In continuation of my trip to Manali in June 2014, case I am today writing about a special, view cosy and extremely welcoming home stay . While in Manali i stayed at Vashisht Home Stay and Café. I found the place on trip advisor when searching for a decent place to stay, when in Manali.
The reviews were very impressive and so was the package deal on offer. I sent an email provided on the website and was replied to by Mala Banerjee. She’s the captain of the ship here. Extremely polite and eager to please, her assurances on the phone were enough for me to decide to stay at her place for my small getaway.
Once we reached Manali, we were shocked to see the traffic and the never ending jams. The one way movement of the cars and the utter chaos, made me question my decision to come here in the first place.
But once we crossed the bridge over Beas and started moving towards Vashisht the panic and the confusion started to wither away. We soon took a right up from the national highway 21 and started the ascent to Vashisht. A few minutes before reaching the top of the mountain, we found our host Mala waiting on the roadside for us. The warm hug and the glitter in her eyes was enough to seal our friendship for life.
Vashisht Home Stay and Café, is a small hang out with half a dozen bedrooms, a walk in kitchen and a view from the balcony to die for. The rooms are clean, with decent bathrooms, cold and hot water around the clock and housekeeping too. You can also request for an extra mattress or quilt at a very nominal extra charge. Before I go on, I must mention that the work staff is all women, no men aboard.
The place has two huge rose bushes in the outdoor café that are sure to take your breath away. Imagine having a breakfast of hash browns, fluffy omelets, and cheese chili toast, with a glass of garden fresh apple juice, under the huge peach tree outside. And if peaches are not your thing, let me tell you that the home stay sits right in the midst of a huge apple orchard. Go apple plucking in season if you please.
The highlight of this place is the food and the warm hospitality. Mala insists on cooking herself for each and every guest, with a little help from her women team. She is even open to cooking stuff that does not feature on the regular menu.
While there be sure to try her Peri Peri chicken, malai chicken and fresh river fish made Bengali style in mustard paste. Vegetarians please don’t fret, you have a long list of options too Whatever she manages to conjure up is mouth watering and made with extreme love and care. Plan early and put in a request for the room that faces the Beas. Standing In the balcony on to your right you will see the high snow capped Himalayas and on the left Manali and the Beas valley. There will be a time in the night when you will actually see the moon sit right on top of the mountain.
The Vashisht hot water springs are at a walking distance of ten to 15 minutes. You can also try getting yourself pampered at the fish spa located very close to Mala’s place. Or go for trekking to Jogni falls early in the morning and come back in time for a scrumptious breakfast.
The place is beaming with positivity, peace and quiet. You can grab a book and spend the whole afternoon in the living room, with nobody to disturb you whatsoever. My bookings for the second trip to Manali are already done and I can’t wait to unwind, sit and soak in the nature’s beauty all around.
When planning a trip to Manali, stay at Vashisht Home Stay and Café, and you will get value for money and nirvana for free.