i got to learn about this houseboat and its owner, Rahim, purely by chance. and can never say enough to acknowledge that my chance encounter was an unforgettable experience of absolute bliss and happiness.
as kashmir has come back to life of happiness, keeping its unfortunate violent events of past few years behind ( let us keep our fingers crossed ) , the travellers have reached the valley in hordes. that meant, no hotel rooms available anywhere in the valley and full house signs are up everywhere . that explains my opening line of chance encounter with Fantasia houseboat and its people. i learnt about the prperty and its owners through pages of Trip Advisor reviews and made connection with Rahim.
obviously we arrived with a fear of unknown as this was the maiden visit of my family ( my wife, 2 daughters and most importantly, our grandson of 8 years ) to the valley. though i had been to Srinagar on official work couple of times in not so happier times !
and there we arrived. cool 30 minutes drive through the city , followed by a shikara ride of 10 minutes to the boat , to be welcomed by Rahim and his efficient staff with hot cup of tea accompanied by freshly baked cookies.
rooms are adequate, clean and tidy. You need to occasionaly ask for some cups or glasses or an additional furniture to sit. but that is provided without having to remind a second time. we stayed there for 4 nights and 5 days and got used to the amenities without having the need to complain.
city dwellers like me, used to enjoy luxuries of * hotels would do better not to look for same kind of ambience as the life on a houseboat provide a different lifestyle experience which can make one yearn for coming back to this charming world of life, surrounded by nature's bounty.
can you imaging a life where only noise are from playful movements of birds , like when a heron or a kingfisher or a swift or a hawk jumps down to catch a fish from the lake and resultant splash in the water ! or when you see a lone boatman rowing in the lake looking for a customer to buy his wares, for example, seeds of exotic flowers.
i have seen some comments here regarding privacy in the boat or owners' being too close for comfort etc. to be honest, i never had the reason to aprehend intrusion to the privacy of our own leisure time nor anyone forcing us to buy anything against our wishes. it is to be understood that the boat has 6 rooms ( ? ) and unless one rents the whole boat , it is but natural there will be other travellers. we found nothing wrong with that . dining halls and lounges and common areas in hotels are always shared and that is same here as well.
what struck us most about the boat was its efficient administration, lingering fragrance of wood used to make the boat, a rejuvenating hot shower, any time of day or night and sincere effort of Rahim & Co. to make one feel at home. He even ensured that i did not miss any of Euro 2012 matches and i shall never forget the majestic hill in the night in front of me when i would sit in the deck for some fresh air when there was an interval during football match in middle of night.
go ahead, and stay in this houseboat, if you like nature, if you like tanquility, if you like water , if you like quality time with your friends and family and if you like to listen to birds singing from sunrise to sunset.
thank you Rahim, Mushtaq, Anna and others ( whose names i unfortunately do not remember ), we shall come back to your houseboat and comeback soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- If your dreams include a sojourn on a houseboat in Kashmir, kingfishers darting between the blossoming lotus, herons and moorhens darting for fish, and snowcapped mountains in full view, then imagine yourself on Fantasia Houseboat on fresh, unpolluted Nigeen Lake. Fantasia Houseboat combines modern amenities, such as electricity, hot showers with a good food and friendly personal service. Each well-decorated bedroom has an attached private bathroom. Fantasia has a beautiful dining area and a lounge with a new flat screen TV. There are great views across the Lake and onto the lower Himalayas from the veranda and the garden. The sunset views are wonderful. There is a well-maintained pretty private garden for the use of guests. We have a 24 hour power back up and clean water supply. We have free internet access. Accommodation, sightseeing, and trekking are all available for your enjoyment. Ski arrangements for Gulmarg in the winter can also be organised. We look forward to meeting you and offering you our best hospitality. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Agoda so you can book your Fantasia Houseboats reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Fantasia Houseboats Hotel Srinagar
- Fantasia Houseboats Srinagar, Kashmir