This delightful hill station in northern India is one of the country’s smallest cities. It attracts tourists from around the country and beyond, with its pleasant climate and occasional snowfall. It is a clean and green city that is also cooler than many others in summer.
Situated at 7,100ft, the town is reached by twisting roads or a popular narrow gauge toy train. The most well-known landmark is Mall Road, a pedestrian walkway lined with shops and restaurants on one side and views across the valley to the other. People travel from miles around to “promenade” here.
Shimla, the capital of India in the 19th century, was once a summer getaway for the British. In 1864, the British chose Shimla as their summer capital. Today, echoes of the colonial past are found in its buildings, some of which are now hotels.
Shimla offers many different types of properties. You can choose from luxury or more basic options. Shimla properties are available in the city center or on the outskirts. You may prefer a modern or a historic property. Decide what is most important to you, and choose from one of our favorite listings.
1. Honeymoon Inn
Shimla is a popular honeymoon destination, but don’t judge the book by its cover. You’d think it was a boring apartment block from the front, but it’s actually exciting behind the scenes.
This hotel is a dream. It has a beautiful view of the mountains and is a short walk from the Mall Road. It has a reputation for great deals at the spa. The rooms are very clean and well-maintained, with pretty lawns and hydrangeas.
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2. Hotel Silverine
The hotel is located ten minutes away from the Mall Road, where you can go for a walk. The rooms are spacious with large bathrooms and power showers. When you leave the hotel, keep your windows closed to avoid monkeys coming in. The food is freshly prepared and delicious.
As the name suggests, this is a local restaurant with a very loyal following. Its charming, efficient staff and delicious dishes have made it a favourite among locals. The menu is expansive and appealing, and the prices are fair for the quality.
The Chapslee is a former summer home of a Punjabi prince. It’s now run by his grandson, who lives onsite with his wife and is very hands-on. The property has stayed in its pre-Raj time warp, and that’s why people keep coming back.
Rooms at the historic inn are spacious and boast mountain views. Guests can enjoy the ambience of a fireplace in their room, and public spaces at the inn are filled with antiques. A highlight of the hotel is its delicious food, as well as its gracious, personal service. Guests can walk to the Mall for shopping and dining.
4. Aapo Aap Home Stay
This is not a hotel, but it’s so good and compares so favourably with many more expensive places in Shimla that it deserves a mention on our list of the best accommodation in the city. Located three miles from the centre, rooms are large and squeaky clean, some with terraces.
For those who enjoy the mountain views and sunsets, there is a spacious balcony in which to do so. At night, a delicious vegetarian meal is served, but if you must have meat, a nearby restaurant delivers.
5. Hotel Combermere
The Mall Road is a popular spot for tourists. They are often Indian, but they will not find only Indian food here. If you want international food, not just Indian, pick the Mall View Hotel. This hotel has two restaurants, one on the rooftop and one inside. It serves Mexican, Lebanese, and European dishes.
The Lido Hotel has a private lift that takes you to the pedestrian street and saves you from waiting in line at the public one.
6. Hotel Marina
This hotel is brand new (2012) and sits right on the Mall Road in Shimla, where you can walk to the shops, restaurants, and bars. The modern amenities of the hotel include a spa and gym to help you relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Some of the rooms in this hotel have balconies with patio doors. The Indian food here is well regarded; paneer lababdar and roti are both delicious.
The hotel is located in a hilly area, so the access is challenging. You might be nervous about the heavy bag. But suddenly, a friendly porter appears and takes it for you. He walks gracefully up the stairs with the bag on his head. (Hmm, I just read this back and it sounds like a Harry Potter book.)
The historic Rydges Shimla Hotel is the most famous in the city, and it’s no wonder a hotel built in colonial style with many period touches is exactly how you’d picture it. Its signature red corrugated iron roof and original fireplaces are sure to impress guests.
Situated in the center of Mall Road, this restaurant serves delicious food, especially the lunchtime buffet.et.
8. Oberoi Cecil
The first hotel in the Oberoi stable is the Oberoi Maidens. And as you’d expect, it has hosted some famous guests. In fact, Rudyard Kipling stayed here when he was performing at the Gaiety Theatre.
The restaurant is arranged around a central atrium, with teak paneling on the walls and parquet floors. Its traditional design won’t appeal to everyone, but the peerless service and superb cuisine will please all customers.
When you are looking for a hotel, one of the most important amenities is a spa. In the 21st century, it’s important to stay healthy and fit. The Mall is across the street from the hotel.
9. Wildflower Hall
This is one of the best hotels in India. If you are visiting Shimla and stay here, you have hit the jackpot. It’s owned by the Oberoi group and is set in the former summer residence of Lord Kitchener, the poster boy of World War I. This majestic hotel still manages to feel special.
This hotel is situated on a wooded hilltop five miles outside the city. The resort has an outdoor pool as well as an indoor pool and spa. Additionally, there are forest trails on the 22-acre property. The hotel offers rooms with teak floors, open fireplaces, and hand-woven rugs. A highlight of the property is the superb food and al fresco dining terrace with views of the Himalayas.
10. Hotel Southgate
The hotel is an easy twenty-minute drive from the mall. To book, you can take the shuttle service. The hotel has a perfect rating for its quiet position. If you book a room with a balcony, you will have views of the Himalayas through the cedar trees. There is also a large garden outside with outdoor seating.
This hotel is perfect for families. In fact, it’s so family-friendly that children have their own playground and restaurant. This hotel has been popular since it opened its doors in 2015, and it offers great value for money.