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“A beautiful peaceful place to stay”

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Fantasia Houseboats
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 October 2011

Srinigar with it’s Moghul gardens full of bright flowers (under the care of the Department of Floriculture) mirror lakes and wooden house boats is just beautiful. The political turmoil of recent years has left few marks and all is peaceful at present. We felt like Maharajahs staying at Fantasia Houseboat on Lake Nageen (cleaner and quieter than Dahl lake). This boat, newly restored by the owner, Rahim Langoo, is lined with Deodar pine panels so it’s like living in a cedar chest: smells wonderful. We can recommend this clean, spacious boat. Rahim’s Mum is a wonderful cook and visiting trekking guide and “concierge” Anna Candy was great as our local tour guide. A wonderful relaxing place to stay.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Patricia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 October 2011

We stayed on this houseboat on Nagin lake for only two nights - Oct 2-4 - and though I know superlatives are self-defeating in reviews it's hard to do without them when describing this place and the service we got from Rahim and his staff.
The setting is unique. A feeling of peace comes off that lake; the loudest things around are the birds and the muezzin. Young Abid will take you on the local equivalent of a gondola to relax even more. If you want more "action", (waterskiing, clubbing...) it's to be found on the neighbouring lake. And Srinagar is a good base for trekking, skiing in the winter, etc.
The houseboats themselves are so romantic it was almost embarrassing being there with a friend. Bear in mind however that there are several rooms per houseboat: you might be sharing the dining/living room and the "balcony" looking out onto the lake with other guests.
The food, cooked by Rahim, Abid and Abid's dad, deserves special mention. It was absurdly good. Both nights we got four dishes for the two of us: dal, okra, chicken, two types of meat balls, with rice. After the second dinner, my friend, who has traveled in India for a total of five or six months, pronounced Kashmiri cuisine to be the best in India.
Seasoned travelers will find this hard to believe, but Rahim runs the place with a genuine concern for his guests' well being.
He would like to open a floating restaurant on the lake, accessible by gondola only. I sure hope it works out for him, it would be fantastic.

Room Tip: The deluxe houseboat has a TV and some other amenities, it's larger too. But the smaller one is...
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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6  Thank WakoZako
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2011

I'm a travel lover from Malaysia. I'd say and thanked to Langoo's family & staff from Fantasia Houseboat & Anna from UK had really impressed me and my friends by provided us the best accomodation, foods and services ever, and of course with good arrangement for our own preference itinerary in Srinagar. They are so friendly and resourceful. I would rate the service of this Fantasia Houseboat as " 5 star stay " compared to all my stay when travel around the world. And the most unforgetable scene view from Fantasia Houseboat is the great Mountain Himalaya, you can see the snow on top of the mountain regardless in day or night time. And i really miss the shikara tour to floating market, so best and a best place that we shouldn't missed out if travelling to Srinagar and stay in this Fantasia Houseboat!! Thanks for everything!! What a great natural can be explored during our stay in this houseboat!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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10  Thank yenling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2011

Kashmir is very beautiful and a stay on a Srinagar houseboat should be part of a trip to the region. I stayed on Fantasia Houseboat on Nagen Lake, and I paid the owners associate from the UK in advance (naively and a big mistake) for a four day package – half board with a number of local excursions in Srinagar and a day trip to Gulmarg included.

The houseboat has nice rooms and a deck facing the lake; the views were amazing and this was a lovely spot to chill out on. The positives end there. The food was okay but not the taste experience promised, although you do not go for the food alone. The houseboat is peaceful but also quite isolated and you are likely to be dependant on the owner to get around. Worse though was the treatment I encountered from the owner’s associate who organized and charged me for the trip (and was on the houseboat during my stay). The day trips I had paid for in advance ( a huge mistake) including the trip to Gulmarg never materialized. This was blamed on local curfews, although these did not seem to restrict the owner’s movements or his associate who disappeared most days during my stay on the houseboat.

I was told that if I was not happy a return flight to Delhi could be arranged (at my expense) with a refund only for the portion of the houseboat stay I would not be using. I could have changed houseboats but the refund was available only on my purchase of a ticket to Delhi so either way I lost out. Convenient for them but not for me… Neither was I given a refund for the excursions I had paid for as I was told the curfews were part of the Kashmir experience… that may be but is not an excuse to pocket extra cash from a guest who booked on a trusted recommendation.

There were also problems with the houseboat owner. At first he was friendly and we had lengthy conversations over Kashmiri tea. Pleasant enough and he suggested a return visit so that I may enjoy Srinagar and his hospitality under happier circumstances. Unfortunately his itinerary included ‘activities’ a paying guest should not be expected to provide - I won’t elaborate….

My experience was an unfortunate one but has not put me off returning as I know from other reviews that a stay on a houseboat can be fantastic.
I would avoid booking or paying for anything in advance even in high season as there are no shortage of houseboats and there are plenty on Nagen and Dal lake to choose from, but I would not recommend this one. Unforgettable it was, for all the wrong reasons.

Stayed: August 2010, travelled solo
28  Thank sheen878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
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Thank Aaronyom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RahimLangoo, Owner at Fantasia Houseboats, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2017

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Reviewed 11 August 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
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Thank ivonaj507
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RahimLangoo, Owner at Fantasia Houseboats, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2017

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Reviewed 4 August 2013
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Room Tip: La numéro 4 est spacieuse.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Marilyne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fantasia Houseboats

Address: Nigeen Lake, Srinagar 190001, India
Phone Number:
Region: India > Jammu and Kashmir > Kashmir > Srinagar District > Srinagar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 583 Speciality Lodging in Srinagar
Price Range: £19 - £42 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If your dreams include a sojourn on a houseboat in Kashmir, kingfishers darting between the blossoming lotus, herons and moorhens darting for fish, and snowcapped mountains in full view, then imagine yourself on Fantasia Houseboat on fresh, unpolluted Nigeen Lake. Fantasia Houseboat combines modern amenities, such as electricity, hot showers with a good food and friendly personal service. Each well-decorated bedroom has an attached private bathroom. Fantasia has a beautiful dining area and a lounge with a new flat screen TV. There are great views across the Lake and onto the lower Himalayas from the veranda and the garden. The sunset views are wonderful. There is a well-maintained pretty private garden for the use of guests. We have a 24 hour power back up and clean water supply. We have free internet access. Accommodation, sightseeing, and trekking are all available for your enjoyment. Ski arrangements for Gulmarg in the winter can also be organised. We look forward to meeting you and offering you our best hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fantasia Houseboats Hotel Srinagar
Fantasia Houseboats Srinagar, Asia - Kashmir

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