From luxurious manors to charming cottages, Shimla has something for everyone. We pick the best accommodation for you
Most homestays in the region have adapted to needs of travellers, and are now able to accommodate myriad demands with ease. For example, Forest Hill Villas has a barbecue grill, golf clubs and bicycles, while Inayat is a smaller space–a cottage with two rooms–cosy and self-sufficient. Violet Hill accommodates six people in its three bedrooms and has board games and a croquet set to keep you busy.
If you need your pool and other modern conveniences, head straight here. Centrally located, The Radisson is child-friendly and has a Kid’s Den with board games, video games and a pool table. You will rarely need to leave the hotel–their pancakes and waffles tempt you to stay longer. When you do step out, Christ Church, North India’s second oldest church, is almost around the corner, as is the 122-year-old Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex.
The Cecil is located a few minutes away from the sprawling botanical gardens. It’s a beautiful property, built way back in 1854. It started as a one-storey building, and was a favourite with writer Rudyard Kipling. Today, it is much more majestic and commands some of the best views of Shimla, so ask for rooms overlooking the valley.
The other property from Oberoi Group charms in no small measure. The Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas is a sublime luxury spa resort nestled in 22 acres of pine forest. There are two indoor heated swimming pools, so you can swim even in the peak of winter. Alternatively, check in at their spa for some pampering. If you are in the mood for the outdoors, go trekking, river rafting, mountain biking, or even ice skating as long as you’re in good shape.
Those who appreciate history will find plenty of it in Shimla’s well-maintained colonial-era homes. The former residence of Raja Charanjit Singh of Kapurthala has been converted to The Chapslee, a cottage with five suites complete with Murano chandeliers, Persian carpets, croquet lawns, a tennis court and the trappings of a past long gone. The Chapslee is located just off the busy Mall Road, so you are cut off from the town, yet never too far from it.