Little Chilli Shimla – A home away from home

We stayed at Little Chilli Shimla during our trip to Shimla and Manali in November 2015 with our extended family. Although we had started hunting for our place of stay by early september, still this being a peak season, all the decent hotels and home stays seemed to be full. We were almost on the verse of giving up hope to get some accommodation as per our liking when we stumbled upon Little Chilli Shimla. And it turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. Read on to know how and why.
Little Chilli
A cozy library at little chilli Shimla

How we booked Little Chilli Shimla

Our requirement

Little Chilli Shimla is a homestay run by a retired Army Colonel. It is a beautiful home with three levels & a beautiful terrace at the middle level. The owners live on the lowest level while the other two levels are for guests. Overall the homestay has 4 rooms for guests. We were 4 couples traveling. Thus, you see, the number of rooms exactly matched our requirement. This means, by booking this homestay, we get an exclusive stay for ourselves while in Shimla. This became the first plus point for us.
Basically, we needed space and at the same time we needed to spend quality family time together. Thus, we needed our individual rooms and yet we needed common areas where we could all gather and enjoy together. And, at the same time, we were also looking for an option to be able to cook small meals for our baby. So in conclusion we needed a home away from home. And we were delighted when we discovered this little gem.

The initial inquiry with Little Chilli Shimla

Thereafter, we headed to the website of Little Chilli to check it’s pictures and location. Both of which looked promising. Actually we were looking for a place a little far off the hustle and bustle of the main town of Shimla. Again, Little Chilli stood perfectly on the parameters. It is located almost 7km off the main town and mall road, amidst nature, away from the maddening crowd of the main town. Then we immediate wrote to the owner inquiring about the availability of the rooms. And he instantly replied back confirming the availability.
After this, only one more thing was to be settled. We were traveling with our 1.5 yrs old toddler. And thus we wanted to stay at a place where we could get minimal access to the kitchen. So that we could prepare some small meals for her. Thus, we wrote further to the owner, inquiring about it and his reply more than assured us that we had found the perfect place for ourselves. His exact words were –
“Your child will be treated no less than ours. She will be our special guest”

And the booking

Of course, when we look for hotels, amenities are the ones that matter the most. But when we look for a homestay, warmth is the foremost thing that we look forward to. And, there didn’t seem to be any shortage of warmth in the Colonel’s hospitality at Little Chilli Shimla. So, without further hesitation, we booked the place. Then started the wait for the journey to begin.

A tour of Little Chilli Shimla

Finally arrived the day of our trip. We flew to Chandigarh. And then we took two cabs from Chandigarh to Shimla. By the time we reached Little Chilli Shimla, it was almost 5 in the evening. As we arrived, we were greeted warmly by the Colonel himself at the entrance. He then took us inside to show us around. The aesthetics of the place and the amenities startled us. As we had never imagined the place to be so tastefully done and the amenities no less than what we expect at a hotel. So, we were in for a deal here – the amenities of a hotel combined with the warmth of a homestay. Let us take you through a quick tour of the place.

The middle level or the main level

The entrance to the homestay is at it’s middle level. There is a small parking space at the entrance of the home stay, 2-3 vehicles can be comfortably accommodated here. As you cross this small parking space, you head downstairs to the entrance of the homestay. As you enter inside, you will find yourself in a small reception cum game room. The room has setting for some indoor games like carom, chess, table tennis etc. A door leads from this room to a small hall. Just near the door is the stairs that lead upstairs to the upper level, and downstairs to the lower level. At both ends of the hall are two bedrooms, for guests. There is a cozy sitting arrangement just below the stairs. And, just in front of the stairs, you can get a view of the lower level where the hosts live.

Dining area

On the left hand side, just near the entrance gate to this hall is another gate that leads to the dining area. The dining area is one of the most tastefully done. It is actually constructed and decorated in the style of an army bunker. The lights in this room are dim. And the room is very tastefully decorated with paintings done by the landlady herself. At one end is a buffet counter to spread the food and on the other end is an entry door that opens in the campus of the homestay.

Little Chilli
The bunker style dining room at Little Chilli
Terrace

At both the ends of the hallway, after crossing the bedroom door, are exit doors. These doors lead to the beautiful terrace of the homestay. In the center of the terrace is a circular room, which is a private bar of the Colonel’s. Apart from that, there are minimal seating arrangements at the terrace to enjoy the sun (or the chill in the evening 🙂 ). The terrace opens to a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can see a walking trail as well. The Colonel had informed us that this route is taken by many for morning walks. We too wanted to, but couldn’t. However, we did wakeup to beautiful views across this terrace while we stayed here.

The upper level

The same pattern of a small hall and a set of stairs is repeated at the next level. There are two bedrooms at either end of the hall. However, at one end of the hall, a small library is tucked neatly with a comfortable sofa and several books, including some tasteful coffee table books. The bedrooms at this level have small balconies each that open up towards the terrace at the middle level. The rooms are all well equipped and have attached bathrooms.

Little Chilli
A view from the balcony overlooking the terrace

The lower level

The lower level of Little Chilli Shimla is where the landlord and his family reside. Of course we didn’t intrude into his private space. But whatever part is visible to the upper levels, that tells that this floor is as well done with equal taste. The kitchen is present at this floor. Once the food is cooked, it is brought up to the middle floor and served in the dining area. However, we went a couple of times to the kitchen to prepare a few dishes for my daughter and the family was more than happy to assist us with it. I could catch a glimpse of some painting by the landlady in progress , and I must add, they are fabulous.

In conclusion, each wall, each corner of the house is very tastefully decorated. Every small nook and corner, the lightings, the paintings, even the metallic knobs on the doors to the terrace are a testimony to the thought that has went behind the decor of the place. While , on the other hand, the amenities are a testimony to the thought that has gone in taking care of the hospitality factor.
Little Chilli

Our experience

Once we reached the homestay, we were given a quick tour of the whole place by the owner. Then, we chose our respective rooms and settled down while he went on to get our dinner ready. By the time we freshened up, the dinner was already served in the dining room. Then he left us to enjoy our dinner and our private family space. After dinner , we had some warm chit chat with him. During this, we discussed with him the places where we were planning to head the next day. He gave his valuable inputs.

Little Chilli
Painting by the owner
Next day, we woke up to warm sunshine. Before starting our day trip to explore Shimla, we had a hearty breakfast in Little Chilli Shimla. Then we sat for sometime on the terrace, clicking some family photos and basking in the sun for quiet some time. It is a cherished morning of one of our most memorable trips. Afterwards, we did a day long trip of the town and returned back to a hearty dinner. The next day was more or less same. However, the day after, we had to go to Manali. Since the road trip is quiet a long one, we wanted to start as early as possible. We told the Colonel, thinking he might not be able to get the breakfast ready by then.
However, he made sure his guests have a hearty breakfast and then leave. Thus, he prepared breakfast dot on time as per our schedule. In fact, before even we were ready, the breakfast spread was already waiting for us on the table.

Conclusion

Overall, we had a wonderful time staying at Little Chilli Shimla. It exceeds expectations as a home stay. It has everything that you would look for in a home away from home. That includes a warm host, a beautiful house,  amenities matching that of a hotel, delicious food and occasional access to kitchen. In conclusion, a perfect place for a family trip. Would we stay here again? Definitely. Actually , we are still in touch with Colonel. We would love to stay here when we visit Shimla again.

Tips on staying here

  1. This being a homestay, there are some rules to comply. Although nothing specific, the general rules of a home like no smoking, no banging the doors, bringing outsiders and partying with outsiders inside the premises. So, make sure you are comfortable following the rules, else, it will be an inconvenience to both you and the owner.
  2. Again, keep your expectations at par with a homestay. You will be more than pleased. If you want anything specific, feel free to ask the owners. They will be more than happy to help.
  3. The place is a little far from the main town, so, book here if you are looking for a stay away from the hustle of the town. Otherwise, you will be disappointed.
  4. The room rates are reasonable. Food is charged extra on top of the room rent. you can choose a package that includes breakfast and (or) dinner. Lunch is not available in the homestay, assuming mostly you will be out during the day. However, if you plan to stay back on the premises, let the owner know your plan. I am sure he will be able to arrange something for lunch too.
  5. The way from Shimla main town to this homestay doesn’t have any street lights, like most of the mountain roads. So, plan your trips out accordingly and better be back on time. Since, the route is mostly traffic free. You will hardly see any other vehicle here.
  6. It will be good to reciprocate the warmth that the owners extend. You can talk to them, get some tips on your tour or just chat around. The Colonel has quiet a few interesting stories to share from the days he was in army. Otherwise also, it’s a pleasure talking to him.
  7. As I mentioned, you will have extra fun if you can book the whole homestay to your own. As the place is even better for a family get together or family holiday.
 Little Chilli

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32 Responses

  1. traciehowe

    What a funky place to stay! I love places like this. The view is quite pretty too!

  2. This sounds like a great homestay in Shimla. The accommodations are so pretty and comfy and the surrounding landscapes are so gorgeous. Thanks for this great tip.

    • Thank you! It is indeed a beautiful homestay nestled in Shimla. A perfect one for family gathering

  3. Seems like a nice cosy stay. Definitely homely and nice. Glad you had a good time here. Will definitely consider the same when heading to Shimla.

    • Sure Ami. Do let us know if you will have any query with respect to connecting with them 🙂 . We will eagerly await your account

  4. Looks like a decent place to stay. Home stays always give a different flavor. I have stayed in some in Chikamagalur and Coorg, it is their homely food that I love the most. 🙂

    • Absolutely Indrani. The homely food, homely atmosphere and the warmth of the owner .. no wonder homestays are getting more and more popular. Any recommendations for coorg?

  5. You’ve featured so many great accommodations on your blog. This is no exception!

  6. I’m glad you found your home in Shimla in Little Chilliaaa and lucky baby, she’s the special guest. And you found a very good host in a perfect homestay.. I love the interiors as well…

  7. The army bunker style dining area looks really cool. It seems like a lovely homestay to stay with the family. The view from the balcony is really stunning.

  8. lydia@lifeuntraveled

    I can see how the design was influenced by the retired Army Colonel. 😉
    It’s such a relief when we find a place to stay that perfectly suits our needs and is as stated online (because often times it’s quite different from reality). And the views are gorgeous!

    • Rightly said Lydia. If you find a place which perfectly matches your requirements, your vacation goes so much better

  9. Thank you for sharing and all the pics you posted, It’s always so important for me to see a lot of pictures when I am looking for accommodation.

    • We had a wonderful time here Chanelle so it was an obligation to bring the little gem out to the world

  10. Perfect place for you and your family! That is fantastic that it was the exact right size and you had the place to yourselves.

    • Yes Jen, had there been other families around, not sure if we would have felt as comfortable as we did when the whole place was all to ourselves.

  11. This looks like a really interesting place to stay! The view from the top is stunning. I always find it harder to get accommodation for a group but it seems you lucked out.

  12. Lynne Sarao

    This place looks so charming! And that view from the terrace is absolutely stunning! I’d love to stay here!

  13. The Little Chillie, looks so colourful and bright. I loved the motifs which lend a vibrant atmosphere to the place. I liked the painting of the dogs’ table.

    • All these paintings are done by the landlady herself. She was working on one when we stayed there

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