In the modern age, the photogenic quality of your holiday has sadly/strangely/naturally {take your pick} become a major factor in choosing a hotel. Will it look good on Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? Social media apart, a stunning view has been a hotel’s USP for centuries, and this is what lured us to one of India’s best: Seetalvan Orchard, up in the Himalayan foothills, and with a view to rival any 5-star establishment in the country, maybe even the world!

The Location

Seetalvan Orchard is set on a working orchard, a few hours’ drive north of Shimla – the main town in the state of Himachal Pradesh – in the village of Kotgarh, and some 15 km from the main highway towards Tibet. Narkanda is the nearest town of any notable size. Kotgarh is right in the heart of apple country, so expect orchards, blossoming trees, fresh mountain air and of course those majestic mountain views at every turn.

The Property

Image courtesy: Seetalvan Orchard

Image courtesy: Seetalvan Orchard

With four double rooms and a private, four-bedroom bungalow, Seetalvan is very much a quiet Indian guesthouse. With a balcony overlooking the rising mountains and sweeping orchards, this is the perfect spot to get lost in a book, snap envy-inducing pics, or ponder your next stop in this beautiful region. There’s TV, a DVD player and board games in the communal living room — though the private bungalow has its own — and should you want to sit out by a bonfire as the night falls, then the hotel is very happy to help out.

This place is fairly remote, so if you’re after hustle and bustle then forget it {just stay in Shimla and be done with it}, but for those looking for a wonderfully relaxing rural stay, then Seetalvan can’t be beat.

The Rooms

Image courtesy: Seetalvan Orchard

Image courtesy: Seetalvan Orchard

Four sizeable double rooms make up the main building, each with a private entrance that opens on to a long balcony. All are furnished in simple stone and wood with large, comfortable double beds and en-suites with plentiful hot water. The bungalow is a slightly older building but has everything you could want, including a kitchen for preparing your own meals, dining area, a small living room and a wrap-around balcony to savour the scenery.

Beyond these two there is a further building that houses the restaurant and also the communal living room with access to more stunning views {of course!} and plenty of home comforts.

The Food

Unless you’re in the private bungalow and wanting to cook for yourself, chances are you’ll need feeding. Seetalvan Orchard offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with plenty of hearty north-Indian staples such as dal, rice, vegetables and whatever can be sourced from the local market.

If you’re after something a touch more European, then wood-fired pizzas can be ordered in advance. For those wanting to adventure out into the mountains and orchards, have a chat with the hotel and ask about provisions of a packed lunch or picnic for you to take on your way.

The Rates

Seetalvan’s rooms start at INR 5,500 per night for single occupancy with breakfast and dinner included, as well as unlimited tea and coffee. Double rooms are INR 6,500 per night. The private bungalow with four rooms is INR 16,000 per night.

Where: Kotgarh Narkanda, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 

Contact: +91 9805594069, or write to seetalvan@gmail.com

For more info, and to book Seetalvan Orchard click here. Check out their website here, and follow them on Facebook here.

This post first appeared on Tripzuki here.

Featured image courtesy: Seetalvan Orchard