Padmini Niwas: A homely hill station retreat in Mussoorie
THIS regal 1920s bungalow is one of the oldest buildings in Mussoorie, a scenic hill station nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Northern India. It once belonged to the Maharaja of Rajpipla and today the luxurious furnishings such as Raj era fireplaces and magnificent chandeliers do much to uphold this lofty heritage.
Padmini Niwas enjoys a spectacular location overlooking the Doon Valley and on a clear day it’s possible to see the mighty river Ganga winding away below. The best views of the valley can be seen from reception and the garden terraces, where you can dine or while away the hours as if it were your own home.
What makes it special?
Despite the luxurious trimmings, Padmini Niwas has a welcoming air more like your own home that the owner, Mrs Worah, does much to encourage. You can thank her in particular for the superb gardens she has nurtured and the flowery verandas and balconies.
(READ MORE: In pictures: Mussoorie, Queen of the hills)
Padmini Niwas is also located in Mussoorie, one of India’s most beautiful hillside resorts, and the clear fresh air and mountain views are definitely part of the attraction here.
What to expect?
The rooms are Padmini Niwas are scrupulously clean and well kept with period furniture, elegant rugs, old fireplaces and antique beds. There’s also an in-house restaurant serving a variety of cuisine and a variety of inside games so there’s plenty to do should you decide to relax at the hotel for the day. Staff are very attentive and courteous.
What is there to do?
Padmini Niwas is located in the Library part of Mussoorie, the closest end to the Tibetan settlement of Happy Valley. Alternatively head up through the bazaar to Sisters where there are lovely walks around a ring road with fantastic views of the snow mountains. Those that love shopping could wander the shops in the bazaar and there are plenty of restaurants as well. Further afield there are the holy Hindu cities of Rishikesh and Haridwar on the plains below.
What’s the damage?
Rates vary widely depending on the season but if you visit out of peak season (mid May to early July) you’ll save by up to 50 percent on your rooms. Mussoorie is very much a resort town and a lot of Indian families and holidaymakers come here during the height of the summer to escape from the heat of the plains. In winter it can be very cold and even snowy, but it is the best time for views of the mountains.
The semi deluxe rooms are the best value at Padmini Niwas and cost from Rs. 1800 (US $33) to Rs. 3000 (US $55) per night depending on the dates. The apartment is the most expensive at Rs. 5400 (US $54) to Rs. 9000 ($167). These rates do not include food, however it’s worth investigating some of the packages offered at Padmini Niwas that include bed and breakfast, dinner or all meals – these would not suit those seeking a non-vegetarian menu.
Library, The Mall, Mussoorie, Mussoorie, India