Category Archives: Hotel Review

Hotel Review: Country Inn Mussoorie

Mussoorie, the Queen of Hills, is a weekend getaway from Chandigarh and Delhi. It is and was always known as the charming Hill station with beautiful views of Doon Valley and clear blue sky. But now, the ease of transportation and vacationing has turned this place into Hill City rather than Hill station. Mussoorie has become super crowded. In short, the beauty of the Valley has eloped away by construction of tall hotels, and restaurants. I should say there are hardly any spaces left on the sides of mall road from where one can get clear wide views of the valley. Anyways to take the feel of Hill station, to get wide views and feel fresh mountain air, I decided to take an accommodation at a Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie which is on the outskirts, away from Mussoorie’s mall road and city’s hustle bustle.

The Hotel Country Inn and Hotel Country Inn & Suites by Carlson are two separate properties in Mussoorie.

Hotel Country inn Mussoorie
Over Crowded Mussoorie

Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie

The hotel country inn Mussoorie is situated on the Dehradun- Mussorie road, approx 3 km away from the mall road. The hotel is nestled between magnificent lush mountains on sides, Doon Valley view below and tall coniferous trees all over.

Hotel Country inn Mussoorie
Source: Tripadvisor

Rooms at Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie

The hotel has 13 total cottages out of which 12 falls into deluxe and 1 into luxury suite category.

Cottages at hotel Country Inn Mussoorie
Cottages at Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie

The cottages are bedded for single to three persons and have complete in-room amenities like Television, Tea/coffee maker, air conditioner, geyser etc. There is a balcony in front of each cottage which offers you the complete the bird’s eye view of the Doon Valley.

Cottage & views from Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie

Early morning the valley views are misty and if there are clouds too, one can see them floating in between blue-sky and tall mountains. During the day when the sun is at its peak, the whole space gets lit up and the houses look like blocks on the slopes of mountains.

Doon Valley View from hotel country inn Mussoorie
Doon Valley View from the Hotel Country Inn

Please Note: Only 2-3 cottages are located adjacent to each other at one step and you need to take a steep climb to reach them. So, it is tough if elderly people are accompanying you.

Slope to reach cottages at Hotel country inn Mussoorie

Food at hotel country inn Mussorie

There is a separate multi-cuisine restaurant which serves Indian, continental and Chinese food in the buffet or a la carte. There is no bar facility.

Multi-cuisine restaurant at Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie
Multi-cuisine restaurant at Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie

My Experience with food: In February which they say it is off season- they have very limited options in cuisine as well as food. But the food quality was really good. The correct term will be finger licking. I enjoyed my food on the terrace with the bright lit valley views.

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The timings for Breakfast are between 8:00 am -10:00 am and Dinner between 8:00 – 9:30 pm.

Activities 

Within the hotel country inn Mussoorie, one can spend time playing Table Tennis, Carrom Board, Chess, Cards, puzzles, Ludo, darting etc. It is a complete fun day for children. Apart from indoor facilities the hotel too organizes some outdoor activities like cycling, river crossing, kayaking, rappelling, trekking, nature walks, bird watching but only on prior request.

Parking

There is a good car parking space available within the hotel, just outside the reception area.

Conclusion

I recommend this place only if you are looking for a mid segment range hotel away from the city rush with great views. I spent Rs. 3000/- for one night but didn’t feel it worth at all.

The rooms are spacious but the quality of linen, decor and toiletries doesn’t stand anywhere near 3 or 4 stars. The bed makes so much of noise while turning. The huge windows in rooms offer great views but you cannot keep the blinds or curtains open during the day, as there is a common passage for the adjacent rooms, so no privacy.

Yes! there is something fascinating and epic about the air conditioner installed in the rooms.  I had to click this and really hats off to the person who could replicate the cover and swings.

AC in Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie

Rating

I rate (3out of 5). That too, because of the mesmerizing Doon valley views, quietness, and food at the Hotel Country Inn Mussoorie.

Some Additional Info:

  1. They provide pick and drop facility from the mall road or one can even walk down.
  2. You can avail the discount by getting a room booked from MakeMyTrip or Tripadvisor.com. ( I got my room booked from MakeMyTrip and got 1000 Rs cheaper than the actual price.
  3. Enjoy your breakfast on the terrace.
  4. Some of the staff members were really courteous and pleasing whereas other even don’t even have the complete information about the property.

Note: This is not a sponsored post and is completely written on my experience.

There is an another property to check, with awesome views on Camels Back Road – The Pacific Hotel Mussoorie. Click for the review.

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Review of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

I and my husband love road trips and we just hit the roads by deciding route but never the location. That means no prior bookings for a stay. This is because we have a strong belief that “unplanned trips are the best ones” and we can actually stop anywhere on the way or worst sleep in our car. Anyways, during our last trip to  Tehri in Uttarakhand, we planned to visit Uttarkashi. Now the question was where to stay. So here my Google Baba, I mean Google  Maps (search by area option) helped and it searched out Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi nearest to us.

Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

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Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

The Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi derives its name from the colorful bird Monal, which is a state bird of Uttrakhand. It is a double storey, handcrafted guest house by a mountain lover and trekking enthusiast Mr. Deependar Panwar.

Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

The Monal guest house is located at Kot Bungalow Road, on the Uttarkashi-Gangotri Highway. It is almost 2 km away from the Uttarkashi town. The place is amidst by spouting River Ganges on one side and lush green fields on others. The whole environment is peaceful, green, clean and at a walking distance from the Uttarkashi town. The blue color of the sky here shows how this place is unpolluted and is a true nature’s paradise. It truly deserves the title of Land of Gods.

Little History of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi (MTH)

Mr. Deependar, after graduating from NIM (National Institute of Mountaineering, In Uttarkashi), was working as a porter, instructor and guide with a renowned trekking company. While working in a job he was determined enough to build up his career further in Tourism. Seeing that enthusiasm at such a young age, a father motivated his son to convert their present home to a guest home and here was the result – the beginning of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi and from there the place never looked back.

Rooms at Monal Tourist Home

There are total 8 rooms; which are divided further into wings A & B. Wing A only houses rooms whereas wing B apart from rooms, also comprises of a restaurant, library, and sitting area.  The 4 rooms have double beds, 2 have 3 beds and other 2 have 4 beds.

During our visit, most of Uttarkashi hotels were without tourist and closed due to off season. So,we were the only guests (should I say masters) in this home stay and had the option to choose our room. We opted for the room in wing B in front of garden and restaurant. Check out the room and the morning view from the window. Isn’t that worth admiring?

View from my room at Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

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The rooms of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi are not big luxurious rooms. They are small, cozy, clean budgeted rooms with a balcony. The room has a double bed, side table to work and attached washroom with hot water facility. They are equipped with all the basic amenities including geyser, tea and coffee maker which one needs for a comfortable stay and Yes! This actually needs a special mention – There are No Televisions and Intercom services for the room and this is done intentionally, as they consider these as a distraction during a holiday.  The prime aim here is to make the guests feel the pristine peace, coolness, and beauty of Uttarkashi.

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On the top of the rooms, there is a wide terrace where you can sit, relax and spend some time soaking your eyes with the wonderful views of snow-capped mountains, Ganges, and surrounding fields. Tariff for all the rooms varies between INR 700 – INR 2000 and for our room it was around Rs. 1600/-.

On the top of the rooms, there is a wide terrace where you can sit, relax and spend some time soaking your eyes with the wonderful views of snow-capped mountains, Ganges, and surrounding fields. Tariff for all the rooms varies between INR 700 – INR 2000 and for our room it was around Rs. 1600/-.

View from Terrace at Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

Food at Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

The Monal guest house serves really delicious food, but only on prior requests. Timings for the breakfast are from 7 am -10 am and for dinner are 8 pm -9 pm. In seasons you may not face the problem of the prior request, but in off season make sure to inform them for all the meals. They serve meals only in the restaurants and do provide tea and snacks in the rooms.

Restaurant at Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

Activities 

As the owner himself is an advanced trekker so a small talk with him can supplement you with all the hiking and trekking trails nearby. He also helps in organizing various walks, treks, hikes, mountain cycling, biking and angling tours. Additionally, you can try your hands on some traditional cookery and mud work art classes.

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Conclusion

I didn’t get the chance to explore the trails and do activities with Monal Tourist Home but yes the property is surely worth staying and relaxing. In short, it is more than Value for money. Comfort is one, but the views you get from Monal Tourist home, Uttarkashi are incomparable. They are just like tranquilizers which make you long for more and you realize the power and beauty of nature.

Rating:

I personally rate this Monal Tourist home,  Uttarkashi (4.5 out of 5). The number is really high because of its location; away from the city rush and mind blowing views from its terrace and garden.

Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

Some Additional Info about Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi:

  1. They provide pick and drop service to Uttarkashi town, but only on prior requests.
  2. One needs to climb few stairs to reach the guest house.
  3. Laundry and Lunch services are only available on request.
  4. For prior information and bookings you can speak to Mr. Deependar on these numbers 91-9412984183, or 91-1374-222270 and their email id is monaluttarkashi@gmail.com. Mr. Deependar prefers pre-booking for Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi because he likes meetings his guests personally and treating them with the best hospitality services. I was really impressed by his attitude; he waited for us till 11 pm, just to meet and greet us.
  5. From Uttarkashi town, you get the sharing cabs till guest house and nearby tourist spots.

This is not a sponsored post and it is written purely based on my own views, stay and after a talk with Mr. Deependar. I didn’t  mention to him that I will be talking about  Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi on my blog postFor more details, you can refer to their website here.

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Review of Monal Tourist Home Uttarkashi

The Valley View Homestay, Ranikhet

Homestay or hotel for tripper is completely one’s own choice. Homestay is exactly like B&B i.e. Bed and Breakfast. In Home stays you are accommodated as a guest in a private room with an en-suite bathroom and all sorts of luxuries. They are usually run by the homeowners who enjoy welcoming and interacting with people. Homestay does offer some advantages over hotels along with comfort. One gets to know more about the local tradition and culture as compared to staying in the hotels.

Valley View Homestay Ranikhet
Ranikhet

At Ranikhet all types of accommodations are available and for the first time, I choose Valley View Homestay Ranikhet over hotels to have a different feel. The gesture offered was up to the saying Athithi Devo Bhava which means the Guest is God. The staff and homeowner both considered an honor to have us as a guest at their place and they made all efforts to make our stay cozy and comfortable.

Valley View Homestay, Ranikhet

About

The Valley View Homestay, Ranikhet is located on the National highway between Almora and Ranikhet, approximately at a distance of 6 km from Ranikhet Golf course. It is a quiet place curated with love, labor, and patience.  Each point gives you views of lush green wide valley decorated in pear, apricot, peach and apple trees. In the evening sky in painted beautifully in hues of red and orange. At night the village lights, give the feel of twinkling/flickering Diwali Diyas from the balconies. If it’s cloudy than for seconds you feel you are floating among those. It is a bird watching paradise for bird lovers.

 Entrance to The rooms of Valley View Homestay, Ranikhet

Rooms & Tariff

There are 7 rooms from deluxe to honeymoon suites and tariff for each range from Rs. 2500 – Rs. 4500/-. Each room has its own aroma and gives a different view of mountain peaks and valley.

Rooms at Valley View Homestay, Ranikhet

Amenities

Amenities at Valley View Ranikhet included everything (TV, the Internet, Power backup, Laundry service, room service etc) to give you a real home feel. Rooms are clean; linen is beautiful and crisp with matching decor.  Bathrooms are well lit and spacious. There are so many cozy corners to curl up with a coffee mug and enjoy the nature to fullest.

Garden & Amenities at Valley View Homestay RanikhetFood

For food, they use local produce, natural ingredients of their own farm. The menu is multidimensional from Indian to Chinese to Italian and continental. Each meal is a wholesome preparation from fish and chips to macaroni. Snacks are served in the rooms whereas meals are served only in the small polished dining area.

The Cafe

Adjoining rooms, there is The Cafe an ideal place to munch over homemade cakes, pies, muffins and Cafe special platters. One can also buy local made chutneys, pickles and jams too.

The Cafe at Valley View Homestay Ranikhet

Some places nearby:

  • Ranikhet Golf Course
  • Local Ranikhet market for Kumaoni specialties
  • Orchards and Gardens
  • KRC Museum and War Memorial
  • Jhoola Devi Temple

Weekend getaway to an old world charm – The Grand Hotel Nainital

Sometimes you feel like running away from the scorching heat, traffic of Delhi. That is what happened with me and my husband last weekend and we planned to rush out. But now the question was where to go? The limited options for weekend getaway from Delhi are Mussorie, Nainital, Jaipur, Shimla etc. Somehow we decided over Nainital. We started from Delhi at 2:00 p.m. and reached around 9:00 p.m. Thanks to NHAI (National highway authority of India) for making it a pleasant journey. We checked into our hotel “The Grand Hotel Nainital  on the mall road. It’s a colonial style hotel with magnificent panoramic views of the Naini lake.

 

The Grand Hotel - Nainital
Naini Lake View – The Grand Hotel Nainital

Architecture

The Grand Hotel, Nainital was first built hotel by Britishers in 1872. They have maintained their architecture in traditional style – long open verandahs, stone walls, wooden floors, high ceilings, preserved firewalls and veteran style furniture. We could even found the ball room dance lounge and grand banquets in the dining hall.

Colonial Style Verandhas - The Grand Hotel Nainital
Long Open Verandahs – The Grand Hotel Nainital

Comfort

In the room of The Grand Hotel Nainital there was everything; from water to glasses to neat and clean bedding, attached washrooms with traditional cloth drying racks, old wooden cupboard, tall mirrors, ethnic style lighting and carpeting throughout the room to make it comfortable during winters.

Food

In The Grand Hotel Nainital , for meals we had to place an order and they are served only in the dining area, to give the perfect feel of grand banquets, whereas snacks are served to rooms, throughout the day.

Nearby, there are good eating joints which are open till 12 midnight.

Weather

March end and April starting is the perfect timings to explore this place. There was a blend of cool breeze with sun warmth during the day and evenings are chirpy, cool. At one point of time I felt the need of shawl or jacket, but without it was more joyful.

 Sitting in the verandah of The Grand Hotel Nainital, we could get the panoramic view of Naini Lake with tall trees around it and people chirping on the streets of mall road.At night around 11, strolling mall road hand in hand was an amazing experience. You can see wonderful reflections of light and moon in the water.
Reflections in Nainital lake - The Grand Hotel Nainital
Night View of Lake – The Grand Hotel Nainital

 Staff

Staff was courteous, mannered and well dressed. The welcoming smiles on their face made you actually speak to them.

In short, I will say The Grand Hotel Nainital is a perfect blend of traditional and modern culture and a must visit once.