88 per cent survey respondents plan vacations this summer
74 per cent respondents confirm holiday in the hills with their families
The rising mercury levels across the country make one long for the soothing and sylvan surroundings of cloud-kissed mountains. A recent survey by TripAdvisor® the world’s largest travel site reveals that for Indians, hill stations are the most preferred and popular destinations for a family vacation, with 74% respondents giving them the thumbs up.
In time for vacationers to make the most of their hill station holidays, TripAdvisor has announced its list of Travellers’ Choice Hill Station Hotel Awards. This year an additional category called ‘Lodgings’ was introduced as part of the awards, to include alternate accommodations such as B&B’s, boutique resorts and homestays which are more common in these destinations. The Travellers’ Choice award winning hill station hotels were determined based on hotels most highly rated by TripAdvisor travellers, in hill station destinations across the country.
Interestingly, while North India has been the traditional choice for hill station holidays with popular places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and J&K – we see that majority (60 percent) of winning properties are from hill stations down south, compared to previous years.
According to Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager-TripAdvisor India, “The Travellers Choice Hill Station hotels list showcases the best properties for holiday makers retreating to cooler climes this summer. The winners in the new ‘Lodgings’ category are especially a revelation, as our community of travellers have helped identify quaint and charming escapes at some beautiful and less explored hill stations.”
The Celebrated Ones
Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh continue to mesmerise travellers, with six out of the top ten winning hotels from these hill states. Wildflower Hall, Mashobra makes it to the top spot again this year. Also, Chapslee and The Oberoi Cecil in Shimla maintain their presence on the list as favourites for travellers.
India’s Top 10 hill station hotels:
- Wildflower Hall, Mashobra
- Atali, Rishikesh
- Soulitude in the Himalayas, Ramgarh
- Orange County Resorts Kabini, Nagarhole National park
- Devi Darshan Lodge, Auli
- Chapslee, Shimla
- The Regent Hill Side Resort, Yercaud
- The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla
- The Fern Creek, Kodaikanal
- Vivanta by Taj Madikeri, Madikeri
Hidden Gems in the Hills
Though famous for its sultry weather, backwaters & beaches, Kerala is also flanked by the cool and mountainous terrain of the Western Ghats which is home to some lush but less ventured hill stations. ‘God’s Own Country’ takes the top spot as the state with 6 winning properties in the list of top 10 hill station lodgings.
India’s Top Hill Station Lodgings:
- Royal Mist, Munnar
- Panthalams Homestay, Kumily
- Tranquil Resort, Kalpetta
- Thotadhahalli Home Stay, Chikamagalur
- Mundax Homestay Yoga Retreat, Thekkady
- Kalpa's The Grand Shangri-La, Kalpa
- Mount Pleasant Boutique Resort, Kodaikanal
- Camp Ganga Riviera, Rishikesh
- Kaivalyam Retreat, Munnar
- Devonshire Greens, Munnar
Other Traveller Choices This Summer
Although majority of Indians are planning domestic trips, it is interesting to note that despite the current economic scenario, 47% respondents claimed that they plan to head out for an international holiday this summer. Some of the top overseas destinations that travellers are likely to visit include Singapore, USA, Thailand, London and Dubai.
Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Ladakh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands figure among the most popular domestic holiday options this summer.