Hidden away high above in the Himalayas, the Kumaon is a minimalist hotel designed by architect Pradeep Kodikara and Jineshi Samaraweera of Zowa Architects that offers its guests an unparalleled, immersive experience in nature. With 10 luxury suites, a library, a sun lounge and a gourmet restaurant, guests will no doubt find a new kind of peace amongst the mountains, valleys, forests and lakes.
Named after the region it’s located in, the Kumaon sits 1600m above sea level near the historic city of Almora in India. The main building sits on the highest point of the site and houses the lounge, library, dining room, outdoor terrace for dining and yoga, and administrative facilities.
Zowa Architects sourced the materials locally and kept the interiors of the hotel simple and rustic to highlight the stones, bamboo, pinewood, and textiles. Local craftsman were tasked with making the copper and stone accessories for the chalets and local weavers created all the woolen fabrics for beddings and furnishings. Even the furniture was designed and all made on-site.
The hotel also plans to become an eco-friendly, sustainable property. All of the structures were designed for rain water harvesting with a drain system that will take the water to a large holding tank at the bottom of the site. The hotel plans to use this water to replant seasonal crops in the terraces and leftover spaces and eventually use the produce in its kitchen.
What: The Kumaon
Where: Village Gadholi, Kasar Devi, Binsar Road, Almora, Uttarakhand 263601, India
How much? Rooms start at approximately $190 per night.
Highlights: The Kumaon highlights the breathtaking beauty of the nature that surrounds it while paying homage to local craftsmanship, materials, and culture.
Design draw: Local craftsman and weavers created everything from the furniture, accessories and textiles in the hotel. Using locally sourced, natural materials, Zowa Architects blended the modern hotel into its surroundings so that guests can feel truly immersed in their surroundings.
Book it: Visit The Kumaon
Photos by Akshay Sharma.