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Located in the heart of Kumaon’s Lake District, picturesque Bhimtal gained popularity amongst the British owing to its resemblance to the UK’s very own Lake District. Our pick of the best places to stay in Bhimtal are great for exploring the surrounding lakes and nature.
Much quieter and less frequented than neighboring Nainital, sleepy Bhimtal retains the small town charm of a destination not geared for tourism. Famed hunter turned conservationist, Jim Corbett was a fan and it features in some of his early writings.
Budding twitchers can marvel at the technicolour birdlife of the local region, whilst outdoor enthusiasts can take a dip in the nearby lake.
Chilly in winters, temperate in summers, luscious in the monsoon, Bhimtal is one of the few places in India that can be visited year round.
With just a few mountain roads you can easily hop on a bus or get a taxi to nearby Nainital. Burn off lunch at Sakley’s with a walk up to Tiffin Top.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Bhimtal is steeped in history and colonial charm.
For a classic homestay experience
- The clue is in the name. The Retreat offers a hilltop escape from modern life. Almost untouched since the 1950s what the property lacks in mod cons it makes up for in abundance with colonial charm. The food is top class and this, not to mention owner Paddy’s warm welcome, sets the place apart from the rest. A memorable stay.
- Behind the sturdy dry stone walls of Fredy's Bungalow lies an idiosyncratic little abode. Boasting quirky decor, an extensive book collection and plenty of taxidermy, plus the owner also runs the local Butterfly Museum. A unique find amidst the picturesque Bhimtal hills.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of the best places to stay in Bhimtal to start to plan your trip. Alternatively you can widen the net and check out our recommendations throughout Uttarakhand, or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Bhimtal
The Retreat 3 rooms from $44Bhimtal (Uttarakhand)
Retreat to this charming 19th century colonial bungalow, which has been in the Smetacek family for decades. Owner Paddy knows the way to any guest's heart: through their stomach. The food is sublime. Rooms have barely changed since the 1950s and are filled with antiques. Leave the city life behind.Back to Nature - Ensconced in the Kumaon region's tranquil nature, sonorous birdsong and ubiquitous lakes.Great walks - Traverse the Lakeland Estate, a former British tea plantation.Kayaking - On nearby Bhimtal Lake you can hire kayaks and pedalos.Birdwatching - The Kumaon region is famed for its colourful birdlife.
Fredy's Bungalow 4 rooms from $76Bhimtal (Uttarakhand)
Cosy, colonial stone bungalow located in a secluded setting surrounded by hills and lakes. Interiors feature curiosities such taxidermy butterflies, hunting trophies and plenty of books on the local wildlife. Bedrooms are colourful and comfortable. No internet means it is a complete escape.Hideaway - No internet, beautiful surrounds - the ultimate hilltop hideawayLocal markets - Pop into Nainital town - and make sure to visit Sakley's Cafe when you do!Great walks - The trail to Bhimtal Lake and back is a particurly beautiful oneSights nearby - The next door Butterfly Museum is worth a visit