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8 homestays for times you want a get-away from home

  • Destinations
Sep 27, 2023
Homestays – Beautiful Homes

On World Tourism Day, here are some gorgeous homestay properties around the country where the owners make your experience personal and more special

In India, we embrace the philosophy of "Atithi Devo Bhava”, which translates to "Guest is God." Our homestays exemplify this ethos perfectly. In the last decade, the concept of homestays has undergone a transformation. It's no longer solely about providing a cozy bed and a warm shower; instead, homestays have evolved into a distinctive embodiment of exceptional hospitality usually by the owners who live on the property. Offering attentive room service, personalized menus, and thoughtfully curated experiences, here are eight homestays from various corners of India that will undoubtedly inspire you to escape the familiar comforts of home.

ParijaatGoa, Goa

In the heart of Anjuna, a popular touristy neighbourhood is Kavita and Manoj Nair’s green abode, ParijaatGoa. This two-bedroom homestay with a swimming pool and open-air dining is surrounded by fields and peacocks. Adjoining the main house (where the family lives) is a two-bedroom cottage that opens up to a serene garden dotted with palms. The rooms are comfortable and well-stocked with handpicked teas and coffees, books and luxe toiletries. ParijaatGoa is also home to Kavita’s pottery studio ‘Messe Ke’ where she offers guests lessons in pottery. Breakfast includes fresh fruits, locally sourced muesli and if you're lucky, Kavita will cook up her special Shakshouka and Puttu (Steamed rice flour and fresh coconut) with Kadala Curry made with kala chana. This is the perfect stay for solo travelers seeking the quiet side of Goa.

ParijaatGoa, a two-bedroom homestay - Beautiful Homes

ParijaatGoa is the perfect two-bedroom homestay in the heart of Anjuna, Goa.

INR 12,900 per night includes breakfast and tax.

The Birdcage from Mukteshwar - Beautiful Homes

Popular for its enchanting sunsets, views of the snow-clad Himalayan peaks, The Birdcage allows you to disconnect and enjoy a quiet retreat in Mukteshwar.

The Birdcage, Mukteshwar

Popular for its enchanting sunsets, views of the snow-clad Himalayan peaks and tranquil surroundings, one can completely disconnect and enjoy a quiet retreat in Mukteshwar, a town in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The Birdcage is home to Nishant Singh who left Mumbai for Manali where he started the famous Drifters’ Inn and Café. When Manali got crowded, he moved further into the mountains and set up this seven-room haven, each room tastefully designed with cozy interiors, electric bed warmers and ensuite bathrooms. When the skies are clear, you can get a clear view of the Nanda Kot range which is 22,500 ft high and the Panchchui range at 22,600 ft. 

The dining room serves hearty Continental and Indian cuisine with a selection of beers and wine. Solar powered heating systems, rain water harvesting and water drawn from a natural spring are some thoughtful practices in play at The Birdcage. Some of the herbs and produce comes from their organic kitchen garden while the rest is sourced from neighouring farms.


Tip: The room with the skylight is perfect for those who like to start their day bright and early.


Starting at INR 8,000 per night includes breakfast.

Little Flower Farms, Vagamon

Little Flower Farms is home to Rekha and Thomas along with their beautiful hounds Stella and Sofia in Vagamon, a small hill station in the Idduki district of Kerala. A biodiverse environment with tropical gardens houses a four-bedroom farmhouse, with private access to each room and ensuite bathrooms. They also offer tents for those who truly enjoy being one with nature. The spring pond is the perfect place to bask in the mountain sun. Rekha is a farmer at heart and enjoys growing her own produce. The meals are home cooked and thought through. The menu boasts of Kappa (tapioca) and beef curry and vanilla ice-cream topped with seeds, nuts and cascara (all sourced from various artisanal producers). The hot chocolate with almond crumble is the perfect end to the day. Take a walk down one of the many trails leading to a stream with rounded rocks and tree canopies. The sunset from the upper deck is worth the climb.


Tip: I recommend an anti-nausea pill if you are prone to car sickness.


INR 11,000 per night including breakfast.

Rekha & Thomas from Little Flower Farms - Beautiful Homes

Rekha and Thomas of the Little Flower Farm.

Shraddha & Lakham from Sawantwadi Palace - Beautiful Homes

Shraddha Bhonsle and her husband Lakham Bhonsle of the Sawantwadi Palace Boutique Art Hotel.

Sawantwadi Palace Boutique Art Hotel, Sawantwadi

In the sleepy town of Sawantwadi sits the Sawantwadi Royal Palace, home to its royal family. The former Tai-Saheb Wada that housed the five queens of Sawantwadi has been converted into an art-forward boutique stay housing six palatial suites, a global cuisine restaurant and a swimming pool. Shraddha Bhonsle and her husband Lakham Bhonsle, the millennials of the royal family, are CIA graduates from New York and are behind this charming stay. The rooms open up into sun-lit balconies and offer plush bathrobes, Ayurvedic bath products and OTT-loaded televisions. The breakfast includes freshly baked croissants, three styles of butters and fluffy pancakes. Lunch is a proper Malvani thali. For dinner you can opt between two tasting menus, of which one is Ramen focused. The Chocolate Caramel Gateau with home-made Kerala vanilla bean ice-cream and mixed berry jam is the perfect end to the meal. They are happy to organise a Ganjifa art workshop at the Palace or a private picnic experience amidst the Amboli ghats.


INR 13000+ per night includes breakfast.


Maya’s Crest, Kasauli

Usha Hooda's stone house in Shiva, Himachal Pradesh, is a harmonious blend of natural beauty, sustainable living, and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Perched on a ridge, at an altitude of 5,500 feet, Maya’s Crest offers stunning views of the Garhwal Himalayas on one side and the golden plains of Punjab on the other, just 20 minutes north of Kasauli. Usha Hooda, who is a former designer of textiles and lived in Chandigarh and Delhi, purchased the land three decades earlier when her daughter Vibha was studying in Himachal Pradesh. Despite having a background in finance, Vibha took on the challenging task of constructing her mother's dream home which boasts of three rooms, each with its own unique identity.

Cozy homestay corner in Maya's Crest - Beautiful Homes

Perched on a ridge, Maya’s Crest offers stunning views of the Garhwal Himalayas.

Large bay windows provide expansive views of the valley. The library is filled with books from floor to ceiling. The architectural and interior design choices reflect a deep appreciation for both the natural surroundings and sustainable living. Just two hours away from Chandigarh, it’s a convenient retreat from city life. The homestay is named after their family dog, Maya, and is also home to two other dogs, Max and Mastaa, who add a welcoming touch to the place.


Price on request.

Red Hill Nature Resort from Ooty - Beautiful Homes

Surrounded by gorgeous lakes and wondrous views, Red Hill Nature Resort homestay is situated in the Nilgiris.

Red Hill Nature Resort, Emerald Lake near Ooty

Red Hill Nature Resort is a homestay in the Nilgiris, situated at a breathtaking height of 7000 ft above sea level in the village of Emerald, 25 kms north of Ooty. Surrounded by gorgeous lakes and wondrous views, this homestay belongs to Vijay and his wife Banu who opened Red Hills in 1991 amidst their tea plantation. The cottages are elegant and welcoming as are their five dogs. Time stands still with barely any connectivity and the weather is always just right. Their son, chef Vishanth is the founder of Kikui Farm close to the property. They grow all kind of local and exotic produce including artichokes, scarlet runner beans, garlic, radish, rhubarb, butternut squash, pepino melons amongst a few. 

Vijay and his family are from the Badaga tribe so you can expect traditional Badaga cuisine along with chef Vishanth’s style of continental cuisine offering cauliflower soup, steamed fish, butternut squash pie and roast chicken with a rhubarb sorbet for dessert. The sunsets on the lake are as magnificent as the moon rise.


Tip: Make sure to attend a tea-tasting session with Vijay.


INR 12,000 per night includes breakfast.

School Estate, Coorg

A 150-year-old plantation bungalow, erstwhile home to Reverand Richter, a 19th century missionary, and now home to the Aiyappas, is spread across 200-acres of coffee plantations. The two detached rooms nestled in a cottage, have subtle German architectural influences. The Aiyappas have ensured that the house is strewn with artefacts and collectibles from the reverend’s time like a ponderous iron school bell or a century-old pool table that now serves as a dining table. Rose gardens bloom around the cottage and Shashidhar who manages the house is a well-spoken, kind gentleman offering an unwavering hospitality experience. A bell is rung for meal times and Shashi will guide you to the dining room which is impeccably laid out to serve Kodava and Continental cuisine. 

School Estate from Coorg - Beautiful Homes

150-year-old School Estate in Coorg with subtle German architectural influences.

You can try traditional preparations like the pork pandi curry, paputtu (rice cakes) and a sweet and spicy wild mango curry. Long walks around the estate interspersed with elaborate meals and naps in the garden, best describes your stay here.


Tip: Request for a chattai to be laid out in the garden at night to watch the stars come out and fill the sky.


INR 18,500 for two people; including all meals, estate activities, fishing and birdwatching.

Velanga Orchard from Chittoor - Beautiful Homes

Velanga Orchard, a 50-acre mango orchard, offers weekend farm stays.

Velanga Orchard, Chittoor

A three-hour drive from Bangalore airport, is the village of Chittor, home to Velanga Orchard, a 50-acre mango orchard. Karthik Ramaraj built the place with his own hands with the assistance of Ravi who lives in the neighbouring village. About 30 acres of the farm has been cultivated to grow mangoes, predominantly the GI-tagged Banganapalli. A pottery studio by ceramic artist and Karthik's wife Nikita Dawar adds a rustic vibe to the place. Velanga Orchard offers weekend farm stays only. The seven cottages are equipped with a kitchenette, ensuite bathrooms and a patio. The rooms are naturally cooled. Meals are served in the community dining area which is where you can meet new people, read a book or catch a mid-day nap on the chattai.

The food is local Andhra cuisine—crisp dosas and paniyarams for breakfast, for lunch and dinner there’s an array of local veggies, and curries complemented with a chicken or mutton preparation. Piping hot samosas to gooey brownies are available at tea time. You can go kayaking in the neighbouring lake or take a hike up the nearby hill giving you a panoramic view of the dense forest that surrounds Velanga. It is the perfect getaway for a solo traveller.


Tip: You can sign up Nikita's Slow Pottery residential courses starting November 2023.


Rooms start at INR 15,000 for the 3-night weekend stay, all-inclusive.

Kavita Nair from Parijaat-Goa - Beautiful Homes
Kavita Nair, owner of Parijaat Goa.
ParijaatGoa Homestay– Beautiful Homes
Dining area at ParijaatGoa is surrounded by lush landscaping.
Four bedroom farmhouse in Vagamon - Beautiful Homes
A biodiverse environment with tropical gardens houses a four-bedroom farmhouse, Little Flower Farms in Vagamon.
Karthik & Nikita from Velange Orchard - Beautiful Homes
Karthik Ramaraj and his wife Nikita Dawar of Velanga Orchard, Chittoor.
Sawantwadi Royal Palace - Beautiful Homes
Sawantwadi Royal Palace in the sleepy town of Sawantwadi.
Delicious platter from a homestay - Beautiful Homes
Delectable food at Maya's Crest in Kasauli.

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