Itmenaan Estate, Binsar Himalayas

The sleepy region of Binsar is one of the scenic places of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Perched at an
elevation of 2420 meters, Binsar is known for offering spell-binding views of the majestic Himalayan
peaks such as Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Panchachuli, and Kedarnath. The main attraction of
Binsar is the 300 kms of majestic and panoramic view of Himalayan peaks from Binsar Zero point.
This compact hill town is encircled by the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary which serves as a habitat for the rare
animals, birds and flower species. Since the place is wrapped up in thick foliage, it is undoubtedly the
best place for experiencing adventurous hiking, camping and nature walks.


I stayed at ‘Itmenaan Estate’ that is no less of a dream at this moment for anyone who loves a true escape in nature. Set in a peaceful rural setting near Binsar in the Kumaon Himalayas. The 10-acre resort includes virgin pine, oak and rhododendron trees; terraced fields laden with seasonal fruits and vegetables; and to top it all, a small private perennial natural spring. Offering panoramic views of the Himalayas that include the majestic Nanda Devi, the 100-year-old traditional Kumaoni style stone house in the resort has been painstakingly restored. Near to this house there are
two independent cottages, Pine cottage (single story) and Deodar cottage (double story) built in traditional style.
It is as beautiful in the day as in night where you can witness thousands of stars shining unmitigated by mechanical lights. The warm hospitality of the staff at the estate is attentive and easily available be it hot bag late at night or a coffee early in the morning. Even though the are around they simply blend into the background so as to give you the impression that you’re truly all on your own in this lovely estate.


The cottages are styled like a traditional Kumaoni stone house, however, it has been refurbished to include all modern conveniences and luxuries as well. All of them feature sunbaked brick walls, golden lighting, and large full-length windows. The cottages are all surrounded by trees and flora on all sides. The Bathroom construction at the resort near
Binsar is a stunning example of traditional local architecture that involves stacking local stones one above the other without using any cementing material in a ‘dry stack’, locally called ‘kori chinai’. Large bathrooms, with a glass roof to allow sun light to come in, are fitted with all modern fixtures and have running hot and cold water at all times. You can say it’s arguably one of the best bathrooms in the


Food at Itmenaan Estate are a mix of delicious and well thought out recipes that range from traditional Kumaoni, regular North Indian, to dishes from the Western world. Specialty meals, choicest ingredients and stunning scenery – this is how we define dining at Itmenaan Estate. They use fresh, seasonal produce either from our own organic farms or sourced locally, with seasonally changing menus designed around what is currently available. 



Lounge : The main lounge at the Estate is centrally located and consists of a cozy dining area with a few
books to keep company. A perfect place to just laze around or read a book or just relax with family and
friends. The only Television in the estate is in the lounge (none in rooms)

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L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Resort, Gulmarg

The Khyber Spa is an extension of the L’Occitane brand. Nestled amidst the Himalayas, ensconced amidst unspoilt acres of meadows and pristine nature, is the spa with unbeatable views that offers a luxurious and holistic experiences.

The spa too, like most of the hotel is centrally heated, the property is so huge I took my time exploring, catching glimpse of bits and pieces of winter ice that remained under the shade of property, where direct sunlight dint reach. I was cold by the time I reached the Spa, and was so glad it was centrally heated.

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L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Resort, & Spa, Gulmarg

As the spa manger got me the consent form that included information of my choice of pressure and concern areas, I was soaking in the view of the magnificent pool, one of the finest in the country I am sure. Another member of the staff got me a hot towel and welcome tea, and offered me in-house slippers before leading me to the spa room.

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L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Resort, & Spa, Gulmarg

Soothing, energizing aromas engulfed me and so did the view from my room. I opted for the ‘Revitalizing Aromachologie Massage’ that is a perfect combo of Swedish strokes, Balinese massage techniques and Chinese acupressure. The soothing music, dim lights and the gorgeous view make for a relieving combination

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L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Resort, & Spa, Gulmarg

My masseuse used the Lavender oil which is known to have benefits that reduces mental stress and anxiety, treats insomnia, improves blood circulation and also help relieve muscle and joint pains. L’Occitane Spa uses all in-house products and ensure calming the overactive mind and body. Just as Provence is a unique resting place, The Khyber Spa by L’Occitane is a sanctuary of tranquillity, rejuvenating your body and soul.

An hour and half of rejuvenation, followed by steam and long soak in the tub overlooking the pine trees, it was the most relaxing evening of my stay in Kashmir. Post spa I stepped down for an extended dose of relaxation by the pool, the long glass walls indicated end of another evening in land of hills.

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The pool at The Khyber Resort, & Spa, Gulmarg