The Indian summer is known for being harsh and is generally not a pleasant time to travel anywhere but up north to the cool of the hills and mountains. If you’re heading north to find some solace and peace and lots of pleasant weather, these hotels are absolutely worth the trip.
Wildflower Hall, Shimla
Courtesy Wildflower Hall, Shimla
Colonial charm, a spectacular setting in the Himalayas and the warmest hospitality, that’s Wildflower Hall. The best luxury hotel in the scenic hill-station of Shimla, Wildflower Hall was the former abode of Lord Kitchener, the Commander In Chief of the British Army. Miles away from the maddening sound of civilisation, you can enjoy your meals against the backdrop of the Himalayas with the house chefs rustling up delectable Indian dishes in addition to international cuisine. With scenic nature trails (including the special wild strawberry trail) and a mix of trekking, mountain biking, and picnics, Wildflower Hall is the perfect way to travel back in time and indulge yourself in some old-world magic and the signature warm Oberoi hospitality.
A luxury resort spread in a coniferous forest area, set against the great Affarwat Peaks, The Khyber is a resort for all seasons. While you can ski down one of Asia’s best skiing slopes in the winter, the valley is a sight to behold in the spring as well. With mountain views from every room, The Khyber is also equipped with a world-class L’Occitane Spa where you can treat yourself to international therapies and treatments designed with seasonal, home-grown ingredients for a local touch. Walk over to the Gulmarg Gondola, the highest ski lift in the world or sip coffee at the coffee shop overlooking the valley dotted with fir trees, The Khyber is a perfect summer retreat.
Fondly known as the ‘Queen of the hills,’ the city of Darjeeling is home to this charming boutique hote. With beckoning vistas of the Kangchenjunga Peak, the view is certainly among the best Himalayan views in the region. Cedar Inn, with its historic building, wooden construction, and beautiful setting may remind you of a Swiss chalet. Enjoy live music by local musicians or a stroll in the library as you make up your mind whether to enjoy the beautiful view outside or your magical cup of Darjeeling tea. Equally glorious is the terrace café, with enchanting views to calm your soul.
Many visitors would describe The Terraces in Kanatal as a beautiful haven in the middle of nowhere. Located on the Chamba Mussorie highway, the Terraces are the nearest destination to drive to from Delhi if you want to experience snow. A retreat designed with special attention to relaxation and wellness, you can look forward to special yoga, massage, and meditation treatments at various locations in the hotel. The best time to visit The Terraces is from December to February, when the valley is transformed by a blanket of snow. At 8,500 feet above sea level, The Terraces are a quick but memorable escape in North India.
In the underrated region of Kumaon, Shakti 360° Letiis a beautiful, contemporary setting in which to experience the majestic hills in a unique way. There are only four cottages, so you can be assured of complete peace. Trekking, village walks, and camping provide a perfect opportunity to explore the region without forgoing any comfort. The team behind Shakti 360° Leti have tried their best to retain a flavour of Kumaon through their cuisine preparation. Get set for lovely views of the Great Himalaya range at 8,000 feet in quaint planter’s chairs, wrapped up warm in pashmina blankets.