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The Top Hotels in Shimla, India’s Summer Capital
The summer capital of India during the British Raj, Shimla, has grown from a quaint hill station into a popular tourist destination with an old-world charm. Nowadays, in the summertime local tourists from nearby cities likes Chandigarh and New Delhi drive or take the train to this gorgeous escape that promises cooler weather, unmatched picturesque scenes, and an occasion to savor the beauty of the mountains.
In winter, the same people rush to Shimla to experience snowfall as the town takes on a new and more elegant persona, draped in sheets of white. As the capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla caters to travelers of varied budgets. There are several places to stay here, of which the following few hotels stand out for being admirably magnificent.
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The Top Hotels in Shimla, India’s Summer Capital
Situated at a distance of 15km from the Mall Road, Wildflower Hall is undoubtedly the most luxurious stay in all of Shimla. Placed at a vantage point in the Forest Sanctuary, the hotel guarantees astounding views of the Himalayas while letting guests enjoy a fantastic vacation packed with all modern facilities. The rooms and suites have large windows that overlook the hotel's garden or the valley, comprising of vintage-styled furniture, and feature indulgences such as bathtubs, satellite tv, air conditioning, and 24-hour butler service.
Adding to the extravagance of the hotel are its temperature-controlled indoor and outdoor pools, with the latter having iconic views of the neighboring mountain range.
Nestled amongst the ridges, a short drive from Shimla, in the nearby town of Kufri, Woodays is a family-friendly escape with 16 chalet-like rooms. While from the outside the rooms merge with the spirit of the region, they have a more contemporary decor indoors. Comfortable and fashionable, these abodes come with free WiFi, LCD TVs, and lots of space to move around. Woodays is a favorite with travelers who want to do nothing but take in the gorgeousness of the surroundings while relishing delicious local eats served at their in-house restaurant. For families, there are options to play board games, go yak, horse and bike riding, or experience skiing on the slopes of Kufri for an extra fee.
Staying in Shimla, and that too in a heritage hotel has a romantic allure that is hard to replicate. Clarkes has been in operation since 1898 and continues to welcome guests wanting to enjoy a pleasant sojourn in the heart of the city. Located on the Mall Road, the colonial architecture of the hotel is one of its main draws, as are the rooms that are spacious, but unpretentious in appearance. Don't let the underrated simplicity of the guestrooms discourage you, for all the standard conveniences such as tv, WiFi, and tea/coffee are present in every one of them. Moreover, some rooms come with stunning views of the town that alone are enough to make your holiday memorable.
Staying at Clarkes has the advantage of being in proximity to all the major tourist spots of Shimla. At the same time, it offers an intimate respite for when guests would rather be alone with a loved one and appreciate the freshness of being in the hills.
Shimla British Resort
The Shimla British Resort is all about living in the past. The English and Scottish designed villas, dating back to the 1890s, are a stone throw away from the Mall Road, but it feels like a completely different place altogether. Having recently gained popularity as a Bollywood shooting location, guests may even bump into a celebrity while staying here.
The rooms at the resort are a reminder of the bygone era with four-poster beds, antique tapestry, and vintage furniture. However, most modern amenities are in place, making sure every visit is as convenient as possible. A quiet and idyllic retreat, while staying at the Shimla British Resort, guests have the perfect excuse to sit and read from a classic collection of books, have a delicious meal al-fresco style, or cozy up with a glass of wine by the fireplace.
A delightful boutique property that boasts of being the only hotel on the Mall Road with its own parking, for 60 cars, Marina is sophisticated mountain elegance. The cedar and pine trees around the hotel give it a glamorous appeal, whereas its position on the Mall makes it perfect for those wanting to explore more of Shimla's touristy destinations. The 48 rooms in Marina all come with heating and air-conditioning, valley views, rain showers, and 24-hour room service.
Residents at the Marina have the option to dine at their Hill's Edge restaurant, grab a drink at Sixteen 69 lounge bar, or eat a tasty snack on the terrace. With a wellness center in-house, there's no aspect of a perfect holiday that the Marina doesn't include in its package.
The Oberoi Cecil
A century-old residence, the imposing lobby of the Oberoi Cecil, is enough to announce, with elan, that this is no ordinary hotel. A Heritage Grand Hotel, Cecil is an integral part of Shimla's history and continues to impress visitors to date with its colonial architecture and impeccable service. Valley and Mall views, standard conveniences, butler service, wooden flooring, and plush furniture are common throughout all the rooms.
The luxury suites, though, come with extra space to lounge, a pillow menu, twin-basins, and a shower cubicle in addition to a bathtub. The in-house restaurant at the Cecil has a lavish aura to it, having being once a ballroom, and carries a dress code that includes men having to wear full-length pants, and no open-toed shoes.
The ever-growing popularity of Shimla means that that often you might need to book a hotel months in advance for peak season. However, the ideal time to explore and appreciate this scenic town is during winter or early summer, when the crowds are less, the prices low, and the views as majestic as ever.