|Tours » Homestay Experience
A Homestay combines the comfort and distinction of a hotel with the personal hospitality, informality and local knowledge enjoyed when staying with friends. A Homestay offers an insight into the culture, traditions, history and everyday life of an Indian family. What's more, guests get the chance to enjoy authentic Indian food at its very best — home cooked.
India is incredibly diverse. With literally hundreds of different languages, everything from style of dress to architecture changes from state to state and town to town, a local insight is not just a luxury, it is essential to getting the most out of this extraordinary country. That is what makes a Homestay so ideal for tourists: the sights, smells, tastes and traditions of India are experienced rather than just watched, lived rather than observed.
A Homestay isn't simply somewhere to stay; many Homestays offer a range of activities which give guests the unique opportunity to experience the specific culture of the area. With everything that Homestays have to offer, they aren't just a base from which to spend a few days exploring the local area, they are a holiday destination in themselves.
Activities will differ from home to home and depending on the location. For instance, in the backwaters of Kerala, many Homestays offer backwater cruises in houseboats and trips down the narrow canals in canoes. In Rajasthan some Homestays arrange safaris by jeep or horseback into the countryside, to visit tribal villages and spot wildlife. In plantation and hill stations, hosts can take guests trekking and arrange guided walks through spice gardens and forests. Depending on the family, many hosts will offer to take guests round the sights of their town or village, sharing local insights and an experience far removed from the usual tourist trudge. Hosts are always happy to inform a guest of neighborhood walks where they can get a feel for the district and even meet some locals.
Several Homestays can arrange activities for wellbeing activities such as yoga, ayurvedic treatments and massage. It is recommended that guests experience a few meals of local cuisine cooked by the family, as there is nothing better than home-cooked food; most hosts also offer cooking classes to guests if they are interested.
The hosts pride themselves on the individual attention they can give their guests, whether for comfort, food, or just an interesting chat. The Homestays are generally houses typical to the region with at most around six guest bedrooms. They have none of the aloof detachment typical to hotels, yet this doesn't mean that guests and family are living on top of each other. Some Homestays have rooms for guests in separate "cottages", others offer rooms within the house. In any case, guests can have as much privacy as they require; as much familiarity with the family as they like.