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We spent two years travelling around India and stayed at over a hundred hotels. The Tripzuki collection represents the best of the best. We met the owners and the staff, took our own photos, and tried the breakfast in the morning. We know EVERYTHING about these hotels. We also negotiated some incredible deals!

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Why Book Through Tripzuki?

  • Free wine or meal
    with every booking
  • Only the best hotels
    we stay at every one
  • Lowest rates guaranteed
    or we'll pay you the difference!


Last year we sent Harsh off to Himachal Pradesh to do a little research trip and stay at some hotels there. For me, personally, getting the photos back from these places and editing some of the content, it was a revelation to see this side of India.

I’ve never been to the Himalayas region before, though I knew sooner rather than later we would have to cover it. Luckily, members of our team have a lot of experience there and drawing up a shortlist of hotels was fairly straightforward.

Having done ‘the list’ we then go to various sources to see what else we can find, but there’s always a part of me that wonders what more a simple googling session might find. I always worry that we may have missed that gorgeous little guesthouse that’s just opened, or overlooked that previously dour hotel that’s now been rejuvenated under new management.

Unfortunately, the standard google search-based, hotel research of Himachal throws up endless places we would never expect our users to stay at. In fact, 3 hours later I was sitting at my desk feeling thoroughly depressed; we don’t like to be negative but what has been built in some parts of Himachal Pradesh, in the name of tourism, is beyond a disgrace!

Six months later, it was therefore reassuring to sit back and review the places we have unearthed in this magnificent corner of India. And as you’d expect from Tripzuki, these are not your everyday hotels with five-star pretensions and flat-screen TVs screwed onto their concrete walls.

I never imagined that we would find guesthouses that looked like something from the Swiss Alps, or camps that recalled the foothills of the French Pyrenees, and none of them out of place. India, as I am continually reminded, never ceases to amaze or fails to surprise.

Here’s one of my favourite places, Sunnymead, just outside Shimla. Though I can only claim to have edited the work, Harsh had the pleasure of staying here and raves about the food more than the views, which is saying something.


The location

Sunnymead is pretty much in the centre of town though not on the Mall (the main street). You will undoubtedly be arriving by car but, as there is no road leading to the house, the final leg is on foot down the gentle hillside path. This is partly the draw of the place, you are hidden away from the traffic and crowds of the town but still near enough to easily explore it. However, even better is the access you have to the surrounding countryside. There are plenty of walking trails in the area and the cedar forest is wonderfully peaceful. Ask Madhavi, your host, to recommend the best walks and take the house’s dogs with you, they’re great company and will appreciate the exercise!


The property

Sunnymead is one of the oldest surviving residencies in Shimla and its incarnation as a homestay/bed and breakfast originates from a desire to preserve and share the house rather than from a commercial incentive.

There are only 4 rooms here: 1 is purely a double whereas 2 are twins (or you can push the beds together and make them a double). These rooms all share a common balcony so that’s a good starting point if you have kids in tow and need to put them in a separate room. The 4th room is a single and faces the back of the property, with a bay window that looks out onto a rhododendron and oak forest. It doesn’t have a view as such but it is cheaper.

On the face of it there isn’t anything particularly English about this place but I couldn’t help thinking back to the country cottage bedrooms of my childhood while I was editing these shots. Maybe it’s the floral prints and the wooden floorboards? It’s certainly not the 4-poster beds! Regardless, it’s certainly refreshing to see these elements in a place to stay; retro, certainly, but classically tasteful.


The food

This is where Harsh starting dribbling into his notebook. Sunnymead has purely home-cooked food, created with veggies from the garden, and Madhavi really nails it here. There’s no menu so just have a chat and see what can be done, it may seem arbitrary (it is) but the spontaneity of it makes the experience so much more rewarding. Indian dishes, English dishes, afternoon tea with a slice of freshly baked cake, everything was excellent.

One thing to note is that there is no alcohol license, but you are welcome to bring in your own or you can be directed to the nearest booze shop when you arrive.


Rates and booking

Obviously we love Sunnymead for multiple reasons, but as the guy that deals with the data and the machinations of booking, I have to say this place is a joy to work with.

Why? Simple rates: 4500 INR per night if you’re by yourself, 6000 per night if you’re a couple. And for kids it’s 1000 extra per night if you have a child in the same room (cots are available but not an extra bed, so take a call on whether your kid needs a separate room or not).

And before we forget, book Sunnymead through Tripzuki and you’ll get a free high-tea (including homemade cake!).