When you are a family or a big group, you need a cozy space where you can all chill together, plan together and stay together! I have personally been on multiple trips in a group with friends or family but what I have always hated is being confined to different rooms in hotels (and sometimes on different floors) which at times bound us to even basic communication. We do keep a track of each other on Whatsapp or phone extensions but it’s not too convenient most of the times. It looses the whole purpose of travelling in a group.
Do you relate to this? Then read on to know how we enjoyed staying under one roof that too enjoying our own secluded space
Our choice for a family of 5 who wanted to stay together with all the comforts was Open View Estate in Ranikhet! A 2 bedroom cottage (they have one bedroom and three bedroom cottages as well) became our perfect abode! A little isolated from the main market of Ranikhet, we found solace in this space. Though it was well connected through a short drive to the tourist spots as well as the market!
The navigator made it smooth for us to reach the property and we loved the cottage style stay. A living room which not only had a couch with 2 chairs and table to sit, relax and watch television, it also had a dining room with a personal kitchen equipped with crockery and cutlery. Calm and neutral colour tones made the whole room look even more beautiful! The living room opened to a private balcony which had a beautiful room showcasing a natural landscape of mountains!
A fleet of stairs led us to the lower floor which had 2 bedrooms. Me and my two siblings immediately chose the master bedroom. What delighted us was not only the room but the big washroom too which had a dressing room as well. The second bedroom was also great but a little smaller than our bedroom with an attached washroom too. Both the rooms had windows opening up to a wonderful view which one would just keep cherishing. Big wardrobes were also a dominant part of the rooms.
Since we had a caretaker of the property to ourselves we had the luxury to keep our wish list according to which we could order anything to eat! For lunch we ordered Dal Tadka, Paneer Bhurji, Shahi Paneer, Boondi Raita, Green Salad, Roti, Paratha and Jeera Rice. The homely made food was served neatly in steel pans and casseroles to ensure the food doesn’t go cold. Small gestures like these certainly go a long way!
The property is owned by Mr Mehrotra, a humble businessman who ensures the guest are fully taken care of. The property has been in existence since the British regime and about a decade back, the property was converted in a commercial place. I had a small chat with Mr Mehrotra from whom we wanted to know the prime USP of the place and he educated us about the great views which you witness from the property. Nowhere in Ranikhet would you be able to see such a vast landscape of the mountains and we couldn’t agree more!
We also took a tour of the other cottages owned by Mr. Mehrotra which were in the same lane as the cottage we were staying in. The 3 bedroom cottage had a great warm feeling. The living room extended an old world charm and also had a fireplace which one can still light up. All bedrooms had attached balcony which had marvelous view of the Himalayas. We could also spot modern amenities like bathtubs for the perfect stay.
It was time for a little sightseeing and we went for Jhula Devi temple, Chaubatia Gardens and Sadar Bazar. Dedicated to the goddess Jhula Devi, Jhula Devi Temple was a fascinating sight for sure with countless bells tied on different areas of the temple. As per the saying, you have to tie a bell in the temple and make a wish. We also tied the bell purchased from the shop outside and made a wish!
Chaubatia Gardens was a great place to explore. The place exposes you to various kinds of trees- apples, pine, deodar and lovely flowers as well as great views too. Our guide told us about the various trees and plants. It’s advisable to take a guide who will charge a nominal amount for their services. You have to walk a lot so ensure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes with strong grip.
For Sadar Bazar, I had huge expectations and this was known as the Mall Road of Ranikhet. We have always loved the Mall Road in Nainital but this one was not as expected. Though, we stopped by at a restaurant for some yummy Maggi, momos and spring rolls.
After our sight seeing, we headed back to our lovely cottage.
For dinner at the cottage, we had Egg Curry, Rajma, Rice, salad as well as Aloo Shimla Mirch accompanied with rice and rotis. The rotis which were freshly made were soft, fluffy and yum! I liked the egg curry as well which was mildly spiced! Rajma had a wonderful aroma and taste. For a North Indian like me Rajma Chawal has always been a win-win situation. However, we thought of having chicken but that needs a prior order as the caretaker would have to go to the market to buy chicken. The evening stock isn’t that good.
Exhausted for the day, we went to our respective rooms for a bright and exciting day ahead.
For breakfast, we had an assortment! Soft and yummy pooris along with bhaji, omelette bread, toast, well stuffed aloo paratha which was accompanied with curd and pickle, sandwich as well as cutlets. All made well and served hot in different casseroles.
It was now time to check-out as our lovely vacation was coming to an end.
Open View Estate was surely a treat for a family for us and we loved the spacious, well-maintained, ventilated and clean rooms while we chilled and enjoyed. It was now time to start our journey back to Delhi, though we stopped by at the beautiful Bhimtal Late on the way back where we enjoyed ourselves.