Finding a hotel in Shimla can be a daunting task. Not because you will not have options, but actually the are plenty choices. Select the right hotel in Shimla depending on the purpose of your holiday, people you are travelling with, what you intend to do on your vacation and how you are commuting to this hill town. Shimla is the one hill station where you can find the accommodation that best suits your taste and you can choose the hotel in Shimla that you think is perfect for your holiday. Some factors to consider while choosing your hotel in Shimla.
- Location of the property
Shimla is a heritage town centred around the main heritage Mall Road, the lifeline of the town. This is where you have all the shopping and all heritage sites that will be on your sight seeing list. This is the most interesting part of town to be staying at too. However, there are options away from the Mall in Shimla as well. These can range from being on the outskirts of Shimla such as Shoghi (15 km from Shimla), Kufri (17 km from Shimla), Mashobra (13 km from Shimla), or within the city but further away from the Mall Road such as Bus stand (approx 4km from main Shimla), Victory Tunnel (approx 3km from main Mall Road), Jakhu temple (about 7km from the main Mall Road), Sanjauli (8 km from Shimla) and many more. However, Mall Road is the best place to stay in Shimla. This is the place you will find all the shops, restaurants and most importantly all the important sight- seeing points within the city and convenient walking distance of max 10 minutes. All locations such as the Ridge, Christ Church, Jakhu ropeway, Townhall, Gaiety theatre etc. are present close to the Mall Road itself. This buzzing area is the central part of the city. And since it is a pedestrian only road and cars are not allowed here, you do not need to worry about the road being congested as is the case with Mall Roads in other hill stations in India. This criteria itself will help you narrow down your choice of hotel in Shimla as there are just a select handful of hotels on the Main Mall Road in Shimla vs. the tens of options you would see offered by travel agents or travel websites.
Tip: If you have few days and you really want to experience the city, do not compromise on location. Choose a hotel on the Main Mall Road so that all you need to do to start the fun is step out of your hotel! In other cases, you would need to arrange for a taxi to get to the Mall for sight-seeing, shopping or eating.
- Star Category
Options of hotel in Shimla range from 1 star to 5 star. This totally depends on your budget. You can sort by star rating on various online travel websites to see the options available. But for most travelers other than those looking for budget travel or highly luxurious travel – 4 star hotels are a good choice. These are hotels that offer comfortable accommodation, all amenities that you expect in a good hotel (mini fridge, safe in room etc) as well as important necessities in Shimla such as hot and cold 24 hour running water, free wifi, central heating in winters and a power backup.
Tip: Hotel Willow Banks is a 4 star property located bang on the Mall Road! Takes care of both the criteria mentioned above. Image of the hotel below.
- Access to Parking
Choice of your hotel in Shimla depends a lot on how you plan to get here. In case you are coming by road and especially driving yourself, it is important to find a hotel that arranges for your parking as this can be difficult to find in peak season time in Shimla. Only a select few hotels have their own parking or arrangement with parking lots to be able to help with this. Find out before you finalize your hotel in Shimla. Also, ensure your hotel is close to the parking location so that getting there is easy.
Tip: Good hotels provide porter assistance too, so you can call and place a request to have a porter ready to take your luggage the moment you reach the parking lot.
- View from the room
Coming to a hill station means having the luxury of being out in your balcony and soaking in the cool Himalayan air. Always choose a hotel with a great view and rooms with attached balconies as this luxury is not something you should miss out on, especially after travelling all the way to Shimla!
Tip: Hotel Willow Banks has a great view overlooking the entire town of Shimla from its balcony. Check out a picture below!
- Dining facilities esp. Breakfast buffet
Eating well is a crucial part of your holiday. So do stay in a hotel that has a good in house restaurant so you can leisurely dine and enjoy a relaxed meal. Also, book yourself in a CP package i.e. with breakfast so that you can start your day with great food and then go out shopping, sight seeing or just for long walks as you please.
Tip: Café Simla Times and Eighteen71 are great restaurants to visit when in Shimla. The former has open air sitting (brilliant to enjoy the view) and the latter offers an eclectic mix of Pan Indian and Oriental cuisine and even live music in the evenings! Check out pictures below!
- Recreation facilities
Apart from what you do outside the hotel, try to choose a hotel in Shimla that offers good options of in house recreation and wellness. A couple massage at a luxurious spa is a great way to end your day if you are on your honeymoon, playing a round of billiards with family can be energizing too, getting a pedicure at the Hotel Salon or even pumping up the adrenaline with a workout at the gym – may make your vacation more enjoyable!
Tip: Don’t miss checking out Akasa spa at Hotel Willow Banks. Professional services and a great ambience might be something that can really make your holiday special!
Suggestion – Hotel Willow Banks gets a tick from our side on all the criteria above. Be sure to check it out while booking. http://www.willowbanks.com
Following websites allow you to see all the options of hotels in Shimla before booking: