5 Of The Best Homestays In India To Stay At During Covid
Since the coronavirus pandemic has hit, the travel industry has been shaken to its roots. But the recent months have been seeing travel pick up again, as people take on the responsibility of traveling safe and following Covid protocol. An interesting trend has emerged of homestays and BnBs taking precedence over hotels; with single or 2-3 family occupation and a much more personalized service, travelers are flocking to them for a Covid escape.
Hotels on the other hand have much higher turnover rates, and there’s that many more hands touching doorknobs, buttons and handles. Homestays take away all those worries, which is why you should consider a homestay if you plan on traveling or taking a vacation. Read up on these 5 homestays to visit during Covid to stay safe from the pandemic while being away from home.
Artist’s Studio, Jaipur
Artists and their workspaces always have a certain funky, expressive vibe about them that you can’t get elsewhere. Artist’s Studio in Jaipur is quite literally a studio that has now been converted into a homestay, and boasts these immaculate vibes alongside a top-notch stay. Owned by Tarpan and Sasika Patel, the homestay has been designed by the duo (Tarpan is an artist, as was his father), and is a cozy abode filled with colorful nooks, art, antiques and cute potted plants. The homestay can accommodate a maximum of 4 guests and has a private entrance.
Their Airbnb description has a small yet accurate forewarning: some may find the place ‘crowded’ with art and tools. But don’t get this wrong; if you’re the type to prefer the modern amenities well provided and nothing beyond, then this homestay may not be for you. But if you want to sip on a cup of hot chai while admiring an art gallery, daydream in a sunny corner surrounded by soft cushions and books, and peek out of wide windows with blue frames, then this concept space will make your heart sing.
It is located in a residential area in the middle of the city, making it perfectly safe at night, while giving you great access to the many sites. Meals can be delivered from the many popular restaurants in the area. You have a comfy bed, an electric kettle, a minifridge with cutlery, and access to the cute private terrace. The bathroom is aesthetic as the rest of the house, and has a hot shower. Your stay will be on the third floor of the house, but the absence of an elevator may make it challenging for some.
Approximate rates for one night: ₹2,000
Covid Regulations For Rajasthan
All passengers must submit a Self-Health Declaration form and all will be screened for symptoms. Passengers displaying symptoms will have to be isolated and tested, while all other passengers have 14 days of voluntary home quarantine.
Jade Munnar, Munnar
A homestay that makes you feel at home with nature while giving you the comforts of a hotel and the warmth of a family – this is Jade Munnar. The color jade is a shade of green, soothing and associated with nature. The hospitality at Jade Munnar follows suit, starting with the three incredibly cozy private bedrooms. There’s also private sit-out areas where you can bask in the sun or daydream to your heart’s content. Want a little more space? Opt for the spacious and fully-equipped ground floor suite that can accommodate a maximum of 5 guests.
There’s also a terrace and a lush green garden, and their outdoor natural pool is chemical-free. Breakfast and dinner are included, and you’ll get to eat some delicious local Kerala cuisine with a Western twist. Jade Munnar is located at an altitude of 3,300 feet above sea level, tucked away in the hills. Mornings and evenings bring a slight chill with them, but the daytime temperature remains warm to hot. There’s free parking available on site.
Approximate rates for one night: ₹2,900
Covid Regulations For Kerala
All passengers must register themselves on the COVID Jagratha portal and obtain an e-pass. Passengers staying in Kerala for over 7 days need to submit a valid Covid-negative report. Travelers without a test and who don’t take one on arrival will have to quarantine for 7 days, post which a negative test report will allow them to get out of quarantine.
Olaulim Backyards, Goa
When you think of Goa, you think of beaches, of yoga, of nightlife and of course, of tourists. But Goa has a hidden side that not many care to explore, far from tourist haunts, and untouched in nature. Olaulim Backyards is where to be if you want a taste of that hidden life. The homestay is owned and run by Savio and Pirkko, and offers five rustic cottages, each located at a distance from one another to make privacy and social distancing a breeze. Each cottage is made of locally-extracted elements, and are constructed to be air-cooled.
Living at Olaulim is getting a taste of authentic Goan life that is away from the frenzy and commercialization. Instead of sharing a beach with hundreds of people, you can get a kayak and go floating down the Goan backwaters (yes indeed, Goa has backwaters). Take a cycle and go wandering down the lane, and enjoy fresh seafood and locally grown vegetables prepared into exquisite Goan food. And in case you want a little surf and sand, the major beaches are a 30-minute drive away.
Olaulim Backyards is in Olaulim, Bardez, 21 kms away from Dabolim Airport.
Average rates for one night: ₹7,000
Covid Regulations For Goa
All tourists will be screened for symptoms, and symptomatic passengers will be tested for Covid. They will also be isolated, and the cost of treatment is to be borne by them.
Tree Of Life, Delhi
With a focus on well-being and comfort without pretentiousness, Tree of Life is one of the best homestays in Delhi. It is managed by its founders, Ashwani and Suruchi. The homestay is located in a residential area of South Delhi, down a tree-lined street. But don’t worry about noise, since the locality is peaceful and serene. The rooms are air conditioned, and there’s a bathtub so that you can laze away. Simplicity is the name of the game at Tree of Life, but it satiates in every possible way.
Tree of Life also has a lively garden, and there’s luggage storage facilities alongside a laundry room. Lounge around in the common area, or step into the kitchen for a quick snack. Wake up early in the morning and head to the terrace with a cup of tea, and watch as the capital city bustles to life to greet yet another day. The homestay is located within 250 metres of the Saket underground metro stop, yet fulfills its promise of serenity.
Average rates for one night: ₹3,500
Covid Regulations For Delhi
All passengers traveling to Delhi will be screened for symptoms, and symptomatic passengers will be tested. Ensure that you have the Aarogya Setu app downloaded.
Aashray Homestay, Varanasi
Kamal and Maju Kapur, one known for his vast knowledge about Indian cultures and the other known for her warmth and hospitality, make the perfect pair to run an equally perfect homestay in Varanasi. Located in the center of the holy city, Aashray Homestay is where you can sample some of the famed Indian hospitality we’ve always prided ourselves on. There’s a few rooms to choose from, but being limited in number, you’re assured some privacy. Every room has guest supplies and a tea/coffee maker.
But the comfortable rooms are only part of what makes Aashray so wonderful. You’ll eat fresh, delicious Indian food, and though only vegetarian, they are prepared by Manju Kapur who is known for her skill in the kitchen. In fact, their kitchen is fondly known as the ‘Tasty Health Food Lab’. Staying here, you get to experience the richness of traditional Indian culture alongside contemporary, liberal values, giving you an unforgettable experience in Varanasi.
Average rates for one night: ₹4,500
Covid Regulations For Uttar Pradesh
Passengers entering Uttar Pradesh will be screened for symptoms, and all symptomatic passengers will be tested.
What Are Homestays In India?
Homestays are relatively new to India. A homestay is where guests live in a family home, either in a separate bedroom or in separate quarters nearby.
Is Homestay Legal In India?
Yes, homestays are legal in India. However, people running a homestay must meet certain criteria and get a license for the same. Some of the criteria are: the owner resides on the property with their family, there’s minimum 1 maximum 6 rooms to rent etc.
Are Homestays Safe?
Yes, homestays are safe, but make sure you pick a reputable homestay. Look them up online and read reviews. Ensure you pick a homestay where there are a few family members present on the property if you’re worried about personal safety, especially if traveling alone.
Is Homestay A Good Idea?
Staying in a homestay is perfect for anyone looking for an experience different from the usual hotel service. Homestays are more authentic and unique, and you can interact with several different people as opposed to keeping to yourself at a hotel.
Why Is Homestay Better Than A Hotel?
Homestays have fewer occupancy rates making it a more personalized experience. They’re better especially in Covid times, since hotels see high numbers of guests and there’s a constant worry of contracting the virus. Homestays are taking all precautions with fewer guests, letting you have a safe stay.
How Do Homestays Work?
You will live in another family’s house, in a room or separate quarters, and pay them a rate per night. Your meals will often be cooked at the homestay itself by the family or the staff, and meals might just be shared family-style. The experience is very different as compared to a hotel stay, and is definitely much more personalized.
What Do Homestay Families Do?
Your homestay family may just fleetingly say hi and bye when their paths cross yours, keeping to themselves. Or, you may have an interactive family that will do the cooking as well as the maintaining of the property. These details are usually mentioned on their websites or sites like Airbnb.
Are There Homestays In Himachal Pradesh?
There are plenty of homestays in Himachal Pradesh, with several recently cropping up in the hills around Shimla.
Are There Homestays In Coorg?
Homestays are increasing in number and popularity, and there are now homestays across India, including in Coorg.
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