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Reviewed 3 January 2020

The Misty Mountains Retreat is part of the 1000 acre Jhaltola Estate and the cottages, rather log cabins are amidst pine, oak and rhododendron forest.
Part of the estate is now home to Madhur and Ambika and they have developed the surrounding areas as a resort, rather, a home stay. Aided with an excellent team of most friendly staff, they made this place home for us for 5 days or so.

It is a collection of wood cottages or what are traditionally log cabins. Except that the cottages at Misty Mountains are not austere. They are fitted with comfy beds, sofa, dressing area and a top floor with extra beds as well. They have heater and geyser and even electric blankets to cope with the cold weather. Mind you, there is no television here, or anywhere in Misty Mountains. But when the windows open to the grand view of the gorgeous Himalayas or star studded dark blue night sky, who needs gadgets?
The first morning, when we removed the curtains from the windows, our jaws dropped.
We do not have words to express our awe. All we can say is that it seemed surreal – like a dream. We just could not turn our eyes or cameras away.The mist had completely transformed the mountains we could now see the justification behind the name, The Musty Mountains.

Owner Madhur would ask us what do we want for or breakfast / lunch etc. and our specifications would be prepared correct to the T. All the elaborate but home-style meals were accompanied by endless varieties of tastiest jams, marmalades and pickles made in-house by Ambika from organic local produce. There was no way one could fall sick with the food here. The dinners were beside crackling bonfire and digestion aided by the excellent honey-lemon-ginger tea from the kitchen.
A special shout out to the Kumaoni meal which was the best that we have had!

The staff here are like Santa’s elves. You don’t hear them – but every request is complied to the T. The whole staff always stood in yes to all our silly demands. Given that it’s a mountaintop where the nearest small market is 13 km away and nearest biggish town is 25 km away, providing the level of service they deliver is anything but easy!

Some of the staff here accompanied us during treks and village walks. They kept supporting us while maneuvering narrow paths and filling us with jungle trivia and leopard stories all along the way.

The Misty Mountains organises treks, village walks or even night jungle tours from their property. They provide trained escorts and naturalists to aid the guests.
Time just stood still here. It was slow travel as they say – an ideal way to finish the year.

Date of stay: December 2019
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
7  Thank Delhifundos
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 16 December 2019

It was another ordinary Sunday afternoon , loitering before TV , when my husband popped up this question : are you taking leave on your B’s day ….. let’s plan some Friday outing ….
Glued, as I was to Nat Geo , replied absent minded …. ‘ trek, as usual ‘
Once I uttered those words , came the startling realization … ‘where to ?’ ..
Having covered the usual tourist destinations , our search in the last 10 years have been always ‘ offbeat ‘ ; this time too , there was no exceptions
For weekend get-a -way I chose a place almost 500 kms away from the Capital ; but thatz the beauty of staying in Delhi-NCR ; you get to wheel away on long drives to places f….a….r from the maddening crowd & pollution
Nestled among snow-covered peaks, captivating rivers, wild flora & fauna, holy temples, the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand allows tourists to relish and quench the travel lust in a serene way
My net search brought up the ‘Misty Mountains ‘ --> a retreat which shared great reviews of being ‘ The jewel in the Crown ‘ ( sic: Kumaon Himalayas ) Set on a hill-side facing the Nanda Devi range, it boasted some of the finest views of the Greater Himalayas, while offering the traveler well-equipped rooms to make the stay as comfortable as possible.
I didn’t look further.
Made the necessary booking and started the count-down ……
We started on Thursday night 1 a.m. . followed GPS and reached Bhimtaal by 8:30 a.m.
Stopped for breakfast and then started for Ram Mandir (our GPS destination to parking ) via Almora town to the road towards Chitai, Barechinna, Dhaulchinna, Sheraghat--> round-about at Raiagar
The beauty of the nature en-route calls for another different blog altogether . One must experience the awe, first hand .All through the route, our host Mr. Madhur Chhabra called us 2-3 times to guide us and we felt quite at-ease . Once arrived at the parking, Manoj was waiting for us to pick up . We met Suroohi , cute little daughter of our hosts ….who was fast asleep after her play school … but gave a dazzling smile on seeing us ( & Shiro , our canine son ) which lit up her innocent face . Manoj promised us an adventurous ride to the estate which he did !
While cruising through Gangolighat, all of a sudden, the jeep took off the road and started climbing the mountain !!
The rolling topography, unknown trails, plush green forests, and narrow tracks made the journey vividly exciting . Even after that long journey , the last lap proved immensely worthwhile .
Once reached, we were greeted by our gracious host , Mr Madhur Chhabra , with a camera in hand and comforting smile on his face ; he has a knack of bird watching and shooting thru his high lens digicam .
We parked ourselves in the Oak suites and loved the ambiance immediately .
The well spaced room with a mesmerizing backdrop of the mighty Himalayan ranges captivated us to the core . Alongwith room heater, the main bed had electrically heated mattresses - which added comfort to the cold end-of-November nights. Simple upholstery and furnishings , tastefully decorated, gave a warm touch to the homely decor. The bathroom was clean, spacious, well-lit, nicely fitted, with hot water at service . The attic upstairs had kids bed and a robust view to pep up
Outside the Suites, the grounds, have log tables and chairs, a small lotus pond ( water reservoir for birds ) , hammocks and swings. There's a activity hall, ‘ Kalrav ‘ with a huge amphitheater , wonderful selection of books, card table, indoor badminton court, table tennis, carrom, chess and a few other indoor games. Food was simple yet tasty with excellent set of menu, .timed for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
I carried a chocolate cake with toppings for B’s day celebration and had the cake -cutting with the team there amidst the utterly scenic backdrop of setting Sun and cool breeze blowing through our hair . It was quite surreal feeling and very different from the stereo-types parties . Everyone had their share and greeted me smilingly. Felt like , I knew them from ages !
We met Rags , the friendly estate canine who cozied upto me instantly
Himalayas keep calling us & we are definitely under the spell …. Otherwise we wouldn’t have driven so long traverse on a weekend , just to stay there for 1.5 days and return
The property is placed in a mind-blowing location, surrounded by dense forest habituated by leopards of Kumaon hills, frighteningly beautiful yet keeps yearning for more .
This is not the place to go if your idea of a holiday is 5 star hotels, chilled beer by the pool side etc. It is a place where you breathe clean air, listen to birdsong all day and watch the valleys and mountains stretching out before you. The rooms all face the Himalayan snow ranges, and the view is a 180- 240 degree one. One could spend hours just looking the mountains.
One should spend at least 4 days there to soak and immerse in the surrounding. Be it trek or hike or visit to Patal Bhuveneswar , the time has to be spent . I had youtubed that cave and wanted to visit but unfortunately Shiro is not allowed there and we couldn’t leave him behind .
Our objective was to spend quality family time together and we could surpass the goal to our hearts content ! For once , I did not have to receive office calls at night ( no signal, of course ) We sang , danced ( no liquor please ), karaoked, laughed and called off the day . There is no TV or electronic devices , so the only bond is … actual human interactions . At dinner table ( open space with bonfire & a vast canopy of starts lighting the night sky ), we met the only other guests in that huge estate who were hiking entrepreneur themselves and had come to do a reiki of the place . They had many interesting stories to tell and we shared a fantastic time…. bonding over our meal . They planned for Lamkeshwar trek the next day and invited us , but we had to decline sadly .
Next day morning started with a golden Sunrise on the snow clad Himalayan peaks , making us watch the best show in the world unfold: the peaks of Nanda Ghunti, Mrig Thuni, Nanda Khat, Nanda East and West, and Nanda Kot , the five peaks of Panchachuli on the right & the ones near Nepal border . What more can anybody want ? I felt that I couldn’t have come to a better place; just lay back & do nothing
At least for a day , the wheels beneath my toes, were off , the clocks ticking around me were shut , the incessant buzz of phones and skype calls were redundant. Time was not slipping away from my fingers and I could cherish each moment of the day , as it rolled .
After sumptuous breakfast we decided to explore Kalrav . We played TT, badminton, carrom, chased butterflies at the backyard , read books, acted out mimicries on the stage and laughed a lot ! Morning well spent .
Then we decided to go on a small trek around the retreat . A pet friendly homestay with it's literally acres of space for you to explore with your pet. But Shiro couldn’t walk much . He has a cardio problem accentuated with arthritis . So kids took him back to the room while we both trotted out holding cane sticks ( props ) . Oh ! what a lovely day it was . Strolling through the rugged terrain and thick woods gave a thrill beyond apprehension. After walking for half hour and crossing a field, we took a wrong turn and ended inside the forest : dark & cold & wet . I looked for the big yellow ( or black ) cat on the trees but couldn’t locate any , probably they are very shy of visitors ; birds --.> there were many .
The place has something for everyone –It is a great place for bird watchers and nature lovers with many species of birds being found within the property and the vicinity itself, walkers who would like the easy pace of the undulating terrain around. Mr Madhur captured a Black chinned babbler on his camera that afternoon and detailed the view to us . Luncheon was again excellent and Mrs Ambika Chhabra gave us company throughout our meal . She is very articulate and charming and I found her quite knowledgeable too , in all current affairs of the state/country . Great host and impressively intelligent .
With passing of time , it was almost 3 and we were slated to trek to the sunset point 4 kms away to watch another opera of mountain view on a larger scale . Inviting proposal indeed, but once we started after heavy lunch we felt our legs giving away from the earlier trek ( age is catching up with us ). So we decided to retire to our rooms and play ‘adda’.
Memories well collected and treasured .
Sunday morning we packed our breakfast and started home ( don’t want to recite the return journey which was full of logjam, chaos & strain )
We were back to the dreary /mundane routine once again , facing the Monday morning blues ! Somewhere back in our mind the sparkle remained , waiting for the ignition to go back

Room tip: Oak Suite, Rosebank cottage
Date of stay: November 2019
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank bucketlist_wishes29
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 23 October 2019

This was the highlight of my trip to India. The resort was beautiful and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The owners even make sure that every guest thoroughly enjoys their stay. The food was also fantastic. I highly recommend hiking on the trails around the resort as the views are breath-taking.

Date of stay: October 2019
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jeff R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madhur C, Owner at The Misty Mountains, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2019

Dear Jeff,

Thank you for these kind words. This is a huge complement. :)

Glad you liked the food too.

I hope we get to see you again sometime.


Ambika, Suroohi, Rags and Madhur

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2019

Our primary requirement was a beautiful peaceful place that overlooked the Himalayan range. And we found just that at Misty Mountains at Ganglioghat Uttarakhand. Lovely comfortable cottages, that had a view of the Himalayas. Although since it was the end of June, the views were hidden by clouds,but would open up every now & then to make us run like kids to grab the sights. But I must say we lucked out and were able to catch the magnificence of Trishul peak. On a good day one can easily have entire range view including the Nepalese side. The patio outside the cottage with cushioned seating provided uninterrupted peaceful view of the mountains while sipping tea or while I gazed meditatively at cosmic creation.

The staff was very helpful, courteous and ready to do all, to make us comfortable. The hosts Ambika & Madhur are a wonderful friendly couple who did their best to mingle with the guests. Ambika is a great cook & the resort kitchen works on her instructions to ensure that the food is par excellence with that home style touch leaving you craving for more. Do try her home made jams, preserves & pickles while in the dining area. The chef cooks up some wonderful delights. Food tastes great. With one of the days sampling Kumaoni cuisine. We got hot rotis all the time. You must request Ambika for the Kheer desert, which is to die for. Madhur makes sure the guests are well taken care. We stayed for 6 days and on one of the days Madhur organized a trek to the mountains to catch the sunset and also to Avani - a lovely NGO that showcases & sells weaves made out of organic homegrown colors & fabric.
The resort is drenched with Blue Hydrangea flowers everywhere and some very exotic varieties. We loved Misty Mountains and will always come back for more of the wonderful mountain air, the Himalayas, the relaxing peaceful respite from the city & of course for the lovely people there.

Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Seema T
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madhur C, Owner at The Misty Mountains, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2019

Dear Seema ji,

This year we got a few guests who stayed for more than 3-4 days. Its a little challenging to keep people engaged and entertained for so long.

It is heartening to note that you liked the stay and facilities for a long holiday at Misty. It motivates us to work with more enthusiasm and belief. So, thank you for that. :)

Hope to see you here again sometime soon.

warm regards,

Ambika, Suroohi, Rags and Madhur

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2019

Large well lit room, bunk beds for kids, acres of trees and fauna, friendly staff, a place remote and secluded from elsewhere + On a clear day a view of the Himalayas (Trishul, Nanda Devi cluster etc.) right from your room.
If you are an early riser there is quite a bit of bird watching you can do in the morning.

In addition, you can do a few treks, play badminton/table tennis/chess/game of cards in the indoor high roofed hall.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are buffet affairs. You are better off having these, as the property is self sufficient & delightfully remote. Through our entire trip to Uttarakhand we had been wanting to have local food and were lucky enough to have Kumaon food when it was served at lunch on one of the days. Would vote for more variation in the breakfast buffet though, and perhaps some continental in lunch or dinner.

The place is so serene and relaxing that i would take a few books along the next time. Now, where's my hammock!

Date of stay: June 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank AlpineKorps
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madhur C, Owner at The Misty Mountains, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2019

Thank you for the sweet and short to the point review.

The hammocks have been purchased and are in transit. Should be installed most monsoons. Next trip then?


Ambika, Madhur, Suroohi and Rags

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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