Feel at home in the Himalayas

Soulitude in the Himalayas

Soulitude in the Himalayas

Near 

Nainital
, Uttarakhand
, India

Soulitude in the Himalayas truly gives one a taste of living in a mountain home. Ample use of natural materials like wood and stone blend well with the modern construction, sloping roofs and green environs, making the stay restive and comfortable at the same time. The unobstructed view of the mountains from all the floors is the single most delightful thing about the property. Inside, modern comforts meet tasteful cottage-like decor with fireplaces, minimalistic yet cosy wooden interiors and ample view of the Himalayas.

The concept is to have the facilities and amenities, but still get a taste of mountain life. Given that the property is so well equipped, this is a great place to work from. A refreshing ambience of the green sloping hills and fresh air, is surely more productive than city offices.

Our Rating: Mid-Range
Property Type: Wildlife/Nature Lodge

Destination

Soulitude in the Himalayas is recommended for those who want to start on a journey of self-discovery. Call it a spot to take off on a spiritual progression, write that book that has waited too long in your head or just the ideal place to unplug from the city. Tempting though it is to just sink into a chair and stay put, fingers wrapped around a warm mug of tea, this is also a place to go on easy outdoor adventures. Gagar is the ideal jumping off point for several guided and easy hikes that you can do yourself. Visiting local villages, a horticulture walk, a temple trail, museum musings and more can fill the hours easily. Of course, most of the guests can’t get enough of the Himalayan views so it’s difficult to strip them off their chairs.

Accommodation

The 11 rooms on the property are wonderfully unlike each other, though equally charming in aesthetics and views. Rooms are divided into different categories – Suite, Junior Suite, Deluxe Double and three bed-room cottages, each christened a state of mind. All rooms are wood paneled, with decks that look out to the farming terraces carved out of the hills, gardens or the Himalayas. Artefacts collected from around the world and some from the family’s collection, books on various subjects, art on the wall, the colourful patch-work bed covers and embellished cushions, the sense of arty detailing and thought can surely not be missed in each room.

Dining

Delicious home-cooked food is the hallmark of mindful hospitality at Soulitude. Flavourful, simple and with great nutritional value, the property prides itself on creating dishes that you would remember for long. The beautifully tended gardens – collection of climbers and flowering shrubs lead down the hill to a herb garden of thyme, rosemary and stevia, that invariably find themselves on your plate.

Tea and coffee making machines are available in the rooms for convenience. Enjoy meeting other guests at the community dining hall in the main house. While the day can be spent in splendid isolation, it’s nice to spend the evenings with like-minded travellers. Special experiences include al fresco private dining under the skies or in the midst of nature. This can be arranged on special occasions if you book ahead.

Experiences

Several guests are intrigued with the North Indian style of cooking. Soulitude offers classes that will make you a pro at ‘dhaba style food’, especially the cutting chai.

Child friendly nature activities include getting knee deep in mud and dirt that may award more valuable lessons than classrooms. The kids can be left under the supervision of experts who can help them learn about gardening. Indoor activities include board games, a library and a TV when you don’t want to hit the outdoors. A horticulture walk around the property opens up the eyes to a number of fruiting trees. The in-house naturalist can dole out all information about these and fill you in with ample anecdotes about the village.

Gagar is a great springboard to local hikes and nature trails. You can explore the nearby Chanfi and Bametha villages, leg it to a mystical lake, dip your feet in clear spring water and stretch your neck at pine trees piercing the skies. Birding enthusiasts will find hundreds of species in and around the property. Be armed with a guidebook, binoculars and ample enthusiasm to wake up early. A day trip to Manish and Ratna’s other property, Soulitude by the Riverside can be made from here, or you can hop over for a couple of nights there.

Kumaon has a number of vibrant local festivals lined up in the year. The property can arrange for guests to experience these at close quarters. Soulitude is a short drive away from the lake towns of Kumaon – Nainital, Sattal, Naukuchiatal and Bhimtal. The Gods and Goddesses of Kumaon certainly had an affinity to hilltops. Six different shrines can be hiked up to around the property. You can hit the Raj Bhawan Golf Course in Nainital or the Upat Golf Course in Ranikhet. The prime motive for signing up for a holiday here should be to reconnect with nature, sync up with the thrum of nature – be it birdsong, the gurgle of rivers or the swishing cool breeze around.

Perfect For families, couples & solo travellers to pull the breaks on city life. 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

Nature’s playground is at your footsteps in Soulitude. The place urges no screen time naturally, as easy hikes, gardening and birdwatching take over the day. There are ample nooks and corners in the property to curl up with a book.

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.
Structures built without disturbing existing trees and rocks.
Use of upcycled materials and furniture.
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

Get first row seats to the snow-tipped Himalayas, spectacular sunsets and panoramic vistas. Soulitude is ideal for soul searching. Wake up to the view of the mountains! Choose a room with a Himalayan view. Don't resist the hills in winters, the snow-clad property is even more glorious (and sans other travellers).

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. (£)