shimla travel guide, Traveling to Shimla During Covid

Best Homestays In Shimla

Shimla is arguably one of the most visited hill stations in India. Given the amount of beauty and grandeur this place holds, it’s not a surprise Shimla sees so many visitors. After all, it is called the Queen Of Hills for a reason! This hill station is adorned with beautiful landscapes, a handful of gardens, and architectural wonders that will leave your jaw on the floor. Moreover, the snow-capped mountains in the background, fresh cold air, and the availability of every creature comfort you can think of makes this place the perfect vacation destination for the entire year!

That being said, there’s a new wave amongst the travelers to check out the more homely accommodations in places like this one. If you belong to this clan, here is a list of the best homestays in Shimla.

8 Best Homestays In Shimla

  1. Aapo Aap Homestay
  2. Jungle House
  3. Cedar Hill Cottage
  4. Vardaan Homestay
  5. Vatsalyam Homestay
  6. Jandev Castle
  7. Fair View Homestay
  8. Marley Villa

Aapo Aap Homestay

Aapo Aap Homestay is a part of a scheme started by the tourism department of the state government. It is also one of the most popular homestays in Shimla and there are very good reasons for this. The place looks like a colonial bungalow with beautiful architecture, all the rooms are well furnished, and you have access to all the amenities you could ask for.

Moreover, if you have specific dietary requirements, all you have to do is inform the hosts a day in advance and you will have your food available. In fact, they are also prepared to cook Jain dishes in a separate kitchen for the visiting patrons. The hosts truly look after the people coming to stay and you will experience it as soon as you enter.

Speaking of the hosts, they are an amazing couple. The lady of the house is a retired college principal and the man is a retired IAS personnel. They occupy the top floor of the homestay and are available for any assistance that you might need.

Food Availability - Aapo Aap Homestay takes good care of their guests’ tummies. You have a great vegetarian menu and if you have any allergies, you can let them know in advance and they will give you appropriate options as well. However, you will have to step out if you’re craving a little bit of meat.

Accessibility - If you’re getting off at Panthaghati Bus Transit, this homestay provides pick-up and drop services in a certain time bracket. Other than that, you have the Shimla Railway Station at about 10 km.

(P.S.: We’re not mentioning Shimla Airport in this article because it has minimum to no flights coming in. So, you’re better off taking a flight to Chandigarh or Delhi and traveling to Shimla by road.)

Ideal For - Individuals, couples.

Pet Friendliness - This property does not allow pets.

Rate - Starts at INR 2,370 per night.

Location - Near Sargheen Chowk, Panthaghati, Shimla.

Also Read: Best Hostels In Shimla

Jungle House

Jungle House is a royal colonial-era house that was once used by Princess Kusum, the princess of a kingdom that was then called The Jai State of Bharatpur, as her summer home. It was built in the 1900s with royalty in mind. Even though it changed multiple owners since its birth, the Jungle House has retained its royalty and grace. The architecture is a great proof of it, only second to the two-tier garden accessible to the guests.

After getting in, you’re welcomed with the warm tones of a stone and wood cottage. The next thing you will notice is the hardwood furniture and the Pashmina tapestry. The entire house has floor-to-ceiling windows, the bathrooms are equipped with huge bathtubs, and the best part is, Jungle House has a large library with enough books to metaphorically drown you.

The two suites in the house are called Chelsea and Holly and are built to have the most amount of sunshine in the early hours of the day. Once the day starts, the hosts have an entire day of activities planned. You will have multiple delicacies throughout the day prepared with traditional recipes, mind-blowing high tea sessions, and hors d’oeuvres along with sundowners Aperitivo Hour. The good people of Jungle House will also arrange shopping trips and excursions, and curate proper picnics for their guests.

Food Availability - You have the option of eating home-cooked food. However, there are a lot of good restaurants around the property. You can visit places like Mosaic at Ekant Resort, Soni Da Dhaba, or Sharma Vaishno Dhaba.

Accessibility - If you are planning on traveling via train, the closest station is the Kandh Station, which is about 5.5 km away from Jungle House. You can easily find buses or taxis that come to this property, making commuting a breeze.

Ideal For - Families.

Pet Friendliness - This property does not allow pets.

Rate - Starts from INR 1,450 per night.

Location - Village Kumhali, Jakhoo Hill, Shimla.

Also Read: 1 Day Walking Tour Of Shimla

Cedar Hill Cottage

Sitting on the top of a hill at 8200 ft., Cedar Hill Cottage is a quaint homestay ideal for the ones looking for peace and quiet amidst Shimla’s beauty. It is right beside the Cedar Forest Sanctuary and almost all the rooms offer breathtaking views of the forest. If you’re there at the right time, you might be able to see some of the more elusive wildlife right from your window!

It is almost 12 km outside of the city of Shimla. However, the hosts of this homestay have prepped every amenity that you might need. The rooms aren’t overly decorated or fancy and the simplicity itself brings a rather relaxing vibe. So, if you are looking for a getaway with minimum to no disturbances and mind-blowing views, you can consider this spot to hunker down for extended times as well.

Food Availability - There is a restaurant on the property itself. However, if you are in the mood to explore, you can check out places like The Restaurant, Hide Out Café, and Wake and Bake.

Accessibility - Located in Charabra, this homestay is about 12 km away from the Shimla Old Bus Stand. The drive to this location is also relatively easy. Although, it doesn’t show up if you search directly on Google Maps. So, ask the people at the homestay to send you directions when you book your stay.

Ideal For - Families, couples.

Pet Friendliness - Pets are not allowed on the property.

Rate - Starts at INR 2,500 per night.

Location - Chharabra, Shimla.

best homestays in Shimla

Vardaan Homestay

Located in the town of Shoghi, Vardaan Homestay is something out of a storybook. It is a quaint little house right beside a cliff and has the famous toy train track laid on the mountain as its background. In fact, Shoghi Railway Station is about one kilometer away from this homestay. So, you can take that into consideration when making plans of exploring the place.

This homestay is easily accessible from Delhi via road. Once you enter the homestay, you can rest assured that you’re away from the crowds and congestion of the main town, but have everything arranged for you at the drop of a dime.

The best part is, Vardaan Homestay has a very homely feeling. If you’re traveling alone, or as a couple, you will instantly fall in love with the place as well as its surroundings.

Food Availability - Food is available on the property itself. You can call it to your room as you would with room service. However, this place is pretty much in the middle of the tourist area in Shoghi, so you have a wide variety of good restaurants to choose from.

Accessibility - Vardaan Homestay is about 53 km from Chandigarh Airport. If you want to arrive in the city via trains, you can get off at the Shoghi Railway Station, which is less than a kilometer away from the property. Either way, the roads are clearly marked, and even driving yourself here is an easy task.

Ideal For - Business travelers, honeymooners.

Pet Friendliness - Pets are allowed on this property. Vardaan Homestay has a big yard as well as a spacious terrace. So, your pets will have enough space to run around and relax. However, we request you to talk to the hosts and take care of your pet’s washroom needs accordingly.

Rate - Starts at INR 1,500 per night.

Location - Raja Niwas, Railway Station Road, Shoghi, Shimla.

Also Read: Manali Travel Guide

best homestays in Shimla

Vatsalyam Homestay

Located close to Bharari in Lower Dudhli, Vatsalyam Homestay provides its visitors with experiences that are almost tailored to their preferences. The way it is built, a majority of the windows have views of the Jakhoo Mountains and the garden in the yard is the perfect place to unwind after a long day.

Inside the rooms, you get wood flooring throughout, and all of them have attached bathrooms along with all the amenities you could ask for. It is a family-run homestay but has the vibes and amenities of a good hotel. There are three categories of rooms: Deluxe Rooms, Family Rooms, and Studio Apartments. All of these rooms have suitable arrangements. You also get a library and home-cooked meals as a guest of Vatsalyam Homestay.

The Family Rooms have two rooms and an attached terrace. The main room has three beds while the smaller one has a single bed. The Deluxe Rooms have one king-sized double bed that directly faces picture windows. These rooms also share a common balcony that is big enough to arrange meals and activities on them.

Lastly, the studio apartments are independent accommodations with private entrances. You also get an independent balcony, a fully equipped kitchen, a workstation, and a decent WiFi connection. So, if you’re thinking of taking a workation in Shimla, this accommodation would make your stay stress-free and as convenient as it gets.

Food Availability - The family that owns and runs this homestay offers to cook veg as well as non-veg food for their guests. They usually have delectable Himachali dishes to offer, which we recommend you try.

Accessibility - Vatsalyam Homestay is located about 6 km away from Shimla Railway Station. The Old Bus Stand is around the same distance as the railway station. The best part is that you can easily find taxis to get you from door to door.

Ideal For - Families, couples, corporate outings.

Pet Friendliness - This property does not allow pets inside.

Rate - Starts from INR 3,136 per night.

Location - Ragyan Near Bharari, Shimla.

Jandev Castle

If you’re visiting Shimla with the intent of experiencing it as the British did, Jandev Castle might help. It is a royal guest house that was built in the 1930s for the guests of the palace. It is surrounded by beautiful pieces of scenery like orchards, the Giri River, and gorgeous cedar forests.

As a guest at Jandev Castle, you can have activities like day camping, jeep safaris, apple orchard walks, and cooking workshops arranged for you. Moreover, you have a handful of local spots that are must-visits.

Once inside, you are welcomed by the earthy tones of a stone-and-wood cottage. The polished wood with intricate carvings, the rather regal furniture, and the availability of all modern amenities makes this perfect for a romantic getaway or a family trip to the mountains.

Food Availability - There is a restaurant on site that provides veg as well as non-veg food to the guests.

Accessibility - From Jandev Castle, you can take an hour-long drive to the Panthaghati Bus Stand. Driving to this place in your own vehicle is also great as Jandev Castle has parking on property.

Ideal For - Families.

Pet Friendliness - No, pets are not allowed on this property.

Rate - Starts at INR 2,800 per night.

Location - Jandev Kothi, Ghorna, P.O Deha, Dist., Shimla.

best homestays in Shimla

Fair View Homestay

A four-storeyed house built on the edge of a valley with a modern interior and a homely feel, Fair View Homestay has a charm because of its distinctive styling compared to a majority of places in the city. However, regardless of the vibe you’re looking for in a place to stay, the beautiful panoramic views of the valley that Fair View Homestay offers will make you want to stay here.

This homestay is owned and run by a married couple that goes by the names Varun and Indu. Both of them are friendly, attentive, and pretty much experts on the spots that you need to check out in Shimla, and some all around the state of Himachal Pradesh. However, if you want to plan something around the property, you can ask for the barbecue, the walking tours, or even catch a match broadcast!

The part that makes this homestay ideal for couples and families is that it is only 10 minutes away from the city. It also gives you the option of choosing between a studio apartment and double-bed rooms. You will see a lot of whites and browns in the interior and all the rooms have large windows that look toward the scenery.

Food Availability - The hosts will cook vegetarian meals for the guests on request. However, the guests will have to get non-veg food parceled by themselves if they wish to do so. There are multiple restaurants like Street Rasoi, Himachali Rasoi, and Cecil Restaurant not more than half an hour away.

Accessibility - Fair View Homestay is about 9 km away from the Shimla Old Bus Stand. You can easily find public transportation or taxis to take you to and from the property.

Ideal For - Families, individual travelers.

Pet Friendliness - Pets are not allowed on this property.

Rate - Depending upon the room and the amenities you avail, a room in the Fair View Homestay will cost you about INR 1,145 - INR 10,002.

Location - Fair view, Kamyana, Post Office - Poabo, Shimla.

Marley Villa

Built in the mid-19th century, Marley Villa still holds the royalty and beauty of the British colonial style that it was built in. It is surrounded by slender pine trees and the Tara Devi Hill, giving the windows an amazing backdrop. Once you enter the main gate, you are welcomed by a garden that is set for high teas and full-on meals.

On the inside, Marley Villa is adorned with a minimal yet elegant interior. Most of the walls are white, the furniture looks like it is from the time this villa was first built and suits the place very, very well. There is a balcony that overlooks the valley right below the homestay and has amazing views of the sunrise as well as the sunset. As you turn towards the inside, you’ll find teak wood paneling on the walls and carpeted floor.

If you’re the kind of person who wants to stay in the middle of all the excitement, Marley Villa is an ideal spot for you. It is on the Mall Road in Chotta Shimla. So you have places like The Ridge, Taradevi Temple, The Mall, and many, many more to explore.

Food Availability - There is a restaurant on the property itself along with a dining hall that is cozy and comfortable. Plus, being on the Mall Road, you have plenty of options around.

Accessibility - The nearest bus stand is less than 500 m away from Marley Villa, while the railway station is 5 km away. Whichever method you choose to enter the city, Marley Villa is well connected by road and can be easily accessed using public transportation or taxis.

Ideal For - Couples and families.

Pet Friendliness - This property is pet friendly. However, you have to inform in advance and charges may apply depending on your pet and conditions around the whole process.

Rate - Starts at INR 12,220 per night (for full property).

Location - Cart Rd to Nirman Bhawan, Nigam Vihar, Chotta Shimla, Shimla.

Summing Up

Shimla is a beautiful little hill station with an abundance of things to do and places to stay in. However, the place you choose to stay in will decide how you remember your trip. The homestays mentioned in this blog will let you experience the essence of Shimla while having all the amenities you could ask for. When you do visit the hill station, make sure you talk to the locals and figure out the spots you want to see.


Which Is The Best Homestay In Shimla?

While there is no singular answer to this question, some homestays like the Jungle House and Vatsalyam Homestays take the cake when it comes to the vibes and amenities that you would want in a place.

Are Homestays Cheaper Than Hotels?

Yes. In most cases, you get much more bang for your buck with homestays. This is mostly because you get to experience the local life of the place you are visiting, which you wouldn’t have in a hotel. Moreover, homestays are generally cheaper than hotels to begin with.

Why Is Shimla So Famous?

The town of Shimla is famous for its natural and architectural beauty. This is a very quaint place that has gorgeous walking trails on hillsides. Sometimes they go through pine and oak forests, too!

What Is The Best Time to Visit Shimla?

The busiest time of the year in Shimla is between the months of March to June. This is when the highest number of tourists visit the hill station. This is because the summer season opens up more avenues of exploration and makes them easy to visit as well.

Is Shimla In Kashmir?

No, Shimla is located in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

How Far Is Shimla From Delhi?

Shimla is around 355 km from Delhi.

Can You Fly To Shimla?

The closest airport to Shimla is in Chandigarh, which is around 120 km from Shimla.