The Homestead is situated close to the famous Jim Corbett National Park, but the charming homestay is a destination in its own right. Run by Bunny and Amu Puri and set amidst acres of forest and farm land, it offers a delightful break from all things urbane.
Mornings at The Homestead begin with a hearty breakfast, followed by an amble through the farm that is part of the property. The scent of seasonal fruits and sugarcane fills your lungs as you stroll along dusty trails under powder blue skies. Scarecrows stand guard in bright paddy fields, ready to jump sneaky birds. If a leisurely walk seems too tame, dial it up a notch by exploring the area on a bullock cart, or riding ATVs. Bunny and Amu arrange for permits, and safaris in the Corbett National Park. Children and adults can spend clear nights stargazing through The Homestead telescope or plunge into the pool to beat the heat of the bhabar, the local name for the foothills. The property also has a play area, sauna, and Jacuzzi (₹200 for 20 minutes), the last of which feel like bliss after a long, bumpy safari ride.
The garden room, one of my favourite spots, is a sheltered veranda where you can enjoy the outdoors even on a rainy day, and where you can spend the evening reading. Despite these comforts, the hosts are by far the most charming part of the experience. Over lavish brunch spreads at the garden, poolside, and dining room, Amu delights visitors with her stupendous cooking while Bunny keeps spirits up with his lively anecdotes.
The child-friendly place also has swings and a trampoline, that is not only for kids.
Appeared in the October 2013 issue as “The Hosts with the Most”. Updated in January 2017.
Getting There The Homestead is located at Piru Madara, 15 km from Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. It is a six-hour drive from Delhi on the NH78 highway.
Another option is to take a train from Delhi to Kashipur railway station, 13 km away (9927082128, 9810048864; www.homestead-corbett.com)
Accommodation The Homestead is filled with bric-a-brac from around world, and there’s a story to go with each item. A giant stag trophy and a tiger skin are remnants from the old days; the framed butterflies are a souvenir from a trip to Africa; a delicate lampshade was brought carefully from Prague; and the garden pottery is from Khurja. Each room has its own charm, the walls painted in shades ranging from bright blues to sober pastels, some even carrying leafy patterns stamped by Amu. Couples can opt for a double room (₹6,000 with breakfast; pick from the two in the spa block) or a suite, which is also great for small families (₹7,000 with breakfast; ask for the garden suite). A larger group, or those who want privacy, can stay at the cottage, which has two bedrooms and a sitting area (₹8,000 with breakfast). The Homestead also has a luxurious trailer van, which can be parked anywhere on the property.