STAYING AT “FOR A WHILE” IN HIMACHAL PRADESH

STAYING AT “FOR A WHILE” IN HIMACHAL PRADESH

I’m beginning this review with a disclaimer: namely that the owners of the fabulous Himalayan cottages For a While, Shalini and Dam, are good friends.

But just because they are friends doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be reviewed, right?

We met Shalini & Dam many years ago, while staying with other friends in Himachal. At that point, they hadn’t even built their beautiful home stay, and were adjusting to life post stepping off the corporate ladder.

Fast forward several years, and now this ex-corporate-life couple runs a stunning little property in Himachal’s Phalachan Valley.

“For a While” is a delightfully laid back place to stay, with the river rushing by below, a view to die for, mountains around you, and a relaxed pace of life.

Oh, and did I mention the food?

More anon about the food…

We have been visiting For a While for years, and so have seen the progression from 2 cottages to the current 4, but there is still a delightful sense of intimacy and of being – for a while – very much at home.

There are books everywhere.

There are tempting corners and nooks to curl up and read.

Well, that is if you can stop gazing at the stunning views, of course…

The cottages are spacious and are comfortably decorated in a simple, natural style.

Oh, that view…
Thoughtful touches abound, like a rucksack you can borrow if you’ve forgotten yours

Dam loves to cook, and takes delight in feeding his guests so that you really do need to go out and walk off the extra calories!

Shalini is a well-known potter – you can book lessons with her – and she usually has crafts on display from other artists around the property.

Check with her for prices:

This home from home is one of the few places we go to as a couple, and where both of us are blissfully happy all day long, as we do our separate thing.

My husband is a mad-keen angler, so he spends his days on the river, fishing for trout.

I go for long solitary walks or runs, in the knowledge that the air is clean, the roads are safe, and everyone I meet will be super friendly – though admittedly a bit curious as to why I’m walking for pleasure. On our most recent trip, in June 2021, two village women stopped me to ask why was I walking. Didn’t I have a car? I do, I replied, but it’s with my husband. Oh, and where is he? Oh, he’s out fishing. So what are you doing? Walking down to meet him. Why? Because I like walking, I smiled.

They still looked unconvinced, as I toddled off down the mountain and they resumed their work in the field.

I love to hike, and there are some stunning day hikes in the region, but for these I always take a local guide. Makes sense, and you learn a ton of stuff as you walk, and get offered cups of tea as you walk through pretty villages.

For me there are no downsides to staying in this beautiful part of Himachal, but in all fairness, if you are addicted to your mobile phone, connectivity is not always that great. So, realistically, this wouldn’t be a perfect WFH destination, if you have to be on Zoom all day long.

If, however, you’re planning on writing that novel, well I can think of no better place to escape and switch off.

For someone like me, however, a twice daily walk about 1km down the track got me a perfectly good signal. I would quickly check mail, Instagram the moment, and I even took part in a zoom meeting from the side of the road. A helpful local ordered me 100 metres further down the path to where the signal was even better.

For rates and availability, you can contact Dam or Shalini on dam0731@gmail.com or call at 9810132915, 9459721421 or 9811608779

Reminder that their website is http://www.forawhile.in.

I’ll leave you with a few final stunning views of the delightful For a While:

We pay our way when we stay, and FYI Shalini & Dam have never once asked me to blog about their property.

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