Soulitude by the Riverside

Soulitude by the Riverside

Near 

Nainital
, Uttarakhand
, India

Soulitude by the Riverside is a small seven suite (to call them rooms would be unfair) boutique getaway set amidst an organic farm and carefully planted vegetation of flowering and fruiting trees. Just under an hour’s drive from the railhead in Kathgodam, be prepared for a dramatic entry to Soulitude by the Riverside! Your car can take you only as far as an ancient bridge near Chanfi village, all steel arches and ropes and suspended floors, a relic of the British design, save for an etching of the year it was put there if you look closely enough. And even while you are excitedly checking it out, walking on and around the bridge, your luggage will be collected and you will follow the welcome team on a thirty minute walk along Kalsa river, till you reach the quaint wooden gates of Soulitude. The river pervades as a gentle murmur or a loud hush…depending on the season and the river’s flow.

The Lounge and Cottages were designed as polygonal structures and as a result, they blend with the contours of the land. The 1930s built Village Home was sensitively restored and an old unused building in the guest area was meticulously deconstructed and relocated to re-build as staff quarters.

Our Rating: Simple
Property Type: Wildlife/Nature Lodge

Destination

Kumaon in Uttarakhand is dotted with lakes and forests, valleys and rivers – a nature lover’s haven, a birders paradise, a trekker’s dream and an accessible getaway for vacation seekers from the plains. A whiff away from the tourist tangle that is Nainital are beautiful abodes – arty, quiet and organic, calling out to the beleaguered city dweller to breakaway and just chill. Even the ubiquitous mobile phone is a distant ring away and the Internet can be completely avoided, should you so wish. Soulitude by the Riverside has a unique location and ‘soul-stirring’ stories that surround it – truly a place to discover oneself by the Kalsa river close to the village of Chanfi.

Accommodation

The times you seek your room only because you can barely keep your eyes open, you will be welcomed to elegant and spacious rooms with interesting furniture and features, small details that will make you smile – a bird head here or a feature cushion there, may be a bed reminiscent of a swing, a balcony in some of them. The ensuite bathroom has one fabulous feature besides the shower that is invitingly hot with heating towel rails which is quite a rarity in boutique hotels of this size and then amenities custom made for Soulitude viz aromatic soaps, cleansers and creams.

Dining

The dining room serves epicurean delights of a simplistic order sourced straight from the farms around, sometimes cooked out in the open in front of you over wood fired stoves or served piping hot inside the dining room. On the menu are local Kumaoni curries and lentils, North Indian dishes and a smattering of popular world cuisine.

Experiences

There are two places at the Riverside you are likely to spend most of your time, only when you are not walking upstream along the river with a book to read and a snack in your ruck sack. The Dhaba is right by the river, with picnic tables to sit at and endless cups of ‘chai’ at a moment’s notice. The second is the circular lounge, lit by natural light and fed by endless fresh mountain air. Large glass windows and skylights with a ‘twist’ afford views of the river, while you can lounge forever on inviting couches, splashes of colour, books and games around you. And when the night flls, the sound of the river and the mountain sky create magic!

There are many niches and nooks at Riverside, made as shacks with a slight canopy against the elements and outdoor loungers where you can sit by yourself, read a book, stretch to asanas, meditate or watch out for birds. Things to do around Riverside include short treks to Pari Tal and small villages around, longer treks include a trek to the top of the ridge and several other picturesque trails waiting to be discovered. The thatched yoga shack at Soulitude by the Riverside provides a spectacular setting for morning wellness, overlooking the cascading waterfall into the emerald green rock pool.

The signature experience is the hike to the Mystical Lake. Fed by a glacial stream that descends
as a waterfall, the lake has a mesmerising effect on its viewer. Accessible only through Soulitude’s private estate, it is a secluded luxury for all guests here and accessible from both the hotels.

Perfect for
families, couples & solo travellers who want a slice of outdoors and nature. Soulitude is the perfect base to start that book you always wanted to write. It offers reflective time and ambience for self-discovery.

Why we love this place

Living by the riverside with the gurgling water’s perennial background score is not limited to books and movies. It’s all true at Soulitude by the Riverside – a serene property by the rushing Kalsa that is made for looking inwards.

About your host

Soulitude was built by Manish and Ratna as their personal hideaway, whenever the urge to leave the bustle of Delhi took over. It was a place where friends and family could reconnect and reboot. Soulitude is run with the perfect blend of professionalism and homeliness, that makes one want to stay just a little longer and is a mindful representation of the true vibe of Kumaon without any dilution.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

Integral part of Soulitude’s ethos is an eye on nature conservation, preserving local culture and providing economic support to the local community.
Designed as polygonal structures to blend with the land.
Village home restored with traditional methods of vernacular architecture.
Dry stack stone walls plastered with mud and husk.
Low ventilator windows in the lounge open up to allow the entry of the cool river breeze.
Organic kitchen garden provides a farm-to-table experience.
Multi-disciplinary training for locals to work as staff.
Light footprint activities such as village walks enables interaction with the local community and support given to local crafts.
Passive cooling and heating design of buildings.
Solar hot water system in place.
Rain water is harvested, purification filter for drinking water is used instead of RO to avoid waste water being created.
Single use plastic avoided with dispensers for bathroom amentities, no plastic water bottles served and biodegradable crockery and cutlery used for picnics.
Paper consumption reduced with digital pre-check procedures and billing practices.

Our Recommendation

Things to do around Riverside, include short treks to Pari Tal and small villages around. Spread out your Yoga mat for a sublime session of Yoga by the humming Kalsa river.

Can’t find a suitable itinerary that features a destination, experience or accommodation you fancy? All our group tours and holiday ideas can be personalised, or we can create a tailor made itinerary for you.

Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)