Carlton Plaisance: a British hill station retreat in Mussoorie
VISITING the Carlton Plaisance in the quaint hilltop town of Mussoorie is like taking a step back in time to the days of the British Raj. Replete with period furniture and architecture, there’s an ageless charm to this colonial building that boasts both British and French architectural roots that date back to the late 1800s.
The property extends over four acres with wonderful gardens and orchards where the kids can play, you can relax with a book, have a pot of chai or enjoy a bon fire at night. Many of the rooms open onto the garden through large windows or doors, meaning you are never far from nature.
Once you’ve stayed you’ll soon understand why Carlton Plaisance has attracted such esteemed guests as Sir Edmund Hilary or why it keeps getting repeat visitors who just can’t seem to get enough of the unspoiled natural surroundings or the homely hospitality.
What makes it special
Mussoorie is one of India’s most beautiful hillside destinations and is far from the heat and crowds of the plains. With wonderful virgin forests, an alpine climate and fantastic views of the Himlayas it’s easy to see what keeps drawing visitors. Carlton Plaisance makes the most of all these facets with its lush green gardens and beautiful trees, great mountain views and quiet location a short distance from the main shops and town centre.
The owners Anu and Ajit have also done their best to maintain a certain rustic charm along with genuine hospitality that keeps visitors coming back.
What to expect?
If you are expecting high end services of five star hotels the Carlton Plaisance is not for you. But if you prefer a more house party feel with some rustic features then the Carlton will suit you perfectly.
Carlton Plaisance is located about two kilometres from the city centre and while it’s not far to walk, it’s worth noting so you’re prepared if you are planning to head out and explore or simply do some shopping or get a bite to eat elsewhere. Mussoorie generally requires a bit of hoof to pavement and it’s certainly well worth it for the views and to enjoy the fresh mountain air.
What is there to do?
Once you’ve tired of the charms of the house and its gardens you should head out to explore Mussoorie and its surrounds. The bazaar has all the usual trimmings with plenty of shops, restaurants and food outlets. There are some lovely old churches and interesting temples. There’s also plenty of good bush walking opportunities nearby or bird watching and the owners Anu and Ajit can point you in the right direction to enjoy these activities. A particularly enjoyable stroll is to the Tibetan settlement at Happy Valley or all the way through the bazaar up to Sister’s Bazaar on the top of the hill above Mussoorie.
What’s the damage?
Carlton Plaisance has three kinds of rooms available with two price ranges. The Suites and the Cottage are both Rs. 5000 per day (US $93) and the Deluxe Rooms are Rs. 3000 (US $55). The rooms are spacious with hot running water, cable television and full furnishings. The suites are the pick but the deluxe rooms are good for children because they open onto the gardens, while the cottage might suit couples seeking a little more privacy.