Although we missed the pahadi Maggi and kulhad chai in the hills this summer, we may not entirely be at a loss. As the country unlocks itself in phases, an escape to the quaint hills of Himachal might just be what we need to do away with our mundane routines. We’ve curated a list of places in Himachal, based on your personal travel style, that are providing staycations that will be everything other than boring.
Remember, as a prerequisite, you need to book a minimum stay of five to seven days in Himachal Pradesh.
For the urban traveller - The Nilaya
Sitting amid clouds, quite literally, surrounded by lush forests, The Nilaya is a boutique hotel in Mashobra, an hour's drive away from Shimla. Offering staycation plans ranging from seven to 21 days, including breakfast on the house, the property has an unlimited access to Internet and entertainment options that maintain social distancing.
For the in-house gamer, they have a console that’s disinfected between usage, and can even be installed in your room for the evening. Additionally, they also offer lively evenings with daily night-sky introduction sessions, ghost stories and wildlife tales from around Mashobra.
Currently, they have limited staff working in the premises, who all follow the big 3 pandemic rules - wash hands, wear a mask, and wear gloves.
The property engages in regular temperature checks for both staff and guests, disinfection of food and meats, touchpoints, contactless check-in/out and billing process and an online menu which adds daily specials.
Tariff: From Rs 3,500 per night
Prerequisites: An e-pass from the online portal, a negative RT-PCR test done 72 hours prior, and a confirmed booking for at least 5 nights.
For the soul-searcher - Himalaya Retreat
If you’ve always wanted a cosy house in the hills, this Airbnb homestay is your best escape option. Available both for staycations and long-term rentals, Himalaya Retreat in Manali adheres to enhanced cleaning protocols for extensive disinfection of homestays that have been reviewed by the Indian Medical Association.
Situated in the lap of nature, this home is surrounded by lush green valleys, three magnificent waterfalls and snowcapped mountains soaring over 4000m into the sky.
The property is a 40-minute walk through lush apple orchards and past gushing waterfalls. It's ideal for those who love long walks, photography and unwinding in nature. The only sounds you hear are those of birds and gushing waterfalls.
Tariff: Rs 3,500 per night
Prerequisites: Online registration for an e-pass, following state guidelines and travel advisories issued by the government.
For the slow-traveller - Taj Theog Resort and Spa
Providing an ultra luxurious escape, the Taj property in Theog is offering staycations in the 4D avatar—dream, drive, discover and delight. Aiming to make you feel at home, the property’s hospitality can be cherished either in private villas, bungalows or luxury suites.
A town as quaint as Theog is perfect for whiling away your time with nature walks. The resort offers such options, as well as meditation sessions.
Tariff: from Rs 16,102 per night (for the 4D offer, excluding taxes) including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The offer is valid till September, 2020
Prerequisites: An e-pass issued 48 hours before travelling, a negative RT-PCR test done 72 hours prior, Arogya Setu app, confirmed booking of minimum five nights stay and following the guidelines of safe and responsible tourism.
For the environment conscious traveller - Lodge at Wah
Following all WHO and MoT safety protocols, this 100 percent eco-friendly resort is spread over one the largest working tea estates in Kangra Valley.
Apart from offering an estate tour, followed by a factory visit and tea tasting, the property also has a walking trail looping through the estate, plenty of books and games, including badminton and croquet for their guests.
For an engaging and mindful experience they also have picnic and yoga sessions. Additionally, the surrounding area has many activities to offer, such paragliding, hiking, visiting monasteries and pottery sessions. Even if you decide to spend over a week here, you have new activities to try every day.
Tariff: Rs 11,000 for double occupancy, including breakfast, teatime and dinner
Prerequisites: A negative coronavirus test done 72 hours prior, confirmed booking of minimum five nights stay.