My friend Madhavi & I decided to hit the hills for a little weekend getaway on 2nd October weekend. We searched and searched for a cottage or boutique hotel for days but just couldn’t find an accommodation that would fit the bill, i.e.: be reasonable, close to Delhi yet in the hills and have some character to it. Finally, Madhavi told me about a little cottage named Walterre, located about an hour away from Dehradun. As soon as I opened the website, I knew we just found the place we were looking for. Without overthinking too much, we booked our room online there and then and were ready to go!
The villa has 4 large bedrooms, huge gardens, verandas, a living area, dining room, kitchen and a reading nook! It works like any other hotel where you book a room for your self exclusively and have access to all the other common areas. How it works differently is that, you’re essentially sharing a house with 3 other groups/families (staying in the three other rooms). At first, this may be a little strange to some but think of it more like a guest house or a home-stay where you are living in someone’s house and are paying rent for it.
Though you do share the common areas such as verrandas, gardens, living room with other guests, it can be really fun experience since you get to meet new people. If you don’t want to interact with others and want time only for your self, think of these common spaces as a hotel lobby where other guests lounge around doing their thing.
The entire villa is beautifully done up with ever nook and corner carefully thought out. Almost all the walls in the house are adorned with rare natural history lithographs from the owner’s collection, sourced from all over the world! Complementing prints and patterns beautifully put together truly makes the place stand out as even with an excess of it all, it just all falls into place.
The rooms are huge with four post bed, a little living room, and an attached bathroom. Each room could easily accommodate at least 3 people where the third person charge is extra (Check the website for all tariffs). We rooms were air-conditioned along with having fans and the bathrooms had a geezer so that worked well since the property isn’t located at a very high altitude.
I don’t know where to begin to compliment the service. It was absolutely outstanding. The accommodation serves three meals a day where breakfast is charged at Rs.250 and lunch + dinner at Rs.350 each (per head). The home caretakers really do a good job to ensure that the house is spotless clean and all your dietary needs are met! For breakfast, we had a lovely array laid for the both of us on the terrace that included- cereal, eggs, poha, tea/coffee/ toast with home made jams & nutella. What I loved about the place was how personalised things were. You don’t want eggs? No problem! You can tell the chef to prepare something else for you. Dinner was definitely the highlight of our day since the food was absolutely out of the world. Well prepared, home made, good quality food- what more do you need? A typical dinner menu looked something like this- Palak paneer, Chicken curry, Dahi-Benegan, Rice, Rotis, Curd OR Mutton curry, Bhindi, Rice, Rotis, Paneer, Gulab Jamuns. It was a buffet like system where the food was laid on the table and one could eat all you want so Rs.350 for such a lovely meal was worth every penny.
Things To Do
We checked into Walter on the 1st evening at around 6 pm and checked out on the 4th morning. We did have time on our hands so decided to things at an easy pace. There’s a river right around the property- about a 5-10 mins walk downhill. This place has something to offer to everyone. If you want to spend time in the cottage reading, writing or simply soaking in nature- it’s absolutely perfect as the property is tucked away amongst greenery and the hills. One can take short walks nearby or even go down to the river for a while. On the other hand, it’s an hour’s drive away from Mussoorie if you’re looking for the “hill-station” experience. The villa’s caretaker will arrange for a car and a driver (Need to pay extra) who will drive you down to Mussorie, wait there and bring you back. Since we didn’t want to go to main Mussorie Mall area, we decided to hire the car who dropped us off at “Picture Palace” from where we decided to begin our trek to Char Dukaan and Sister’s Bazaar. The walk uphill to these two places is not easy whatsoever and is pretty tiring. Its about an hour of uphill walking but is absolutely worth it. If you don’t want to walk, you could also tell the driver to take you in the cab but I really recommend walking it! Chaar Dukaan was a delight after the long walk where we gorged on pancakes and bun omelette. It wasn’t half as crowded as the Mall at Mussorie and the weather was pleasant too since it is at a much higher altitude. From Chaar Dukaan, it’s another short walk to Sister’s Bazaar where we went straight to Prakash ki Dukaan to buy some freshly baked cinnamon rolls, peanut butter and home made preserves. If you do decide to go to Mussorie, make sure you go to this shop- YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!
I highly recommend this villa to you especially if you want to live fairly close by to a hill station (that’s not too far from Delhi) and yet be far away from all the craziness and chaos. Walterre defines the term getaway in it’s true sense where it really seems like you’re living in a little cottage right out of a fairy tale.
How to reach: The easiest option is to take the Dehradun Shatabdi from Delhi to Dehradun. You could also take a Volo from Delhi to Dehradun. Once you reach Dehradun, you can book an Ola cab that would take approximately Rs.500 to the property. The villa is really secluded in the middle of nowhere so don’t get worry if it takes you a while to find it. You can also call for a pickup to the train station/bus stand from the villa it self but that is way more expensive, even though it’s more convenient.
Tariffs: Approximately Rs. 3,500 a night + taxes
For more pictures from the trip, check out my Instagram handle
This post is NOT sponsored whatsoever.