If you are a family in India, you are probably blocking travel dates, coordinating schedules, and planning a summer getaway right about now. While exploring new cities and ticking off things to see on your bucket list is all good, summer needs to be spent relaxing in a hammock, where meals are taken care of and kids are so relaxed they just can't say they are bored!
So this summer, I will not select a place by its "10 best things to do" but the only criteria for choosing a holiday destination would be:
1) a place that does not require too much travel to get to
2) it should not have a travel itinerary, where I need to wake up early to catch the sightseeing tour
So we give you the 10 most exotic summer retreats in India, all of which fulfil the above criteria and will guarantee a holiday that will leave you relaxed and refreshed.
1. Neeralaya, Kullu Valley
Neeralaya is a serene retreat situated on the Beas river. This beautiful property in Himachal Pradesh is surrounded by mountains, forests, orchards, private gardens complete with amenities for the discerning traveller. The meals are customised and cooked home style with fresh produce from their farm. Booking a stay in Neeralaya is one of the best ways to avoid the touristy crowd during the holiday season.
Activities your kids will enjoy: White water rafting, trout fishing, trekking and hiking, mountain biking, nature trails.
2.Destiny Farmstay Resort,Ooty
Ooty being a popular tourist destination can get crowded during the holiday season. But not when you are staying at Destiny Farmstay Resort which offers a wide panoramic, scenic view of the dense Nilgiri hills and a beautiful lake far away.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Kids will love this resort stay as they can spend time observing horses, cows, a hutch with rabbits and other farm animals here. They also get to learn about farming and a chance to indulge in various outdoor activities available here.
Website: Destiny Farmstay Resort
Scroll down to see the rest of the breath-taking kid-friendly resorts on our curated list.
3. Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino, Gangtok, Sikkim
Designed on Sikkim’s monastic theme, MayFair is an ideal place for a family holiday. With plenty of activities for the kids, entertainment, and relaxation for adults this resort is a perfect destination for the entire family.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Gardens, billiard room, library, swimming, bird watching.
Website: Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino
4. Aloha On The Ganges, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Located right on the banks of the Ganga, Aloha on the Ganges is the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The best part about this resort is that it can be easily accessible by rail, road and air from Delhi and offers tons of activities for kids.
Activities your kids will enjoy: River rafting, bungee jumping, rock climbing, flying fox, kayaking, picnic spots, nature walks, trekking, mountain biking, wildlife safari.
Website: Aloha On The Ganges
5. Vivanta by Taj – Dal View, Srinagar, Kashmir
With views of the Dal lake from your windows to the majesty of the Zabarwan range, this Taj property will steal your heart away. A friend visited this resort last summer with his two-year-old and could not stop appreciating the extra attention the staff gave to their family. They even took care of the baby so the parents could enjoy a leisurely meal.
Activities your kids will enjoy: A walk along the Tulip gardens, apple orchards, boat ride at Dal lake, snow play, nature trails.
Website: Vivanta by Taj – Dal View
6. Chevron Rosemount, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand
This heritage property is in an exotic location with a beautiful view of the Himalayas. The rooms are reminiscent of British architecture and the fresh air and clean environment will definitely wash the urban stress and grime right off of you.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Free play at the lawns, bird watching, visits to nearby villages, wildlife safari at Binsar, surrounding flora and fauna, snowy mountain views.
Website: Chevron Rosemount
7. Wildflower Hall, Oberoi Hotels, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Although one of the few resorts in India where only kids age 12 and above are allowed, recent guests to this Oberoi property can't stop gushing over the breathtaking views and have given a 5 star rating to almost everything here, right from the indoor pool to the scrumptious meals, from opulent rooms to great hospitality, this Himalayan resort seems perfect for this summer!
Activities your kids will enjoy: Indoor pool and jacuzzi, in-house games, nature walks, archery, river rafting, cycling or yoga, picnic spots, scenic views.
Website: Wildflower Hall, Oberoi Hotels
8. Aryanka Resort, Munnar
Anyone who has been here will tell you about the beautiful views of the waterfall (Athukad falls) from this hotel. Situated amidst the tea plantations, this resort is a perfect place to spend some time with nature and get your kids to appreciate nature and its beauty too.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Apart from the children's play area kids can enjoy the scenic views of the waterfall and learn all about tea plantations.
Website: Aryanka Resort
9. The Himalayan Village, Kasol, Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Does your family include your adorable pet? Then this pet-friendly resort could just be the place you are looking for. Your little animal lover will have loads of fun frolicking around with the in -house pets at the resort. As for the room, the machans style (tree house) are the most sought-after cottages because of their unique setting and offer a sweeping view of the mountain landscape.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Experience of living in a tree house, playing with in house pets at the resort, angling, agritourism, Jeep safari, jungle barbecue, mountain biking, rappelling, rafting, paragliding, nature walks.
Website: The Himalayan Village
10.The Elgin Silver Oaks, Kalimpong, Darjeeling
Set with a backdrop of Mt. Kanchenjunga, this beautiful property promises a laid back holiday in Kalimpong with family. The resort was home of a famous Jute magnate, is now converted into a luxury Elgin boutique hotel. If you are travelling with a baby, you will value the babysitting facility and special activities for children available at this resort.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Apart from the huge landscaped lawns and kids activity area, kids can enjoy a horse/pony ride for trekking in the valley, a visit to the Nature Interpretation Centre in Kalimpong can also be a new learning experience.
Website: The Elgin Silver Oaks
11. Ri Kynjai, Shillong
This boutique resort boasts of traditional Khasi style cottages that offer stunning views of the lake and the rising sun, situated away from the buzz of the city, this retreat offers great cuisine and many activities for kids to explore.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Beautiful hill treks, boat rides and island picnics, spend a day at the Shillong Golf Course.
Website: Ri Kynjai
12.The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa, Gulmarg, Kashmir
Rated as one of the top spa resorts in India, this snow retreat is situated amidst acres of greenery and the snow-covered Pir Panjal mountains.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Heated swimming pool, children’s club -The Igloo is an activity room for children and is well stocked with board games and gaming consoles and a mini theatre, Gondola rides, nature trails.
Website: The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa
13. Green Nest Resort, Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu
One of the few places down south which enjoys cool weather even in summers. The rooms here have large French glass doors which gives you a straight view of the lush green tea gardens and the blue Nilgiri hills.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Kids can enjoy spotting wild animals around the plantation, bird watching, leisurely walks around the tea estates.
Website: Green Nest Resort
14. Amanvana, Karnataka
Image Source: www.facebook.com/amanvanaresortcoorg/
A serene hideout in the hills, Amanvana is located along the banks of River Cauvery in Coorg and has private bungalows and skylit bathrooms. One of the best resorts in India for family, Amanvana has all the right ingredients to provide you with a fun family holiday.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Barbecue by the water, film at the amphitheatre, trekking, bird sanctuaries.
15. Diphlu River Lodge, Assam
Image Source: www.facebook.com/DiphluRiverLodge/
This hideaway near Kaziranga is a treat for all parents as it doesn’t have any TVs! Yup, that’s right! But then your child won’t need one when he discovers the amount of fun and adventure being offered here. With bonfires and camping, you can spend quality time with your loved ones at one of the best resorts in India for a family vacation.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Nature walks, dolphin boat safaris, tea garden visits, jungle activities, bonfire & music.
Website: Diphlu River Lodge
16. JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa, Uttarakhand
Image Source: www.marriott.com
Nestled amid the magnificent backdrop of the Himalayas, this stunning resort offers a truckload of activities to its young guests. Other than kids, this wheelchair-friendly hotel also caters to its elder guests by providing facilities like connecting rooms for family members, which is why it tops the list of all family-friendly resorts in Mussoorie. You can catch up on some peace and quiet in the lap of nature while your kids wander about indulging in the various thrilling activities under the watchful eyes of the resort’s trained staff.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Farm walks, salsa lessons, cooking demos, a heated indoor splash pool, bicycling track with bikes for rent.
Website: JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa
17. Poetree Sarovar Portico, Thekkady, Kerala
Image Source: www.facebook.com/PoetreeResortIndia/
Every night at this resort spent with your family is a party night! Bring your famjam a boost at this eco-resort overlooking the beautiful Periyar Lake. Located right outside Periyar National Park which is known for its huge population of elephants, Poetree offers kids and adults a number of fun outdoor and indoor activities. If you wish to indulge in a peaceful session of Ayurvedic Spa with your noisy kids playing away under strict supervision, you can ask for the assistance of one of Poetree's trained babysitters or have your kid sent to the In-House Children’s Activity Room. The blend of adventure, rejuvenation, and cultural retreat offered here is what makes this place one of the best resorts in Kerala for family.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Bamboo rafting, forest treks, elephant rides and baths, cooking demos, Kathakali and Kalari performances, activity room with telescopes and binoculars.
Website: Poetree Sarovar Portico, Thekkady
18. The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa, Sohna
Image Source: www.marriott.com
Tucked away deep within the farm-lands of Sohna in Haryana, The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa makes for an ideal family weekend getaway for Delhiites, and for anyone across India for that matter. Located a stone’s throw away from India’s capital city, The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa is among the most family-friendly resorts near Gurgaon and Delhi where your kids will absolutely love the open spaces, the green environs, the zoo, and the myriad indoor and outdoor activities.
Activities your kids will enjoy: In-house zoo, lawns for playing, tennis courts, cricket grounds, bicycling, pony rides, petting the hares.
Website: The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa
19. Novotel Imagica Khopoli, Maharashtra
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India’s first theme park hotel and a stone’s throw away from amusement hubs like Adlabs Imagica and Aqua Imagica, Novotel Imagica has enough adventure and thrill going on within its elegant confines to keep you and your kid occupied for days on end. Youngsters have the option of indulging in a host of activities here, which is why Novotel tops the list of the most adventurous resorts in Mumbai for family.
Activities your kids will enjoy: Dining with characters like Pinocchio, baking, zorbing, toy-making, & more.
Website: Novotel Imagica Khopoli
20. Tree House Hideaway, Madhya Pradesh
Image Source: www.treehousehideaway.com/
If your child loves treehouses, then the Tree House Hideaway in Bandhavgarh should definitely be your first choice! One of the best resorts in India for family vacations, the resort offers a unique countryside experience which will bring you and your kin up and close with Nature. Other than the well-crafted little tree houses, the tranquil ambience of this resort is what makes it ideal for an adventurous getaway at any time of the year.
Got more suggestions on best summer retreats with kids? Share in the comments below.