My family and I (8 in all) recently stayed for a few nights at the Grand Shangri-la in Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, as part of a 3 week visit to India. It is a wonderful hotel, with very friendly and helpful staff and set in the most magnificent landscape. For me it was the best part of our trip.
We reached the hotel at the end of a tortuous (but spectacular) 20 hour journey from Amritsar, by rail and road. The NH-22 was very difficult in places due to landslides after heavy monsoon rains (the section from Shimla to Kalpa took about 9 hours). The hotel owner/manager, Prithvi Raj Negi, was in frequent contact by phone with our superb driver and had a full hot meal waiting for us when we arrived well after midnight!
The rooms were very comfortable and well appointed, the food excellent and the views we woke up to were spectacular – well worth the trip. The level of service here is excellent and the owners, Prithvi and Kapil, have a wealth of knowledge about the area of Kinnaur, its history and traditions.
The village of Kalpa (almost 3000m above sea level) is quiet and peaceful and the hard-working Kinnauri people who live there are friendly and proud of their heritage and their mountains, the Kinner Kailash range. There is a lot to see and do in this area especially if you like the great outdoors and finding out how other people live (but it might take a couple of days to acclimatise to the altitude if you intend some strenuous walking). The hotel owners are keen to help visitors enjoy their stay as much as possible - Prithvi Raj himself took us on a beautiful 6k walk (with packed lunch) and a guided tour of local villages and temples (at no extra cost). In the future they hope to be able to arrange longer treks to surrounding areas.
If you like to relax in unhurried, peaceful natural beauty or want to explore in the Indian Himalayas I highly recommend a stay at the Grand Shangri-la. Our visit there will stay with me forever.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It is a pleasure to meet you in our family-owned small scale Tibetan Style Hotel. We hope to meet you soon, and are more than willing to let you experience comfortable, peaceful and unforgettable times in Kalpa. "Shamba-La" is a mythical place somewhere located in the Himalayan area, known as a paradise on earth. We did our best to create that paradise. According to the references of our customers, we are very successful in that. Warm regards from our hearts, "The Grand Shamba-La" team ... more less