Soulitude in Blogs

A roaring fireplace, warm quilts, and perhaps a sprinkling of snow—if this is your idea of a magical winter getaway, we have you covered. Lose the bustle of the city in these boutique hotels where peace and quiet reign supreme. Soulitude, Gagar, Uttarakhand Balanced on a hillside in the Lower Himalayas in Uttarakhand’s scenic Kumaon region, Soulitude is located in Gagar, near Nainital. It offers seven rooms and suites in the main house and four independent cottages, all with spectacular views of the snow-capped Himalayas or the surrounding forest. The rooms are delightfully named—Nirvana, Bliss, Joy, The Secret Garden, etc.—and each one is individually designed, whether it’s in style of an English manor house, a Zen retreat, a rustic cottage and more. Soulitude is surrounded by bountiful orchards of peaches, pears, apricots, plums, and apples—perfect for long walks and fruit-picking expeditions. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Click here to read the original post on...

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There are a lot of hotels which are very good but very few which end up leaving a lasting impression after we’ve left. Soulitude was one of the latter. As a hotel it does not boast of 5 star amenities, or of long lost heritage mid 17th century palaces. It is simply what its name suggests, a place to get some solitude for your soul. Situated a breezy 20 minute walk from the small but beautiful village of Ramgarh and right on the highway, you would imagine it to be quite noisy. However even with the influx of diverted traffic on the route, the nights were as peaceful as you would find on a camping trip in the middle of wilderness. We went there seeking the truth behind the glorious reviews and came back with the motivation to write one. It was quite simply put one of the best unhotel we’ve had the pleasure of staying at. Getting to Soulitude The property is about an hour and half from the Kathgodam station and passes through Bhimtal with the road overlooking the beautiful lake. There is an alternative road passing through Nainital which should ideally be avoided due to the might higher traffic, unless you do wish to spend some time in the now commercialized hill station. A massive gate covered with veils and creepers, just off the main highway is the first greeting from the property. A big downward slope welcomed us once past the gate, but luckily our room was the top most room on the property and a few steps down. This meant that we could postpone the long trek down to the main cottage just a little while more. Soulitude in the Himalayas The property has two cottages with a total of 10 rooms divided between them. The main cottage is better for the elderly and people with kids because it is where the meals are served, plus it has access to a small garden and other sit-outs just a small walk away. The newer cottage has the advantage of privacy and has arguably better views of the valley and the mountains beyond. We checked several rooms on both cottages in our tour of the property and found each room to have a different décor and a different USP. Frankly speaking, anyone would be at a total loss to decide which room to take after seeing all of them. We had shortlisted Bliss and Nirvana before coming to the property as they were both at the top of their respective cottages and provided the best views. We had finally opted for Nirvana as it provided a...

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Manish Chandra is a small-time hotelier. He runs two hotels with 17 rooms. He addresses all the pre-booking calls himself — at times up to 50 calls a day. He may be small-time, but he is not a garden lodge operator catering to backpackers. For starters, Chandra’s properties are deep in Uttarakhand, one overlooks the majestic Himalayan range, and the other is by the serene Kalsa river. Such views don’t come cheap. A room per night ranges between Rs 8,000 and Rs 12,000 (plus taxes) in peak season; that’s as much as, or even more than, what some luxury hotels in the Capital would ask. Chandra is not bending over backwards to woo consumers either; at times he politely declines a booking if he thinks the guest(s) may prove a misfit. One more thing: Chandra insists he isn’t doing this for money. After a globetrotting career with MNCs, successful entrepreneurial stints with private equity and corporate finance, he has enough of the dosh. “The biggest luxury is to have the time and the freedom to approach life whimsically. I have it,” he says. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualisation is the ultimate stage of human motivation where “what a man can be, he must be”. Chandra may well be there. And he isn’t alone. A slew of high-flying, successful executives with the financial cushion and the conviction to get off the corporate treadmill are living the life they once dreamt about. Gaurav Jain of Aamod Resort says just the sheer joy of creating a unique experience for his guests gives him a high that no salary or job can give. LaRiSa’s Priya Thakur says going back to her roots in Manali and setting up a boutique hotel with a compelling experience satiates her ambition in a way no corporate job would have. Passionate about their new innings, most of these boutique hoteliers are hands-on, and are shunning the structures and processes that large hotel chains have to standardise experience. It helps that these entrepreneurs are tagging on to a hot global trend in the hospitality industry. Boutique hotels are typically small, upscale, aspirational hotels (10-100 rooms) that have unique settings and offer personalised services. Globally, they are growing rapidly. So strong is the trend that even big hotel chains are embracing it. Marriott has partnered with boutique hotel “inventor” Ian Schrager to launch the Edition Hotels worldwide, including in India. The hotels offer a unique and individualised experience. Similarly, Sofitel Luxury Hotel launched Sofitel So in 2010. Hyatt has a brand called Andaz, InterContinental Hotels has Hotel Indigo and Wyndham Hotel Group has Tryp by Wyndham. Three important developments...

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The hills are alive with all sorts of places you can stay at. Soulitude in the Himalayas is featured in the list of Condé Nast Traveler’s top 20 luxury resorts to stay in Uttarakhand. Soulitude in the Himalayas The hills have been known to heal. Give your soul a break from city life when you escape to this verdant hillside near Nainital. Only ten rooms amid mountains that echo with silence, it’s hard to tell which one does you more good. There are sweeping views from your room and meals are in the dining room of the main house, so it’s got a little bit of boarding school meets staying-with-a-rich-aunt kind of vibe. Click here to read the original post on Condé Nast Traveler website...

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Unwind in the fresh mountain breeze and take it the majestic view of the hills in all its splendour at ‘Soulitude by the Mountains’. It was an old house, now restored to a wonderful homestay and is located at Gagar, an idyllic hamlet located at 2,100 meters near Nainital. The place offers a stunning 180 degree view of the Kumaon Himalayas. Enjoy a panoramic view of many famous peaks including Nanda Devi, Trishul, Panchachuli, Pindari Glacier, Nandakot, Nandaghunti and Kamet. Talk long walks, breathe in the fresh mountain air, enjoy good food and a warm hospitality and have relaxed stay. Soulitude offers you a choice of 10 exquisite well catered rooms with all the modern day luxury for a vacation you are sure to cherish forever! The place has a rustic charm and has been decorated with lots of love 7 care using various elements that reflect the exquisite hill architecture. The place has free WiFi and excellent phone connection with 3G. Tariffs start at 6000/- upto 15,000/- Connect with Manish Chandra (owner) at +91 9555 99 7650 or Prithavi (GM of the property) at +08937899998 for the best deals. Room View It’s a beautiful property spread across 6 acres and surrounded by fruit orchards. Indulge in the best of nature’s beauty, Soulitude and get refreshed. And for those into adventure activities, there are numerous trekking options to choose from in the hills and many un-walked trails in the nearby villages. Beautiful Deck, that has a panoramic view of the majestic hills For more information and booking visit Soulitude by the Mountain Mukteshwar: Take a short drive to Mukteshwar Dham which is just 30 kms away. Enroute, do stop at the Mountain Trail Mukteshwar for some delicious chocolates. Mukteshwar became renowned for the establishment of the IVRI (Indian Vertinary Research Institute, by Britishers in 1893. There is also a popular place known locally as Chauli-ki-Jali that has overhanging cliffs, ideal for an opportunity for Zip Lining and Rappelling for the courageous. The hills are popular for a variety of exotic birds, so get your cameras and click away! Distance from New Delhi: 325 kms Best Route: a journey of around 6-7 hours from Delhi via Hapur, Gajraula, Moradabad, Rampur, Bilaspur, Rudrapur, Haldwani, Kathgodam, Bhimtal, Bhowali to Gagar, Ramgarh. Do check out the other beautiful property by them named ‘Soultitude by the River’   To Read the Original Article please click...

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Let us go on a road trip to Kumaon. But first let us ponder a bit – What is better than a road trip? Well to start a road trip with strangers and end with friends. So that in nutshell friends summarizes my road trip to Kumaon for a week. It started with a simple message on twitter. If I would like to join on Road Trip to Kumaon? Now Kumaon is not your typical touristy area, the beauty of Kumaon lies in the fact that even with immense beauty, reasonable accessibility and magnificent view of mighty Himalayan peaks you just need to drive for a few hours after leaving plains and you are in an India that has still some Old World Charm and fresh Himalayan air. The trip started with 3 cars and 8 strangers but ended with 8 friends, as the winding roads forged bonds of bonhomie strengthened over endless cups of chai , and Bollywood songs while capturing the breathtaking beauty of Kumaon Himalayas in our cameras. Himalayan Photo Odyssey: desi Goes On a Road Trip To Kumaon Himalayas Beautiful view in Kumaon around Sunset Our road trip was to visit some of the smaller towns in Kumaon that though on the path less taken had so much to offer that I want to go back once again asap. We visited Gagar near Ramgarh, Kasauni, Munsyari and Binsar in this road trip. On hot summer morning we left the dust bowl of north Indian plains and dexterously competed with bullock carts, tractor trolleys and other forms of transport from middle India like Jugaad. But the moment we entered in Uttarakhand everything changed, the roads became wider, the potholes vanished, and we could see tar on the road, I almost cried at seeing some real road after many hours. Fortunately even in remotest of Uttarakhand Villages we visited we found decent to great roads and enjoyed our road trip on the serpentine roads of Kumaon region. While I will write in detail about specific aspects of Kumaon in coming posts in this one let me give you some of my experiences in Kumaon that truly impressed me and I want to go back to Kumaon again. This post is about some of the observations on the roads in Kumaon. A Pine cone I found on the road less traveled As we left industrial belt around Rudrapur behind and took a bypass towards Gagar for our first destination, one thing I noticed was that we have left the last traffic jam behind. The road towards Gagar has only locals and dedicated Himalayan lovers. As we reached our...

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