Whenever you talk about a trip to the Himachal Pradesh, most people head to Shimla, Manali, Kasol, etc. which have completely lost their charm now. These mainstream cities have become crowded and commercialized and don't offer the respite which you are originally looking for here.
But thankfully, there are new places still coming up in offbeat locations which are great for a relaxed and refreshing short vacation. And if you want some luxury, comfort, and grandeur stay at such a location then The Sylvan Villa is definitely a good choice for this year.
Until a few years back, The Sylvan Villa was an old school, formed during the colonial period and was the first school to be built in Dharampur. But, with the hardwork and creativity of Bhavna (owner), the place has been completely transformed into a luxurious villa with 3 spacious rooms and a beautiful vintage setting.
About The Property
This 100-year old property was earlier a school which was then transformed into a luxury villa for people who want to escape the city hustle bustle. Situated at a height of 4,830 ft., Sylvan Villa is located in Dharampur and is slightly away from the town which allows you to enjoy the peace and quiet around you.
The entire place is built out of wood and stones and has a vintage-y feel about it with its gramophone, rocking chair, armour, and so on. Also, the plants and vines growing all around this building gives it more of a fairytale-like feel and makes anyone who stays here fall completely in love with it.
There is also a shared balcony on the first floor for the two rooms from which you can enjoy the panoramic view of the valley ahead. There are 2 dedicated helpers and 1 chef to assist you in anything that you want or that you request for.
Trust me, a night in Sylvan Villa is the best way to feel good about yourself and enjoy some quiet and peaceful time with your friends and family.
Currently, Sylvan Villa has only 1 villa which consists of 3 spacious rooms and can easily accommodate around 10 people easily. Each room has a king sized bed, 1 dressing room, and 1 attached bathroom and all the rooms are decorated similarly.
The entire villa is available at a cost 0f 18,000 INR per night and is a great place for family and corporate outings.
The price also includes all your meals and services like WiFi, heater, etc. that are available at the property.
As mentioned above, there is a dedicated chef here available to meet all your food requests and cook anything that you wish for. But you will need to decide the menu beforehand as they also need to go to the town to buy the ingredients required for the dishes.
The chef available here is truly talented and cooks the most wonderful dishes. We truly loved the Dal Makhani and the Chicken Curry on our stay here. They prepare snacks for you on request as well which includes, but is not limited to, pakodes, sandwiches, french fries, and so on.
And if you are craving some sweet dish after a heavenly meal then they would certainly make your wish come true with a delicious halwa, gulab jamun, ice cream, etc.
Best Time to Visit
Similar to other hill stations, Dharampur is an year-round destination so you can plan your weekend getaway to Sylvan Villa anytime you want.
In the Summer season, you will be greeted with clear skies and valley views and will be able to take a break from the summer heat. So, you can plan a weekend trip at this time to refresh yourself and enjoy some cool, sunny weather.
If you don't mind a little cold then October to December could also be a good choice as you get to witness the Autumn colors here.
Monsoon might not be the best time to visit as the hills are covered with clouds, obstructing the beautiful view of the valley here.
How to Reach Here
It is quite easy to reach this place as there are several modes of transportations available for this route.
By Air: The nearest airport to Dharampur is the Chandigarh airport for which you get regular flights from most major cities. You can take the flight till Chandigarh and then hire a cab or take a local bus to reach Dharampur.
By Road: You can also drive till Dharampur if you are starting from Delhi as it is just 280 km away. It would take just 6-7 hours to reach and you will get some beautiful views on the way.
There are also buses available till Solan, both private and government-run, from where you can take a local bus to reach Dharampur.
By Rail: You can take a train to the Kalka Railway station and then get on a toy train heading towards Dharampur. The toy train to Dharampur will cost about 30 INR and take 1.5 hours to reach.
Things to Do at Sylvan Villa and in Dharampur
Spend a Day Exploring Kasauli
Situated at a distance of 15 km from Dharampur lies the city of Kasauli which can turn out to be a great day outing from Sylvan Villa. You can take your car or get a local bus from the Dharampur town to Kasauli which will cost 20 INR and take you about 30 minutes to reach.
In Kasauli, you can head to the Manki Point, Gilbert's Trail, Christ Church, Heritage Market, etc. to spend the entire day here. You can also visit the Sunset point to observe a magical sunset in Kasauli and then head back to Sylvan Villa, taking a local bus.
Relax and Enjoy the Valley View from the Property
To be honest, there isn't much need to venture out of the property because you can enjoy the beautiful mountain views from here itself. Just head to the first floor to watch the beautiful valley in front of you or get up in the morning to observe the color change in the sky as the sun rises.
Indulge in Photography Around the Property
If you are a photography enthusiast then you are going to love Sylvan Villa because this place is quite photogenic and makes for a good backdrop. So, you can come here for a photography retreat or just try out your photography skills here and take some envy-worthy pictures back to your home.
Trust me, pictures clicked at Sylvan Villa is bound to make your friends and colleagues jealous of your luxurious life.
Walk Through the Nearby Pine Forest
There is also a pine forest just behind the property which you can explore if you are feeling bored. It is just a 10-minute walk from the property and you can also reach a toy train station nearby where you can relax in the garden and watch the toy trains pass.
Enjoy a Ride on the Local Toy Train
Lastly, make sure that you don't miss the toy train ride when traveling to Sylvan Villa as it is certainly a unique and thrilling experience. You can take the toy train from Dharampur to Solan and then take a taxi/bus back to Dharampur to check this experience off your list.