Visiting Manali, Re-visiting Gothic

Manali, perched on the banks of the River Beas in Himachal Pradesh, has never felt the need to nurse a colonial hangover to draw visitors to its naturally bestowed verdant bounty. So when I suddenly hear a lot of chatter about a certain Gothic castle near the Hadimba Temple, curiosity bites me hard.

Replete with chimneys, a Juliet’s balcony, and a turret crowned with a crow’s nest, turns out this property is of a recent vintage, and many years in the making, because the owners are simply living their dream: flagstone by paved flagstone, arch by medieval arch.

Evidenced, in the stoney facade offset by gracious interiors, is that The Himalayan Resort & Spa is a labour of love of luxurious details. Dark wood floors, leather furniture, hand-crafted chimney pieces and cast iron fireplaces are de rigeur.

The entry hallway, its marble floor inspired by ones in Pompeii, opens onto yet another remarkable feature: a swimming pool sunk into an informal garden, with stone pathways leading off to well-appointed guest cottages,  snuggling amidst apple and cherry orchards. And the views? Matchless! For one who is always itching to explore, I must confess I spent much of my time here soaking in the surrounding verdure.

 

 

 

 

Truth be had, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if guests choose not to leave the premises at all. Would you, if your complete wellness was in the capable hands of the in-house Tattva Spa? I didn’t think so either. Combine that with leisurely constitutionals through the family-owned orchards, and this place has the makings of a destination resort par excellence.

 

 

 

 

 

In-step with their obvious stance on quality of experience, the friendly owners are always at hand to trouble-shoot, as also to lend your stay a more personal touch. In deed, one of them found time to keep us company whenever possible. Chatty and knowledgeable, he also kept us informed, in style and in splits!

12 comments

  • Looks like the castle of a friendly Count Dracula…great photos and a wonderful write-up…….a strong enough reason to plan a trip to Manali…thanks

  • Wow. Sounds great. Is the weather ever swim friendly in Manali?

  • Mmmmmm… sounds wonderful. Love the interiors and the views. Got to put it on my “to do” list.

    Great write up and photos.

  • Dear Puneet,

    Your excellent write up and amazing photographs has woken my desire to visit Manali to check out this property. Somehow Manali has just become a prime example of tourism going bad and i have stopped visiting it for the past few years restricting myself to other valleys of Kullu especially Tirthan . Its too much damage control thats happening and i am glad properties like the HImalayan will be restore a bit of comfort and elegance in this land of the Manu Rishi.

    Regards

    Ankit

    • Hi Ankit,

      The Himalayan may be just the reason for re-visiting Manali. I, too, keep going back for the saving graces which, sadly, are increasingly few and far between. But this one was particularly refreshing, in both outlook and look-outs 🙂

      Cheers, Puneet

  • Rajnish Sapra

    Haven’t been to Manali since 12 years. This is reason enough to undertake that long pending trip. Thanks!

  • It is a well written post with captivating pictures. It seems that Gothic castle offers brilliant and unmatched view of the spectacular Manali area. I have visited Manali twice but never heard or seen that castle. I am very impressed with what you have written about it and have gone through its website as well. Now I have decided that when next time I go to Manali, I will definitely stay at The Himalayan Resort & Spa.

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