Those who love traveling do not allow the cold and harsh winter weather to stop their travel plans. Winters in India are a great time to travel across the country, even those chilly hill stations. Whether it is the snowy slopes in Gulmarg, Kashmir or a peaceful time in the beautiful mountain ranges of Darjeeling in the northeast, Indian hill stations can be visited at any time of the year. However, they are especially beautiful and charming during the winter season.
To make the best of it and also if you do not mind spending a little more, check in at one of these luxurious winter resorts, which will make your stay even more relaxing and wonderful. These resorts offer the best of luxury, comfort and scenery and are surrounded by immense beauty. From a gorgeous hilltop property to a palace converted into a hotel, here are some of the best and luxurious winter resorts in India:
The Most Famous Hill Resorts in India
Surrounded by fruit orchards, green meadows and snow-capped mountains, here are some of the most beautiful and luxurious winter resorts in the country:
The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa in Gulmarg
Built according to the European Alpine ski resorts, the Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa in Gulmarg is one of the most sumptuous and spectacular resorts in India. Surrounded by green meadows, lush forests and locally sourced pine, this 85-room resort has all the appurtenances, which you would find in any world-class resort.
Each room over here is decadently furnished and decorated in a true Kashmiri style with a fantastic view of Mount Affarwat or the picturesque valley. Adorned with beautiful Kahsmir woven carpets, teakwood floors, carved walnut paneling, antique mats and a surplus of crewel embroidery, the experience of staying here will definitely be worth every penny.
Besides gorgeously decorated indoors, the resort also offers some great facilities including a top-notch spa, cigar lounge, multi-cuisine restaurant, heated swimming pool, amphitheater, children’s club, ski shop and other retail outlets. Moreover, the world’s highest ski lift – Gulmarg Gondola is just a short walk away from the resort.
JW Marriott Walnut Grove Resort & Spa in Mussoorie
With an incomparable staying experience and world-class facilities, JW Marriott Walnut Grove Resort & Spa in Mussoorie promises the best of luxury and rejuvenation to its guests. Surrounded by immense natural beauty, the resort is home to 115 rooms and suits, each fabulously furnished with flat screen televisions, spacious bathrooms, high speed internet and a private balcony.
Nestled in the Himalayas, the resort also houses a top notch spa center – Cedar Spa by L’Occitane and Mussoorie’s biggest entertainment center called The Den. Perfect for vacation with family and friends, The Den has entertainment options (bowling alleys, gaming consoles, billiards rooms, etc) that will keep even the kids busy. Moreover, with a space of over 4000 square feet, the resort is an ideal place for huge weddings, off site meetings and large social gatherings.
Finally, with a great location, this luxurious resort will ensure that you have a pleasant stay and are able to fully appreciate the surrounding natural beauty.
Ananda in the Himalayas near Haridwar and Rishikesh
Located at the foothills of the great Himalayas, near the mythological cities of Rishikesh and Haridwar, Ananda in the Himalayas is India’s first and finest spa destination. It is not just a retreat that will leave you with unforgettable memories but is also known for redefining lifestyles using traditional regimes of Yoga, Vedanta and Ayurveda.
Surrounded by beautiful Sal trees and overlooking the mighty River Ganga, each room over here offers spectacular views and are fully equipped with modern facilities including flat-screen televisions, comfortable seating area and a spacious bathroom. It is known for its several relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatments and wellness programs such as stress management, weight loss, Ayurvedic rejuvenation and detox. They also offer meditation sessions and various classes for Satyananda Yoga, reflexology, reiki and healing therapies using crystals. Moreover, guests can also enjoy delicious local and international cuisine at the hotels’ in-house restaurant and refreshing beverages by the poolside bar.
Spread over an area of 24,000 square feet, Ananda in the Himalayas is the ultimate spiritual guide to discovery of mind, body and soul. It is perfect for a short vacation with family and friends.
Savoy Hotel in Ooty
Spread over an area of six acres, Savoy Hotel is one of the finest and the most beautiful hotels in the popular hill station of Ooty. With spectacular landscaped gardens, Savoy Hotel offers forty 19th century colonial style cottages and suites that were built between the period of 1834 and 1865. Each cottage is extravagantly decorated with huge bathrooms, bay windows and log fires and is surrounded by colorful flower beds, which adds to their old English charm.
The hotel is also home to an English-style bar, tea lounge and a dining room as well as a fitness center and a superlative Ayurvedic spa. It is known for its hospitable staff and other facilities including jungle safaris, fishing, trekking, golf and bird watching. Savoy Hotel is surely a paradise that offers a quiet retreat, away from the hustle bustle of city life.
Vivanta by Taj in Madikeri in Coorg
This winter, explore Coorg in a completely new way. Stay right in the middle of a 180 acre rainforest and lose yourself in an expansive space, located at a height of 4000 feet on a vibrant hill. With 63 cottages, rooms, villas and suits, the resort is built in a style that makes luxury and nature co-exist.
Moreover, if you are willing to shell a little more money out of your pocket, ask for the 9000 square feet Presidential Nirvana Suite, with a private swimming pool, separate Jacuzzi and a central courtyard, which will definitely upscale your vacation.
Surrounded by immense greenery that compliments the rainforest, Vivanta by Taj in Madikeri offers various world-class facilities and activities, to ensure that every guest is entertained at all times. You can either relax and rejuvenate at the 30,000 square feet Jiva Spa or try your hand at the golf course.
Other forms of excitement at Vivanta by Taj include visits to the strawberry farm, natural spring, Buddha garden and various exhilarating activities such as bird watching, pottery making, zip line, slush sports and high rope courses. Do not forget to try the delicious cuisine at one of their restaurants, lounge bar or the poolside grill. Vivanta by Taj will definitely delight you with its little surprises and wonderful views of the landscape.
Wildflower Hall in Shimla
Shimla has always been a popular summer tourist destination in India, but it is exceptionally beautiful during winters. Winter months in Shimla can be very exciting, which can be made even more fun by staying in the middle of 23 acres of cedar and pine woods. Situated at an altitude of 8000 feet, Wildflower Hall Shimla, once home to Lord Kitchener, is one of the most luxurious winter hotels in Himachal Pradesh.
With beautiful teak wood floors, wood paneling, rich furnishings and hand-knotted rugs, Wildflower Hall in Shimla re-establishes the magnificent style of the colonial period. Each room over here offers splendid views of the mountains or the beautifully landscaped gardens.
The hotel is known for its wonderful heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools along with an outstanding spa and fitness area. Tourists who love adventure sports can try their hand at river rafting, trekking and mountain bicycling. Guests can even enjoy delicious Pan-Asian and European food at the in-house restaurant of the hotel, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains with an open-air terrace seating.
Glenburn Tea Estate and Boutique Hotel in Darjeeling
Glenburn is a lovely little plantation, located just a few kilometers from Darjeeling, on the banks of River Rungeet, overlooked by the grand Kanchenjunga mountain range. Winter in Glenburn is the most beautiful time to visit this place. Contrary to the popular belief, it is not too cold during winters over here and the hotel provides many facilities to ensure no guest feels cold.
Glenburn Tea Estate and Boutique Hotel is a part of an extraordinary tea estate, which dates back to the 19th century. It is a cluster of opulent cottages that offer the tourists a great vacation. Moreover, each suite of the Water Lily Bungalow provides a spectacular view of the mountains. Although, there is not much tea picking during winter months over here, there are still several activities going on such as pruning.
However, if all the action inside the resort is not enough, guests can enjoy other activities such as hiking, fishing and day trips to Darjeeling town. Winter season is one of the best seasons to visit this place, when the guests can even get clear views of the majestic Kanchenjunga Mountains.
Span Resort & Spa in Manali
Located on the banks of River Beas, Span Resort and Spa in Manali is the perfect place for a vacation if you want to get away from the hustle bustle of city life. Spread over 10 acres, the resort is beautifully decorated in lush gardens, woodland and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. It has also been featured in several hit Bollywood movies and therefore, has had the opportunity to serve a number of Bollywood celebrities.
With many fruit orchards blooming amidst the verdant background of pine and deodar trees, the resort has become very popular among both leisure travelers and honeymooners. Span Resort & Spa also offers some great facilities to its guests including a top notch spa by L’occitane, world-class health club, 20-meter swimming pool and Span Air that allows guests to charter airplanes.
Moreover, for adventure enthusiasts, the hotel offers various activities including trekking, river rafting, paragliding, mountain climbing, skiing and snowboarding. An escape from reality, Span Resort and Spa in Manali helps in relaxing the mind and body and rejuvenating the soul.
The Naini Retreat by Leisure Hotels in Nainital
Located on top of the Ayar Patta Hill, Naini Retreat is the former residence of Maharaja of Pilibhit and is currently one of the most luxurious hotels in Nainital. With colonial style architecture that perfectly compliments the surrounding natural setting, this hotel has become one of the most prestigious hotels of Nainital.
Surrounded by lush landscapes, Naini Retreat has state-of-the-art facilities with a very hospital staff and a stunning view of the Himalayas, making it the perfect weekend getaway with your loved ones. The hotel, recently renovated and refurbished, offers its guests an old world charm with modern facilities.
Each room over here is opulently furnished with wooden floors, flat screen televisions and spacious bathrooms that offer warmth, comfort and luxury to its guests. Do ask for the lake facing rooms for a beautiful and an uninterrupted view of the Naini Lake.
Ragamaya Resort and Spa in Munnar
Situated on the lush hill slopes of Munnar, Ragamaya Resort and Spa is another luxurious winter resorts in the country. Due to its location, it has become very popular among both local and international tourists. Surrounded by tranquil nature, the resort is known for its amiable staff and great facilities. The perfect mixture of modern and traditional inspires guests to relax and forget all the troubles.
Since it is located away from the hustle bustle of city life, Ragamaya Resort and Spa is renowned for its Ayurvedic spa center – Spandini that offers various special spa treatments including Greek milk and wine massages. With 18 lake view rooms and 2 villas with private pools, each room is extravagantly decorated with modern amenities.
Moreover, the multi-cuisine restaurant – Sameera offers delicious food with a lake view lounge terrace. Ragamaya Resort and Spa also welcomes adventure enthusiasts and offers a wide range of activities such as trekking, hiking, cycling, fishing, bird watching, canoeing or something relaxing like a stroll through the misty tea plantations of Munnar.
Apart from above, other popular luxurious winter resorts in India include Vyathiri Resort (Wayanad), Woodville Palace (Shimla), Solang Valley Resort (Manali), Kalmatia Sangam Himalaya Resort (Almora), The Serai (Chikmagalur), The Fern Creek (Kodaikanal) and The Oberoi Cecil (Shimla).