We know that you are eagerly waiting to travel for a long time now. The last few months have been pretty tiring with all those daily house chores and endless Zoom meetings, and work from home hours. You totally deserve a break and what could be better than taking a leisurely vacation in a beautiful cottage by the countryside?
A cosy holiday cottage could be just what the doctor ordered. We compiled just the list to help you find a snuggly bolthole to hibernate in.
Here's our first instalment of five of the best cottage retreats in India for a perfectly cosy experience. Watch out for the next five!
WelcomHotel Pine & Peak, Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
An ITC WelcomHotel property, Pine & Peak is unarguably Pahalgamâm's best hotel. Perched atop the Rajwas Plateau, the cottages here are untouched by the bustle of the market and offers breathtaking views of the gentle Lidder River and snow-capped mountain peaks bathed in rays of the sun. Right next to the property is the Pahalgam Golf Course. The hotel overlooks the spectacular valley of shepherds. You can choose from a wide range of luxury rooms, cottages and presidential suites.
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The centrally-heated cottages are adorned with opulent Kashmiri handicrafts, and the restaurant here serves excellent Asian and Continental fare. The plush hotel also offers a slew of indoor activities including snooker and TT tables, and popular board games. Feeling hungry in the dead of the night? No worries, their 24x7 restaurant will serve pizzas and pastries to your room. They have a well-equipped gym too, so you could make up for those pizzas the next morning.
Location: Aru Road, Near Amusement Park, Pahalgam, Anantnag. Phone: 01936-243210 Cell: 09906625611, 09419045325. Nearest airport: Srinagar, at 90km, is the closest. Website: itchotels.in
Woodvista Cottages, Himachal Pradesh
Encompassed by one of Asia's largest forests, Woodvista personifies the true essence of nature. The cottages here lie in the vicinity of an inviting apple orchard and tall pine and cedars surround the property. The cottages have been exquisitely crafted by local artisans using wood and stone, which lend them their traditional aesthetics. The place is a haven for bird watchers. On offer are free in-room WiFi and a restaurant named The Chalet that serves Continental and north Indian fare. Nestled in Fagu valley, Woodvista's beauty lies in its isolation. If you are going on a trek nearby, the two dogs here, Tiger and Action, may want to give you company.
Location: Bakhog, Theog, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh (27 Km ahead of Shimla, towards Fagu). Phone: 09805734347, 09816004008. Nearest airport: The closest airport is about 41 Km at Jubbar Hatti, Shimla.
Ri Kynjai Resort, Meghalaya
Drive through winding roads lined with pine trees, lush paddy fields and gorgeous tea gardens to reach this blissful property that overlooks the shimmery waters of the magnificent Umiam Lake. Sprawling over 45 acres of lush land, the resort derives its name from a khasi word which means 'serenity by the lake'. The cottages at Ri Kynjai stand as fine specimen of traditional Khasi architecture.
From Khasi spa treatments and memorable hill treks to island picnics and solitary boat rides, there's so much to pamper yourself with here. The resort's multi-cuisine restaurant Sao Aiom delights you with authentic Khasi food apart from Indian, Chinese and Continental specialties. You can choose to loll around in your Khasi-styled cottage or visit the Shillong Golf Course or fancy a stroll in the picturesque surroundings of the resort and experience Khasi hospitality at its best.
Location: UCC Road, Umiam, Uminiuh Khawn, Shillong. Phone: 09862420300, 09862420301, 09862056192. Nearest airport: The Guwahati airport is 105km away. Website: rikynjai.com.
The Blackbuck Lodge, Gujarat
If you've always wanted to experience what an African savannah feels like, you must spend some time putting up at the luxurious cottages at the Blackbuck Lodge. A brilliant experience of wilderness awaits you here. One of the best wildlife resorts in the country, the resort offer 14 cottages, each of which are an en suite room with exquisite interiors. A blend of rustic and contemporary, the elegant interiors of the cottages feature rough-hewn stone walls and wooden logs carrying bedside lamps.
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Nestled along the Velavadar National Park, you can spot blackbucks up close and personal here. Staying in the cottages will also introduce to endangered bird species. Dinner is central to the Blackbuck Lodge experience. You get to dine amidst a romantic set-up with a bonfire and relish barbequed dishes under the star-lit sky. The lodge also offers blackbuck jeep safaris with experienced drivers and forest guides.
Location: Opp Velavadar Village, National Park, Bhavnagar, Gujarat. Phone: 079-40020901/02/03 Cell 09978979728, 09978979729. Nearest airport: The Bhavnagar airport lies at a distance of 65km. Website: theblacbuklodge.net
Maadathil Cottages, Kerala
Not everyone is fortunate enough to stay in a sea-facing house, but you can definitely stay in a sea-facing cottage and Maadathil Cottages is a perfect choice. Situated on Varkala's Odayam Beach, the beach cottages at Maadathil are kinda perfect for those seeking calm and solace. Every cottage is surrounded by coconut and almond trees and features a private balcony that looks down at the sea. Though we think the best part about Maadathil is the traditional home-cooked Kerala cuisine served here. Also on offer are specially curated ayurveda treatment packages.
Location: Temple Road, Varkala, Odayam Beach, Manthara Rd, Edava. Phone: 09746113495, 08606113495. Nearest airport: Trivandrum Airport is 40km away. Website: maadathilcottages.com.