Local, Real and So Hospitable - 5 Hot Home-stays in India!

Tripoto

Credits: http://www.vembanadhouse.com/images/

Photo of Credits: http://www.vembanadhouse.com/images/ by Karishma

Credits: http://maachli.blogspot.in/

Photo of Credits: http://maachli.blogspot.in/ by Karishma

Credits: http://www.homestead-corbett.com

Photo of Credits: http://www.homestead-corbett.com by Karishma

Credits: http://homestay.sulekha.com

Photo of Credits: http://homestay.sulekha.com by Karishma

Credits: http://www.olaulimgoa.com/gallery

Photo of Credits: http://www.olaulimgoa.com/gallery by Karishma

No matter where and how much you travel – as the saying goes – there’s still no place like home. Luckily, for many travelers, it’s now possible to forgo run-of-the mill hotel stays and stay with a local family!

If you thought the concept of home-stays in India were very modest, basic or very under-developed, then think again! Some of the most beautiful, private homes let you be part of their nests and you can enjoy not only some authentic home cooked food but also get tons of personalised attention and if you have experienced Indian hospitality, you'll know what a treat it can be!

There are some home-stays in India which effortlessly stand out and even though the rest are lovely, magnificent (in some cases), these 5 just won in terms of location, facilities, uniqueness, rates and of course- the hosts! 

Maachli is one divine homestay. Situated in Parule village on the Konkan Coast of Maharashtra, the name "Maachli" means "elevated huts" in the local Malvani language and that's exactly what to expect with a twist- four attractive hut-style accommodations built deep within nature, amongst the Samant family's coconut, betel nut, banana and spice plantations! Take time off and hide in one of Maachli's 'huts' to take yourself to a tropical paradise away from all chaos of the cities. The plantation is a few minutes away from a number of pristine beaches and the walk to those will be equally rejuvenating. The host family believes in responsible tourism, they love nature and they value their time on the plantation- more than anything. So you'll surely get some fresh farm food, cooking lessons, long walks while you share experiences and a bonus of a cool sweet water stream flowing right through their property!
Photo of Maachli,Farmstay, Sagari Mahamarg, Parule, Sindhudurg, Maharashtra, India by Karishma
How do you like the idea of living by the sides of one of India's longest lakes, right in the middle of the lush beauty of Kerela? Surrounded by water on three sides, the stay at Vembanad House will give you a taste of heaven, for this place is indeed an exquisite home in a breathtaking surroundings. Besides an utterly comfortable stay, you get a chance to experience the authentic Kerala lifestyle, traditional food and be one with nature. The house itself is eight decades old and built as per ancient Kerala architecture and the hosts have kept the essence intact over the years. They also strongly support responsible tourism and preservation of what remains in our hands, they live simply but their hospitality is nothing short of gracious! You can spend time cooking with them, or fishing with the locals, walking through the paddy fields that surround the house, take a house boat ride, get ayurvedic massage from some local experts or just sit and stare at the foliage which opens up to the lake... And while you find out the season's rates and facilities, do ask the hosts if they can arrange night fishing for you to catch some seafood!
Photo of Vembanad House, Alleppey, Kerala, India by Karishma
Here's where you'll change your ideas of homestays being simple. The understated approach to The Homestead reveals very little about this property's magnificence! The Homestead, where the hosts Bunny and Amu live, is a luxurious, modern home in a beautiful garden with old trees and climbing creepers. It's a spacious abode where your time will disappear. The excellent facilities make it feel more like an intimate resort and it's imposing enough to also take your breath away! But a garden like that and the idea that you have a luxurious accommodation right in Corbett's lap makes this place perfect for pampering yourself. Now if relaxing in luxury is not enough, you can rough it out a bit by opting to spend some time at the farm, milking cows, fishing, camping and come back to an evening of barbeques, bonfires and a night of wide-eyed star gazing! You might find the tariff a little steep, but it'll a;; be okay when you check out the swimming pool and the Turkish steam bath the hosts have decided to offer in their homestay!
Photo of The Homestead, Corbett, Uttarakhand by Karishma
Very Simple, yet authentic - Chhotaram Prajapat's Homestay will give you a true sense of lifestyle in the desserts of Rajasthan. The family belongs to the 'weaver class' and remain simple in their lifestyle. The homestay is on the outskirts of Jodhpur, in the village of Salawas. Rajasthani culture is very colourful, their food has a personality of its own and these hosts will make sure you get a good dose of both! Extremely friendly people, they have understood the preferences of tourists and will cater to those efficiently. When there, do book one of the village safaris/treks which the family will organize and take you for - it can be on cherishing day to spend with the locals in the wilderness of Jodhpur. Let these friendly folks help you escape the hustle bustle of your city lives as you unwind in their cool mud-huts!
Photo of Chhotaram Prajapat's Homestay, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma
I kept the slightly magical one for the last. There's the charm of Goa, and then there is a homestay like this nestled in that charm - Olaulim Backyards, on the Goan backwaters is in Olaulim village, around 30 minutes from Panaji and it is a haven of a homestay! Your hosts will be a delightful Finnish-Indian couple, who live there with their two children and a number of loving pets. They have added 3 fairytale-like cottages for their guests and each cottage is unique in decor, size and location within the property. You'll be blessed with view of the green backyard and paddy fields, coconut groves and a swimming pool in the midst of all this. And the view is just the beginning, these cottages may look rustic from the outside but they not short of any comfort and you will enjoy the open shower under the towering trees, in your private tropical-styled bathrooms! A day at Olaulim Backyards can consist of swimming, fishing, cycling through nature trails, visiting the local tavern or you can also choose to do- just nothing! Try booking a cottage on your next visit to Goa, because it'll be charming, refreshing and the family will make sure you have a lovely time!
Photo of Olaulim Backyards, Olaulim, Goa, India by Karishma