India is known for its hospitality towards its guests. After all, ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ - the guest is God. In India, it’s considered an honor to have guests come to your home and have them well-taken care of. But sadly, most visitors and explorers go for standard hotels and guesthouses missing out on a lot of local culture and specialties that a homestay experience can provide. In a homestay, the guests are either accommodated in the family house or in separate quarters near the family house, enabling them to experience the day-to-day happenings of local life and explore the in-betweens of the local culture and traditions that a hotel experience lacks. Through homestays, you get personalized services, a wealth of local knowledge, home-cooked meals, and unique activities that a hotel stay cannot provide.
Nainital is located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and is set around the Naini Lake, making this hill station a paradise for nature lovers. The lofty hills and the sparkling emerald lake are postcard-perfect! You can already imagine the misty veil tumbling over the hilltops and dancing on top of the lake, just as the sunshine breaks through the misty shrouds. Being one of the most visited hill stations in India since the British era, it comes as no surprise that the town has a cluster of vibrant colonial villas and bungalows, most of which are now operated as homestays. While touring Nainital will most definitely be an enjoyable experience, you can always add to it by staying at a homestay. Here’s a list of the best homestays to choose from, to make your Nainital trip unforgettable!
Also Read: Nainital Travel Guide
La Belle Vie translates to ‘the good life’, and promises its guests exactly that. The homestay is made of big blocks of stone and wood, adding to its cozy and warm hillside cottage vibes. Nestled in the quiet greenery of the woods, this homestay is a mesmerizing place to enjoy the best of Naukuchiatal. It offers spacious rooms with private living rooms and large, expansive balconies that look over the enthralling view of the mountains, forests, and lake. To add to this, the homestay is not too far from local markets, restaurants, and cafes that you wish to explore and enjoy.
The stay offers guided nature walks through the mystical woods and around the lake where you can partake in birdwatching and even go for hikes. To add to this, the homestay also offers its patrons several recreational activities. The Naukuchiatal Lake is simply 100 meters from the homestay where you can enjoy boating, angling, and other water activities. You can also go ziplining, paragliding, and hiking here. This makes La Belle Vie a perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts and explorers! Later, you can revel in the cool breeze on your balcony or indulge in a scrumptious barbeque that can be arranged at the homestay.
Food Availability: La Belle Vie offers delicious Indian meals - Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, on an à la carte basis.
Accessibility: It is located around 63.9 km from the closest airport, the Pantnagar Airport. It’s also located within close proximity to tourist attractions like Ranikhet, Binsar, Mukteshwar, Ramgarh, Almora, etc.
Ideal For: Families, couples, and solo travelers
Pet Friendliness: Unfortunately, La Belle Vie is not pet friendly.
Rate: Starting from INR 23,500 per night.
Location: 8HFQ+H97, Thapliya Mehra Gaon, Naukuchiatal, near Lake Resort, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand 263136.
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Langdale Lodge is a family-owned and operated heritage homestay whose unique location keeps it within the town’s radius and yet away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The lodge is nestled in lavish greenery and is only 1 km away from the Nainital Lake. It offers a breathtaking view of the Camel’s Back Hill and Cheena Peak shrouded in mist and clouds during the early hours of dawn!
The lodge offers spacious bedrooms with attached bathrooms, lush garden space, and direct access to the lake. You can bask in the early morning sun in the garden space or go on nature walks around the lake. The host provides several different guided treks, nature walks, and photo walks to capture these aesthetic unforgettable moments. Even though the lodge is situated in the throes of nature, it’s not isolated from the town. A 10-minute walk downhill will bring you to the town where you can indulge in delicious snacks from local cafes and small eateries. The lodge has earned a reputation for its jovial and efficient host, Rohan, who takes utmost care of his guests and does all that it takes to make their visit a memorable one.
Food Availability: The lodge offers a light complimentary breakfast and full access to the kitchen. But in case you wish to avail yourself of a full meal, you’ll have to order it explicitly for an added cost.
Accessibility: The Langdale Lodge is 71.1 km away from the nearest airport, which is the Pantnagar Airport. The property is a short distance from Nainital Lake and is close to other tourist attractions like Naina Devi Temple, Camel’s Back Hills, Chenna Peak, Tiffin Top, etc.
Ideal For: Families and solo travelers.
Pet Friendliness: Pets are not allowed at the Langdale Lodge.
Rate: Starting from INR 3,019 per night.
Location: Langdale Lodge, Mallital, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263001, India.
Also Read: Best Historical Places In Uttarakhand
As its name suggests, the Himalayan Lakeside Guesthouse, situated next to the Bhimtal Lake, is a great place to escape away from busy city life and into a dreamland of mountains, lakes, and organic farmlands – a true Himalayan Paradise! The Guesthouse is an ancestral house set on the backdrop of the Himalayan foothills, overlooking the sparkling Bhimtal Lake, and run by Hari and Kumkum who have lived in the hilly haven of Kumaon all their lives.
Your room of stay is essentially an apartment in itself, complete with a bright and cozy little lounge space, a fully equipped kitchen, attached bathrooms, and even a small library. The homestay offers every amenity to relax and unwind from the daily grind. You can simply picture yourself lounging in a cozy cane chair overlooking the lush garden and enjoying a steaming cup of coffee. Or perhaps sitting underneath a litchi tree reading a book!
The Lakeside Guesthouse’s location and climate have enabled an expansive variety of organic fruits and vegetables to be grown here. The homestay is surrounded by mango, litchi, guava, walnut, and plum trees which also bring in a myriad of beautiful birds. There’s a lot to enjoy and explore near and around the homestay, whether it's a nature walk to the lake, a trek to Karkotak, or kayaking, paragliding, and rock climbing at Naukuchiatal. Himalayan Lakeside Guesthouse is truly a haven for adventurers!
Food Availability: The guesthouse provides for nutritious breakfast as part of the accommodation package. But if you wish to order other meals, there will be additional costs. A note of caution: The guesthouse only serves healthy home-cooked vegetarian meals and prohibits any non-vegetarian food.
Accessibility: The nearest railway station is at Haldwani/Kathgodam situated around 35 km away from Bhimtal. You can also reach Bhimtal by road from Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, and Bareilly. The homestay is near other tourist destinations like Ranikhet, Binsar, Mukteshwar, Almora, etc.
Ideal For: For families, couples, and solo travelers.
Pet Friendliness: Himalayan Lakeside Guesthouse is pet friendly, so if you’re planning to take your paw pal along, this homestay is a great choice.
Rate: Starts from INR 3,500 per night per room.
Location: Bhimtal, Uttarakhand 263136, India.
Also read: Valley Of Flowers Trek In Uttarakhand
The cottage acquired its name due to the peculiar bird that is seen around this area, the Blue Whistling Thrush, whose melodious songs and tunes fill the air with innocent joy and positivity. Amidst all the natural beauty of the locality sits The Whistling Cottage atop a hill, overlooking the valleys and mystical mountains. It’ll come as no surprise that the cottage and its surrounding areas see a diverse variety of birds flocking to the mountains.
The homestay is a picturesque and cozy cottage that showcases beautiful woodwork. Laden in pine wood floors and vintage wooden furniture, this cottage is a quaint haven hidden away in the mountains! The cottage also has a cozy working fireplace along with all the necessary amenities like free Wi-Fi, room service, dry cleaning services, a fully equipped kitchen, an outdoor dining area, and barbeque grills. You can enjoy hikes or go fishing or bird-watching, with dedicated hiking trails. While here, take a one-day trip to Bhimtal Lake or Naini Lake, which is a small drive away from the cottage. The cottage is the perfect place to get away from the tiresome city life to unwind and relax.
Food Availability: The homestay provides scrumptious Kumaon-style meals. If you crave a different cuisine, you can order it on à la carte basis. Additionally, the cottage comes with a fully equipped kitchen and the market is simply downtown, so if you wish to prepare your own meals, you’re good to go!
Accessibility: The nearest airport to The Whistling Cottage is the Pantnagar Airport, which is 43.5 km from the homestay. The cottage is also near other destinations like Bhimtal, Almora, Mukteshwar, and Ramgarh.
Ideal For: Families, couples, and solo visitors.
Pet Friendliness: The Whistling Cottage is pet-friendly but advises discretion on the owner's part, as the terrain surrounding the cottage can be tricky for city pets to navigate.
Rate: Starting from INR 17,505 per night.
Location: Malla Ramgarh, Ramgarh Rd, Ramgarh, Uttarakhand 263137
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The Mountford Arcadia Cottage is tucked away in a green haven between two beautiful lakes, Lake Bhimtal and Lake Naukuchiatal. The beautiful mountains and the glittering lakes constitute the mesmerizing view that this cottage has to offer. With an expansive garden space where you can enjoy your cup of tea or coffee and wide, spacious rooms, you’re never too far from the natural beauty surrounding you. Here, you’re bound to see some beautiful flora and fauna, too. Nature lovers and adventurers are in for a treat as you can enjoy birdwatching, hiking, trekking, paragliding, and water activities which are nearby from the cottage.
The Mountford Arcadia is the perfect place to vacation. You can get away from the noise and clamor of city life and be in sync with nature. The homestay is tucked away in its own mystical land yet not far away from civilization and basic necessities. The fresh air, chirping birds, the rustling of trees, gurgling waters from the lake, and echoing silence bring all the calm and peace you need to relax and unwind.
Food Availability: You can enjoy delicious home-cooked meals at Mountford Arcadia. Other than this, if you make a short journey downtown, you can enjoy some yummy local snacks and chai from local cafes and restaurants.
Accessibility: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport which is 63.4 km from the homestay. The Kathgodam Railway Station is 24.9 km from the cottage. Mountford is close to major tourist attractions like Naukuchiatal, Bhalu Gaad Waterfall, Nainital Lake, Bhimtal Lake, Bhimeshwar Mahadev Temple, Hidimba Parvat, Kainchi Dham, and many more.
Ideal For: Families with kids, couples, and solo explorers.
Pet Friendliness: Pets are welcome here at an extra charge.
Rate: Starting from INR 3,800 per night.
Location: Bhimtal Naukuchiatal Road Bhimtal, Dungsilrawat, Uttarakhand 263136.
Also Read: Things To Pack For A Himalayan Trek
Situated atop a hill with a clear view of the Bhimtal Lake, Vista Lago is a super cozy homestay with an outdoor lawn area and campfire space if you feel like enjoying a bonfire while gazing at the tranquil waters of the lake. On a clear starry night, with the warmth of the bonfire and the reflection of a million stars dancing on the surface of the lake water, the visual is wholesome and dreamlike. And you can enjoy it all at this homestay!
Vista Lago has three separate cottages, spacious hall rooms and kitchen, a large dining area, and a common area outdoors. The homestay provides its patrons with numerous amenities like laundry service, cable TV, a variety of indoor games, an indoor fireplace, etc. If you have an email to send out immediately, don’t worry! The cottage has dedicated workspaces and Internet services that you can avail of. Vista Lago also takes care of your travel logistics. So, if you need to hail a cab to the airport or railway station, the host will take care of it. The location of this homestay calls for some Instagram-worthy pictures, with hilltops touching the cloudy skies, exotic birds, and a blanket of lavish evergreen trees spread far and wide!
Food Availability: The homestay provides a variety of mouth-watering dishes right from breakfast to dinner. You can always make use of the barbeque grill set provided by the homestay if you plan on enjoying a night in front of the bonfire.
Accessibility: The nearest airport to Vista Lago is the Pantnagar Airport which is 35 km from the cottage. It’s close to beautiful destinations like Bhimeshwar Temple, Bhimtal Island Aquarium, Seven Lakes, etc.
Ideal For: Families with children and singles.
Pet Friendliness: Unfortunately, Vista Lago is not open to pets.
Rate: Starting from INR 6,900 per night.
Location: June State Rd, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand 263136
Raabta which means ‘old connection/love’, is the host’s cherished ancestral home hidden away in a quiet corner of the Nainital District. The homestay is situated near Lake Naukuchiatal, the deepest lake in the Nainital region, and has a peaceful and quaint atmosphere. The Raabta is far away from the jostling crowd of tourists, the jam-packed Mall Road, and the traffic near the city center. You can enjoy the beautiful view of the lake from the bay windows and balconies of the cottage.
This homestay has a beautiful hamlet situated at the foothills, with farms, orchards, and a Buddhist Monastery. The homestay provides an unmatched view of the Camel’s Back Peak and Lariakanta. The Raabta has the Chotta Kailash Parvat at its back and a majestic Hanuman Mandir at its front. So, in the early hours of dawn, you’ll be able to hear the whispers of prayers and chants from these sacred spaces.
The homestay is close to many adventure sports and activities like paragliding, trekking, boating, zorbing, canoeing, dirt racing, ziplining, horseback riding, and fishing. This is an ultimate paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts! Along with a beautiful garden view overlooking the hilltops, The Raabta is a perfect spot to simply bask in the warm sunshine and laze around, far from the hectic city life!
Food Availability: The homestay provides you with morning tea and basic breakfast options. For the rest of the meals, you either have the option to cook or order in from the numerous restaurants and cafes near the homestay.
Accessibility: The nearest airport is the Pantnagar Airport located 35 km from the homestay. While Kathgodam Railway Station is the nearest railway station, situated 44 km away. The homestay is near some of the popular locations like Bhimtal, Sat Tal, Ramgarh, Mukteshwar, etc.
Ideal For: Families, couples, solo travelers, and pet parents.
Pet Friendliness: The Raabta absolutely loves pets, as the owner of the homestay himself is a pet-lover. So, your little pup or kitten and you can have a great vacation together!
Rate: Starting from INR 3,299 per night.
Location: Jangliagaon - Naukuchiatal Rd, Vijraula, Uttarakhand 263136
Why Are Homestays Popular?
Homestays are a popular choice nowadays because of their accessibility. Homestays can be situated in places where hotels cannot. Whether it’s amidst a forested area, a mountainous terrain, or a valley cliff, homestays can be found more easily in such difficult locations. Secondly, homestays are cheaper than hotels because they usually have all-inclusive meals, lodging, laundry services, etc.
Which Is The Coldest Month In Nainital?
January is the coldest month in Nainital and the temperature can dip as low as 58°F. During the months of December and January, you can expect to see snowfall in Nainital.
Which Place Is Better: Nainital Or Bhimtal?
Bhimtal is comparatively quieter and more peaceful than Nainital. Nainital attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world and the country. So, Bhimtal would be a better choice if you wish for some alone time and to immerse yourself in nature. But, you can enjoy both of these destinations if you plan your visit during the offseason when the number of tourists is considerably low.
Which Is The Best Season For Nainital?
Nainital can be enjoyed and explored any time of the year due to its cool climatic conditions. But, the most ideal time to visit Nainital is between the months of March to June when the cold winds of the winters have receded and the climate is much more conducive to exploration.
Is Great Wall Of China Visible From Nainital?
Nainital is located at a height of 8,579 feet, and what you can see from up here is the beautiful nature surrounding the town. If you're asking whether the Great Wall Of China is visible from the Nainital, the answer is- No.
Where Is China Peak In Uttarakhand?
China Peak, or also known as Naina Peak, is located in Nainital.
Which Mountains Are Visible From Nainital?
If you stand at Nainital's Snow View Point, you'll witness the scenic mountain ranges of Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Kot.
How Far Is Nainital From Dehradun?
By Road, Nainital is approximately 300 km away from Dehradun.