Village Gadholi, Kasar Devi, Binsar Road, Almora, India
Originally intended as a private estate, this parcel of land in the Indian Himalayas would have been quite simply too stunning not to share. Sri Lankan architects Pradeep Kodikara and Jineshi Samaraweera, disciples of the modernist master Geoffrey Bawa, have built something absolutely extraordinary — and while a high-end ten-suite mountain retreat isn’t exactly mass tourism, the fact is that it’s open to many more visitors than it would have been as a private house.
“Tropical modernism” looks different at the top of a mountain. Here vast floor-to-ceiling windows frame unforgettable views, and materials like stone walls and raw concrete beams are warmed by bamboo cladding and hardwood floors and ceilings. The remoteness of the site mandated that the construction use as little heavy machinery as possible, and evidence of hand-building is everywhere.
The suites themselves are perfect little modernist jewel boxes, so calming that they’re almost spiritual — and the views of the landscape certainly don’t hurt. The restaurant’s view is even more extraordinary, as the dining room cantilevers out over the hillside. And from here you’re poised for some unforgettable nature experiences — the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to wild leopards, and the forests, dotted with rhododendrons, are full of hiking trails.
Part of my Preferred Hotels Portfolio, includes:
• One complimentary dinner per guest, per stay (prix fixe menu)
• One complimentary guided walk per guest, per stay
• One complimentary lunch per guest, per stay (prix fixe menu)
Please note: room upgrades are not possible at The Kumaon with one only room type.
Need a bit of help planning a trip?
Let me know.
page updated: May 2019