Sikkim is a comfort to the weary traveller; a sigh of relief to those fatigued with the hustle of the city life. Rightly known as “the land of mystic splendour”, this northeastern state can surprise you with its flower-clad valleys and winding roads that seem to go right up to the heavens.
Against a setting of its many traditions and cultural rituals, you can enjoy a Tibetan-style feast. But what will set your trip apart, is enjoying a few days with the local people, gorging on authentic dishes, and living Sikkim life to the fullest. Here are some hand-picked homestays that you are bound to enjoy.
1. Zuluk Snow Lion Homestay
Perfect for: This heritage homestay has been an attraction since the days of old as it lay on the transit point within the Silk Route. Immerse yourself in a truly authentic mountain experience.
What’s so special: The cottages are amazing, and you will get a chance to wake up to the ‘mesmerising’ views around, as described by a visitor. The bedrooms are well furnished with basic amenities and will give you a sense of being in a typical lodge in the mountains. Since the homestay was a heritage one, the interiors have a royal feel about them with their wooden decor and floor panels. There are standard double rooms, and deluxe double rooms available.
What’s nearby: Explore the surroundings by taking a trip to the Kupup Lake, Tukla Valley, and other attractions. At a height of around 10,000 feet, explore the village of Zuluk with its rugged terrain; walk through the winding paths of village homes; catch the sunrise over Mt Kanchenjunga.
Price: Rs 1,946/night for a standard double room; Rs 2,162 (breakfast included)
Where: R N Road, Zuluk snow lion, Zuluk, Sikkim – 737131.
2. Barfung Retreat
Perfect for: The Barfung Retreat is for anyone who wishes to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with themselves.
What’s so special: The cottages while maintaining their old-world charm are equipped with modern amenities. The rooms are clean and the wooden floors coupled with fresh linen are a traveller’s treat in the icy mountains that surround this abode. It might get chilly, but you could always ask the staff for a heater.
Activities offered: Explore the gardens on the property; take a walk down to the nearest village, relax and rejuvenate with the mountains as your company.
Price: Rs 3,000/night for a standard deluxe room; Rs 3,500 (breakfast included)
Where: The Barfung Retreat, Ravangla, South Sikkim – 737139
3. Orchid Villa Homestay
Perfect for: The homestay is located in Rinchenpong which is a beautiful haven in West Sikkim, forested and offering a beautiful view of the Himalayas. The town is well known for several historical events that contributed to India’s legacy. The homestay’s prime location in this village makes it a beautiful spot to stay and enjoy a few days.
What’s so special: The rooms are quaint and offer a splendid view of the mountains. Washrooms are western-style and owing to the abundance of things you can do in the area, you won’t be bored for a minute. There is a sit-out area where you can drink in the gorgeous view along with a cup of tea, and at night, there is a barbeque.
What’s nearby: Visit the Rinchenpong Monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim; take a walk up to Poison Lake; visit the Sirijunga Temple; admire nature at the Tenzing Hillary Park.
Price: Rs 2,409/night (breakfast included)
Where: Kaluk – Rinchenpong Road Below PWD Office, Rinchenpong 737113 India
4. Limboo Homestay
Perfect for: Whether as an inn for travellers who have trekked through the rugged slopes, or a cosy abode for people who wish to dive into Sikkimese culture and have steaming hot delicacies, this homestay is the perfect getaway.
What’s so special: The rooms are well ventilated and have hot showers attached. A garden for meditation, a family that is engaged in helping you make the most of the local culture, and hygienic rooms that are very affordable are what you will be greeted with here.
What’s nearby: Breathe in the fresh air of the mountains and walk through the garden; check out the museum which has locally made handicrafts; attend the bonfire at night where you can get the latest on everything right from the local culture to sampling various foods.
Price: Rs 1,200/ night (breakfast and dinner included)
Where: Yuksom West Sikkim, Opposite Yuksom Primary Health Center, 737113
Contact: 083481 67763
5. NotOnMap ‐ Lum Tshering Organic Farm
Perfect for: Get an authentic experience with the Lum Tshering Organic Farm. This little space is set away from the hustle of civilisation and is picturesque and antic. The meals are prepared with vegetables from the garden, as one visitor writes.
What’s so special: The homestay is built using sustainable material, and the local Lepcha communities are to credit for this. It houses two rooms with double beds and attached bathrooms and the home opens up into the orange plantations.
What’s nearby: Take a hike to the pristine village of Lum; get a chance to meet and interact with the Lepcha tribes who are native to this region; explore the orange plantations at the homestay.
Price: Rs 2,998/night (breakfast included)
Where: Lum Village, Mangan Subdivision Dzongu district, 737107
6. Enchanted Forest Sikkim
Perfect for: You have 18 acres to explore whilst you are here. The farm is a kind of ecosystem in itself as there are species of animals, birds, insects, and much more that you will come across. “A rustic farm experience” is what you are in for, as the owners describe it.
What’s so special: The cottages are pure comfort and bliss, with their colourful bedspreads, windows that open out into the farms, and antique vibes that they give off. The hosts give you a tour of the farm and even let you get your hands on a little organic farming whilst you are here.
What’s nearby: Discover farming in the region; walk and stroll through the fields around, learn about the intricacies of organic farming; have a picnic by the waterfall; take a nature walk and learn about the vegetation of the area.
Price: Rs 4,000/night for duplex room (breakfast included)
Where: Enchanted Forest Farm, Parbing Village, Ranka, Gangtok 737101
7. Bon Farmhouse
Perfect for: In the Kewzing Village of Sikkim is the Bon Farmhouse which is a treat for those who would want the true experience of the northern state while also having comfort at close quarters.
What’s so special: You can opt for the family cottage, the farmhouse suite, log hut, or villa suites, and rest assured you will get first-class service along with delicious meals that are prepared with locally grown vegetables.
What’s nearby: Explore the Kewzing village; visit the Kewzing Monastery; visit Barfung Village; enjoy the sunset at Mangbru Monastery viewpoint; trek to Samsing Village.
Price: Rs 3,500/night (breakfast included)
Where: BON Farmhouse, P/O Kewzing Bazaar, Below Kewzing Monastery, Ravangla Subdivision, South Sikkim
Edited by Yoshita Rao