My husband and i stayed at spars lodge for 4 nights. It is situated a 2km walk from town. Don't let that put you off however. It meant it was quiet and relaxing. Shimla doesnt allow cars along the main road so the walk into town is also hassle free and incredibly pretty. The lodge itself was like an alpine lodge. The views from our room were stunning and the restaurant was great. Very friendly owners. It felt like a home away from home.
The best thing about Spars Lodge is there food quality. Their Trout fish preparation was awesome. It is a old fashioned wooden hotel. Not so far from Mall road. Staffs are really cooperative. It was our first night stay of our 13 days long Spiti trip and they have set the tune for our journey perfectly.
We were alloted a valley facing room. Which gave us a splendid view of the valley. Toilets were clean. Rooms were perfectly arranged. Their restaurant area also has a very good view of the valley.
I will highly recommend this place.
We had called over one week ahead of time and verified we were coming on an early 6 am bus from dharmasala with children asking for early check- in. The desk said yes if it was available then as soon as possible and he'd provide us with a resting room until then .
We called the day before to book a second room as we were two families and verify we were coming early on the six am bus . They were quite helpful on the phone and accomdatimg. We arrived after 6 the next morning and immediately the man at the desk started yelling at me and the children . I told him we had called before and made sure to book two rooms 1 over a week before . He demanded 500 rupees for each of our children though we had booked 2 rooms of 3 total persons in each which included 2 small 6 year olds. He said anyone over 10 has to pay 500 and I told him the children were clearly 6 it us on their passport and si by his rule he couldn't charge as we had 2 adults total and 4 children and had booked 2 rooms. He then said we couldn't check in until at least 12 and then went back to sleep after screaming at us some more leaving us there to wait indefinitely . There was no water , no tea , no possibility for anything until 12 pm he said and then went to bed.
I'd never met such a rude and greedy man at a reception and we've travelled INDIA 4 Years staying at hundreds of hotels .
If you have children please don't come to this hotel as they are not family friendly . Whatever you do - don't come before 12 as you will not be accommodated even if they promise you on the phone . After waiting hours - We had to take a taxi to another hotel who immediately served us tea and breakfast and have us a room by ten apologizing profusely for not having something earlier for us though we were the ones who showed up unexpected - the complete opposite behavior of spars lodge . They treated us like part of their family - went out of the way to book us cqbs everywhere and didn't look at us like inconvenient dollar signs .
I stayed in the room with prime view for two nights and the mountain view is definitely theraputic for someone who just escaped the Delhi heat. And the price is also reasonable and has high value-for-money. The owner is very friendly and attentive despite some initial communication problems. (Thank you so much for bringing me my phone charges!) And yes, they have the best trout in town while the breakfast is equally good. The restaurant, above all, has awesome views also. Location-wise, it is walking distance to the state museum. You may find mall road to be a bit far away, but the walk is nevertheless very pleasant in such kind of weather.
However, for a room called "suite", the facilities definitely need to be improved. For example, it would have been more convenient if there is somewhere to hang the clothes. And a central light apart from bedlight will also be much appreciated for someone who wants to read and write a bit out of bed. The bedsheets can also been cleaner. Last but not least, wifi was also quite unstable in the room.
In sum, I would love to stay back again next time when I visit Shimla. But also look forward for the rooms to be improved in abovementioned aspects.
We were attracted to this small eatery on the Museum Road with their invitation on the door - 'Smoked Trouts Available'. It is actually a Lodge with few rooms and a nice cosy Dining Room, overlooking the Shimla Valley. And yes, they had Smoked Trout on the menu ( but only one was available on that day ! ). So we settled for one Smoked Trout and a Grilled Chicken.
Both dishes were served in typical British style and were simply mouth-watering. ( see the photo ) The service by a young attendant was very prompt and courteous. Only regret was.......they didn't serve Beer !