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Short weekend holiday at Beautiful heritage house in lake district of the Himalayas


Tired of the noise and pollution of Delhi, we were looking to spend a long weekend in hills. We decided to make a trip to our favorite weekend getaway - Nainital. Since it was a spontaneous plan and it being the Christmas weekend, all the good hotels were already booked. Moreover, we were looking to try something off the beaten path. So I started searching for holiday rental properties in and around Nainital. During my search, I came across a colonial time house by the name “Vienna Lodge, The Cottage by the Woods”.


The cottage looked beautiful in pictures and had excellent reviews online. I immediately called the owner and made a reservation for two nights. It was a family holiday and we were a gang of eight adults. We took the early morning Shatabdi train from Delhi to Kathgodam station. By noon we were at Kathgodam station, which is the closest rail head to Nainital. From there it was a 90 minute hilly drive to our cottage. The moment we arrived, I was in love with the cottage. It is a beautiful heritage property situated in the Ayarpatta Hill of Nainital.

me and family at the cottage

The location is very tranquil and just a five minutes drive up the hill from the mall road. At the same time the cottage has the advantage of proximity to the town. Mall road is a nice 15 minute downhill walk from the cottage. The Cottage has three beautifully decorated Bedrooms with attached Bathrooms enough to house eight adults along with a cozy dining room and a Living Room. There is plenty of outdoor sitting space in the form of a Veranda and a Garden. We spent hours in the garden. The winter was perfect season to enjoy a bonfire for hours at a stretch. The cottage also has a fully equipped Kitchen in case one likes to cook during the holiday. Most surprisingly, even a cook was also available for hire for Rs 500/- per day (excluding cost of raw material).

cosy living room with bukhari

We hired the cook and that proved to be an excellent decision as the cook was very good and prepared delicious breakfast and dinner for us, not to forget the delicious snacks during the evening bonfire. The staff is very nice and courteous at taking care of our needs. We would spend the warmer part of the day near the lake. Although the mall road can get annoyingly crowded during the day, there are few options to enjoy your time nearby.

family at the boat club

One of them is obviously boating in the Naini lake and should definitely not be missed. Row boats are available for hire at reasonable prices. One of the days, we rented the paddle boat. Since the boat does not come with a rower, was bit tiring to operate yet a pleasant experience. Sailing boats are also available when the conditions are right. I also recommend spending an afternoon at the lake side boat club for its colonial charm. It is a lake side restaurant and bar with both open and covered seating with a breathtaking view to die for.

view from boat club jetty

Back at the cottage, we were looking for easy hiking trails and short morning treks. The owner Vidyun is very knowledgeable about hiking trails in Nainital and guided us to the small forest behind the cottage, through which passes a small trail up the hill to the famous Dorothy's seat peak. We tried to trek to the peak in the morning; however had to return back halfway as the older folks felt exhausted. Nonetheless, it was a fun experience. I would recommend the cottage for nature lovers because of its scenic grandeur. There is an extra room outside the cottage available in case guests are travelling with personal drivers or other staff. The cottage also has a Wi-Fi but the coverage inside the cottage was sketchy.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience staying at the cottage. I highly recommend spending family holidays at Cottage by the Woods.

About Author:

Profession: Quantitative Researcher at TCS Innovation Labs

Passionate about: Passionate about travelling. I love all kinds of travelling experiences, be it adventures like trekking in the mountains, budget backpacking or luxury travel. I spend a lot of my time looking for my next travel escapade.

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