What is a homestay? How is it different from a hotel, guest-house, or a resort?
Homestay is first and foremost a home, where we welcome some guests from time to time. A homestay is made as a home but also welcomes guests. In our case, the family members decided to spend some time closer to a larger city (for education and health-related issues). We, therefore, welcome some chosen people to stay with us when we have place.
If I book only one room, will the other rooms in the cottage be given to other people?
No, at a time only one family or group stays in the cottage. The unused rooms in the cottage are left vacant and maybe kept locked. For us, privacy and comfort of our guests is important.
Why are the guests not allowed without prior reservations?
Ours is a homestay. We do not even have a check-in desk or front-desk. We have to plan everything, from A to Z, for every guest we take in. From preparing the rooms, to getting kitchen supplies as required. This takes time. So, we do not allow guests without prior reservations.
What about food? Do you have a kitchen and someone to cook food?
We provide food from our own kitchen. The food is homely and delicious. We do not have a menu. For us, guests are like friends and family, so based on their choices, we plan the meals. Usually, we discuss the food preferences beforehand and plan the meals accordingly. The food is not charged. It is complimentary when someone stays with us. Our family members and a cook who helps us, prepare the food.
What restrictions are there for the guests?
Use common sense and abide by the rules. This is the most important thing.
Apart from these, we have some basic restrictions like – no smoking inside the house, and no smoking even outside if there are small kids nearby. No loud noise/music at night time. Anything that hurts the religious feelings or sentiments of the local population is not allowed. Basically, as any good person would live in his home, we expect the same from our guests.
Do the owners or family members of the owners also stay on the property?
Yes, this is our home. We stay here. However, as we mentioned above, we spend a lot of time at another place nearby. So, whenever you visit us, you can still expect someone from our family to be there. Sometimes all of us might be there. However, rest assured, your privacy and need for your own free time are always respected and none of us will bother you with that.
How are the internet, mobile connectivity, and power supply?
The Internet is fast enough to have online meetings and for general use. Streaming video works fine but apart from urgent and important work, we recommend keeping away from the internet and enjoying the place. Detoxify digitally too. Most of the mobile networks are available seamlessly in most parts of our property. For power supply, we generate our own power from the sun. We also have a battery backup to supplement the power supply.
What about running hot water and heating?
Geysers are there in bathrooms for hot water. Water is available round the clock. However, the water pressure is low in most of the taps and showers. We recommend a bucket bath in order to conserve water and energy. Small heaters and a fireplace are there that we use only in winters. Again, to keep the carbon footprint to a minimum, we recommend wearing warm clothes including thermal inner-wear, and not relying only on heating during winters.