A picturesque drive through pine and oak forest will take you to this tranquil town nestled in lower Himalayan region in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. This scenic lakeside destination is a treat for love birds, family and friends. In contrast to Nainital that is always bustling with activities and crowd, Bhimtal is more of a idyllic place which is more peaceful and less touristic. Hadimba Parvat at 5 km has come up as a new destination because of Vankhandi Maharaj, a monk and environmentalist lives on the hill and has created a wildlife sanctuary around Vankhandi Ashram. Kathgodam is the nearest railway station from where it takes a beautiful drive of 20 km. You can visit Bhimtal anytime of the year. It is pleasantly cool during summers, lush green and fresh in monsoons and chilly cold in winters.
History – After trying to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Fred Smetacek fled the Nazis and managed to reach India in 1939. He established himself as a successful businessman and married Shaheda Ahad, a descendant of Tipu Sultan. In 1951 Fredrick Smetacek moved to Bhimtal and opened his doors to the diplomats from all over the world. Since then it is catering to the elites as a holiday home. He was an avid entomologist and his extensive collection of butterflies is one of the best recognized in India. Now his son Peter Smetacek is taking his legacy forward as the Butterfly Research Centre which is just next door.
Homestay – It is a heritage bungalow in the midst of Deodar, Oak, Cypress and Pine forest. It is lovingly maintained in its original form with its furniture and decor, including paintings and dinnerware intact. Guests have access to a charming sitting-cum-dining room that has a range of books, verandas and gardens that extend into private forest. There are 3 spacious guest rooms with all basic amenities and attached bathroom. Two of the three bedrooms have an extension with extra beds. It has an old charm and cosy atmosphere making it a perfect escape for you.
No. of Rooms: 3, Total Capacity: 14
You will be hosted by Padmini Smetacek. She is a freelance editor, baker, cook and an avid nature lover. Local residents and her grown-up children help her to look after the guests. One of them is a birdwatcher and qualified mountaineer, and takes people birding and trekking, one is an excellent cook and all love the forest and animals.
Food is a huge affair here. Home cooked Indian and Continental cuisine, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian is served. There are 8-10 items on the table in a vegetarian meal and 9-11 in non-vegetarian. Fresh local produce either directly procured from their own organic garden or the village farms are used in the kitchen. 3 course meal is there in dinner. One of the favorite menus of the guests is Pumpkin soup, fresh home-baked bread, pot roast chicken/cheese cutlets, buttery mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables and chocolate mousse. You may also try local dishes like Madua (ragi) roti, accompanied with local lentils and beans, Bhatt ki Daal, Gahat ki Daal, Chhimi, Bichu Booty ka Saag, Ugal, Chaulai, Bathua and Lahi.
Parking • Internet • Running Hot Water • Open Seating Areas • Pet Friendly • Toiletries • Smoking Allowed • Library • Bonfire • Barbecue • Pick and Drop Service (Paid)
Bird Watching • Reading • Star Gazing • Hiking • Village Walk • Forest Walk • Fishing • Cooking and baking classes • Treks and mountaineering expeditions • Nature Walk • Picnic to Panna Tal • Swimming • Tea Picking • Kayaking/ Boating in Lakes nearby • Paragliding
Single Person: 3500/-
Double Occupancy: 4500/-
Extra Person: 1800/-
Includes: Breakfast, Evening Tea with light snacks
Note: These tariff does not apply on festivals and long weekends
Upto 5 year: Complimentary (no extra bed)
6-12 year: 1000/- (extra bed provided)
Bhimtal Lake • Nal Damyanti Lake • 17th century Bhimeshwar Temple • Garg Parvat • Victoria Dam • Butterfly Research Centre
Hadimba Parvat (5 km) • Naukuchatal (7 km) • Nainital (22 km) • Mukteshwar (38 km) • Sattal (48 km) • Ranikhet (57 km) • Almora (69 km) • Corbett National Park (80 km) • Binsar (87 km)
Note: We can arrange your pick up and drop from Haldwani or Kathgodam Rly Stn and also sight seeing. Our drivers and guides are local, knowledgeable and trustworthy.
You may like to check more Homestays in Uttarakhand