Longing to Plan a Getaway? 5 Home Stays to Escape to

With the world gradually easing travel restrictions, fellow globe-trotters have not lost a minute mapping out their itineraries to unwind in exotic destinations. Unfortunately, reality cannot escape the unpredictability of rising cases and anxieties regarding international travel just yet. But for those still longing to plan a getaway, there has never been a better time to look inwards. Whether it is the lush tea gardens of the North East, vast beaches dotting the Eastern and Western coasts, or tranquility of the Himalayas - the push for going local has brought India’s beauty and diversity to the forefront, and travelers are taking note.

Here are 5 unique Airbnb’s and home-stays across the country that provide a welcome reprieve from the #throwback holiday posts flooding our social media spaces. All travelers are recommended to check the individual quarantine rules laid out by state government’s before making reservations. Although our battle with COVID-19 is still ongoing, there is no harm seeking refuge in these sanctuaries and enjoying a temporary abscondence from the standard lockdown blues.

1. Sitla Estate (Nainital, Uttarakhand)

A charming 150-year old house with a blend of colonial and contemporary-style rooms, against a backdrop of rolling orchards and hillscapes, Sitla Estate is an architectural delight. Nestled in a little village in the Kumaon region, 7000 feet above sea level, the Estate and its staff welcome guests with unparalleled warmth and hospitality. Intent on creating a home-like ambience, you can find yourself searching through the owner’s carefully curated library or having a chilled beer under a line of apricot trees. A weekend away at the Sitla Estate is accompanied by delicious home- cooked meals, cozy common areas and views of a breathtaking vista of lush greenery and picturesque mountains.

To make a reservation or to know more, click here.

2. Winter Garden (Jaipur, Rajasthan)

The Winter Garden Airbnb in Jaipur is an artistic haven furnished with freshness and elegance. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life - but not isolated from markets and cafes - this 2- bedroom apartment is ideal for a quick escape with your significant other. Dotted with beautiful sculptures and paintings amidst the bright Mediterranean-style interiors, the Winter Garden’s aesthetics are in a class by itself.

To make a reservation or to know more, click here.

3. Firefly Farmhouse (Alibaug, Maharashtra)

After months of being cooped up with close to no semblance of a social life, the Firefly Farmhouse is just the place to land up at with a large group of friends or family. Just a 30-minute drive from Alibaug, the farmhouse is set on a 4 acre hill with views of the Revdanda river and creek from its private infinity pool. With an array of poolside cottages, glass cottages, and a library holding over 300 books - Firefly begs for some much-needed indulgence and fun-filled nights with the right company.

To make a reservation or to know more, click here.

4. Hornbill House (Kullakamby, Tamil Nadu)

Set on the Oland’s organic tea and coffee plantation, the Hornbill House has been recognised in Conde-Nast’s list of top 30 eco-resorts in India. With a large deck overlooking the endless valley, the house is an architectural feat. And if the property is not enough, Hornbill neighbours a gorgeous waterfall, accompanied by hiking trails and quiet spots for bird-watching.

To make a reservation or to know more, click here.

5. Singtom Tea Estate (Darjeeling, West Bengal)

The luxury of living on a tea plantation carries on, but this time it's tucked in the sleepy hills of Darjeeling. A 19th century heritage home fit with four-poster beds and a colonial-style fireplace, Singtom Tea Estate is a blessing for city-dwelling travelers longing for a retirement to quietude.

To make a reservation or to know more, click here.

The threat of COVID-19 looming over travel plans has served as a necessary reminder that one is not required to travel far for a worthwhile holiday. The pandemic might have compelled us to opt for local hideouts, but is a blessing in disguise for revamping the country’s economy and vibrant tourism industry. More importantly, these gorgeous abodes surrounded by canvases of lush greens or striking blues have only accentuated the beauty and diversity of Indian travel and provided a much needed change of scenery.