In a world pacing towards social media, it’s only fair to join the bandwagon as well. After all, isn’t half the fun of vacationing boasting about it to your friends? Here are some of the most Insta-worthy homestays in Himachal, which will not only amp up your New Years’ Eve plans but also make your Insta feed super aesthetic! By Bayar Jain

Being surrounded by social media at all times means an irresistible urge to stay active on it as well. The incessant need to keep posting on Instagram, aiming for that uber aesthetic feed and letting our followers know what we’re up to can be hard to resist; more so during the holiday season! With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, and mountain retreats teasing us to double as temporary abodes, we decided to curate a list of stunning Himalayan Homestays to add to your 3*3 Instagram grid. Plus, they’re perfect for those who wish to bring in the New Year in blissful calm amid mountains.

1. Gone Fishing Cottages, Kullu

Picture waking up to gentle hums of the Kalwari stream, smells of pine forests, and the melodious music of rare birds. Nestled amid orchards and step farming fields, the Gone Fishing Cottages elevate the idea of being in nature’s lap a notch higher. It’s proximity to Tirthan – considered an angler’s paradise – is just as mesmerising in summers as it is in winters. Oozing with a rustic charm, and loving hospitality, Gone Fishing Cottages masters the art of providing a relaxing, luxurious holiday. While here, one can choose to hike up the Great Himalayan National Park, stroll around the vast orchards, or simply unwind at the calm Serloaskar lake.

2. Meena Bagh, Shimla

With its wood and mud-plastered walls, and breathtaking views from the balcony, Shimla’s Meena Bagh personifies a typical Himachali home to the T. During winters, this three-bedroom cottage doubles as a mini snow globe, owing to the spectacular snowflakes that bless this region. Adding to this heavenly atmosphere is the fact that the entire cottage follows sustainable practices. From furniture made using waste wood, to solar powered geysers in every space, this eco-resort exemplifies eco-living. Meena Bagh, however, doesn’t stop there. They are LGBTQ+ friendly, pet-friendly, and even give rooms half off to writers, journalists, artists, and anyone associated with conservation activities.

3. Sylvan Villas, Solan

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Dating back at least a hundred years, Sylvan Villas was originally the first school in the city of Dharampur. Over time, due to the thronging tourists to this region, the space metamorphosised into a three-bedroom villa. With a backdrop of the Himalayas bowing down to you, this Himalayan retreat is no less than a ‘home away from home.’ While here, guests can opt for yoga classes and even play a game of badminton in the fresh mountain air. Following this exertion, simply sit down and devour the Villa’s Chef’s scrumptious meals.

4. Taara House, Manali

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Goodbye Monsoons, Hello Autumn

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Perched at a height of 6,600 feet, Taara House is a labour of love set up entirely by a family. Here, pine forest backdrops juxtapose the Himalayan ranges, while the cottages themselves boast of a deck to soak in these views. Reclaimed Burma Teak, English Oak, and Pine woodwork find a way to blend with the overall classic, mid-modern demeanour of the property, adding to this display of the beauty of their glasshouse. Here, one can choose to dine under the stars or even soak in the winter sun. Sounds magical, doesn’t it?

5. Sanjiv’s Aira Holme Retreat, Shimla

Sanjiv’s Aira Holme Retreat is best described as tranquil heaven. Located far enough from the revelling crowds of the main city, but close enough for daily comforts, this homestyle cottage is as cosy as it can be. The property is enveloped by the shade of apricot trees, and three furry buddies to give you company. For guests who wish to work, the attic doubles as the ideal space to do so.

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