7 beautiful stays for an authentic Ladakhi experience no matter your budget

Ladakhi hotels and homestays

India’s latest Union Territory may be fast becoming the ‘it’ destination for many tourists, especially for the ones looking for Instagram bragging rights, but this pretty and rugged northern most corner of India offers many stay options for the mindful traveller. Here are 7 RT stays, across the budget spectrum, where travellers can experience and appreciate Ladakh’s culture and traditions along with its natural beauty.

Luxury:

1. Stok Palace Heritage Hotel

This Palace-Hotel, located close to Leh, is a fine specimen of classical Ladakhi fortified residence architecture and is perched atop a ridge ensuring guests can enjoy views of the Indus valley from many of the rooms. Guests can choose to stay in the heritage building in one of the six beautifully restored suites or they could choose one of the three large villas set amidst apricot, willow and walnut trees in the Palace grounds. Enjoying traditional Ladakhi meals in the Royal Kitchen, on the palace ramparts or in the orchard is among the standout experiences here. Another is the chance to be a quiet observer at the Palace’s Buddhist Temple, on the uppermost floor, during the daily morning and evening prayer rituals conducted by the resident monk, who will also make a personalised prayer amulet on request. Price: From Rs 16,000 per night. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/stay/stok-palace-heritage-hotel/299

2. Lchang Nang Retreat

Lchang Nang, which means ‘House of Trees’, is set in a 25-acre orchard of elm, apricot, and apple trees in what used to be the grazing lands of the local Kalon family right on the banks of Nubra River. The beautiful high-ceilinged cottage rooms made of local materials, the view of snow capped peaks, the chance to doze off in hammocks in the garden, the possibilities of picnics and walks by the river and the attentive hospitality make for a happy stay experience. Price: From Rs 14,750. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/stay/lchang-nang-retreat/348

Mid-range

1. Nimmu House

This heritage hotel is housed in a century-old noble house that was built for the cousin of the king of Ladakh. It is surrounded by an orchard and breathtaking Himalayan scenery. If glamping is more your style, Nimmu House also has Ladakhi tents on the grounds. Price: From Rs 8,450. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/stay/nimmu-house-ladakh/7

2. Nubra Ecolodge

Located close to the Sumer sand dunes in the Nubra Valley, this family-run Ecolodge is set in a 11-acre farm of poplar, willow, apricot, apple trees and organic vegetables. Guests can stay in the main building or in cottages or tents on the grounds. Great views are guaranteed as is delicious homemade local food. Price: Rs 5,500 to Rs 7,400 for 2 persons (room only). Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/stay/nubra-ecolodge/236

Budget

1. Himalayan Farmstays

Set up as part of the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL), Himalayan Farmstays offers travellers an opportunity to experience true Ladakhi rural life as they stay in one of the farms at Phyang Village, close to Leh. Guests have meals with the family in the kitchen and can help out with farming activities. Price: From Rs 800 per night per person. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/stay/himalayan-farmstays/339

2. Mountain Homestays

Run by impact tourism outfit, Global Himalayan Expeditions, Mountain Homestays is a network of homestays located in remote Ladakhi villages. The outfit also offers curated tours, created around this homestay network, which showcase the arts, crafts, culture and heritage of Ladakh. Price: From Rs 900 for just the accommodation at a homestay. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/stay/mountain-homestays/149

3. Hearth Hostel

This is a unique hostel housed in an almost-century-old building made of stone, wood and mud. Located in central Leh right next to the Polo ground, the hostel offers comfortable dorms, backpacker friendly facilities like lockers, WiFi, laundry and kitchenette and community events and workshops like barbeque evenings, cooking classes, film screenings and art exhibitions. There is also a courtyard with a small garden and a grand old aprico tree! Price: From Rs 600 for a dorm bed. Read more: https://www.responsibletourismindia.com/stay/hearth-hostel/229