The temperature rises, the air-conditioning works over time, mom makes cool smoothies while dad fills the inflatable pool. Summer is quality time for the family but can also get sweltering hot in the cities. With vacations around the corner, it’s time for you and the kids to enjoy the cooler, cleaner environs far away from the city and the school.
Here are our top five picks this summer:
Call of the River, Rishikesh
Thirty kilometers north of Rishikesh, right in the middle of a forest reserve, this active Unhotel is heaven for the adventurists.
This unhotel has 22 luxurious cottages with beautiful vistas of the Ganga and the mountains.
What’s best is that it is nestled away from the crowded, touristy section with a plethora of adventure camps down by the Ganga. It is a paradise for families who want to enjoy an adventure or two together. Look forward to rafting, wall climbing, mountain biking, inflatable kayaking, jumaring, hiking, astronomy and yoga. Two activities a day including one rafting trip during the stay is included in our tariff.
The Tree House, Panna
Tented just outside the Panna National Park, ‘The Tree House’ stands out like a jewel inside the emerald forest. It is quite like being in a scene from the movie ‘Tarzan’. The children will love it!
The brainchild of wildlife lovers and conservationists, this Unhotel has all the elements for a great family vacation: a choice of quaint air-conditioned huts and rustic family cottages perfect for country living inside a forest. You can choose from a plethora of wildlife-based activities here like safaris, guided hikes, birdwatching and trips to Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or you could choose to spend the day on the deck at the restaurant, reading or simply looking out at the beautiful Ken River.
The Pahadi Lodge, Shimla
A quirky little cabin painted in distressed blue, green and red sits in the midst of the mountains, eagerly waiting for visitors. Located in the heart of Shimla, a train ride away from New Delhi, this modified eco-friendly Himachali home has four cosy, ultra-modern and dreamy rooms replete with a gorgeous bathtub to wind down after a long day of sightseeing.
For the kids, this Unhotel is perfect: it has a table tennis, a pool table and a basketball court for long days of volleying or dunking. And for those tots who’d rather spend the day immersed in books, ‘The Pahadi Lodge’ has a hand-picked collection of books to read on the cosy windowsills. And the best part – it’s pet friendly!
The River’s Secret, Satpura
A two-hour boat ride on the sparkling blue Denwa River will bring you to The River’s Secret, a beautiful little Unhotel with dreamy views of Pachmarhi hills. Tucked away, next to the Satpura Reserve, this Unhotel has a mix of deluxe cottages and tree houses with cute river-facing sit-outs and private decks – great for evenings with the entire family.
You and the kids can enjoy safaris inside the neighbouring Satpura Reserve accompanied by expert naturalists of course. There is also a buffer area for cycling, night safaris and camping. For the lovers of water, kayaking is a great option here.
Home on the River, Kottayam
Located on the banks of the Meenachil river in Kerala, just two hours down the road from Kochi lies our ‘Home on the River’. This 200-year old mansion has extravagant AC rooms with terracotta floors, period architecture and large verandas with great views of the backwaters.
Perfect for those who want to go fishing, stay on a houseboat, go on dugout canoe rides, cycle through pristine locales of Kottayam and visit beautiful churches, markets and temples and relish some delicious Syrian Christian cuisine prepared by the hosts. The best part is the special in-house ayurvedic center that provides traditional Kerala treatments for the guests.