The Big Six: Indian mountain retreats

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Shakti 360° Leti, Uttarakhand

A collection of simple stone houses gathers at Shakti 360° Leti – a Himalayan retreat so remote that guests have to make an hour-long hike from the nearest road in Leti to reach it. The rewards include spending days reading in one of four cottages – all with views of the peaks; going trekking with a guide and porter; or curling up beside open fires at night as the temperature drops outside.

Shakti 360 Leti, Leti, Bageshwar District, Uttarakhand (00 91 124 456 3899; Three-night packages start at US$1,916 (£1,178) per person, all inclusive.

Glenburn Tea Estate, West Bengal

A decent brew is guaranteed at the Glenburn Tea Estate. Founded in 1859, it offers eight colonial-style suites above Darjeeling Town. Each has a four-poster bed, embroidered quilts, free-standing Victorian tub and Darjeeling Green Tea toiletries. Spend a day on the "tea tour" watching how leaves are harvested. Or spend a night at the remote Glenburn Lodge & Campsite, which offers barbecues and bonfires beside the River Rungeet in the shadow of the Kanchenjunga mountains.

Glenburn Tea Estate, Glenburn Valley, Darjeeling, West Bengal (00 91 98 300 70213; Suites start at Rs11,000 (£156), full board.

Ananda – In the Himalayas, Uttarakhand

This former Maharaja's palace now functions as a Himalayan spa hotel. Retaining its palatial splendour, reception rooms boast gilded ceilings and richly patterned rugs, while the 75 rooms and suites are located in a more modern building to the back. It offers a holistic approach to wellbeing, with yoga in the open-air pavilion, Ayurvedic treatments in the spa, nature walks and a menu of healthy regional dishes.

Ananda – In The Himalayas, The Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar, Tehri, Garhwal, Uttarakhand (00 91 13 7822 7500; Doubles start at US$466 (£286), room only.

Vivanta by Taj, Kashmir

India's northernmost state is home to the latest Taj by Vivanta. At 1,730m above sea level, it overlooks the Kashmir valley's dramatic peaks and Srinagar's Dal Lake below. Despite its remote location, all the five-star hallmarks are present. Try yoga in the fitness centre; relax in the outdoor pool; sip Kashmiri tea at the Rhythm lounge; or retreat to your room – all have private balconies – to take in the epic views.

Vivanta by Taj – Dal View, Srinagar, Kralsangri, Brein, Jammu & Kashmir (00 800 4 588 1 825; Doubles start at Rs11,000 (£153), including breakfast.

Serenity at the Kanam Estate, Kerala

Prize for the best on-site attraction goes to the Kanam Estate, where guests can spend a day with resident elephant Laxmi and his mahout. Meander through the grounds of this 1920s rubber plantation in the Western Ghats or borrow bicycles to explore the surrounding hillsides. The six bedrooms feature bright terracotta and lime hues and ornately carved wooden beds.

Serenity at the Kanam Estate, Payikad, Kanam, Vazhoor, Kerala (00 91 481 2456353; Doubles start at €130, with breakfast.

Casa del Fauno, Kerala

Food is the one of the main draws at this cardamom plantation, which offers just three bedrooms in a stylish homestay setting. Amid the rolling tea terraces and spice gardens of the Kannan Devan hills, the owner Suni doubles as a chef, helped by a small team of staff. Traditional Keralan curries are served, using home-grown vegetables, meat from local farmers and fresh fish from the nearby lake. After, take in misty views from the veranda.

Casa Del Fauno, Peak Gardens, Chinnakanal, Muttukadu, Munnar, Kerala (00 91 484 312 6444; Double rooms start at Rs7,000 (£97), full board.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot