If you’re travelling to Kolkata and are a book nerd (and also looking for a place to stay!), then look no further than Boi-er-Baari, a bed & breakfast guesthouse run by Sohini, a writer and independent journalist based in the city. Built by her grandfather Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya (a former Philosophy professor and Union Cabinet minister), Boi-er-Baari, like the name suggests, is all about books.
The whole house is done up with book covers, drawings and illustrations from Bengali books. Books are placed all over the house - long and squat bookshelves, little pockets of books and lots of book art. You’re free to borrow them, read and return or buy them. The artwork is custom-made for the space and also has a line recognising the artist and the book they are from. Feel free to ask the owners anything you wish to know about the books they’ve got because they simply love talking about it!
Their rooms are also named after popular characters or books so you can choose to live in either Feludar Ghar or Bormi Baksho or Bawt-Tala (under the banyan tree). The rooms are large, full of natural light, equipped with work desks and dressing space and a private balcony for your workouts and reading, working or daydreaming sessions! They’ll offer you a nice breakfast too to get you started. Best part? You don’t even have to go to a cafe to chill or work. Use their huge living room equipped with several table and chair sets, WiFi and quiet corners. They have a kitchen too so go make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and some toast or if you’d like something more, Sohini’s staff will be happy to make it for you.
This house is a celebration of Bengal. They use traditional, checkered cotton towels indigenous to east India and Bangladesh. They also keep Turkish bath towels if that’s what you prefer. The family believes in sustainability, which is why there are no soap bars. You get to use bath gel instead. You can use the washing machine twice a week for just INR 100. They have a terrace where you can put your clothes to dry as well as a pressing board to iron your clothes. They’ll also do the laundry for you at a nominal price.
Prices start at INR 1,600 per night.