They say a place is only as good as its people. The warm hospitality of Jaypee Residency Manor, a celebrated property in Mussoorie, reasserts this notion. By Amitha Ameen

Jaypee Residency Manor
The lobby at Jaypee Residency Manor has polished wooden interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows.

A PICTURESQUE train journey from Delhi, through paddy fields and dense forests followed by a short car ride, brings me to Mussoorie. A quaint hill station located an hour from Dehradun, Mussoorie offers rolling green slopes and snow-capped peaks. As my driver navigates through the bylanes of this town with a discernible colonial hangover, I lower the windowpane and feel the crisp mountain air.

A few kilometres away from the cacophony of the Mall Road and the main market of Mussoorie, Jaypee Residency Manor stands tall like a castle. A feeling of cosiness and warmth envelopes me as soon as I make my way through the double glass doors—the friendly attitude and exceptional hospitality of the staff set the tone for the rest of my trip.

 Jaypee Residency Manor
The plush Executive Room at the Residency Tower.

The high ceilings and polished wooden interiors are what catch your eye first. The palatial hotel is split between two towers— Residency and Valley View. While the rooms at the Residency Tower offer cosy settings with panoramic views of the mountains, the Valley View rooms offer a more contemporary setting.

I am ushered through a maze of passageways to The Executive Room at Residency Tower my home for the next three days. A private balcony offering stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayas wins me over. The property also has layered terraces that offer 360° views of the Doon Valley.

 Jaypee Residency Manor
The life-size chess board at one of the court lawns.

After a quick nap, I head to Regency, the multicuisine restaurant, for lunch. I choose a table next to the French windows that overlook the vast courtyard of the property. The staff informs me that it has seen one too many weddings, and I am not surprised. With the stunning backdrop of the Mussoorie skyline, it would make for the perfect wedding venue in India. As recommended by the staff, I decided to try the Garhwali Thali, and it turns out to be a meal befitting a queen, made from the freshest locally sourced ingredients. Apart from Regency, the hotel also houses the Marshall’s Lounge with its well-stocked bar, the 24-hour Café Manor, and The Old Bakery that serves exquisite desserts.

Jaypee Residency Manor
Jaypee Residency Manor is a luxury property located a little ahead of the Mall Road in Mussoorie.

Jaypee Residency Manor takes sustainable living very seriously. It boasts exotic plants, a greenhouse, compost pits for waste management, and even a banana grove. The hotel also has a private joggers’ path with rolling hills on one side and lush green foliage on the other. Apart from providing a string of outdoor activities, the hotel offers indoor entertainment. From a pool table, an arcade, and a bowling alley to an indoor temperature-controlled swimming pool, an expansive spa, a basketball court, a skating rink, and even a badminton court—there’s no dearth of fun things to do here. The life-size chess and snakes & ladder boards on the east and west court lawns are also striking.

At night, I decide to visit Café Manor, where a fresh-from-the-oven pizza awaits me. Post dinner, I settle down on one of the comfortable chairs in the balcony, feasting my eyes on a mesmerising view of the ‘Queen Of the Hills’.

GETTING THERE

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (52 km). Ask the hotel concierge for a pickup or book a taxi. Alternatively, take a taxi directly from Delhi to Mussoorie (287 km).

WHERE

Jaypee Residency Manor, Barlowganj, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

TARIFF

Starts from INR 8,000/USD 113; jaypeehotels.com

WHEN

September to June.

IDEAL FOR

Families, couples, nature enthusiasts, and business travellers.

DISCOVER

Visit the nearby town of Landour, home of the famous author Ruskin Bond, go on a nature walk, visit Kempty Falls, or take a casual stroll along

COURTESY OF JAYPEE RESIDENCY MANOR

Mall Road.

Related: 5 Himalayan Homestays You Must Book For A Quick Getaway This Winter