What to know before you go:
- This family holiday home, set in an unspoiled patch of the Himalayas has been converted into a luxury homestay
- The homestay is located just an hours drive from Dehradun
What we love :
- Nestled snug in the tiny hamlet of Dhanaulti and surrounded by the Himalayas this homestay is just the place to head to for a short getaway to disconnect from manic city life
- The breathtaking landscaping, well-manicured lawns dotted with small water bodies creates an ideal setting for spending a langurous afternoon or some well-deserved downtime with your loved ones
- At Barefoot Bungalow, Harpal and his team have been helping the women of the hills by, for example, teaching them how to extract juice from the Buransh flower (rhododendron), which is very common in the area and has remarkable medicinal qualities. The homestay buys the juice from the women and makes refined drinks out of it. The property also engages women from the surrounding villages to help in making the in-house pickles and preserves. It’s their way of giving back to the land, and helping these women gain a livelihood and earn income.
About the property:
This intimate 3 bedroom homestay in the hills has wooden furniture, slate floors, tall French window and exquisite art dotting the walls. With the dramatic framing of forested slopes in the foreground and the Himalayan range in the distance - this would be your ideal escape from the concrete jungle. Surrounded by Deodar forests, the air here is crisp with oxygen. Evenings here are best spent huddled around the bonfire enjoying live music - there is a a guitarist and vocalist who can come to the property at the guests' request. The restaurant is located in a glasshouse, where guests can watch their meals being freshly prepared in a live kitchen set-up. Meanwhile, a 14,000 square-foot private garden—beautifully maintained and landscaped with ponds—is nothing short of remarkable. Topping it all off are the gorgeous views of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges. Barefoot stands out because of its endeavour to present all the facilities of a five-star operation but with the feel of a home. While Barefoot Bungalow’s approach is professional, the experience it offers is homely. There are 3 attendants, a personal butler and chef to cater to the guest’s every need. The chef, Arjun, serves you delicious, home-cooked food. Barefoot Bungalow also offers plenty of recreational options, including fabulous views of iconic Himalayan peaks like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Satopanth, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. You can also trek through hills and jungles; visit the Surkanda Devi temple, Tehri Lake (an artificial dam reservoir) and Jabarkhet Nature Reserve; and get a taste of adventure through activities like zip-lining, sky-cycling and offroading—and birdwatching too. For those missing the hustle and bustle of the city, Mussoorie and their Mall Road, and the very popular hill station of Landour, are not too far away.
Guests at Barefoot Bungalow get to taste the homestay’s natural, homemade and lip-smacking range of pickles, chutneys and spreads made under the property’s own brand, Martban ‘Maa ke Haath se’. Through this initiative, the owners try to generate work for women from the neighbouring villages. All the pickles and chutneys are prepared from the recipes their grandmothers once followed, relying on the same techniques used all those years ago. Not surprisingly, patrons relish these homemade delights and even buy them to take back home. All preparations are free from any artificial flavours or colours, and are made from 100% natural ingredients.
To enhance the guest experience, Barefoot Bungalow will be adding an open Jacuzzi on a hilltop facing the mountains, and a spa. Also being planned is an attic that will have a library and offer recreational activities for the kids.
By Road: The distance from Dhanaulti to Mussoorie is just 30kms, approx 1 hours
Nearest Airport: Dehradun, 54 km
Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun, 35 km