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Exploring Nainital’s Colonial-Era Hotels

NewsExploring Nainital's Colonial-Era Hotels

Nestled amidst the emerald embrace of the Himalayas, Best Hotels in Mussoorie, the “Queen of the Hills,” exudes a charm that transcends time. Its colonial past whispers through its mist-shrouded peaks, echoing in the grand architecture of its buildings. At the heart of this heritage stand the colonial-era hotels, each one a living testament to a bygone era.

Stepping into these grand dames is like stepping back in time. The air hums with the ghosts of colonial soirees, the clinking of teacups mingling with the lilting melodies of the piano.

The walls, adorned with sepia-toned photographs and antique furnishings, tell tales of explorers, writers, and dignitaries who once graced these halls.

The Grand Dame:

The Savoy Hotel (1880)

Undisputedly the crown jewel of Nainital’s colonial hospitality, The Savoy Hotel stands as a proud sentinel overlooking the shimmering expanse of Lake Naini. Built in 1880 by the British architect, W.H. Walton, it exudes an aura of grandeur with its Victorian Gothic architecture and expansive verandas.

Stepping into the lobby is akin to entering a time capsule, where polished mahogany furniture, stained-glass windows, and intricate chandeliers transport you to a bygone era.

Rooms at The Savoy are havens of old-world charm, each one uniquely appointed with antique furniture, fireplaces, and four-poster beds. The creaking floorboards whisper stories of past guests, while the panoramic lake views offer a glimpse into the timeless beauty of Nainital.

The hotel’s dining room, with its high ceilings and elaborate chandeliers, is a setting fit for royalty, where meticulously prepared meals are served with a touch of colonial elegance.

A Retreat for the Literati:

The Naini Retreat (1890)

Perched on the slopes of Ayarpatta Hill, The Naini Retreat, formerly known as The Cecil Hotel, was once a haven for the literary elite. Built-in 1890, it hosted luminaries like Rudyard Kipling and Jim Corbett, who found inspiration in its serene surroundings.

The hotel’s colonial charm is evident in its red-brick facade, manicured lawns, and spacious verandas overlooking the valley.

Inside, the atmosphere is one of quiet sophistication. The reading room, lined with leather-bound books and crackling fireplaces, invites guests to curl up with a classic novel. The elegant dining room, with its polished wooden floors and antique chandeliers, serves up delectable meals that transport you to a bygone era.

The Jewel of the Mall:

The Snow View Hotel (1892)

Located on the bustling Mall Road, The Snow View Hotel is a charming testament to the colonial era’s architectural prowess. Built-in 1892, the hotel boasts a stunning neo-Gothic facade with intricate stonework and stained-glass windows. The interiors are a delightful blend of colonial grandeur and contemporary comfort, offering guests a sense of history without compromising on modern amenities.

The hotel’s rooms offer stunning views of the surrounding hills and the glistening lake below. The rooftop restaurant, with its panoramic vistas, is a popular spot for enjoying a leisurely meal while soaking in the breathtaking scenery.

Beyond the Grand Dames:

A Legacy for All

Beyond these iconic hotels, Nainital boasts several other colonial-era establishments that offer a glimpse into the past. The Pavilion Hotel, with its traditionally styled rooms and elegant dining options, provides a charming experience. The Earl’s Court, with its international restaurant and badminton court, offers a touch of modern flair while retaining its colonial charm.

These hotels are more than just lodging options; they are living museums that tell the story of Nainital’s colonial past. They offer a unique opportunity to experience the grandeur of a bygone era, to walk in the footsteps of legendary figures, and to feel the timeless allure of the hills.


For those seeking a unique and immersive experience, Nainital’s colonial-era hotels offer a chance to step back in time. They are not just places to stay, but portals to a world of rich history, captivating stories, and timeless elegance.

Whether you are a history buff, a literary enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the charm of a bygone era, these grand dames of Best Hotels in Nainital are sure to leave you enchanted.


  • What are the best colonial-era hotels in Nainital?

The Savoy, The Naini Retreat, and The Snow View Hotel are widely considered the best colonial-era hotels in Nainital, offering a unique blend of history, charm, and comfort.

  • What activities can I do at these hotels?

Many colonial-era hotels offer historical tours, afternoon tea, and other activities that allow guests to experience the past. You can also explore.

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