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“An amazing experience”
Review of Dunagiri Retreat

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Dunagiri Retreat
Ranked #5 of 25 Ranikhet B&B and Inns
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“An amazing experience”
Reviewed November 3, 2012

We visited for 10 days in October what a wonderful experience perched high up the mountain with unbelieveable views all round, the rooms are spacious, comfortable & clean & the food is outstanding.
Our host Piyush & his staff could not do enough to ensure our stay was wonderful they were so helpful & polite also advising us on places to visit & the best walks to take. This hidden gem is so peaceful away from the every day pressures a true escape.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Karen593
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Some places are tough to describe with words. Dunagiri retreat is one such place. You have to be there to experience the peace and tranquility of the surroundings. Perched high on a remote mountain, it's location is great to explore the kumaoni hills close by. The retreat has good and comfortable rooms. The service is excellent from the locals who work there. Ever ready to help, they go out of their way to make your stay comfortable. The food also deserves a special mention. All the meals we had were quite delicious and served timely. We were also well guided by the staff on planning day trips and local treks. There is plenty for you to do if you are adventurous, a spiritual seeker or even to spend the day gazing at the beautiful surroundings. It is a must visit place if you are in the region!
I would also like take this space to commend the owner, Piyushji who has created this retreat to share the wonderful mountain experience with visitors like us. There is a charitable institute run for the welfare of the local village and if you are planning to visit, I would recommend bringing your extra stuff to donate (if you can).

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank abhisabhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2012

Great discoveries are made by chance; we were staying at Kalmatia Sangam Himalayan Resort at Almora – when its manager, Narendra Ji suggested us Dunagiri Retreat over Kousani and Mukteshwar. We are happy that we took his suggestion and drove to Dunagiri via Kosi - Someshwar – Binta. The route was a revelation of the natural beauty of Kumaun. Someshwar to Binta the road was in a valley with paddy fields on both sides – lush green during the Monsoon showers of August. From Binta to Dunagiri the forest range is too beautiful to describe in words. The road, the paddy fields and the jungles won our heart even before we reached Dunagiri.

Dunagiri Retreat is on a vast estate with fruit trees, vegetable farms and also a free English teaching institute that the owners run for village children. We visited the retreat in August, which is good time to see the greenery and to walk on clouds. Unfortunately it also means you have to sit in the room waiting for rain to stop and you can’t even pluck and fruit from the trees. Despite the seasonal hang, we thoroughly enjoyed our time and that’s because of awesome service that the staff provides.

The Retreat has a very personalized touch – it may be because the people working there are simple, innocent locals, happy with the fact that they have a good enough job without being forced to move to nearby towns. The kitchen in charge, Panditji is an awesome cook & serves with so much love. We cherished whatever he cooked. To top it he prepared awesome Kumaoni cuisine that my wife requested. The other guys Manoj doubles us as helping hand in kitchen, guide – if you want to go out and also guard during the night. His innocence & readiness to serve us for anything simply won our heart.

It’s just 2 weeks since I came back and I am already planning to visit Dunagiri again early next year – partly because I loved the Dunagiri retreat and its service and partly because I have fell in love with the place.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank sachu79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2012

We spent 8 wonderful days at Dunagiri last month. The Retreat is everything that somewhere by that name should be – an escape from the pressures of everyday life, set in breathtaking surroundings, with the warmest of welcomes and excellent service, and numerous picturesque walks and interesting day trips. Every day we were treated to a series of delicious dishes, many cooked with home-grown ingredients, and the owner – Piyush Kumar – was the kindest and most generous of hosts.

But Dunagiri is much more than that. Piyush has created somewhere that is a part of the village in which it sits – it was built by the villagers, they work at the retreat and local children visit every afternoon for extra classes. For those who want to understand places that they visit, Piyush offers a wealth of information about both the people and spirituality of Dunagiri.

We have missed the Retreat - and the people we met – since we left and hope to return one day. We travelled a long way from London for a week’s holiday but it was not too far and we left regenerated and happy. We would recommend Dunagiri unreservedly.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Anon3773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghaziabad, India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2012

My family had been planning a trip to dunagiri since quite a few years and we finally managed to make it in June, 2012. We were quite impressed by the reviews we'd read and the pictures posted here as well as on the retreats website. The retreat was everything we had imagined it to be. Very quaint but incredibly spacious, it was a delight to live in the retreat, with good home-cooked, predominantly organic local food and excellent service. I'd like to specially mention the bathrooms!! They were done up so well and so artistically! The overall planning off all the cottages was done very well, ensuring each guest had the maximum amount of peace and privacy possible.
Our trip happened to be at an excellent time with respect to the fresh produce. Fruits hung abundantly on the trees and one could just pick them out and eat them. Piyush is also running a free school for the local kids in the afternoons which indicates how a retreat can integrate itself with the local community.
The most popular sightseeing destination nearby is pandukohli, and despite being a slightly tiring trek, it was definitely worth it.
Having visited chaukori before coming to dunagiri, the dunagiri retreat was a very welcome change. Hotels in chaukori put us off with their commercial attitude. In contrast, Piyush ensured a very personalised and homely stay.
I would definitely recommend the dunagiri retreat to those looking for a nice, relaxed time in the mountains.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Nupur0103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, Delhi, India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2012

When I started searching for places where I could get away from the hectic city life for at least 3 weeks with my family, I looked at tons of options that are available these days. Wrote to many people, spoke to tons of them but everywhere I was disappointed because it seemed that everyone was only interested in the money but not in who I was or what I was looking for. A friend directed me to www.dunagiri.com. The first look at the website gave a positive feeling and I wrote to the name mentioned in the website, PIyush. I received a prompt reply from him and soon we realized that he lived in Delhi too. We met up a few times, spoke for hours about what my expectations were. Being musicians, both my wife and me were looking for something deeper than just a beautiful place. We also wanted our 7yr old son to understand village life in India, integrate with the local people there and basically, have a good time. On 2nd June, we drove down to Dunagiri escaping the heat and dust of Delhi to be welcomed by nature at its best.
Mr.Piyush Kumar reached there a few hours later and honestly, the next 3 weeks there was just heavenly. People who visit such places should not expect 5-star conveniences like TV, Wifi or room service but the beauty of this place is the coming together of stories from the Hindu mythology, spiritual energy, simple and beautiful people around and their love, their rustic lives and of course, the temples on top of the mountains. Mr. Piyush Kumar also runs a sort of the school on the premises where the village children are taught English language for an hour every day. On any given day, there are about 30-40 kids who are benefited by this school ( totally non-intrusive for people who are looking for silence and solitude). The very first day we were there, we were taken in by these boys and girls and the villagers as being a part of their own homes. After that, there would be at least 20 children playing cricket with my son and another 20 girls and boys with my wife learning how to sing or draw or paint. The last evening of our stay, we had a small party of toffees, biscuits and chips for the the whole gang and the look in their eyes is something that we shall cherish always.
Our treks to visit the nearby Babaji's caves and the Ashram on top of Pandukholi were indeed a memorable ones. The energy we felt in both these places cannot be explained. Surely each person has his/her own feeling but one should go to such places as a "seeker" and surely, you can get everything and more here.
A few words about the staff:--Yes--there are minor problems sometimes but is there any place on this planet where is is absolutely no problem? Just because one goes there with more money than the villagers does not mean that we have to lord over them. Every single person who we encountered there had only love for us and this love, no money can buy it. Be it the beautiful young boy, Manoj or the cook or the helpers, Kailashgiri and Pramod, each person went out of their way to make us comfortable.
Lastly about the owner, Mr. Piyush Kumar. This retreat was his calling and he has managed to create heaven on earth. A lovely human being and wonderful person to have a deep conversation with.
As I said, go to this place as a seeker. 21 days of heaven and our trip back to Delhi brought us back to the real world, leaving behind tons of great memories, wonderful friendships and a deep desire to go back again and again.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank ShubhendraRao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2012

My friends and I landed up at Dunagiri quite by chance - we were taking a break after almost a year, looking for a lot of silence, quiet, with some walking trails and the agenda of being able to "do nothing much". After speaking to Piyush, we left Delhi early one hot Friday morning in my trusty Scorpio. Yes its a little far - 12 hours or so by road.

The beautiful wild flowers (daisies?) that lined the road leading up to the Retreat gave us the first hint of the magical view lying in wait. A glimpse of the mountains in the distance (they play hide and seek in this season), flowers on the hillside, a distant temple bell, birdsong.....the sheer quiet wrapped around us like a comforting blanket. We snuggled in.

Panditji welcomed us with herbal tea and cooked up a storm (I think he was disappointed that we were unable to finish the spread he set before us). The beds were comfortable and the rooms were large and airy. The bathrooms were lovely (I am finicky about bathrooms). Hmmmmmm......pine scented bathing water. Wonderful. Watched birds build a nest in the verandah and eager children from the village learn English in the backyard.

Read, lazed and ate some more. And took on something a little more energetic... we huffed and puffed our way up to Mahavtar Babaji's cave. Spent time in quiet contemplation and then chai with Meena, a local village woman, who lent us walking sticks for the walk up. The evening saw us at the Dunagiri Devi temple learning about the history of the temple from the Pandit.

We had a wonderful 3 days despite Piyush not being around - plan to go back when he is there to see how much more magic he can add.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
3 Thank RajiPrakash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dunagiri Retreat

Property: Dunagiri Retreat
Address: Dunagiri, Ranikhet 110030, India
Location: India > Uttarakhand > Almora District > Ranikhet
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in Ranikhet
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Nature Retreat in a lush hill forest setting overlooking a dramatic rural landscape. At Dunagiri, you are completely in harmony with nature - distances seem infinite and heaven close. Silence speaks in a thousand tongues here - all calm, joyous and serene. Very few places are left on our planet where we can enjoy tourism experiences in such pristine, tranquil and calm environment amidst ancient forests. A spot of stunning natural splendor, being one with nature is easy to do at Dunagiri Nature Retreat. Its greatness lies not merely in its fascinating history and captivating beauty, it is rather the peaceful and spiritual atmosphere of this place that strikes the mind and brings peace to the soul. Known by various names such as Drongiri, Dronagiri and Doonagiri - a visit to Dunagiri is a holiday like no other; it is a journey into the innermost recesses of the soul, a re-discovery of the essence of being. Go for nature walks, treks in hills and wilderness, visit Cave of Mahavatar Babaji of Kriya Yoga mentioned in An Autobiography of a Yogi. ... more   less 

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