Once the summer capital of the British empire in India, the quaint town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh is commonly referred to as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’. Straight out of a fairy tale with lush hilly areas and mountainsides, plantations verdant with pine, rhododendron and deodar, winding roads and wooden houses with smoke pluming out of chimneys, Shimla is a prime holiday destination for getaway seekers.
It has you covered – for history buffs, it showcases some of the best examples of European architecture in India. Art and culture enthusiasts can look forward to learning all about a long history of local handicrafts and wooden craftsmanship. For couples and adventure junkies, Shimla offers activities ranging from trekking and river rafting to rock climbing, paragliding, among others. It’s probably less commonly known that the the culinary scene here is a paradise for romantics and foodies!
(Also read: Top Honeymoon Destinations in Himachal Pradesh)
Shimla also has a wide variety of accommodation to choose from – from low budget hostels and cozy boutique properties and hotels, serviced apartments to luxurious hotels with great amenities.
Here is a definitive list of the best places to stay in Shimla – all in close proximity to the best attractions of Shimla – for the perfect family trip:
Best Places to Stay in Shimla:
Snow Valley Resorts
One of the biggest centrally air conditioned hotels in Shimla is Snow Valley Resorts, located on NH-22 at Ghora Chowki. Nestled within a dense green pinewood forest, Snow Valley resort is a luxurious yet affordable option for staying in Shimla. Its plush decor and designs inspired by the local Himachali culture, wooden floors and magnificent views make it a favourite for many a traveller. Snow Valley resorts provide all the modern and stylish amenities that you would look for in a hotel, including a central air conditioning system that provides heating as well, power backup, running hot and cold water, elevators, magnetic keys for all the rooms and an excellent multi-cuisine restaurant within the premises.
Where: Ghora Chowki (Near Kachi Ghatti), NH- 22 , Shimla
How much: Variable tariff starting from Rs. 5300/-. More info here.
Located on the highest peak in Shimla, Hotel Fairmount boasts a beautiful building that opens up the the nature around it, housing a selection of rooms and suites from the standard deluxe to the Club room, each with its own charm and ambience. All the rooms in the hotel have wooden floors and wide windows that allow the fresh mountain air to please your senses. Add to that all the modern amenities you would wish for including free wifi, hot and cold showers and TVs with cable connection. The extremely friendly and helpful staff at Fairmount will be happy to oblige all your requests.
Where: Earls Field Estate, Shimla
How much: Deluxe Rooms starting from Rs. 2600/-
This boutique hotel holds a special charm amongst Shimla’s lodging and boarding facilities owing to its long and interesting history. The hotel property is more than a hundred years old, and served as a prestigious hotel during the British regime, complete with 40 lavish rooms, a fine dining restaurant and a billiards room. Today, this unique history of the premises is preserved in its architecture and ambience, with a contemporary twist. Hotel Marina promises you the best service and access to all amenities including wifi, currency exchange, gym, wellness center among others. Its tasteful interior designs and attention to detail will surely win you over.
Where: Mall Road, Shimla
How Much: Deluxe Rooms starting from Rs. 6480/-
Agyaat Vaas – literally translating to Anonymous Abode – started out as a campsite for schoolkids wanting to explore nature. Soon, the site grew into a full fledged (and heavenly!) resort that caters to a niche clientele – those who wish to disappear within nature for some time. Agyaat Vaas is located on top of the second highest point in the Shimla district, the Hatu Peak. At 10,000 feet above sea level and in the middle of nowhere, Agyaat Vaas accomplishes the feat of making you feel absolutely safe and comfortable. Their delightful cottages, with a choice of rooms with attics, wooden floors and stunning views of the nearby valleys make Agyaat Vaas a unique experience in Shimla.
Where: Near Hatu Peak, P.O. Ratnari, Tehsil Kotkhai, Distt. Shimla
How Much: Prices variable
Hotel Willow Bank
Hotel Willow Bank is built on a heritage and landmark estate that was originally owned by James Caddock Jr. – often known as the architect and builder of Shimla. This sprawling mansion located at the center of the town contains tastefully designed and spacious rooms with all modern comforts included. The hotel contains two in-house eateries – Cafe Simla Times and Eighteen 71 Cookhouse and Bar – each known for its unique and eclectic menus and service. There is also the Akasa Spa for those in need of rejuvenation. All in all, Hotel Willow Bank is a perfect home away from home if you are looking for an elegant and leisurely stay in Shimla.
Where: Mall Road, Shimla
How Much: Deluxe room starting from Rs. 5500/-
Radisson Jass Shimla
The iconic Radisson chain of hotels have made their mark in the mountains with Radisson Jass Shimla. Conveniently situated near the landmark sites of Shimla like the Viceregal Lodge, Jakhu Temple and Christ Church, Radisson Jass Shimla offers an opulent himalayan experience. The in-house restaurant in the hotel is Cafe Valley Vue, which serves succulent Indian and continental meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The selection of rooms and suites at the Radisson come with the latest amenities and an excellent and helpful staff. Do not miss the Dead Sea mineral therapy at the in-house spa and the multi-tiered swimming pool that overlooks the Himalayas.
Where: Goodwood Estate, Lower Bharari Rd, Shimla
How Much: Lowest average nightly rate: Rs. 8499/-
Shimla was the summer capital of the British Raj, and the premises in which Oberoi Cecil is housed today was the most exclusive hotel during the time, complete with fine dining and a ballroom. 130 years later today, the Oberoi group of hotels has striven to restore the legendary grandeur of the space. The sprawling facade of the Oberoi Cecil invites you into its lobby complete with marble fireplaces that connects to the hotel’s signature atrium. Everything here is bespoke and tastefully designed – a testament to the history and heritage of the building. There is a wide variety of rooms and suites to choose from, and among the amenities there is the beautiful indoor swimming pool, the in-house spa, gymnasium, restaurant, lounge and bar. The staff at the Oberoi Cecil comprises of highly trained professionals that leave no stone unturned to give you the most luxurious stay at the hotel.
Where: Mall Road, Shimla
How Much: Deluxe Room starting from Rs. 9000/-
Hotel Woodville Palace
Ever wanted to experience living in the palace of a king? A trip to Shimla might just grant you the opportunity. The former summer residence of the Raja Rana of Jubbal, the pre-independence kingdom of Simla Hill State has been converted into Hotel Woodville Palace, and it is every bit as fascinating as you would imagine. Entering the Hotel Woodville Palace is like entering a time machine that takes you back into a regal era. The interiors are replete with royal paraphernalia and photographs of kings, statesmen and dignitaries. Each room in the hotel has an individual character, with bespoke craftsmanship inspired by the Art Deco style. The sprawling green gardens around the palatial building are perfect for an early morning stroll. There are 27 rooms to choose from at Hotel Woodville, apart from the signature Royal Suite, which used to be the personal chambers of the King.
Where: Raj Bhawan Road, Shimla
How Much: Deluxe rooms start at Rs. 5700/-
Sorting out the best accommodation for you is perhaps a very important part of making your holiday in Shimla a resounding success. Start planning your vacation for the most unforgettable memories! The places mentioned are sure to live up to your expectations, and more!
For assistance with a tailor-made Shimla itinerary, get in touch with TripFactory!
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