Encircling a large, green volcanic lake Nainital was a favourite amongst homesick Brits for its resemblance to the Cumbrian Lake District. Nowadays it is frequented by honeymooning couples, and travellers looking for some relaxation. Our pick of the best places to stay in Nainital are within easy reach of the area's sights whilst still providing a peaceful stay.
The lake itself has undergone a serious clean up operation in the last few years and is now home to healthy carp population. A walk around it will uncover a spider’s web of shops and bazaars, cafes, fairground type entertainment stalls, an archaic cinema and a busy mosque. All in one stroll.
Whilst Nainital is a quaint town, it is the largest in Kumaon and its narrow roads can get congested. We would advise staying slightly outside of the main thoroughfare.
Row across the lake and take a walk up to the affectionately named Tiffin Top. Travellers would walk up to Dorothey’s Seat, with their tiffins in hand for a serene lunchtime picnic. A comparatively easy and rewarding excursion.
Just past the Nainital Boat Club, located on the main Mall road is the antiquated Sakley’s café, its window filled floor to ceiling with freshly baked cakes and pastries. Those with a sweet tooth - go on an empty stomach and sample as many of its delights as possible.
Nainital, meaning nine lakes, is far from the only lake town in the region. The more peaceful destinations of Bhimtal and Sattal are a great day trip for some idyllic walks.
Owing to its good connectivity to Delhi, Nainital is a most popular weekend destination amongst Delhiites in the summer months. Providing respite from the gruelling heat it can get very busy between April and September. October through to March it can be chilly but the town and lake is a winter wonderland covered in snow.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Naintal can be very busy during peak periods, so get organised and book early!
Still not sure which to book? From family friendly to a couple’s hideaway browse through our list of the best places to stay in Nainital to start to plan your trip. Or you can widen the net and check out all our recommended hotels in Uttarakhand, or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Far from the chaos & crowds, in the gorgeous Kumoan belt, sit 6 charming colonial cottages dating back to 1830. The rooms offered in each building vary but all are cosy & traditional & full of character. Surrounded by orchards, on the edge of a cliff with wonderful views, this is a magical hideaway.
A hidden gem, a rural idyll: call it what you will this property is unique. A hairpin bend off the Nainital road, once in The Cottage's verdant embrace you will forget the outside world. Large rooms with views are awash with antiques and vibrant prints. Meals are delicious Indian home-cooking.
This modern manor house has fragrant landscaped gardens and much entertainment. Rooms are large and feature exposed wood floors and ornate upholstering. Some have private terraces. Cuisine is European and Asian and there are plenty of al-fresco dining areas plus the inviting Courtyard Bar.
Relax in 22 acres of riverside calm, in the foothills of the famous Himalayas. The exterior mimics a English village and the rooms showcase high ceilings that mirror the great outdoors. Between the pool, the riverside sun deck and the pagoda you can feast on multi cuisines. A fantastic spot.
This quaint property, built from local traditional stone, enjoys stunning views across Nainital Lake. It features four dining options and an atmospheric bar. Rooms are clad in pine and have an antique, colonial feel including classic fabrics. A homely stay with a plethora of outdoor activities.
With 180° Himalayan views and plenty of pine panelling there is something 'ski-lodge' about Soulitude - especially under a blanket of snow! Rooms include wood burners, living areas, stunning vistas and are decorated in pop colours. There is a small a la carte menu. A relaxing hill station retreat.
A simply charming and very zen mountain escape. The architecture applauds the surrounding beauty with large windows whilst rooms embrace traditional decors. Bathrooms feature natural woods and stone. Meals are served in the Dhaba restaurant and many of the ingredients come from the property's farm.
Luxurious, spacious rooms are set amidst gardens, a pool and waterfalls. Four restaurants to choose from. Close to Jim Corbett National Park a range of nature filled activities are at your fingertips. Whether it is the great outdoors or a relaxed break, The Corbett Hideaway is the perfect place.
An inviting and refined hotel with views over the Naini valley. Steeped in nature yet with all modern conveniences, the hotel features a spa, gym, kids' area and three dining options. Rooms are well-appointed and tasteful, while suites offer a taste of more opulent living.
This eco-friendly haven rests amidst the forest with plenty opportunities to see India's vast range of animals. Both the detached villas and suites boast all the mod-cons of a 5 star resort, with the charm of an intimate getaway. Outdoor lovers, city dwellers and children will all find peace in here
This spa and fitness resort in the heart of Jim Corbett goes above and beyond for business facilities. Bedrooms are modern, light and spacious. The multi-cuisine restaurant is highly recommended, as are the activities and the proximity to the famous national park. Come to combine work with pleasure.
A unique retreat to experience secluded mountain living. Room design inspired by the flora of the mountains, with harmoniously coordinated furnishings and whitewashed stone walls. Peaceful and homely shared and private spaces create a sense of community and tranquillity.