I was once out of town for work, watching a cricket match with a few other colleagues as we worked alongside. Just then, I received a call from another colleague who couldn’t accompany us for it. She wanted me to be part of a brainstorming session for a couple of one-liners. I stepped out of my room, looked at the heavy-hearted clouds just about to burst, and some trees swaying in every direction. I found comfort in knowing that my ideas – much like me – didn’t have to be confined. Eventually, we came up with something wacky yet doable, thanks to the change in my work set-up.
Before 2020, many would debate about the feasibility of working from home – while some considered it as good as working half the day, some others defined the number of days one COULD work from home – come rain, come emergency. But come 2020, and we’ve busted all these myths already. We’ve worked from home, we’ve worked for home and managed just alright. But as they say, if you can work from home you can very well work from a vacation home anywhere else, too.
Our team faced major FOMO when we came to know that some parts of North India were open to tourism. After all, who doesn’t want to lose themselves to the misty greens, Pahadi food, woody warmth, and hot chocolate with occasional spontaneous treks? What a waste of a year! But hey, if you’re one of those lucky few who stay in North India and are looking for places to stay near Delhi, we have perfect ‘Work From Hills’ homes for your tired, homebound souls.
1. The hills are calling (not on Zoom, duh!)
The best part about hill retreats lies in their views, the outdoors, and the various adventures we miss out on while in the city. And so, to break the monotony, work from hills at SaffronStays Himalaica, a 6-bedroom vacation home in Nainital.
Screaming ‘nature’ softly, this home is surrounded by chirpy birds, and 3 onsite playful dogs – Raja, Lama, and Cyber. Right from the driveway to the farthest room, it is engulfed by lush greenery. Thanks to the glass conservatory, the home has an even more cheerful vibe. The wooden interiors and hues lend a comforting warmth to this place making it ideal for a weekend getaway in Nainital.
Experience the perfect work-life balance. How? Well, post some back to back video meetings, you can opt for a forest walk, a birdwatching session and also explore the garden that has a variety of flowering plants. Sip on that adrak wali chai with hot pakodas in the garden in the evening.
As you saunter through the woods, spot various antiques and curios that the homeowners have collected from their travel around the world. At night, you could catch up on a movie from their large collection or have a bonfire night.
The home is located near several trekking spots like Gagar View Point, Kulethi Jhandidhar, and Gagar to Tagore Top and touristy spots like Bhowali Sanatorium, Ghorakhal Temple, Shyamkhet Tea Estate, among other places.
Why workay here?: There’s WiFi, dedicated corners ideal for working and the rejuvenating nature walks will help you come up with fresh thoughts.
2. Work-life balance gets a new meaning
Pool and hills – such a mac-n-cheese combo, no? While the mere thought freezes me, it’s a magical jodi.
A set of twin private villas with a pool, SaffronStays Zircon Valley is a 12-bedroom home in Nainital. Located on the edge of a cliff, this is 20 minutes from the popular Mall Road. With 6 deluxe (some even with a loft) and 6 standard bedrooms, there’s something unique about each room – right from their appearance to the views and more. If I were you, I would pick a few favourites and stay in each room for 2 nights. The home has private sit-outs, a huge lawn, a well-stocked library, and a room dedicated to indoor games.
Relish hot, home-cooked meals in the dining area. For a more authentic experience, you could enjoy Kumaoni delicacies prepared using homegrown spices and ingredients.
If history fascinates you, this place is ideal for your stay. It is said that Gandhiji had tea here in 1936 when he was visiting Kamala Nehru at the Bhowali Sanatorium. Hunter-conservationist Jim Corbett was also friends with the lady of the house and often visited this space.
Why workay here?: An ideal home to work from hills, it has a WiFi connection, and you can easily switch views as you sit on your private deck in a matter of seconds. Perfect choice for our city-eroded souls.
3. If soul-searching is on your mind
A pen and a pensive mood. If you’re armed with the two, this creative retreat in Nainital is meant for you. SaffronStays Green Garnet is a 6-bedroom quaint villa tucked away in the greens. Named after the gorgeous greens that envelop it, it is located in the lap of the Kumaon foothills. The home has a vintage appeal that in a way helps you pause, think and think well about the job at hand. With splashes of antique showpieces, paintings, indoor plants, and timeless decor, the home has an old-world charm.
A perfect retreat for writers, vintage lovers, and those fascinated by the timeless era. The exquisite wall mirrors, sandook-style tables, ceramic and brass cutlery all add to it.
Retire at this retreat in North India that offers a mesmerising confluence of the valley, skies, and fog. No stay is complete without some satiating meals. Try out a range of cuisines – from Indian to Chinese and Continental. At prior intimation, one can also enjoy experiences like a riverside picnic followed by lunch, a crash course in bee and organic farming, and birdwatching.
Why workay here?: Start your day with some yoga on the lawns. Shuttle between the fast WiFi and some loitering thoughts.
Work from hills never sounded this good…
(Wish to Work from a Palace? Read more.)