Why I Enjoyed Staying At Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Tourist Rest Houses
This blog post is about my experience of staying at Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd Hotels during our Bloggers Bus journey with Uttarakhand Tourism
During my travels, I have stayed in all kind of hotels, guest houses, luxury resorts, and even campsite, but I rarely write about the hotels I stay as mostly my focus is on the destination & experience. I have actually said no to many a hotel FAM trips as it just meant staying in the hotel and writing about it. While I am always keen to explore around also and experience the place, interact with people and maybe chat with friends whom I have never met so far. Anyways enough of my quirks, let me share my experience of staying at Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd Hotels or Tourist Rest Houses as they are called.
What is Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited?
In order to promote tourism and related activities in Kumaon and Garhwal regions, the government formed two organizations Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam & Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd. The aim of these bodies is to develop sustainable tourism activities in the area. Kumaon Mandal or KMVNL as it is commonly called is responsible for developing tourism infrastructure in the Kumaon region. The KVMNL operates tourist rest houses in all major tourist attractions in Kumaon. Besides owning & operating tourist rest house KMVNL is also engaged in organizing treks to in Kumaon to different places of interest like Pindari Glacier and even facilitating, the revered Kailash Mansarovar Yatra for pilgrims.
As part of there offerings, the KMVNL owns and operates Tourist rest houses in various parts of Kumaon. This blog post is about my experience of staying in these properties and the reasons to stay in Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd hotels.
So here are my top 7 reasons to stay at Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd Hotels
Location Location Location :
A major reason for me to chose a hotel is a location more so when you are in the Himalayas and want the best possible view of the snowcapped peaks or the pristine Deodar or Rhodendron forests around you. Here KMVNL scores top marks and most of the properties we stayed had the best possible view in the place. But if you ask my favorites I will give you not one but 3 as late Lord Harold Samuel, a real estate tycoon in Britain, coined the expression: ‘There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.’ So my favorite 3 locations in no particular order were KMVN Ltd rest house in Naukuchiatal, the resort in Chaukori and the hotel in Kausani. In Naukuchiatal we were right at the lakefront and I could see the lake while sitting in the balcony of my room. We could see many birds chirping around as we strolled around the hotel grounds. In Kausani, right from my hotel room, we could see some of the highest peaks in the Kumaon Himalayas right from Nanda Devi, Trishul, etc, as we watched clouds playing hide and seek with these peaks in the range of 20,000 feet height. In Chaukori the view was even close and had a feeling you could actually touch the peaks 🙂
Room Size & Amenities:
Not only the KMVN hotels are situated at the best possible location at the destination, most of them have huge room size, typically 30-50 % bigger than your average hotel room in the hills. Not only the rooms are big they have many amenities in the rooms as per the room tariff and category like tea coffee maker, TV, attached bath etc. Now you may say that these things are now very common, but remember we are talking about some of the remotest places in Kumaon where all these facilities are provided. Coming back to room size my room in the Naukuchiatal KMVN TRH was so big that you could complete your morning walk from room to bathroom only. OK, I exaggerate, but you get the gist 😛 But the large room size is really handy when you are traveling with kids as they can easily sleep on the extra bed or in some cases like in Chaukori and Kausani in attached smaller bedroom/sitting area.
- Dining Facilities: All KMVN guesthouses & hotels have a well-appointed kitchen and trained staff to cook simple food that you can have in the Dining Hall or in your room. Though I would suggest you have it in the Dining hall as some of the properties are so spread out that by the time food will reach you it will get cold. We found the food served in KMVNL Tourist rest houses to be simple, homely yet delicious. We tried a few local dishes like Bhat kee Daal, Raita, local pickles and some common dishes you now find everywhere in India like fried dal, Aloo Mattar, Pooree Bhajee etc. Non-vegetarian food is available in all the hotels but at smaller places, you may have to place the order in advance as they bring the chicken egg etc. from the local market, that could be a few KM away.
- Budget Friendly: While some of the KMVN hotels are at par with the market rates, most of them also have rooms that fit the budget traveler also. Some of the rooms that are newly constructed can cost upward of USD 80 per night you will also get rooms that cost around 20 USD or around 1500 INR per night. In most cases, the breakfast is included so it is a great deal considering the location and size of the rooms. Not only that some of the hotels like the one in Sitlakhet also have Dormitory facilities for backpackers and trekkers who are on a tight budget.
- Gardens & Lawns: Some of the most beautiful flowers on this trip I clicked at the KMVN hotel gardens. Some of my favorite again would be Kausani, Chaukori, and Naukuchiatal. The lawns and gardens were well maintained with beautiful flowers blooming everywhere you looked. Even in some of the smaller places like in Sitlakhet and Gangolihaat, there was no shortage of flowers to click in the small but well-maintained flower patches. Many a photo session were conducted early morning in the lawns of KVMN TRHs as we were surrounded by beautiful flowers making a perfect location for photo shoots. No wonder many new movies are being filmed in Uttarakhand now as it offers a great location with might Himalayan peaks as the backdrop.
- Well Trained Courteous Staff: In all the properties we stayed with KMVN right from Naukuchiatal to the last one in Nanakmatta we found the staff to be well trained in the job they were to do and also very courteous and willing to accommodate our special request whether related to food or arranging chai, pakodas, chair and tables for our endless gup-shup sessions in the lawns. Indeed we have some great memories sitting on the lawn looking at snowcapped peaks and enjoying Garma-garam chai with pakodas served to us. Not only the in hotel staff but also the field staff that accompanies you on treks / adventure activities is given training for there activities as we learned from Mr. Ramesh Kapkoti, a well-known traveler and high altitude trekker from Uttarakhand Tourism who was accompanying us and helped us learn about the local trees, mountain ranges, customs etc.
- Eco-friendly Approach: All the hotels of KMVN Ltd are doing there bit for a sustainable travel experience for the visitors. All the guest rooms have jugs / reusable bottles so that plastic bottles can be avoided. Though they are available to those who insist on bottled water, the preference is given to refillable jugs/bottles. Most of the food is sourced locally and we enjoyed the local veggies in our meal that tasted much better than what we get in the cities. I think there is some merit to grow and consume local movement. But the best part I liked was tree plantation drive. In order to celebrate our visit to Sitlakhet as we were there during the month of Shravan ( rainy season) when Kumaon celebrates Harela Festival, we participated in tree plantations in front of our hotel. If you are staying in the Sitlakhet KMVN TRH you will find a small Citrus tree in front of it planted by Bloggers Bus 3.0 participants, and then if you walk a little down towards a clearing on the left of the hotel you will find a small Thuja orientalis tree planted by yours truly along with some other travelers from Bloggers Bus 3.0. Do say my hi to our trees when you are there and share the pictures.
So my dear reader if you are traveling in Kumaon, may I suggest you check out the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd website and book the hotel directly from there site.
For more information on KMVN Hotels, & services you can contact them using the information here > KMVN Contacts
For booking a Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Hotel directly go to there website and make your booking > Book Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Hotel
So I hope I have given you enough reasons to consider Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd Tourist Rest house, where I stayed as part of Bloggers Bus on invitation from Uttarakhand Tourism
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🙂 🙂 🙂