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All reviews spanish omelette home stay large garden home away from home warm hospitality local delicacies creature comforts yellow house haven of peace flowering shrubs art loving great conversationalist tall trees a wonderful stay tagore family personal touch would love to go back
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Reviewed 27 August 2021

tl;dr: Lovely property, great location, amazing breakfast & really really helpful and interesting hostess. Just choose this place if you can afford it. It's totally worth it.

Details:
We stayed here in the third weekend of Aug2021. Since I didn't book the place myself, I wasn't sure what to expect beforehand. But as soon as I got off the Toto (thoughtfully arranged by Nayana Di) and took one look at the house and the grounds, I got my breath taken completely away!
"Beautiful" doesn't really do the place justice. It's a two-storey house sitting in an island of lush greenery. The grounds are strewn with huge trees. Mango, Coconut, Batabi-lebu (pomelo according to the internet), Taal (Palm) are the few that I could recognize but I'm sure, actual, literate folks will be able to name a lot of the rest. I especially loved this makeshift bench made out of tree-logs in the garden. And there was this one tree that's just adjoining the house that was lit up by fireflies in the evening and managed to look quite enchanting.
The house itself is beyond impressive. Nayana-Di goes for a maximalist decor and the place is filled with little nick-knacks that she has accumulated in her extensive travels. To paraphrase her: "It's not about what one uses to decorate but how one manages with the stuff one has." And there's furniture that's almost a hundred years old! The walls of our room had this rustic look which I really loved. There's a nice terrace on the first floor where one can hang out and chill as the sun goes down.
Maku who stays on the property made us delicious breakfasts everyday. Do NOT forget to check out her spanish omelette! For other meals, there's a place close by that will send you delicious, home-like food at very reasonable rates. Speaking of reasonable, get the contact of the Toto person Bapon from Nayana-Di and go sight seeing with him. He's punctual, well mannered, well informed, helpful and his rates are quite reasonable.
I have to mention Ronnie, who's the in-house pet and is one of the most friendly and cool dogs I've had the pleasure to meet.
I've saved the most important bit for the last: Nayana-Di herself. She's an amazing hostess. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience and can keep you enthralled with tales of her travels, history of Calcutta and indeed on any subject that you'd like. She's also very helpful. Arranging for an interesting and varied breakfast everyday, making sure we have arranged the rest of our meals, advising us on places to visit and at the same time giving us enough space - she did it all and enabled a perfect vacation for us.
Thank you so much Nayana-Di & we'd love to visit again the next time we're there. Although, this time, I think we'll visit in the winter and try to stay longer than 3 days.

PS: She actually packed "Taal-er bora" & a "batabi-lebu" for us while we were leaving!

Date of stay: August 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
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1  Thank ideep28
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nayana gangooly, Owner at Nayana's Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2021

Dear Anushya and Deep. It was such a pleasure to host you. You are delightful. Please do return soon. By the way, the Tree with the fireflies " jonaki" was the NEEM tree:).
Ronnie and Maku would also love to see you soon. Thank you very much for your kind words.

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Reviewed 15 August 2021

This was our second visit to Nayana Di's place with two new additions in the equation: our Son and Ronnie, their pet! The last time we visited there was an instant connect and we bonded over the years. This time as we were planning to take my mom and son for the first time there wasn't any doubt on the place of our stay. Adda till late at night, scrumptious breakfast prepared by "Maku Mashi" and my son's first visual of "jonaki, batabi lebu and kathbirali" all at her homestay amidst Nature.
Not to forget that we were debutants to a newly renovated homestay where the the rooms were tastefully done up in sync with the rustic and ethereal charm of Santiniketan.

Feel free to reach out to Nayana Di and she'll be most happy to guide you and also be a great host to true a homestay experience

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank chaitalim2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nayana gangooly, Owner at Nayana's Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2021

Come back soon. Ronnie promises to behave.
Hopefully the weather will a little more comfortable during your next visit. Thanks very much for your kind words and support.

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Reviewed 25 July 2021

I live in Kolkata, and Nayana's Homestay is now my secret escape. In addition to all of the wonderful things other reviewers have said about Nayana's masterful hosting, I would add that she can also arrange bespoke trips to Murshidabad, Bishnapur, and craft villages outside of Shanti Niketan. She is a consummate hostess, sparklingly entertaining and generous. I will keep going back!

Date of stay: February 2021
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank MLShie
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nayana gangooly, Owner at Nayana's Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2021

It was wonderful to introduce you to more of Bengal. I'm happy you enjoyed the marvels our state offers. Thank you very much for your kind words. Looking forward to your next visit. Monsoon is beautiful in Birbhum.

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Reviewed 29 March 2021

Absolutely elegant and gorgeous.
We just returned from a delightful stay with Nayana and Maku at Nayana's Homestay. In the heart of Shantiniketan, a 3-minutes from Shonajuri'r haat - this is where you should be.
It is actually difficult to describe Nayana's home (and not a house) in a few words - but if I may, you'd be blown away to discover the level of minuteness and care that the owner has poured into her home, to make it an absolutely refreshing place to stay. Full of antiques, terracotta and some really grand furniture - this place itself deserves to be called a destination.

If you are a future visitor, you have a choice from either of two large, fully furnished bedrooms - each with attached baths. Maku, her caretaker, would take care of all your needs. While breakfast is included, you have an option of ordering food through Nayana from a nearby shop called Borgi. I ordered dinners for both my nights and I would strongly recommend you do. The food was really delicious and the Kashmiri mutton that came along with the Mutton thali was absolutely brilliant. Do try ! Noyona & Maku would make all efforts to make your visit memorable.

The house is located on huge land (over a bigha) and has a huge garden in front, full of mango, coconut and other trees. The entire setup keeps the surrounding very cool and breezy. Do make a visit upstairs - it has 3 separate balconies - very intelligently constructed.

If you like heritage, I think you'd enjoy your evening chats with Nayana, who could give you snippets from the old Shantiniketan and the Tagore family (I forgot to mention that Nayana is herself from the illustrious Tagore family itself). Details on that - I leave it to you to discover :-) But otherwise, you'd find yourself surrounded with books of all variety, antiques of all sorts - collected from all over the world, and some delightful paintings. And talking of paintings, one of them actually has a hidden switch at the back (yes! - just like those Dev Anand movies of the 60s).

Pro tips: (1) Maku is a gem. Her sense of embroidery would amaze you. Her creations have a lot of takers even from the international market.
(2) Do not forget to taste the wonderful micro-cookies that Nayana has. They are really different.

Date of stay: March 2021
    • Location
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Thank Sanjay G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nayana gangooly, Owner at Nayana's Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2021

Thank you so very much for your very kind words. I'm always very nervous to host guests during Basanta Utsav ( so much can go wrong) but you all were an absolute delight. Wish we had more time to sit and " adda". Next time. Please do visit again soon and I may just cook...:)

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Reviewed 24 March 2021 via mobile

I spent the past week in this rustic town in a beautiful homestay run by the multifaceted Nayana, a 6th generation Tagorean. Between jobs is a good time for reflecting and realigning with self. This was the second time I stayed with Nayana in Santiniketan. I had family accompanying me for the first two days, and I stayed on solo for the next 5 days.

Attention to detail is truly her strong suit, and she made sure we were well taken care of. She organized a day out for us with Nobi Da, her trusted Toto driver specifying pitstops which would appeal to all of us - we soaked in the historic houses within the university precincts, visited Amar Kutir and picked up handlooms and hand crafted curios, and visited the Sanibaarer Haat which my mother in law fell in love with. Maku Didi, Nayana's well trained and affectionate house help, made us home cooked breakfasts every single day(poori chola, Spanish omelettes) and ensured we had tea and coffee when required.

Once my folks left, Nayana and I spent time traversing the dusty bylanes of this beautiful town, exploring the temples and ruins of Birbhum district(as a specially curated tour), meeting with artists and potters(friends of Nayana), alums of Kala Bhavan who have made Santiniketan a home away from home. It was wonderful to meet the well known artist duo, Rashmi and Kingshuk Sarkar, and Lipi, the owner of Lipi's pottery studio. I also found my way to Subarnarekha, a book store which sells old and new books, and found a few gems. Nayana treated me to Bellada's melt in the mouth butter cookies, which I purchased by the dozen. She also made me a wonderful dalia khichdi with accompaniments(including chuna mach) for lunch, and a delicious pasta with ham for dinner during my stay. Most afternoons, I ordered home cooked non veg meals from Borgi Da.

Nayana is twice my age and yet we connect like two peas in a pod. Languid mornings and afternoons spent reading and writing in her beautiful, aesthetically done up property really helped calm down my nerves. There are about 25+ bird species to be found on her campus, filled with trees and greenery. We went up to the terrace post dinner most evenings and spent time under the moonlit and starlit skies.

Nayana is a great conversationalist, and a wonderful host. She is great with textiles and supports multiple causes of social impact. She is perceptive and lets you have your space. She is now opening her homestay for month long workcations from April - September, and I intend to go back during the monsoons. Her property now has very easy wifi, and I would absolutely recommend it for short and long term stays.

I have attached a few pictures from my lovely stay in Santiniketan.

Date of stay: March 2021
Trip type: Travelled solo
Thank ShrutiParija
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nayana gangooly, Owner at Nayana's Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2021

Dear Shruti , it was such a pleasure to host you again after all these years and meet your lovely husband. Thank you very much for your amazing support and encouragement. Wishing you the best for all your new projects and hoping to see you back at Nayana"s Homestay soon.

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