While the idea of a homestay might sound quaint and alluring, it’s very important to choose your homestay wisely. As with most accommodations in India, the quality is very variable. Those who prefer their privacy may feel more relaxed at a homestay that has separate accommodations for guests, rather than rooms in the family home.
While India has some great homestays, there are a few that stand out in terms of facilities, location, and hosts. Mountains, forts, and the tranquil backwaters of Kerala are just some of the mesmerizing settings where you’ll find homestays in India. But what’s really special are their unique features – guests can experience everything from organic farming to Turkish steam baths!
1) Vembanad House, Allepey
Imagine a totally harmonious retreat, surrounded by still water on three sides,which is a real escape from the rest of the world. This is where Vembanad House is located, on the banks of Vembanad Lake along the Kerala backwaters. Vembanad House is actually an old ancestral home that has been lovingly restored by the hosts. The interior is filled with some beautiful pieces of traditional wood furniture and artifacts, while the exterior is lush with tropical foliage and paddy fields. This homestay offers the option to go night fishing and catch your own seafood.
You may also enjoy cooking lessons, walking through the paddy fields, open air dining, traditional dance performances, Ayurvedic massage, house boat trips along the Kerala backwaters, bird watching, tours to learn about the coir industry, and yoga classes at the Vembanad House.
2) Acro Iris, Goa
Located in a quiet village called Curtorim, not very far away from Margao, this homestay attracts eyeballs due to it’s marvellous decoration – old style furniture with interesting knick knacks scattered around the place. The bungalow boasts of all the features of a Portugese style architecture, including large doors and windows, airy rooms and a central courtyard around which are the guest rooms. The dining room is at the center of everything.
The house has a built up area of around 7,000 sq feet, and as their website informs: “…comprises an entrada (foyer), sala”(living room), dining room, five bedrooms with en suite bathrooms (four on the ground floor and one on the first floor), lounge, library, fully equipped modern kitchen, utility area, two store rooms and accommodation for the support staff. Three of the bedrooms open into private balconies. It also has a balcao (balcony) and gallery in front and a courtyard in the rear.”
3) Bel Home Homestay, Coorg
The charming simplicity at Bel Homestay in Coorg is certainly an apotheosis of a dream homestay. Located at an altitude of 3,200 feet in a valley overlooking Kotebetta Peak, Bel Home is a nature lovers delight. The hosts are modest and unassuming people, and their homestay also lacks pretension. However, what it does offer are two spacious and immaculate rooms (without TV) in a cottage surrounded by cool breeze, chirping birds, and the roar of the nearby river. Bliss for anyone looking for a soothing and relaxing holiday!
4) Devra Homestay, Udaipur
If you are planning to go trekking in Aravalli hills or sightseeing in Udaipur and are looking for a homestay, Devra Homestay is place you must definitely choose to stay at. Devra homestay could aptly be described as a colonial style farmhouse with a focus on a natural and organic lifestyle, and is located at a 10 minutes drive from the city of Udaipur. In the local language, Devra means a tribal temple and the host family’s temple by the house is worshipped in by the local villagers. The landscape around Devra is striking. Panoramic views of hills and farmland stretch in every direction, reaching all the way to the City Palace itself. The entire house is beautifully decorated with spacious sitting areas, balconies and terraces.
5) The Homestead Homestay, Corbett
Planning to visit the Corbett National Park? If the answer is yes, you must definitely choose the beautiful The Homestead Homestay, Corbett to stay at. Technically, The Homestead at Corbett is a homestay. However, the luxurious accommodations and excellent facilities make it feel more like a grand resort. When you arrive, it’s imposing enough to take your breath away. If you’re feeling adventurous, the great outdoors and farm life are waiting to be experienced. The audacious landscapes would definitely soothe your mind and soul.
6) Fort Rampur Homestay, Jalaun(U.P)
Fort Rampur homestay has to have one of the most spectacular settings in India – in a 700year old fort that speaks plenty about the bygone era. The village of Rampura, in the Jalaun district of Uttar Pradesh, is yet to feature in any of the tourist books. This enables visitors to have a very authentic experience indeed. Despite the vastness of the property, the homestay has only three guest rooms, leaving so much more to be discovered. You can spend countless hours just exploring the wonders of this imposing Fort, including the many living rooms that house countless unique and priceless artifacts, rugs, and furniture.
7) Spiti India, Langza (Himachal Pradesh)
Want to experience life in a remote high altitude village? There’s no better way than by staying at one of the homestays in Spiti India. Come and discover the ancient cultural life that has existed here for thousands of years. Ecosphere Spiti offers traditional homestays in six Spiti villages of varying altitudes. These are Langza, Komic, Demul, Lhalung, Dhankhar, and Mikkim (which lies within Pin Valley National Park). On an average, there are three homestays in each village.
The settings are spectacular, with fertile green crops and snowy peaks providing the backdrop. Each Spiti homestay usually only has one guest bedroom, which can accommodate two or more people. Come and witness the beautiful and ethereal life in a high altitude village.
8) Annapara Homestay, Wayanad
What you would like the best about Annapara is the location. Located in the foothills of the Chembra Peak, there is enough to do and move around the property. Just a few minutes walk from the homestay are both coffee and tea plantations, with some great views. Take walks around the estate and there are hours you can just spend just walking around!
The best part of the place a hidden natural infinity pool where you can have a refreshing bath under the waterfalls. A short walk away, it is well worth your while to go and lounge around there.The guest house itself is very comfortable with only five spacious rooms, which includes a verandah, bedroom, kitchenette cum dining, dressing area and bathroom. Trek along picturesque trails, bath in the stream by the waterfall, visit coffee and cardamom plantations. This place is definitely worth staying.
9) Jai Vilas Homestay, Jaipur
Jai Vilas homestay is a sprawling bungalow located in the classy locality of Bapu Nagar in Jaipur. It’s located at a 15 minutes drive from the railway station and 30 minutes from the airport. The expansive Jai Vilas comes with all the trappings of a modern home, yet retains an age-old,rustic charm that never fails to surprise anyone that visits the place.
You may enjoy personalized sightseeing trips around Jaipur, an exhilarating round of golf, and an evening visit to Chokhi Dhani to experience the rustic charm of a Rajasthani village.
10) Pepper County, Kumily
The homestay is situated on a slope and in the middle of a coffee plantation. What you would like about the place the peace and quiet and the fact that you don’t have to go too far if you want some action!
The rooms are comfortable and quite large (non-ac) with attached bathrooms. The homestay has a common veranda. Meals are also available and what better place to eat local food than a homestay so make sure you have some delicious food cooked by the hostess. The Periyar sanctuary is close by and so it the town of Thekkady. It may take some time and effort to trudge up, but the views from the top are well worth the effort!
This concludes my article on the best homestays in India. Your suggestions are welcome and will be incorporated in my next articles. You may drop your suggestions below in the comments section. Till then, Happy Travelling 🙂 🙂
An arts student at Allahabad University,he is an avid writer and also takes a keen interest in reading; his favorite genre being science fiction.
He plays cricket, football and basketball; his fidelity lying with cricket. He remains sanguine irrespective of the circumstances around him.