14 places to stay in Shimla

When we visited Shimla in November, 2016, we did a lot of research to figure out the best stay option for us. We were traveling with our 1.5 years old daughter and a big family. We had a list of constraints and we searched hard for a stay option which would have all that we were looking for. We shot individual mails to these hotels enquiring about the different things that we were looking for and that were not clearly mentioned on their website or the online booking agency website. It was a lengthy and tiresome process. This is what led us to realize that lots of travelers like us must be going through similar process, spending a lot of time trying to find out the best possible stay options for them.

So, this time around, we decided to not only review the place we ended up staying at, but also make a list of the close contenders along with their pros and cons, so that fellow travelers would benefit from it.

Budget places that we considered & would recommend:

Prim Resort, Shimla

Prim Resort Shimla

This is a beautiful bungalow located near the mall road, Shimla.

It is a heritage resort of British times. While, it reminds one of a British Manor in Windsor, UK. Also, it is a heritage resort. And, it’s the erstwhile post office (circa 1893) which has made the transition to a 19 room resort for the discerning. It is adorned with Victorian furniture and several antiques viz. a 100 year old Piano, an even older fireplace, the place is full of memories and memorabilia. And, it’s located quiet near the Mall Road, giving it the advantage of being near mall road and still being a quaint resort.  The resort is a haven of peace away from the buzz of the city while still being at walking distance from it. Finally, a charming forest full of birds and a Golf Course (Annadale) across the premises complete the whole resort setup . We talked to the manager and he was very keen at having us there. Actually, he was providing a very decent discounted package as well, since we were visiting at just the start of tourist season. The in-campus restaurant is renounded to serve delicious food.

Pros:

  1. Nice food options
  2. Lots of options inside with a sprawling living room and outside with a big lawn to leisure and relax
  3. Although close to Mall road, it’s set at an incline and hidden from the hustle and bustle of the town

Cons:

  1. The last few hundred meters stretch to the place is steep and narrow. It would require a skilled driver to drive with confidence on this stretch
  2. If one would want to walk all the way from Mall road, it would be little tiring because of the steep incline.

Reason we didn’t end up here:

We had a toddler and parents with us. We also had two big vehicles that we had hired right from Chandigarh. We didn’t feel confident enough to take a ride down the steep slope to the hotel. Also, walking on the steep hills was not an option for our parents. Although, the hotel was ready to send across it’s own vehicles for pickup from Mall road , or, it’s own skilled drivers in case someone with a personal vehicle didn’t feel confident enough to drive. But, still we thought not to go for these options this time. In case we happen to visit again, we would love to consider staying here.

Hotel Kapil

A small property with around 15 rooms right on the heart of the mall room. This turned out to be a good budget option if one were looking to stay right amidst the town and at minutes distance from the mall road. However, it didn’t meet many criteria which we were looking for, so, we had to drop off the option.

Pros:

  1. Budget property
  2. Situated in the heart of mall road
  3. Arranges for site seeing

Cons:

  1. Lack of many on – premise facilities like they have only partial power backup, no laundry, recreational room or lawn
  2. Car parking was not available on the premises
  3. No lifts facility
  4. The only way to access this hotel from mall road was the government installed public lifts.

Reason we didn’t end up here:

For our parents, a lift was a must to access the upper floors as they have knee problem. For our toddler, we were looking for a little space to engage her, so a lawn or basic minimum recreation was a must. For someone who would love to just stay for the night while roam around Shimla most of the daytime, this hotel can be a good option. But one should be prepared to take the government lift at the mall, which at times has huge queue and long waiting times.

Hotel Springfield’s, Shimla

hotel-springfields shimla

It is an old bungalow converted into a hotel. The rooms are huge, with complete rustic décor, wooden floor, aesthetically decorated roofs, and a fireplace in each room. Most of the rooms here have a generous valley view. The property is located some 15 mins away from mall road, Shimla. Cars are available at the premise to drop the tourists to mall road. Located in a quaint location with all the facilities one looks for in a hotel, lovely corridors, seating area, parlours and breathtaking view of the surroundings make this place an obvious choice.

Pros:

  1. Good hospitality and courteous staff (as per tripadvisor review)
  2. All the amenities one looks for in a hotel
  3. Nice food
  4. Nice view

Cons:

None that we knew of

Reason we didn’t end up here :

We almost ended up booking here but there was a last minute addition in our group, when a friend joined us and unfortunately there were no more rooms available here. We would love to stay here next time.

Toshila Royal View Shimla

Toshila Royal View 1

Toshali Royal View

This is a beautiful resort, located little far from the mall road. It is actually located on the fringe of the triangle where the roads from Shimla, Chail and Kufri merge. To be precise, it is located on the Chail-Kufri road. The resort is located amidst dense pine forests. Every room is provided with a private balcony that opens towards the magestic view of Himalayas. The resort has all the basic amenities that one looks for : 77 well furnished rooms, multi-cuisine restaurant, a well-stocked bar, health club, sauna, steam, gym, Jacuzzi, indoor games and a sophisticated conference hall overlooking the pine valley with modern conference equipment

Pros:

  1. Very nice location
  2. Well appointed with all basic amenities
  3. Car parking and driver’s dormitory are also available

Cons:

None that we knew of

Reason we didn’t end up here :

We were prefering a location nearer to the mail town of Shimla compared to where this resort was. In future, we would definitely love to stay here. If one plans to book a stay here, it would be a good idea to deal directly with the hotel management, cutting off any third parties involved. That would definitely land a better deal.

United 21 Resort Chail

Located almost 4km from the Chail palace, in an absolute tranquil place with great valley views, right in the lap of nature is United 21 Resort Chail. Tripadvisor reviews are quiet strong. Looked like a promising stay option if one were willing to stay here for the tranquil experience of a hill station, away from the hustle and bustle of the town.

Pros:

  1. Mesmerizing view of the natural surrounding
  2. Nice food and courteous staff

Cons:

None that we could make out

Reason we didn’t end up here :

We were going to a cold weather/ hill station for the first time with our toddler . So, we were not very sure how she would take it. We didn’t want to stay too far off the reach of the main town in case she needed anything at odd hours. We would like to experience a stay at this place some time in future. We would love to make a trip to Chail for the tranquil experience it has to offer and this hotel would be one of our top choices there.

Village Live in Resort Chail

LiveInResort Chail

Centrally located in Chail. Close to Kali Mandir, Palace, and most of the other attractions of Chail. As per the inputs of fellow travellers who have been here , the place has particularly mesmerizing views of sunset. It is located amidst serene surroundings of Chail, at a nice peaceful location with beautiful panoramic views of the hills and valleys.

Pros:

  1. Nice and courteous staff, good food
  2. Very nice location in Chail

Cons:

None that we could make out

Reason we didn’t end up here :

Same as the previous one, Chail was a little offbeat and this being our first trip with the toddler, we were seeing how she adjusts to the hills and the change of climate. So, we wanted to stay a little nearer to the main town of Shimla. But we would now love to stay here in future whenever we would go stay in Chail since it looks like one of the best options in Chail.

High to Premium budget places that we would have loved to stay at

There were some premium budget places that we would have very much loved to stay at, but we didn’t want to take it this high on our pockets. However, if you want to go for one, here’s the list for you:

Hotel Grand Sunset, Chail

Located almost the entrance to Chail, this hotel provides a very attractive view of the valleys surrounded by the hills, and ofcourse the sunsets right behind the hills. All the rooms have full glass windows that have view of the valley. The rooms are well appointed with all the modern facilities.

GrandSunset Shimla

Kufri Holiday Resort, Shimla

As the name suggests, this resort is located in Kufri, which is at a higher altitude than Shimla, less populated and surrounded with dense pine plantations, very near to the reserve forest sanctuary. Perfect location, high standard stay, not so high prices!

kufri-holiday-resort shimla

Koti Resorts, Shimla

Koti resort is located on a hill top, about 6600ft above sea level. It is surrounded with deodar forests and apple orchards. It is located between Mashobra and Naldera Golf Course , almost 30 minutes from Shimla. It has 54 elegant rooms to choose from.

Koti Resort Shimla 3

Maple Resort, Chail

This is yet another resort located amidst the deodar trees, appple orchards and wild flower beds. This resort has a kids club in house, with several recreational facilities for kids like chess, carrom, badminton, cricket etc. The playgrounds have swings and there is an in-built waterfall in the premise.

Maple resort Shimla

Torrentium Lodge, Shimla

It is a drive – in heritage property in the heart of Shimla. The property is more than 100 years old. It’s in house restaurant, Moti Mahal, is operational since 1920. The property is situated at 10 minutes drive from Shimla bus stand and is at 15 minutes walk from mall road.

Torrentium-Lodge-1

Torrentium-Lodge-2

Flag House Resort, Shimla

flag-house-resort

It is a luxury resort located in the hills of Shimla. It is strategically located 18km from Shimla, 18km from Chail and 28 km from Kufri. It has various categories of luxurious rooms.The superior rooms and cottages have private balconies with panoramic view of the valley and mountains.

Snow Valley Resort, Shimla

A centrally air conditioned hotel with 72 rooms, with all modern facilities and surrounded by beautiful views on all sides – that is Snow Valley Resort, Shimla. It is located at 15 mins drive from mall road. It has all the amenities required for a comfortable stay.

Snow Valley Resort Shimla

So, where did we ended up staying ?

We choose a homestay, Little Chili, Shimla. It was located around 5km off the main town. Serene locality, aesthetically done interiors, a property with just 4 rooms, and the warmth of the host won our heart. We could even use their kitchen to cook meals for our daughter. We & our family were the sole occupants of the homestay and it became more like a home away from home !! We discovered a little known gem at the end…

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47 Responses

  1. Great post Neha. You have shortlisted the places well. We usually visit Shimla whenever we visit Chandigarh and are simply in love with this colonial town. Now, Shimla has expanded like anything and accommodation options are available at every corner. We have stayed at two of the places you have mentioned above.

    • Great to know that Suruchi. We did a lot of hunting for the right place since we were traveling in a really big family-group this time. Next time I happen to go to Shimla, I will check with you for some nice accommodation 🙂

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  4. All of these places look like enjoyable stays. I like the pros and cons list and all the useful info about each hotel. This gives us lots of places to choose from in Shimla.

  5. Nice thorough review. I like how you give the pros and cons of each place and explained why you didn’t stay there.

  6. I didn’t realise there were so many child-friendly options there! Thanks for sharing. The Oberoi properties are lovely as well…though, I think the Wildflower doesn’t allow children, but the Oberoi Cecil does.

    • I didn’t know that the windflower doesn’t allow children. Do you know the reason? We travel so much with family in India. If every other hotel were not to allow children, their business would go for a toss 🙂

      • No they don’t, but though I have kids, I must say it’s nice that some properties are adults only. I think in the Wildflower’s case, it’s a bit of a safety concern and also because it’s more of a peaceful/relaxation/wellness getaway.

        • Can understand. However, those with kids (and really small ones like mine) are the ones in most need of peace and relaxation 😀

  7. Good analysis of hotels in Shimla. I like the Maple resort and Snow Valley resort from your description. Hope that whenever I get to go there, I manage a stay here.

    • Do let us know how you found the hotels Ami, when you get to stay there 🙂 We are also thinking to try some out when we happen to visit Shimla the next time

  8. Thanks for the tips ! Always hard to find the best place to stay.
    Thumbs up for the pros and cons part, really useful 🙂

    • Thank you. Hope it will help others zero down on their own place of stay when traveling to Shimla

  9. There are indeed a lot of choices, when it comes to accommodation in Shimla. The range is from the luxury to the budget. You have packed in lots of info on the topic and this should be helpful to travelers traveling there.

    • We intend for the same Sandy N Vyjay . Hope others will benefit from the research that we put in

  10. Thanks for sharing all your research on Hotels in Shimla. Choosing is so hard but your research and expert advice will make it easier. The homestay that you chose sounds like the best option to us too.

  11. traciehowe

    Sounds like you did some extensive research. Well done! I have to say that some of these properties look pretty enticing, so it’s good to have more info to compare.

    • You are right, we had so many criteria at hand that we had to do a lot of research before finalizing on one destination and it was totally worth it.

  12. You have a great eye for properties! Definitely some great options for group traveling. The homestay sounded lovely, will you post photos?

  13. When it comes to choosing accommodation, it is always a thing that consume the most time of mine. Similar to you situation, I have a parents with knee problem and also nephew and niece which are still toddler. Lol. And to find one that fits all what we require may filtered some of the good ones or what we would love to stay. But yeah, there is always next time 🙂

    • Seems we are on the same boat Tracy. But then it is not impossible to find a good one, after the work we put in 🙂

  14. Some of those resorts look beautiful. I have never heard of Shimla but it looks like a beautiful place to visit. I think I would like one of the more remote hotels to stay in with great views 🙂

    • Exactly my thoughts. To be in this kind of place like Shimla means to be away from the hustle and bustle, amidst nature’s calm

  15. I haven’t heard of this place before, if I’m honest… but I’ll definitely have to look up on it. It’s great that you’ve included a pros and cons to each of the accommodation options. Some of the accommodation covered in snow simply looks magical!

    • Shimla is a hill station and the capital town of himachal pradesh, one of the states in north India located in the majestic Himalayan mountain ranges. The place is so magical by all means, and right now, at the time of this writing, it is covered in snow just like that

  16. What a detailed breakdown! Definitely saving this for anytime I visit Shimla. That Snow Valley Resort looks gorgeous, but I think it’s great that you went for a homestay. Sometimes staying with a great host can make all the difference.

    • You are right Christina. It was a wonderful experience. Like a home away from home

  17. This is really useful post for anyone planning a trip to Shimla. What should the average cost be per night in a three star? Also, did you check out the Oberoi… supposed to be really awesome!

    • The Oberoi are no doubt awesome, but they are the luxury category. For an average three star, it can be anywhere between Rs 2000 – 5000 per night depending on the season that you choose to visit in and the hotel location, views around etc. In offseason prices drop a lot

  18. What an interesting, well-structured, and well-written, helpful post. Shimla looks lovely. I love the Himalayas. I trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal in 2012 and I’m going back in October this year. I’ve always wanted to go to India and plan on going there this year after Nepal, time-permitting. I’m not sure where in India we will be off to but I will certainly consider Shimla. Thanks for posting. All the best and good luck with everything.

    Ps nice pictures too

    • Thanks Ramie. Shimla is beautiful and yes there are so many other beautiful destinations to visit in India. So I can totally understand your dilemma. It’s difficult to make a choice

      • I love mountains – but I also like big cities; I’ve always wanted to visit Mumbai – it looks chaotic and crazy and totally overwhelming, my kind of town. Safe travels, Neha…

        • Thanks Ramie. I actually live in such a chaotic, crazy and overwhelming city – Bangalore. So perhaps, I am not able to appreciate it’s chaos. Because I face it on a daily basis. But I like to escape out of it to natural wonders whenever possible

          • ramie1970

            I know what you mean, Neha – living in a big chaotic, bustling city can be frustrating, especially with traffic and pollution and all the other negatives. I lived in Bangkok in 2002 and it was a bit overwhelming at times. I love to visit big cities though, especially Asian cities, but it is good to escape the madness and find some solitude for a few days out in the countryside. Bangalore sounds interesting…

          • Absolutely my thoughts Ramie 🙂 Bangalore is a very interesting city, I love it absolutely apart from the fact that the pollution level has increased and the greenery is reduced. If only the place could get cleaner, there is no other metro like this in India

  19. I’ve never of Shilma but I have to say the accommodation on offer looks great, with lots of different options.

  20. Thanks for the list Neha. Have actually stayed in a couple of the above while growing up – Koti and Kufri. Shimla is in the news right now because of all the snowfall and it reminds me of the time I was there a couple of decades and more back in heavy snowfall. Although there are a lot of luxury options now, good see some not too expensive and good options.

    • Thank you. Actually, I get so tempted every year to head off to Shimla when it snows there. But my problem is that it is so unpredictable when it will snow and with my full time job at hand, I can head there only for a few days. I don’t want to get stuck in the snow but still want to enjoy it. Lets see which year it finally happens

  21. Thank you for sharing such about so many stay options in Shimla. Because of the plethora of hotels there, finding the best is really hard , you made it so easy. All these places looks perfect with great ambience.

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