Once the summer capital of British India, Shimla is known as the Queen of Hills. The serpentine roads with pine trees on both sides and a majestic view of the Himalayas takes away one’s breath at first sight. No wonder the old Rajas and as well as British viceroys chose it as their summer haunt. Since then, whether summer, monsoon or winter, Shimla has tourists all the year-round. The place has a lot to offer, especially for those who want to indulge in luxury. Here are five heritage hotels in and around the hill station which are the perfect examples of luxurious places to stay in Shimla.
Former residence of Raja Rana of Jubbal, Woodville is the only Palace heritage hotel in Shimla town. Each room has its own individual character decorated with furniture and artefacts belonging to the 1930s, giving it a very vintage feel. Some personal artefacts of the Jubbal Royal Family are still around. The Imperial Banquet Hall provides a very royal feel and the Hollywood Bar gives off a star-struck effect. But for those who want a quiet dinner while soaking in all that nature has to offer, they can gladly head over to the Garden Café. Woodville Palace is perfect for those looking for a luxurious stay during their trip to Shimla.
Wildflower Hall used to be a famous and coveted escape for the British Viceroys and top-ranking British officials. It passed into the hands of the Indian Government in 1993 after which it was transformed into a heritage hotel in Shimla. The Wildflower Hall is notable for its colonial architecture. Being situated in a breath-taking location, this place looks like a fairy-tale come to life. The kitchen offers Pan-Indian with local Himachali cuisine as well as Asian and Continental cuisine. The Lutyens restaurant and The Cavalry Bar of this heritage hotel in Shimla gives off the feeling of dining with the Raj, making it one of the perfect places to stay in Shimla.
Constructed way back in 1835, Chapslee was the former summer residence of late Raja Charanjit Singh of Kapurthala. Kanwar Ratanjit Singh or Reggie, as he is lovingly known, opened Chapslee to guests from 1976 and still resides there with the rest of his family. It houses a library, card room, tennis court and croquet lawn where one can indulge in the royal feel. It has Luxury Suite, Deluxe Suite and regular Suites for a comfortable and luxurious stay together with traditional Royal Indian cuisine and Anglo-Indian cuisine of the British Raj, characteristics of those times. For those hoping to meet royals, this heritage hotel is one of the perfect places to stay in Shimla.
One of the most picturesque places to stay in Shimla, Oberoi Cecil dates back to the era of British rule. It was a popular destination for the aristocratic British which held extraordinary ballroom dances for the chic clientele. Reeking of colonial charm, the hotel still preserves its authentic architecture. However, the place also has several modern facilities like spa, swimming pool, fitness centre and other conveniences. This heritage hotel offers everything modern with a touch of the old world charm.
Overlooking the Kullu valley and constructed in medieval stone and wood, the heritage hotel Naggar Castle boasts of an authentic western Himalayan architecture. The medieval castle was the home of Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu in 1460 AD. The castle has an art gallery exhibiting paintings of the Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. With a tranquil ambience and picturesque view, the castle has 17 variants of rooms for stay- His Highness Suite, Royal Suite, and Bangarh Fort Suite to name a few.