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The Retreat

Bhimtal, Uttaranchal

What do you get when you take some incredible history, add a dash of adventure and a pinch of romance, season them with some old-world charm, and garnish with freshly created friendships? You get memories that the masterful resident chef would be proud to serve.

The story of a German who tried to assassinate Hitler and ended up wooing an Indian princess in Calcutta before setting up residence with his bustling brood in the hills of Kumaon might sound right out of the movies, but guests at The Retreat get to live with his descendants and hear the tale for themselves.

The Smetaceks have a long history of being gracious hosts and Padmini, popularly known as Paddy, is today the proud flag bearer of that tradition at The Retreat. Their family home has history both within and on their walls, and we’d advise you to sit down with Paddy and get your fill at one of her splendid spreads.

If you want to explore the countryside here, and you certainly should, Bhimtal is well placed for easy access to Nainital and the surrounding lakes, as well as to the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve.

Spend a weekend here with friends or family and you’ll understand why it’s so perfectly named.

Book The Retreat

Rates from USD$ 34.55



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Unlike other websites, we stay at every property we review. So ask us anything! Our expert staff will help you find the perfect room.

Plus points

  • History, charm and character.
  • Warm, welcoming hosts.
  • Finger-licking food.
  • Great location base to explore the lower Kumaon.
  • A range of activities for all ages.

Good to know…

  • Rooms are quite basic.
  • Bhimtal is 5 minutes away.
  • Pets allowed, but on leashes.
Type Homestay
Rooms 3
Children Yes
Closed in January