The longlist for the top responsible homestays in India was recently released by the jury of the India Responsible Tourism Awards. Authentic Himalayan home stay Peaches & Pears, and organic cheesemaking farmstay Acres made the list that vets homestays based on their responsible tourism ethos, and a number of other criteria that sets them apart as a standout in the industry.
The ambition of the awards is to surprise and inspire the tourism industry and tourists with what is possible to achieve when it comes to responsible tourism.
Homestays are becoming an increasingly popular option for travellers for a few reasons. One being the raw exchange of culture, tradition and language, and the other being the opportunity to contribute to sustainable development, in many cases for marginalised or remote communities.
Below are the 10 homestays that made it onto the IRTA’s longlist:
Peaches & Pears
Situated 3 kilometres outside of Gopeshwar Chamoli in Garwhal Himalayas, Peaches & Pears homestay pride themselves on their commitment to eco-friendly & responsible tourism practices. The homestay is locally run, employing women from surrounding areas, and they are actively involved in local community initiatives such as curating various handicraft and village programs that generate income for locals.
Acres Wild is a 22 acre, family-run organic cheesemaking farm and farmstay in Coonoor town. The farmstay’s goal is to shape and promote an eco-friendly, holistic and self-sustaining lifestyle to visitors of the Nilgiri Hills. They replace pesticides and fertilisers with gobar and a gobar gas plant for a truly organic experience.
Mayal Lyang translates to ‘Hidden Land’ or ‘Land blessed by God’ in the Lepcha language. Experience the warmth and hospitality of the Lepcha people, believed to be the aboriginal inhabitants of Sikkim, India, while you visit this authentic homestay nestled amongst the trees of Dzongu.
Related Article: The Beginners Guide to Staying in a Homestay Abroad
Located just 15 kms from Ratnagiri and Ganpatipule, guests are welcome into the family home of mother and daughter Ms. Medha & Vasudha Sahasrabudhe. With eco-friendly living and organic farming at its core, the duo provide guests with a wholesome, ethnic and traditional stay at Atithi Parinay, accompanied by delicious traditionally cooked food made using local ingredients.
Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat
Situated at the foot of the Maikal Hills the Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat takes guests on a journey through time with a farmhouse style retreat surrounded by forests, and co-inhabited by an abundance of native flora and fauna. Husband and wife Sunny and Sabrina run the homestay hosting guests on treks, bicycle rides and village visits while supporting the local community through NGO Samerth.
The Lama House
A wondrous homestay in the mountains of Manali. A conscious living space surrounded by apple orchards, deodars & wind in the trees. The Lama House is a place for people that want the tranquility of the mountains, walks up the hill & picnics in the meadows.
Run by a 6th generation Nepali Family who reside in Kalimpong, PaliGhar Homestay encompasses rich tradition and a connection to the land which has been instilled in the family for generations. Situated at Echhey, about a 30 minute drive from Kalimpong town, the family run farmstay continues to promote local architecture and craftsmen to support and uplift the livelihood of the local community.
Reyso Urban Homestay
Blue Magpie Homestay
The winners of the best homestay will be announced later in the year, but for now I’m pretty sure our bucket lists just got a little bigger.