granny’s Inn. He is the National Entrepreneurship Winner – ET Lufthansa 2013. Manish dabbles in copy-writing, storytelling, entrepreneur mentoring, social causes and some serious traveling!


Shilpi Singh
CO-FOUNDER

A Leadership Coach and a Diversity Champion with 15 years of active HR corporate experience in companies like Ogilvy and IMG, Shilpi is now engaged with Women Leadership. She is the Managing Partner & Head – Coaching Practice of Biz Divas India and is in the Top 100 HR influencer List on Twitter.

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Shilpi loves to connect with people especially from the area of traveling and is an active blogger.


Kunal Sinha
Mentor – Travel Foresight

Kunal is a Foresights and Strategy advisor with an illustrious 27 years in Advertising and Consulting. A Guru in Trend-spotting, Cultural Analysis and Forecasting, he is an Author, a Blogger, a Columnist and a Guest Faculty in World’s Leading Universities (including Harvard, Kellogg, Cambridge, LBS to name a few),

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His innovative thinking made him an 11-time winner of the WPP Atticus award for original thinking in marketing services, including three Grand Prix.He was also listed in the millennium edition of the Who’s Who in the World. He has authored six books including two on creativity: the award-winning ‘China’s Creative Imperative’, and ‘Raw: Pervasive Creativity in Asia’, and two on travel: ‘An Ordinary Traveller’ and ‘A Banarasi on Varanasi’..



Shobhana Jain
Content Mentor

Shobhana Jain founded Soulitudes which curated immersive travel experiences to integrate arts, music and travel. Working with small intimate retreats, Soulitudes experiences included a retreat with auteur Shyam Benegal in the jungles, Dhrupad in the mountains with Pandit Uday Bhawalkar and

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The Raghu Dixit Project’s first gig in the Himalayas. She was also part of a startup curating special properties and continues to organize bespoke travel experiences for global discerning travelers.


Shilpa Sharma
Concept Mentor

Shilpa is a serial entrepreneur who thrives on curiosity and diversity.  A multi faceted woman, she is passionate about travel and all things beautiful. She is always exploring possibilities, collaborations and partnerships having fun along the way. Forging new bonds and sharing stories. Shilpa’s

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three curated ongoing projects that drive her and are a reflection of the person she is : (a) Break-away- The natural outcome of an intense love for travel and a hands-on approach which helps you get an immersive experience of people and places (b) Jaypore – The favourite shop for India’s most beautiful and high on design handcrafted products and (c) Mustardgoa – A unique fusion food restaurant in Goa. A shared passion for regional foods of india, mustard is the meeting of two cuisines – Bengali and French over mustard as an ingredient!


Arvind Jha
Mentor – Marteching

Arvind is a top tech professional with experience at Adobe, Apple under his belt. Currently mentoring a portfolio of startups and building disruptive new products / businesses. He is an early maven for Marteching – using tech and automation for marketing. He believes that the on-demand economy has opened up great possibilities for

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travel & hospitality.  And tech based solutions can help consumer discover options, transact and get support on their trips like never before.



Manisha Panwar
Content Head

Manisha was born to the 2nd generation of a military family. With her travel DNA intact, she pursued Human Resources for 14 years and is currently an Executive Coach. Whilst HR always made her happy, writing fed her soul. She gradually transformed to a freelance writer and a blogger with a keen interest in travelling and story telling (listening!).

THE UNHOTEL STAYS HAVE A STORY. OF THEIR OWNERS, THE HOSTS, OR OF THE PLACE. THE LOCAL ECOSYSTEM. AND WILL MAKE YOU REMINISCE, “IT WAS SO UNLIKE-A-HOTEL”.
— MANISH SINHA

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the Unhotel?

We are a collection of hand-picked cottages, heritage homes, luxury camps, jungle lodges, the best of homestays, beach villas and other non-hotel like accommodation. The Unhotel is not a destination or a single property. It’s a collective of ‘home-inside-a-hotel’ kind of places and their proud owners.

Who is it for?

For anyone who is bored with the cookie cutter hotels and is looking for a more offbeat, creative, bespoke accommodation. The Unhotel is the place to select and book their next holiday experience. For explorers, creative folks and guests looking for comfort-with-character. The seekers of authentic, luxury and the local. The eco-conscious and the lovers of stumbleupon and quirkiness.

Who should avoid us?

People looking ONLY for hotel-like luxury or comfort, the standard regular fare, always a resort with a swimming pool and a gym. Travelers who always like to be close to places of entertainment and shopping. Then our Unhotels are definitely not for you!

Is the Unhotel an OTA ( Online Travel Agent) ?

No we are NOT an OTA. We are curators of boutique non-hotel accommodation and experiences.
We help discerning travellers like you discover ‘Unhotel’ places, trips and treks. And only recommend places that we have checked out ourselves and hand-picked for you.
Yes we also sell rooms. But together with an experience. And help maintain service quality standards.
We are not a warehouse of hotel rooms. We are the storytellers and curators of hidden gems in travel.

Will I get the Best Price if I book through the Unhotel?

We have a good rapport and relationship with all our ‘Unhotel’ owners. So unless a travel company or OTA discounts their rates. We offer the best price.
However, we are not in the business of discounted rooms. Please don’t come to us if all you are seeking is cheaper room nights. Come to us for the best experiences and memories. For the romance of travel and tailor-made journeys.

Why should I book through the Unhotel?

There are five main reasons
 
– Many of our Unhotels are not listed on different travel websites. The owners like you are tired of the mass marketing of hospitality. So, you will only find these places here.
 
– We will help you maximise your stay with tips and trivia. At least one Unhotel member has been to each of these places. So, we can advise on the stay, food, treks, things to do, photography, flora and fauna.
 
– We do regular events and retreats at the Unhotels. These are unique experiences – from creativity and innovation workshops, to yoga and meditation, to pottery and the arts. You may not find these creative options elsewhere.
 
– We do quality audits to maintain great service standards at all our Unhotels. We only pick-up places that have consistently high guest reviews and ratings.
 
– We have an awesome ‘Club Unhotel’. Once you are part of this inner circle, you get regular updates on new experiences and Unhotels. The more you stay with us, the more value you get out of the Unhotel Club.