Spend your summer in style at Barefoot Bungalow in Buranshkhanda, Mussoorie
As June rolls around, there’s one refrain in mind: summer vacation! To escape the heat of the plains, our beautiful hill stations lovingly beckon us and we gladly drop everything and head to them. Fortunately, now that it’s possible to work from anywhere, summer getaways no longer have to be limited to a few days. They can also last the duration of an entire month or more. For this purpose, a homestay – preferably luxurious and located in the middle of nature – is the best option. The Barefoot Bungalow, a luxury homestay villa located in the secluded and pristine Buranshkhanda near Mussoorie, is one that deserves attention.
Launched by Dr. Amarpal Singh Gulati, Harpal Singh Gulati and Damanjeet Singh Gulati, who converted their family vacation home into a luxury homestay, Barefoot Bungalow is sure to please everyone. “The idea came to us during the pandemic. When everything was closed, we were lucky to have this house. We had a great family time here in the middle of the hills and in a clean and clear environment. While we were there, I realized how great quality family time is and how different staying in a house is from staying in a hotel. The latter gives you different vibes compared to a house so I realized once the Covid-19 restrictions are over people will be crowding into places but not much could restrict them and the most important thing would be the safety and fear of the virus. It made me realize that compared to large hotels, it is much easier to maintain, sanitize and control the influx of guests in a vacation home. Moreover, the environment of a house is different from that of a hotel. It was then that we decided to convert this house into a host family,” the co-founders explain in a conversation with Sunday Guardian.
Barefoot Bungalow opened to the world in May 2021, once Covid travel restrictions eased. Initially nervous about how she would be received or the possible state of tourism post-pandemic, the team’s fears eased over the following months. They say the first month was quite slow as they were in a staggered destination so few queries came in, but slowly as the restrictions started to ease their queries also increased. The first guests arrived in June 2021, who were a family of seven with their pet.
“We were very happy to receive our first guests. I was there myself for their welcome and my team spared nothing in their welcome and their service. They were very happy and promised to visit us again. Since then till date we have been visited by around 100 guests and have around 100 reviews online. Out of the 100 reviews, 95 reviews are five-star reviews, which makes us believe that we have been well accepted by our customers,” Dr. Amarpal shares with a smile.
When asked how they lived up to their label of being a luxury homestay, Harpal replies, “When this homestay concept came to Uttarakhand, it was mainly generation oriented. work and income for local villagers. This would happen with good tourist attendance. Another reason was to educate tourists about the local traditions and customs of the hills. Many training programs and efforts have been put in place to educate owners on hygiene, hospitality and other factors. Therefore, earlier homestays were seen as a budget substitute for expensive hotels and resorts. We wanted to break this myth and offer comfort and hygiene equivalent to a five-star establishment.
The Barefoot Bungalow qualifies as luxurious for the following reasons:
Three attendants and a personal butler/chef are on hand to pamper guests throughout their stay at the bungalow.
Bespoke home cooking by Chef Arjun.
Premium soft linen feather dry cleaned for each guest.
Luxurious royal king coil spring mattress on each bed.
Heated beds for more comfort and well-being.
Cozy wooden interiors to give the warmth and feel of a mountain resort.
High end toiletries and all modern conveniences in the washroom. Separate shower cabins in all bathrooms.
Hot and cold running water 24 hours a day.
Underfloor heating throughout the bungalow – even the bathrooms have ultraviolet heaters.
Bonfire evenings with a personal guitarist and singer entertaining guests.
Separate glass house for meals equipped with a live kitchen so guests can experience fresh cooked food.
Professional high decibel sound system equipped with karaoke music for guest entertainment.
55″ LED screen with all major OTT subscriptions.
Beautiful landscapes and 14000 sq.ft. well maintained private garden equipped with water features.
A magnificent view of the snow-capped Himalayan range.
Fully functional interior fireplace.
Apart from the promise of luxury, Barefoot Bungalow also offers plenty of leisure options including fabulous views of iconic Himalayan peaks such as Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Satopanth, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamanotri; trekking through hills and jungles; visit the Surkanda Mandir, Lake Tehri which is an artificial dam reservoir and the Jhabarkhet nature reserve; try out various adventure sports like ziplining, aerial biking, and off-roading; as well as bird watching. Those bored of the hustle and bustle of city life can visit Mussoorie Mall Road and the increasingly popular hill station of Landour.
“We are different from other homestays in our approach, as we try to make all the facilities of a five star property feel like a home. Our approach is very professional, but our feeling and experience is quite simple,” says Damanjeet. With a focus on providing a luxurious and comfortable experience for its guests, the Barefoot Bungalow caters to a very niche clientele and target audience. The people who frequent their property are those who want to spend quality time with their friends and families but who are also very particular about hygiene, comfort, hospitality, food and atmosphere. “These are people who want to be pampered and taken care of and that is also reflected in our prices,” explain the co-founders.
The team ends by saying, “The icing on the cake is that we serve our customers our range of homemade and handmade natural pickles and chutneys under our own brand Martban “Maa ke Haath Sa”. With this initiative, we try to help many women from neighboring villages by generating work for them. All of these pickles and chutneys are made according to the old recipes of our grandmothers and with the same old techniques that were used before to make pickles. Our guests savor these unique pickles, spreads and chutneys and even buy them for their own homes. All of these products are free of artificial flavors or colors and are made from all-natural ingredients.
Noor Anand Chawla writes lifestyle articles for various publications and his blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be contacted at [email protected]