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Published: June 24th 2016
Travelling through India can be more exotic & adventurous than a foreign destination. The country is rich with wildlife, forts, beaches & mountains. But all can become a nightmare if your stay is not right. And if your place of stay is as unique as your trip, it is simply the icing on the cake. Here are top five unique places to stay in India.
The Manor, Friends Colony (West), New Delhi
Before embarking on the great Indian experience, unwind in this great Indian hotel. Designed in the 1950s by a Japanese architect, the hotel
served as a jungle resort but now finds itself in the city's uptown suburb of Friends Colony. With far more character than other luxury addresses, it emanates minimalism. Beautiful wall hangings in the corridors & intricate mosaic floors increase the charm of the place. The sumptuous cuisine is Indian or fusion, and the peaceful garden is the perfect place to enjoy a round of yoga.
Casa Susegad, Loutolim, Goa
Goa is a popular tourist destination, and you could find a lot of affordable places to stay. However, if you wish to experience history even in your hotel, then Casa Susegad is your answer. In the midst of coconut gardens in one of Goa's prettiest villages, Loutolim, fairy lights reflecting off a terracotta roof & a Jodhpuri blue exterior are the first things that welcome you on arrival. This 700-year old house is filled with Rajasthani upholstery & antiques, and Cuban art. Owners Norman & Carole compliment the decor of the place with their exceptional cooking and a jewellery shop. This cosy little nest has four well-designed bedrooms facing the pool.
Chapslee, Elysium Hill, Himachal Pradesh
If you are planning a trip up the mountains in Shimla's famous toy train, you are in for a treat. Unpolluted by mobiles, internet or TV, Chapslee is a tribute to the Raj era. The walls adorned with swords, sabres & paintings from the British period, the hotel was the summer residence of the Late Raja Charanjit Singh of Kapurthala. The present owner is his grandson. The sitting room reminds you of old hunting lodges & the garden is filled with nasturtiums. It is more English than England, a spotless snapshot of the era gone by.
Old Harbour Hotel, Fort Kochi, Kerala
Laze by the pool & sip tea under a mango tree. This 300-year old colonial edifice was the office of an English tea broker. The hotel is decorated with bold local paintings & precious antiques. The suites have high ceilings & large windows, which allow a flow of cool breeze. Open-to-the-sky showers are found in the cosy bathrooms & the courtyard boasts of an old fountain with a pond full of lilies. Dinner is served with the catch-of-the-day fish & the staff is ever accommodating.
Tree House Hideaway, Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Set in the picturesque jungles of Bandhavgarh, this hotel is truly exquisite. The reception is a tree house, and the rooms are situated in five tree houses with an open air dining room, with open showers. Tribal paintings & a door that folds back as a full balcony offer a sensational view of the landscape. Choose to be left to your own devices or be ferried into the tiger reserve in open jeeps with the help of experienced tour guides.
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