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Butts Clermont Houseboats

Srinagar

4 cedar-wood houseboats—elegant, welcoming and steeped in history—moored beside an old Mughal garden on the northwestern shores of Dal Lake, taking you back in time to a lost Kashmiri past.

Butts-Clermont opened for business in 1947; the Butts part coming from Mr Haji Butt, a Kashmiri handicraft dealer, the Clermont from Mr. R. Foster, a shipping tycoon and resident of Clermont Hall, Norfolk, UK, who fell in love with Kashmir and constructed several houseboats to live—and entertain guests—in.

When Mr Foster decided not to return to Kashmir around the years of Independence, he told Mr Butt, who had become a close friend by then, he could take on their upkeep if he so wished, otherwise they would be disposed of. Mr Butt took on the boats and turned them into a business.

Over the next half-century they received such distinguished guests as Lord Mountbatten, George Harrison and Michael Palin and, during the militancy years, were the go-to venue for foreign correspondents.

Most of the staff have been around for decades and the family – Mr. Clermont’s son and grandson head the business these days – are always at hand with their old-world hospitality to make sure your stay feels like a stay with family.

Really, there’s nothing quite like this in Srinagar: the place is an institution, famous the city over. With the luxury of having your own boat along with the tranquility that comes with the location, and the sometimes mournful sense of history and faded grandeur, it’s easy to see why.

Book Butts Clermont Houseboats

Rates from USD$ 77.02



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Plus points

  • Secluded location on Dal Lake.
  • Unparalleled levels of hospitality.
  • Exclusivity: you probably get a houseboat all to yourself.
  • Private butler service.
  • Delicious home-cooked food – and all meals included in the rates!!
  • Great sense of history.

Good to know

  • The interiors are dated (but that’s part of the charm).
  • Service can be almost overly-friendly. If you want an anonymous stay, this might not be for you.
  • No alcohol served.
Type Houseboat
Rooms 4 houseboats, 7 rooms in total
Children Yes
Closed October to April