Pine-n-Peak by ITC, Pahalgam

Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam
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Kahwa & Freshly Baked Cakes on arrival at Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam

Surrounded by lush pine trees and snow-clad mountains, WelcomHotel Pine-n-Peak by ITC is located in the picturesque town of Pahalgam. Located atop the Rajwas Plateau, Pine-n-Peak’s pristine beauty remains untouched by the chaos of the market and ensures that the best views are accorded to Welcom Hotel Pine n Peak, including the shimmering Lidder River and snow topped mountains playing with the sunrays, bathing the valley in different hues throughout the day.

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This ‘Khwabgah Suite’ our abode for in hills for three blissful nights
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Room with a view at Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam
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Nothing is better than munching hot crisps in the freezing weather

Snuggled in the layers of untouched snow and fir laden paths, the property boosts of 80 rooms, suites and cottages. We got to stay the luxury ‘Khawabgah Suit’ (by the way it was the same room Alia Bhatt stayed while she was shooting for Raazi in Kashmir) not that it had to be a reason to make us special, as the room was special in its own way, the view was great, the living room and room had a touch of Kashmiri details along with urban amenities. Along with the most magnificent views of the beautiful city, one can enjoy a game of golf at the nearby Pahalgam Race Course, or shop from the finest shopping arcade of Pahalgam, or enjoy a day of fishing in the Liddar River. Those looking for high adrenaline activities can enjoy trekking, river rafting and also skating at the Welcom Hotel ice rink. Every season here brings with itself something new; the valley, it seems changes colors as winters fade into spring and summers blend with Autumn.

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Freshly baked sheermal and Noon Chai at Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam

It is rare to find charming and genuinely warm staff at most luxury properties. But at this property the staff will you impressed with their warmth, attentiveness, courtesy and a natural zeal to serve. Each of the staff members will leave a lasting impression on you and make sure even your tiny need is fulfilled with a huge smile.

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Breakfast with a view, right in my Khwabgah suit at Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam

Food: The property has three dining outlets, overlooking the garden and the river, Lolaab – All Day Dinning, Saahil – Tea Lounge, Gulistan – Open Garden all offer mutli-cuisine delicacies. Since it was my first stop in Kashmir i went all out on the local specialties like tabakh maaz, rista (meatballs in a red, paprika-saffron-fennel spice gravy), rogan josh,  korma (lamb roasted with yoghurt, spices and onion puree, topped with coriander leaves),  seekh kababs and contains four pieces of methi korma (chicken or mutton flavored with a spice mixture containing dried fenugreek (methi) leaves), marchhwangan korma (chicken legs/thighs cooked in a spicy browned-onion sauce) and gushtaba (meatballs cooked in a spicy yoghurt gravy) and also wouldn’t want to miss the best ever walnut brownie I have ever had was right here at Pine and Peak with ice-cream. The credit entirely goes to the staff who insisted to send it to our room when I told them I had no space for dessert, and I am so glad I did.

 

Kahwa is the traditional tea in Kashmir and it goes with everything you eat as it helps digestion of the food. The tea is prepared by boiling green tea leaves with saffron strands, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods and occasionally Kashmiri roses to add special aroma. The tea is then served with sugar or honey and crushed nuts, usually almonds or walnuts. I swear I dint have coffee my entire trip, and stuck to Kahwa throughout.

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View from the gardens of Pine n Peak, Pahalgam
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One of the best moments from my stay at Pine n Peak, Pahalgam was breakfast overlooking lidder river

 I am not a morning person, but when I am in hills it comes automatically to me. I was so glad to make an effort on a cosy winter morning for an outdoor breakfast, overlooking the Liddar River. The crisp air, hot refills from samovar paired with fresh Kashmiri breads and an extended breakfast indulging in a view of hills was an absolute bliss. Stay at Pine n Peak was a really heart-warming experience, and all the credit goes to the staff, who will go out of their way to make your needs meet. I loved how they offered to organise a special bonfire, after a long ride (horse ride) to Baisaran organise an outdoor breakfast setup and treated us like family and even packed a take away meal for us for our ride to Srinagar our next stop.

You can have a look at their website here and make you summer/winter booking. A pro tip is that pahalgam has so many places, and if you a person who love trekking and exploring; you can spend up to a week without getting bored. Read more about places to visit in my following blogs, as I take you to a virtual journey to Srinagar and Gulmarg next.

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