After about 4 years of running Cinnamon Stays, Shilpi’s mother – Asha started to show keen interest in the way both Shilpi and Manish ran their Unhotel. On the other hand, Shilpi’s aunt Aruna, had a history of running an enterprise – be it raising chickens (which failed as a close relative kept stealing her chickens!) or running a fleet of rickshaws. For some reason this venture also never took off.
Decades later, the two sisters would visit Manish and Shilp time and again and they started to fall in love with the concept of homestays and hoped to do something similar. It was the re-igniting of a goal that they had forgotten over the years. With Aruna masi’s grit intact and Asha maa wanting to do something after having battled depression, it gave birth to the 2nd Unhotel – Granny’s Inn in Varanasi.
An archetypal old Indian house with a courtyard, Asha and her sister Aruna decided that they make this an Unhotel – replete with a homely feeling, home made food, stories to share and guests to love. And so at the age when typically people retire to do nothing, the Grannies decided to do something.
Grannies Asha and Aruna thrive at the opportunity to connect with people from different countries. They spend time story telling, sharing recipes, saree draping and singing amongst the regular “things to do” in Varanasi. A true #silverstartup story, their love got them guests from over 30 countries…all of whom just wanted to be “home – away from home”.
Today, the Inn is ranked No. 5 in the bed and breakfast category on Tripadvisor. The grannies have evolved as they have gotten more tech savvy and use twitter, FB and whatsapp to communicate with their guests. They encourage young entrepreneurial energy of Varanasi like Serenity Routes and Scarpshala. Pay them a visit and you will know why Varanasi is soul stirring, Granny’s Inn is soul loving.0