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5 hotels and homestays to book in Shillong | Condé Nast Traveller India | India


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It’s a tad unfair that Shillong is referred to as the Scotland of the East, because this beautiful hilltown has a charm and culture that is entirely its own. The capital of Meghalaya is brimming with panoramic views—from lush green hills and cascading waterfalls to cherry blossoms and serene lakes. If you’re planning a visit, here is a round-up of the hotels and homestays to bed down at: 

Where to stay in Shillong

Royal Heritage Tripura Castle

An exterior view of Royal Heritage, Tripura Castle. Photo: Royal Heritage-Tripura Castle/Facebook
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What was once the summer palace of Tripura’s royal family is now a charming hotel, complete with wood-panelled interiors, quaint accents, cozy fireplaces and open gardens. The rooms are especially spacious—among the largest among the properties in this hill town. The restaurant, Rice Court, offers Indian and Chinese fare with a mix of Khasi specialties, while the cafe offers a great Shillong-style fried rice, along with other light eats in an indoor and alfresco setting. Most of the city’s sights and sounds are in close proximity, making it a convenient base to explore Shillong. Doubles from Rs8,400. Website

Aerodene Cottage, Shillong

Old-world charm at Aerodene Cottage. Photo: Aerodene Cottage/Facebook

Located in a quiet neighbourhood in one of the old parts of Shillong, this family-run five-bedroom boutique guest house dates back to the 1950s. It has been carefully restored to retain its traditional Assamese-style structure—built on stone stilts with wooden panels framing young dried bamboo (ikkra), and covered in a combination of sand and lime. Meals are homely and served in the cottage’s dining room. Each of the five bedrooms here is done up in a distinct style, and comes with an ensuite bathroom. There are pockets of garden spaces where you can simply soak in some quiet and sunshine, wake up to birdsong in the mornings  or have afternoon tea in the gardens surrounded by lush fruit trees. Doubles from Rs5,000 per night for a minimum two-night stay. Website

Ri-Kynjai – Serenity by the Lake

The view from Ri-Kynjai
The view from Ri-Kynjai

This luxury resort about 45 mins from the city overlooks the picturesque Umiam Lake, and is shrouded by greens on all sides. Accommodation here is made up of Khasi-style cottages and rooms with red pine walls, fireplaces, private sit-outs offering stunning views of the lake and plenty of local art and artefacts added for good measure. Indulge in Indian, Chinese and Continental fare at the resort’s restaurant, Sao Aiom, along with local specialties. If you’re not out trekking the nearby trails or visiting waterfalls, pamper your senses with a spa session at the resort’s spa with Khasi-style massages and treatments. Doubles from Rs9,800. Website

Hotel Pinewood, Shillong

The hotel draws its name from the seasoned red pine and Burma teak used originally for its construction. Now, you can soak in the property’s rich history from one of its eight cottages spread over manicured lawns. It is also said to be one of the oldest properties built in Shillong, by a Swiss couple in the late 9th century. In addition, the picturesque Ward’s Lake is located just a stone’s throw away. The Pinecone, is the hotel’s restaurant where you can head to for Indian and Chinese fare, or spend your evenings unwinding at The Cellar, the hotel’s bar and lounge with a round of drinks. Doubles from Rs4,700. Website

Cafe Shillong Bed & Breakfast

Cozy nooks at Cafe Shillong Bed & Breakfast

This colonial-style bed and breakfast offers clean and comfortable rooms with modern amenities, yet retains much of the old character of this home. Sip on tea in the cottage’s garden, or sample homely fare for breakfast in the dining room. The in-house chef will be happy to whip up meals for you as well. The rooms are quite distinct with rustic knick knacks and furniture, but that only adds to the charm of this 70-year-old bungalow. It is also conveniently located in Lachumiere, one of Shillong’s well-known localities. Doubles from Rs5,000. Website

 





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Updated: February 22, 2021 — 1:50 pm

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