gINKgo I RARE Newsletter | Vol 41 | An August Community: Boutique Hotels by RARE India | August - 2021

AUGUST, 2021
You will never leave a RARE hotel the way you checked-in!

Even if the creator or designer is the same, no two boutique hotels are similar. A virtual canvas of ideas, creativity and design of its visionary owner. RARE hotels are often envisaged around the destination, it’s heritage and natural beauty, people around and of its history – all of it making for great stories visually and narrated best by the owners.

And that one ‘RARE’ component that binds the RARE community together is the intent to create spaces that are environmentally and culturally sensitive, making them lingering transformative experiences.
Stok Palace Heritage Hotel, by HH Jigmed Namgyal, UT Ladakh
A genuine challenge is to contain 'The Ladakh Experience' in a short yet all-encompassing encounter. At Stok Palace, be prepared to be deeply stoked, gladly convinced and proclaim that this was the richest summary of the magic of Ladakh. High altitude heritage built in the 1830s, Stok Palace is beautifully preserved, stately on the outside and mysterious inside – its shaded corridors and courtyards leading you into startlingly colourful spaces, inheritance and timeless heritage. At Stok Palace, be a part of the living culture with access to the private quarters of the family and interaction with the current king HH Jigmed Namgyal – a mine of information on Ladakh’s history, culture, heritage and the art of photography.

To stay in an actual royal residence is the biggest charm of Stok Palace Heritage Hotel. Guests staying here also have privileged access to the Museum and the Lhakchung Temple – part of the Palaces’ living heritage that offers an intimate insight into the cultural history of Ladakh. Read more...

Book Now for INR 12,500++*
Nadis Hotel by Yaser Shaw, Srinagar, J&K
Nadis is unusual, youthful and traditional all at once. Its design talks to you, everything from the warm welcoming lounge to the sparce cosy rooms reflecting Yaser’s style and his understanding of light and colour. He is a photographer you see, whose black and white images adorn the walls and stair wells of the hotel.

The simple façade of Nadis conceals pipes that collect rain water and snow melt while composting and growing some organic produce for the kitchen has been underway. Slightly set away and close to Dachigam National Park, to reach Nadis, you have to traverse the city of Srinagar, a large portion of the drive along the Dal Lake – silent and bustling depending upon the time of the year but always with colourful house boats lined up along the edges just like you have seen in hundreds of pictures before you finally get to Harwan Gardens. And then the magic of Yaser’s hospitality at Nadis begins! Read more...

Book Now for INR 7,200++*
Soulitude in the Himalayas & Solitude by the Riverside
by Manish & Ratna,
Kumaon, UK
Soulitude in the Himalayas was built by Manish and Ratna as their personal hideaway, whenever the urge to leave breathless lifestyle of Delhi took over. Very soon Soulitude by the Riverside was conceptualised, both designed as places where friends and family could reconnect and reboot. Soulitude is run with the perfect blend of professionalism and at-homeness, that makes one want to stay just a little longer; and is a mindful representation of the true vibe of Kumaon without dilution.

The Soulitude bubble (the two RARE hotels can be combined together for one swell week-ation) is recommended for those who want to start on a journey of self-discovery. Call it a spot to take off on a spiritual journey, write that book that has waited too long in your head or just 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, while Chanfi is where nature flits around you on wings or flows close to you. Visiting local villages, discovering temple trails and museums can fill your days easily, alternately you can just lounge with your favourite book in hand and enjoy the Himalayan views or the song of the River. Read more...

Book Now for INR 14,100++*
Premkunj by Bhupendra Singh, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Premkunj sits amidst the Aravallis and the overall ambiance of the hotel is a visual treat. Turning his dream of a homestay into a reality, Bhupendra Singh Chundawat spent two years bringing his vision to life. An avid traveller and exposed to some of the best hotels in the country, his attention to detail is evident in Premkunj’s architecture and design, the hand-picked art and artefacts. Beyond the design and hardware it is Bhupendra’s genuine hospitality which ensures that travellers love to discover this home – a warm haven of generosity. Spacious rooms, warm colours, wide picture windows, sit-outs and collections that adorn corners and crevices add a character and are visual anecdotes from his travels. Read more...

Book Now for INR 11,500++*
The Sarai at Toria, by Raghu & Joanna, Panna-Khajuraho, MP
When Raghu and Joanna designed The Sarai at Toria, it was not just a homestay. Extra effort including R&D to keep The Sarai at Toria environmentally and culturally appropriate. This shines through in the style of the interiors, the use of building materials, solar dependency and architectural design.

Sarai at Toria is a small experiential lodge built with a great balance of detail, design and ecological perspective where the cottages seem to merge naturally with the forest cover behind and the high grass in front. The beautifully designed mud cottages are fashioned on local village houses with the aim to inspire villagers to see the beauty and advantages of local architecture. Set in 11 acres of stunning land features, Sarai offers many dining choices like breakfast by the river, lunch under the spreading Ficus tree and dinner by candlelight under a star-lit sky. The open stone, wood and tile-canopied pavilion overlooking the river doubles as a lounge and dining space. Affording different views with strategically placed hammocks, day beds and benches, nature lovers here will find plenty to do including visiting iconic sites like Kalinjar, Ajaygarh and Kahjuraho. Read more...

Book Now for INR 22,500++*
The Chapslee Experience, Shimla, HP
If you are looking at ‘renovated’ heritage you are likely to be disappointed. However, if you love a sense of the old, instinctively run your palms over fabric, wood, paper; your eyes pick on designs on chintz, sliver, crystal and you can’t get enough of the ingenuity of human thought and fervour, Chapslee is for you. The Chapslee suites – all five of them, are of various sizes and design, yet warm and spacious where daylight streams in gently, and, it’s not such a bad thing here. Low light has preserved the priceless artefacts and tapestries. Little wonder, time stands still as you move from your suite to the gallery or walk up the stairs; in awe each time as you look at the rugs and chandeliers from above or as you run your fingers over the silken smooth mahogany banister. Mrs. Protima Singh, the wife of Late Kr. Ratanjit Singh is the keeper of Heritage and enchants you with anecdotes about her life at Chapslee - an era lost in time. Read more...

Book Now for INR 19,500++*
Vanghat by Sumantha Ghosh, Corbett Tiger Reserve, UK
Forest exile anyone? Sumantha built Vanghat with an innate understanding of wildlife conservation and how he can influence travellers to explore and understand its benefits. He saw the potential around the Ramganga for a prime fishing destination along with space for conserving eco-tourism and the philosophy of giving back to the wild. Vanghat veers away from conventional tiger tourism in the land and serves as a hospitable and a genuine avenue to disconnect from the familiar and find oneself among the forests of Uttarakhand.

Vanghat, built on a simple model, to be a sustainable lodge and to give back to the land of its conception, is situated on the banks of the Ramganga River. Accessible only by a raft or 4x4 vehicle, Vanghat is an isolated getaway into the wild inviting true lovers of the wild to spaces designed to be minimalistic, comfortable and natural. Community-based conservation and tourism-based conservation are among Vanghat’s tenets, and this reflects in everything both inside and around the lodge. Read more...

Book Now for INR 23,010 - INR 29,500++*
Karan Mahal by Vikramaditya and Chitrangadha, Srinagar, J&K
Karan Mahal’s location at Srinagar’s select address claims exclusivity as Srinagar’s first boutique hotel designed by Vikramaditya and Chitrangadha. A stand-alone seven suites, owner run luxury boutique hotel, Karan Mahal is perfect in design and curation that lends itself to the richness of Srinagar’s natural beauty and heritage.

Karan Mahal is set on the erstwhile estate of the royal family of Jammu and Kashmir, a charming European-style villa on a slight hill overlooking the Dal Lake surrounded by private orchards of peach and almonds. Built in the early 20th century, Karan Mahal served as the residence of Dr Karan Singh, and has since welcomed historical figures such as Edwina Mountbatten, Pandit Nehru, Nikita Khrushchev, Rajendra Prasad, Indira Gandhi and Joseph Campbell. Read more...

Book Now for INR 25,000++*
* Offers are current and pandemic driven for Indian Travellers only.
For all special offers, itinerary curation and a seamless booking experience connect at
+919810265781 / +917814955020 /
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A Collection of the finest ‘conscious luxury’ hotels