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.
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 décor 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 sure more productive than city offices.
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 3 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.
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.
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. 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.
Missing the greens to tee off? 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.
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.
Solitude in the Himalayas is open all year.
An eye on conservation of nature, preserving local culture and providing economic support to the local community is an integral part of Soulitude’s ethos. An enduring human touch with excellent, and sufficiently, unobtrusive hospitality is one of the main reasons for travellers to love this place.
The structures have been designed to sit lightly on the land without disturbing the natural systems. Existing rocks & trees were not disturbed and are aesthetically blended toenhance the interiors and exteriors.The Main House was designed around an old Walnut tree, so that it was not disturbed during the construction, and it now defines the character ofthe property. Several rooms have been adorned with ‘upcycled’ materials & furniture.Soulitude has received “Healthy Building” certification by Syenergy Environics for subtleenergy optimization & radiation management.
Soulitude provides a genuine Farm-to-Table experience for guests with most of what is consumed grown organically, while the rest is sourced from nearby farms and localmarkets – 50% sourced within a 10 km radius and almost 100% sourced within a 40 km radius. The menus are planned around the availability of seasonal produce. Soulitude makes their own juices, jams, pickles, dals, bread andbiscuits that are served to guests and individualised menu choices are offered instead of extensivebuffet spreads, to reduce food wastage.
The staff at Soulitude is local and have had no hospitality experience but have trained on a multi-disciplinary basis. Village Walks that enable interaction with the communityand support local crafts are conducted. The walk traverses agricultural fields where guests can see theorigin of the food that they have consumed, and the processing of wheat into flour by anancient “panchakki” water-mill.
The buildings have been designed for passive cooling & heating. Energy efficient air coolers are installed throughout, avoiding the need for airconditioning. During winters, glass skylights let in the warm sun and the shades trap theheat for the night.Heated mattresses or hot water bottles are encouraged over general space heating.A unique solar hot water system has been developed, with a switching mechanism thatdiverts warm water into the geysers for top-up only during winters and directly into thetaps during summers. An innovative re-circulation system avoids water getting cold in thepipes, thereby eliminating the need to release water until warm water becomes available.Inverters have been used as the primary back-up, and the generators are used only wheninverters have been exhausted and then only to re-charge them – thus reducing noise & airpollution.
Natural springs that are maintained are the source of water at Soulitude. Additionally rain water is harvested for use during scarcity and used in WCs and for gardening. A series of filters that purify water without depleting natural minerals are used instead of RO purification systems that create waste water. Glass bottles and Copper jugs are used as drinking water containers.An industrial dishwasher is used that uses minimal amount of water to generate steam used for cleaning.
Other thoughtful practices adopted include extensive plantation of native species to prevent soil erosion and improvethe water table.Shampoo is provided in a wall dispenser (thereby avoiding single use packaging) along with largetake-away preservative free soaps in natural leaf packaging and Himalayan oils in glassbottles for moisturisation. Linen is changed only upon request, during a guest’s visit. For picnics, biodegradable crockery & cutlery are used and digital pre-check procedures and paperless billing practices adopted reduce paper waste.
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.
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. Soulitude is a mindful representation of the true vibe of Kumaon without any dilution.Feel at home in the Himalayas
1.5hrs from Nainital, this is a small boutique hotel overlooking the Himalayan range. 3 couples along with kids booked this property for New Years. We booked their 3 bedroom cottage along with 1...
It was a much needed break, the experience they provided, brought me from worldly noise to absolute soulitude and synced me with nature. Words will fail to describe the experience and hospitality...
What really excited me first was the whole experience of their website. I think this is by far the best Hotel website I have ever used ...It has everything in place and leaves no doubt about...
Nearest Airport : Pant Nagar
Nearest Railway Station : Kathgodam
Nearest Bus Station : Gagar
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