I've actually not been wanting to write this review. It's like writing a review of your home inviting strangers to take over your bedroom.
I'd heard of La Villa Bethany over the past few years. It's been the urban legend in my office because Amarjeet Kudle was a corporate colleague who left to start his own place in the hills. And when I actually wanted to get away from Delhi, ex-colleagues urged me to come here. The funny part is, I only got to meet Amarjeet (ex-Oberoi and a corporate trainer by day) on day 6 of my trip. Sunita Kudle, the Inn Keeper (ex-ITC and ex-personal valet to the PM during her stint in ITDC), picked up my call, assured me that they enjoyed single, nit picky, women travelers and quickly became my new best friend. She told me what train to catch, sent a sensible guy to the station to collect me, served me amazing meals that she personally cooked as per preferences, found a room for me for an extra night as well as a great pair of shoes (I'll probably receive them at the end of the month), kept conversations going between folks from Australia, America, Russia and India, gave me plenty of books and stories about the hills, and I kinda adopted the family by the end of it.
Now, to the place. It's heartstoppingly gorgeous...except for the climb up the driveway to the road which will also really get your heart racing. It's wonderfully clean (which is really important to me) and it has all kinds of personal touches in each room. It's meant for long-stay folks here for their language studies so it has common areas like the conservatory and breakfast and dinner where people meet and it's extremely friendly. I would have been happiest not bothering to leave the property at all but since it's a bed and breakfast and not a hotel, I felt it behooved me to step out once in a while. But Sunita even told me where to order a cheap lunch on the one day I really didn't want to go anywhere. I shifted two rooms so I know my hands down favorite room and funnily enough, it's not the one everyone on TripAdvisor has raved about (I think I was specially moved to the other one to try their best room and I missed my old room something terrible), so I guess the rooms depend on personal preferences.
It's also got a lot of history which is fascinating; and once you've got over the climb, it's a really easy walk to Landour Language School, Lal Tibba, Char Dukaan, Prakash Stores and Rokeby Manor - which served better coffee (the speciality here is the ginger, honey and lemon tea), but I'm not sure I would want to stay there. And Sunita and Amarjeet are involved in a lot of CSR work and agricultural R&D, which is really interesting.
What they need to do something about is the smell from the dog kennels, which wasn't nice but only really problematic on the walk down. But, the view from here is something amazing. If it hadn't got too cold for comfort, I really didn't want to come down.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Villa Bethany is a multi award winning, socially & environmentally responsible, boutique homestay at an old English Cottage which has been renovated & restored to its former glory. We are committed to maintaining the pristine environment of Landour at the same time offer our guests, old world hospitality, warmth of a home and joys of a simple country life away from the madness of city life. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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