When it comes to Ooty, the first thought that comes to mind is colonial living. Be it the clubs where the children are still referred to as Miss and Masters, the dining habits of supper and roast, or just living like it’s still the early 1900s, the hill station is unmistakably stuck in that era! But when it means you get to live in Victorian style, who’s complaining. From hilltops and lake sides, head to these cosy homestays and stately bungalows in Ooty.
Relive History: Live In Victorian Heritage Homestays And Hotels In Ooty
On the mystical hill called Havelock, stands Wyoming – a charming holiday home that’s been around from the 40s. Decked out in cheery yellow and white, you can cosy up in the rooms (some with a fireplace) and cutesy windows and flowery curtains. But better still, sip on tea with a book in the other hand and take in the fresh air. Overlooking the town, you can really a birds-eye view but still not be too far from the action. With six bedrooms on offer, it’s great for a family retreat or for some down time with friends. Places to definitely head because of its proximity to the property is the Botanical Garden and Ooty Lake
Price: Starts at INR 3,500 upwards including breakfast and excluding taxes.
Sure this one isn’t just a bungalow, but in its truest form, it is colonial. Now owned by the Maharaja of Mysore, you can pick from 19 suits that are fit for a king — because really they are. Each has a large sitting room, bedroom, dressing room, sit-out and huge bathroom that will take you back in time. Set on about 50 acres of pine and eucalyptus trees, the main building has ceiling to floor windows, drapes in gold and red, a dining hall with teak tables and chairs, it’s a right royal treat! Order one meal in advance and stick to English mains here – they’ve got it spot on, and really it’s the best.
Price: INR 12,500 for an executive suite including breakfast and excluding taxes.
We’ve already pledged allegiance to this pretty place here, but it really is worth staying at, if you want a sample of life in the early 1900s. Each of the six suites are different in what they offer. While some are all about the view, the others are best for a good sleep in a fancy four-poster bed and fireplace, you just need to pick wisely — view or romance. Since the whole heritage house is made mostly from wood, with sprawling lawns every direction you look, when you check in here, you get more than just a bed. Oh! And did we mention their French-focused restaurant La Belle Vie which uses ingredients fresh from the garden?
Price: INR 4,000 upwards including breakfast and excluding taxes.
Southmere By The Lake
A charming B&B just at the lake, solitude and serenity beckons here. That, and super comfy beds, a fireplace and lush green lawns. We love this one for the homely food and it’s close proximity to the lake — it’s literally a five-minute walk to the boathouse, and the lake itself? Well, that’s just over the garden.
Price: INR 9,000 including breakfast and excluding taxes.
The Grange Hotel
We love everything about this place, starting with the little grange which welcomes you to the website. It really doesn’t get more English than the main bungalow which houses four rooms – stained glasswork, arched roofs, imposing fireplaces, and a generous dose of old world charm. Looking for more privacy? There are six little cottages dotting the garden but for Brit effect, pick the bungalow. If only we lived in the 1850s, when the original owner Wallace Misquith, would lead the village choir in song here.
Price: INR 3,000 including breakfast and excluding taxes.
Turret Colonial-Style Cottage
Brick red, sloping roofs, a wrap-around garden and flowered paths is what you can look forward to in this pleasant place. The Menons, caretaker Stephen and the adorable pooches Jackie and Brownie will make sure you settle into one of the three rooms like it is home. In fact, they’ll even organise golf outings, tea estate visits, offbeat activities and even tours of the town.
Price: INR 9,000 upwards including breakfast and excluding taxes.
Note that the cottage is temporarily shut given the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can’t compete with 100 years of history. So don’t even try. Just sit back and enjoy the smell of crisp, pine air from the garden, with wrought iron furniture no less! Rooms, cosy and ideal for down time, or to really have a boisterous holiday with friends (obviously you’ll have to book the whole place then! Especially since it fits 12 people), remind you of days gone by. But thanks to modern amenities, you won’t feel out of place. Do take a moment to check out the antique furniture and chandeliers — they’re beautiful.
Price: INR 35,000 including breakfast and excluding taxes.
Bring on the Baker Street energy here, as it’s all about the detective. Rooms are made to resemble Mr Holmes and Dr Watson’s pad in London, so think nine rooms with brick fireplaces, wooden walls and sloping roofs. Throw in two dining rooms with an uber dreamy sunroof for when you eat, that area becomes even more romantic when the moon comes out to play with the stars. Make some time to lounge around in the mansion which traces the life of Holmes through photographs, books and excerpts.
Price: INR 5, 600 upwards on weekdays including breakfast and excluding taxes.
If we’re being honest, we usually go here for the food – delicious Chinese and momos, spot on European food, and even rich desi khana (the parathas are amazing!). But their rooms aren’t too bad either! Names after Shakespearean books and characters like Macbeth, Tempest and Othello. Brass four-poster beds, long drapes, massive bathrooms and of course, a fireplace, you’ll be cosy and comfortable in any of their rooms. Our pick? Tempest. It’s even got the best view of Ooty. They also have two bungalows, but they’re a bit dark albeit grand.
Price: INR 3,000 upwards on weekdays including breakfast and excluding taxes.
Hidden in the hills, it doesn’t get more colonial that the Marlborough House — by name and by nature! Windows, turret-style roofs, wrought iron garden furniture, wooden flooring and even Old Victorian furniture, checking in here means going back in time. There are seven rooms on offer so if you’re looking for vintage, then this is it.
Price: INR 3,000 upwards including breakfast and excluding taxes.
Dating back to the 1820s, driving into the 150-acre estate will nicely set the mood. What with all the towering trees and manicured lawns, and lo and behold the heritage bungalow. Straight out of Downtown Abbey, it is decked out in period furniture and a cosy living room with a fireplace. Slightly further off the main house, are another set of rooms for those planning to be noisy.
Price: INR 2,500 upwards including breakfast and excluding taxes.
Located in the queen of hills, this property can truly enchant you. It maintains the old charm of a grand building from the British era while maintaining accessibility for customers and their comfort. The homestay feels just like it's supposed to; a vacation in a homely yet grand manor with spacious rooms and gardens for you to indulge in. There are spaces to play outdoor games as well such as badminton, basketball and football. They have a swimming pool in case you wish to take a dip with your gang on a sunny day.
Price: INR 3,500 upwards including breakfast and excluding taxes.