On my recent vacation in Uttarakhand, I was invited for a stay at the Chirping Orchard resort near Mukteshwar. This is my unbiased, honest and point to point review of the property in exchange for the free stay and food.
As the car navigates down the impossibly steep and narrow stretch of road to roll up into the driveway of the Chirping Orchard, you will be greeted by the most enthusiastic hotelier you would have ever encountered in all your travels. He will be waiting patiently with the rest of the welcoming party, eager to check you in. Meet Brownie,- the copper hued resident mutt and a bundle of affection and adoration.
And yes he will walk you from the car to your room and ensure you are settled in. He also knows the best sunny spots in the premises and can be often found snoozing there.
This cozy boutique stay is nestled on a hill top which allow for sweeping views of the mountains on three sides. Its protectively bordered by stepped rows of fruiting trees which are a sight for sore eyes in springtime when the blossoms make an appearance. The property lawn also has a smattering of plum, apple, pear and peach trees which give a very homey feel to the garden.
Quirky ceramic planters dot the property, some hanging from trees while others resting in nooks and corners. The swing set overlooking the valley completes the picture.
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The Chirping Orchard has about 8 double rooms, all named after birds, accommodated in a 2-storey structure. While Barbet are small rooms, Hornbill are large family rooms and Sunbird is actually a suite of 2 rooms. The ground floor rooms face the Kitchen garden and the first floor rooms open onto a viewing deck, replete with a rocking chair where one can enjoy the morning cuppa as the rising sun begins to show its face, making the night dew drip in copious amounts from the sloping roof.
The rooms are spacious, clean and done up in a modest taste. Every room is equipped with a TV and there are heaters available on request. Some of the rooms do show signs of water seepage which is so common to see in the hill stations due to the weather. The larger rooms can accommodate 1-2 extra persons, making it an ideal family stay.
The glass house dining hall rests on the edge of the garden, and commands a sweeping view of the mountains, the stepped fields and the forest vistas. Its windows open out to reveal fresh mountain air and crisp birdsong. I was fascinated by its tiny books and games alcove and managed to read 2 books before leaving. This space is the best thing about the property and I could spend hours reading and sipping tea here.
The service staff comprises of young Pahari boys who are enthusiastic and friendly. Some of them are undergoing birding training with the Uttarakhand forest department. I quite enjoyed my early morning foray for birding with them. They also take the guests on a village trek to see the village life and interact with the locals, their animal stock and understand their lifestyle. These two activities are the highlights of the stay here.
The Gourmet Affair
Food the the resort is a decent affair with your everyday normal fare served there. I cannot point at being enthused by any one dish as these were all the common ones found everywhere. Quality and proportions of food was good and I was satisfied with every meal of mine.
I would have loved to see local options on the menu but they have not so far experimented with serving those delicacies. Lunch is generally not served here as they expect the guests to step out for sight seeing and eat en route at the many cafes dotting the roads. While breakfast is complimentary, dinner is served buffet style and is at an extra cost.
Location: 4/5 stars
Hospitality: 4/5 stars
Accommodation: 3.5/5 stars
Food: 4/5 stars
Value for money: 3.5 /5 stars
Things to do around the Chirping Orchard:
Best Time to visit Chirping Orchard:
I think anytime would be best time to visit the mountains as every weather brings amazing vistas and experiences. But I would vote this to be a summer destination as the cold here can be a little excessive with heavy snowfall. Personally I am looking forward to visiting in the winter months to experience the snow 🙂
How to get to Chirping Orchard:
By Train: Shatabdi from Delhi to Kathgodam and then about 2 hours by taxi to Mukteshwar
By Car: Mukteshwar is at a distance of 350 kms from Delhi and takes about 7-8 hours by road
Chirping Orchard Contact Info:
Address: Leti Bunga, Village Shashbani (Near Bhatelia, Mukteshwar Uttarakhand 263132
Website: The Chirping Orchard
Phone: +91 98115 97834, 98199 34906
Nearby Dine out options:
A trained Interior designer who loves to travel, photograph and write, I have done some boutique stays in limited budgets and some in extravagant ones too. I specialize in using locally sourced/ made products which would provide support to the local community.I am also an advocate of using sustainable practices in housekeeping, laundry,etc which lessens the use of harmful chemicals. The water used for such chores is clean enough to be fed into the garden directly.
You could get in touch with me for:
- Interior design services for your property
- Training and implementing of green practices at your property
- Doing an honest Travel reviews for a unique stay anywhere in the world. If you liked this review and would like for me to visit your property, please drop in a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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