In recent years, boutique hotels in India have emerged as a vibrant and increasingly popular segment of the hospitality industry. These distinctive accommodations have carved out a niche for themselves by offering travelers an entirely unique and personalised experience. Unlike their larger, chain counterparts, boutique hotels pride themselves on their intimate settings, often housed in charming, historic buildings or architecturally stunning structures. What truly sets them apart is their commitment to providing guests with a bespoke touch, from individually designed rooms to locally inspired decor and curated amenities. This fusion of local flavour and personalized service has struck a chord with travellers seeking an authentic and immersive stay. As a result, boutique hotels are gaining momentum across India, captivating discerning travellers and creating unforgettable memories.
One such place that encapsulates the essence of boutique hospitality is Nadis in Kashmir. Located just a brief 10-minute drive from the serene Dal Lake, Nadis is nestled amidst lush Himalayan mountains, making it the perfect getaway for those seeking tranquility. What truly steals the spotlight upon arrival is undoubtedly their botanical garden, an enchanting marvel where you'll encounter a symphony of colours, from delicate and fragrant roses to vibrant marigolds and an array of exotic flowers whose names might remain a mystery (unless you yourself are into botany). However, the real surprise awaits as you step into Nadis' lobby, which they call their living room. It's an inviting haven of coziness, where every nook and cranny exudes warmth and charm, with a library, fluffy sofas and all the board games you’ll need, setting the tone for an unforgettable stay.
Adjacent to the living room is the dining area. Undeniably the best I have ever been to, the interiors possess a charm that will instantly make you feel at home. And when it comes to the culinary experience, for lunch I had a simple Kashmiri meal which didn’t feel quite simple to the soul, but in a good way (in a really good way, trust me on this). I was served a portion of paneer bhurji with soft phulkas and Kashmiri haak. Haak is actually a local produce, native to the state, and quite possibly the best way to have (and enjoy) greens. This was accompanied by rajma chawal and ended with a delightful phirni.
After a meal like this a nap is a must. The rooms here are pleasing to the eye for sure but also very aesthetic with an old charm to it. There will be a point where you’ll want to ignore the beauty of Kashmir and just dwell into the calmness of the room and property. And when that moment comes, I hope you’ll be able to fight the urge to sink into the mattress.
In the evening you can go for a walk to Dal Lake and come back and sit in the garden with a cup of kahva, which they call the golden liquid. And some of their biscuits with it. The highlight will be the pink sunset for sure but also (if you have a special place in your heart for animals), Choti the doggo who’ll be running around all over the place making it the most peaceful, yet entertaining evening ever. You can take the night slow by just hanging around in the lobby and requesting the staff to make you a pumpkin soup that is sourced fresh from their garden and Kashmiri stout.
The next morning, you’ll be in for a treat, when it comes to food. The breakfast is served in the garden under the shamiana, where you can enjoy a hearty meal as you become one with nature. You’ll definitely feel like royalty as it’ll be a king’s breakfast for sure. They served boonda, paratha, pancakes, cheela and ofcourse the kahva.
The staff at Nadis is extremely polite, pampering you to no end as long as you stay at Nadis. Nestled in the mountains as you take a breath of the fresh and crisp air, every inch of your soul will yearn to leave behind the hustle of the city. And honestly speaking, if a true Kashmiri experience is what you are looking for, Nadis is a must visit.
Aayushi is that friend who won’t let you take a bite without capturing it. For her, the easiest but still thoughtful way of making someone feel special is by cooking or getting them their favourite food. Currently, she’s on an expedition to integrate all her favourites: food, social media and marketing, so that you don't miss the hottest spot in town and you know where to eat those crispy and juicy chicken wings.