During our trip to Shimla and Manali in November 2016, after much research and sweating (take my words, its a hard task to decide on the right place to stay), we had zeroed down on Snow Peak Retreat for our stay in Manali. This hotel is located very near to Hidimba temple. But we liked the pictures of the hotel. And we also liked the location. Since it is so close to Hidimba Temple and many other attractions of old Manali town. Also, the reviews looked promising. Our parent were accompanying us on this trip. So, we wanted to stay in a hotel where a few rooms were available on the ground floor so that our parents didn’t have to climb up the stairs.
So, we enquired with the hotel. And to our delight, of the total 5 rooms that we required, two were actually available on the ground floor. Thus, we went ahead and booked the hotel.
The first impression of Snow Peak Retreat
We started from Shimla early in the morning. And we reached Manali by evening. It was almost getting dark when we arrived at the hotel. The road to the hotel is little steep and gets a bit narrow at the end, just 50 meters before reaching the hotel. It felt a little adventurous reaching here since we had with us old parents and a toddler. However, it was pretty manageable.
There is a small flight of stairs that lead from the road the lawn of the hotel. As we arrived here and entered the lawn, the view that greeted us reaffirmed our decision to stay here. There were beautiful snow covered peaks right in front of us, greeting us across the lawn.
A quick tour of Snow Peak Retreat
As soon as you step into the property, there is a small but nicely maintained lawn, with chairs set amidst velvety grass. Beds of flowers are neatly set on all the walk way paths around patches of the lawn. The building itself is constructed in L-Shape. The rooms are artistically constructed, with each room having full size windows that face towards the lawn. One side of the building on the ground floor has the reception area. And besides the reception lies the restaurant. The whole place is done in wood. And that makes it extra beautiful. As it makes it look like a wooden lodge in the middle of the snow.
Just in front of the lawn, there is unobstructed view of the majestic mountain ranges beyond. And most of them are clad with snow covered peaks all round the year. Although, we were lucky that when we arrived there was a fresh snowfall in the higher mountains which enhanced the beauty of the peaks even further. It was a delight to snuggle into warm blanket in our room, draw the curtain and watch from right there, through the glass window, the snow covering the high peaks of the mountains and gradually descending lower and lower. I couldn’t resist wondering how impressive the views will be in the winter months when it starts snowing right in Manali.
We headed to the reception to complete the check-in formalities. And soon we got the keys to our individual rooms. Then we proceeded to our rooms to freshen up and head for dinner next.
Rooms of Snow Peak Retreat
Although, the rooms are not very large but very well appointed. They have attached bath and all the other little things required for a comfortable stay. Electric kettle, toiletries, complementary bottles of mineral water, coffee and tea maker – almost every thing required was in the rooms. The staff was also very courteous. We had directly dealt with the hotel and booked a package deal that included both breakfast and dinner.
We had booked two rooms on the ground floor and three on the first floor. The doors of the first floor rooms opened in a narrow balcony connecting to the stairs on the the other end. This balcony faced a small apple orchard in the backyard and majestic mountain peaks beyond that!
Restaurant of Snow Peak Retreat
After getting fresh, we proceeded for the dinner. Snow Peak Retreat have a nice buffet spread for both breakfast and dinner, which was often a mix of north Indian and south Indian cuisines. The restaurant is situated on the ground floor, with full view of the lawn. Its decor is artistically done in all wood. We totally loved the three course meal that started with a warm soup. Holding the warm soup bowl and staring at the snow clad mountain peaks from the restaurant was such a delightful experience.
There are two pet dogs also on the premise who became center of attraction for our kid. Every time she saw them, she would get super excited.
Our overall Experience
Overall, we had a wonderful stay in Snow Peak Retreat. Room service was very prompt. And our requests were totally taken care of. The day we had to leave Manali, we had planned to start very early in the morning to make it in time. The hotel staff didn’t have any trouble waking up in the wee hours of a cold and rainy morning to make an early checkout possible for us. Not only did they complete the checkout formalities but even helped us with our luggage till our vehicles. We were really delighted by their hospitality. We will highly recommend a stay here.
Tips on visiting
Book in advance as the hotel has good name. It tends to get filled pretty quickly, particularly in peak season.
It is located at higher hills compared to the main town of Manali, and has an unobstructed view to the mountains. Which also means, it will get chilly in the winter months. So, carry adequate woolen with you.
The checkin and checkout times are standard. But, at the same time, they are quiet flexible. Like we arrived quiet late in the day and checked out quiet early in the morning, without any fuss.
The staff are quiet hospitable. So, no compromise there. They will make all efforts to make you feel at home.
You can enjoy a warm coffee or tea in the lawn, while you are staying at the property.
Try getting one of the rooms just in front of the mountains, to get the best view of the snow peaks.
Parking space is limited, so, ensure you get the parking by calling them the day you visit. They will make arrangements.