Nainital

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About Nainital

Encircling a large green volcanic lake, Nainital was a favourite amongst homesick Brits for its resemblance to the Cumbrian Lake District. Nowadays it is mostly 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 a healthy carp population. A walk around 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 the narrow roads can get quite congested. We would advise staying slightly outside of the main thoroughfare.

Owing to 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.

What Not To Miss

  • Row across the lake and take a walk up to the affectionately named Tiffin Top. Travellers would walk up to Dorothy’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 should 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.
  • If you're here with family then the kids will love a trip to Nainital's High Altitude Zoo, home to a wide array of exotic animals.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Naintal can be very busy during peak periods, so get organised and book early!

For a homestay

  • With delicious home-cooked food, comfortable rooms and an idiosyncratic owner, The Cottage provides a home away from home. Located in the little village of Jeolikot, there are plenty of great walks directly from your front door.

For heritage

  • Dating back to 1830 and comprised of six individual ivy clad cottages, Neemrana’s Rambagh Bungalows provides a quintessential stay in the rural Kumaon region. Starting at under £40 a night, it's also excellent value.

For families

  • With organised activity programmes and plenty of on site activities, the Shervani Hilltop hotel is ideal for keeping the little ones busy whilst the adults relax.
  • Set amidst 22 acres of grounds and offering cosy, comfortable accommodation (including family suites), Infinity Corbett Wilderness is a great spot. There's a kids play area and a wide number of on site activities, as well as lovely restaurant.
  • With colonial-style accommodation, an enviable location close to the area's best hiking spots and no less than four dining options, The Naini Retreat is somewhere the whole family will appreciate.
  • The Manu Maharani Hotel boasts a childrens play area, babysitting services if you fancy a night off (perhaps spent in the spa!), as well as three dining options. A more upmarket family getaway.
  • Aahana The Corbett Wilderness is an eco-friendly hideaway set amidst the forest. Offering classically stylish accommodation (including two bedroom suites and four bedroom villas for families), there's a huge selection of activities and a spoiling spa. A dreamy stay!

For Country Exploring

  • Namah, as well as providing smart rooms, enjoys the perfect location from which to spend your days exploring Jim Corbett National Park. Come back after a day out hiking to tuck into meals from the multi-cuisine restaurant before unwinding in the spa.
  • Corbett Hideaway is similarly well-situated to explore the surrounding National Park. Boasting a range of accommodation, including private villas, as well as a spa and four restaurants, you really can't go wrong with staying here.

    For a romantic stay

    • Large, modern and chic cottages with rooms made for lingering in and enjoying the view. Jilling Terraces is a great stay for couples and perfectly secluded for your own little hideaway.

    For total relaxation

    For A Holiday Home Or Villa

    If you think you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.

    Travel Information

    • Whilst never exactly chilly, Nainital's definitely nicest weather-wise in the summer months - with the average daily temperature rising to 18°C in May and June.
    • However, this is peak tourist season, so expect the place to be fairly busy and for accommodation to be on the more expensive side of things. If you fancy a quieter and potentially cheaper alternative, consider visiting in May or September.
    • International guests should fly into Delhi Indira Gandhi Airport before taking a connecting flight to Pantnagar Airport, located 68km south of Nainital, and then hopping on a bus.
    • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

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        Best Hotels in Nainital

        • Neemrana's Ramgarh Bungalows District Nainital 15 rooms from £30

          Birdwatching  -  The Kumaon Hills are a birdwatchers paradise. Many can be spotted at the bungalows - woodpeckers, parakeets, mynahs, peafowl
          Local markets  -  Life in Ramgarh is quiet. Take a trip to the small, quaint village market. Watch local life passing by
          Great walks  -  Many lovely walks in the area. The details of the routes can be obtained from the front desk
          Hideaway  -  Tranquil and intimate.

          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. See More

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        • The Cottage Jeolikot, Nainital 6 rooms from £45

          Local markets  -  Amongst the bric-a-brac, shops like Pahari sell fair trade fabrics, candles and toiletries.
          Hideaway  -  A sharp hairpin bend off the main road you feel a million miles away from civilisation.
          Great walks  -  There are plenty of excellent valley walks directly from the property.
          Sights nearby  -  Nainital, with its temples and mosques is just a short drive away.

          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. See More

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        • Shervani Hilltop Nainital 35 rooms from £57

          Sights nearby  -  The neighbouring lake towns of Bhimtal and Sattal are quiter than Nainital and worth a visit.
          Great walks  -  The hotel organises guided walks including an al-fresco picnic.
          Lakeside  -  Overlooking Nainital lake.
          Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.

          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. See More

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        • Infinity Corbett Wilderness Nainital from £60

          Great walks  -  To the temples, waterfalls and along the Kosi River.
          Remote  -  On the outskirts of Jim Corbett National Park.
          Fishing  -  Take a ready-made picnic from the resort.
          Views  -  Rooms are either garden or river facing.

          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. See More

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        • The Naini Retreat Nainital 37 rooms from £75

          Great walks  -  Climb up the quantly named 'tiffin top' for views of the town.
          Sights nearby  -  Satal and Bhimtal are within easy reach and worth a visit.
          Fishing  -  The hotel can help organise morning fishing trips.
          Sailing  -  Take a boat out on Nainital Lake.

          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. See More

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        • Soulitude in the Himalayas Nainital,, Nainital 10 rooms from £80

          Back to Nature  -  Boasting incredible views of the Nainital valley and plenty of great walks
          Total relaxation  -  The clue is in the name: this property is nourishment for the soul
          Sights nearby  -  Sakley's Mountain Cafe in Nainital is a must visit. Indulge your sweet tooth!
          Sailing  -  Take a boat out on Nainital or Bhimtal Lake

          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. See More

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        • Soulitude by the Riverside Nainital,, Nainital 7 rooms from £80

          Back to Nature  -  The sound of bird call and the gushing river fills the air. Verdant forest surrounds you.
          Total relaxation  -  The perfect escape from the freneticism of the modern world
          Local markets  -  The market town of Nainital is worth a visit - stop at Sakley's Mountain cafe for lunch
          Great walks  -  Through pine forests, along the river or to Chanfi village

          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. See More

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        • Corbett Hideaway Ramnagar, Nainital 52 rooms from £90

          Back to Nature  -  On the outskirts of Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve.
          Hideaway  -  In the name!
          Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
          Romantic  -  Good for couples.

          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. See More

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        • The Manu Maharani Hotel Nainital 67 rooms from £90

          Views  -  Panoramic views of the Naini lake
          Kids Club  -  Babysitting/childcare
          Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
          Hideaway  -  Tranquil and intimate.

          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. See More

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        • Aahana The Corbett Wilderness Nainital District from £100

          Birdwatching  -  Along with documentaries for the true bird lovers.
          Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool with built in hot tub
          Views  -  Surrounded by 11 acres of nature
          Back to Nature  -  Immerse yourself in nature.

          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 See More

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        • Namah Nainital District 50 rooms from £100

          Great walks  -  Walk along the Kosi River or to the multiple temples dotted around the region.
          Birdwatching  -  A wide range to be seen by the keen bird watcher.
          Back to Nature  -  Nature all around.
          Remote  -  Off the beaten track.

          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. See More

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        • Jilling Terraces Nainital 2 rooms from £86

          Great walks  -  Jilling Terraces organises its own hiking trail itinieraries which are guided by local conservationists and experts.
          Forest  -  Set in a clearing of a 100 acre forest
          Back to Nature
          Glamping

          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. See More

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        • Solitude by the Riverside Chanfi,, Nainital 7 rooms from £146

          Back to Nature  -  Surrounded by waterfalls and the rolling Himalayan foothills
          Kayaking  -  Bhimtal lake is ideal for boat trips and kayaking
          Great walks  -  Enjoy fantastic walks right from your front door
          Sights nearby  -  Nainital town is just a short drive away

          Located along the banks of the Kalsa River, within easy reach of Nainital, this property offers rustic luxury accommodation in the Himalayan foothills. Seven bedrooms decorated with traditional accents are dotted around a working organic farm, amidst waterfalls and flowing streams. A true escape. See More

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