Best Hotels In Shimla For A Relaxing Vacation In The Queen Of Hills

Shimla conjures up visions of a dreamy hill station with forested hillslopes, colonial mansions, and a busy promenade thronged by happy vacationers. The central part of the town is filled with swanky departmental stores, quirky cafes and government buildings. Although traffic is banned here, the pleasant views of the misty mountains, the maze-like alleys, and the cascading terraces more than compensate for all the walking one has to endure.

Whether you are a solo traveller, a dreamy-eyed honeymoon couple, or an Indian family travelling in a large group, you will love the queen of all hill stations in India. From intimate homestays to luxury properties, there’s a plethora of fabulous hotels in Shimla to choose from.

How to find the best hotels in Shimla?

As the erstwhile summer capital of British India, the hill station retains much of its colonial charm. From the Scottish-style Viceregal Lodge to the picturesque esplanade, remnants of colonial architecture are everywhere. Be a part of history at the majestic Viceregal Lodge (which has now been converted into a research centre), or click endless selfies at the Scandal Point, where the Mall and Ridge roads meet. Admire the traditional miniatures, costumes and carvings at the Himachal State Museum or try out baked savouries and confectionaries of the town’s iconic bakeries and cafes.

If you are looking for a place to stay, the hill station will not disappoint you. From humble homestays to luxury accommodations, hotels in Shimla will offer you comfort, warm hospitality and heart-stopping views of the distant snow-clad mountains. Luxuriate in decadence at Oberoi Cecil or escape the urban rush at the tranquil Elysium Resort & Spa.

We have rounded up the eight best hotels in Shimla that are worth a visit for your next sojourn to the hill town.

Oberoi Cecil  

Once an exclusive playground for British officers, the Oberoi Cecil continues to enthral travellers with its colonial charm, classical elegance, and curated services. The grand hotel, situated at the heart of the apple and cherry capital, boasts rich wooden flooring, a grand atrium lobby, and panoramic views of the misty mountains. Dine in true colonial style at one of the many oak-panelled restaurants, rejuvenate at the in-house spa, or take a guided tour through the city, enjoying the vignettes of this hill station. 

Things to do: A visit to the former Viceregal Lodge, Observatory and St. Michael’s Cathedral.  

Must-try experiences: Heritage walk through the city with an expert, walk through the rhododendron and cedar forests, and activity centre for children.  

Must-try food: Local Himachali dishes at The Restaurant.  

Address: Chaura Maidan, Shimla 171004, 

Nearby attractions: Village of Annadale, Viceregal Lodge, Mall, and Scandal Point.    

User Ratings:

Booking.com: 9.2/10

Trip Advisor: 5/5

MakeMyTrip:  4.8/5

Approximate price: INR 16,000  

How to reach  

  • By air: Chandigarh airport: 4 hr 23 mins 
  • By rail: Kalka Railway Station (KLK): 28 mins 
  • By road: NH-205: 14 mins 

Image Credit: Booking.com

Clarkes Hotel 

A veritable oasis of peace and tranquillity on the busy Mall Road, Clarkes Hotel is a grand heritage structure that has not only withstood the test of time but has also evolved to accommodate the sensibilities of the modern traveller. Situated at a stone’s throw distance from the local railway station, the hotel combines the elegance and charm of yesteryear with modern conveniences. British-style colonial rooms, delectable dining options, and a small conference room with panoramic views of the city make for an unforgettable experience for both business and leisure travellers. 

Things to do: Take a walk on the bustling promenade, light a candle at the church and check out nearby attractions like Gaiety Theatre, Rothney Castle and Gorton Castle.  

Must-try experiences: Experience Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisine at the Dining Hall with panoramic views of the city, and enjoy breakfast, English-style, at the terrace surrounded by flower beds.  

Must-try food: Finger food, cocktails and mocktails at Lounge Bar.  

Address: The Mall Road Shimla 171001 

Nearby attractions: Shimla railway station, Gaiety Theatre, and Rothney Castle.  

User Ratings:

Booking.com: 9.1/10

Trip Advisor: 4.5/5

MakeMyTrip: 4.7/5

Approximate price: INE 9,200 

How to reach: 

  • By air: Chandigarh airport: 3 hr 28 mins 
  • By rail: Shimla Railway Station: 5 mins 
  • By road: NH 205: 9 mins 

Image Credit: Booking.com

Welcome Hotel Elysium Resort & Spa 

Located at a short distance from the tourist hotspots, Elysium Resort & Spa offers a luxurious reprieve for the connoisseurs of fine living. It reimagines the quintessential Shimla experience through its opulent rooms tastefully done up in rich timber, its greenhouse-like restaurant offering a panoramic vista of the mountains, and its fine dining experiences that pay homage to local ingredients and flavours.  

Things to do: Go temple-hopping starting with Jhaku Temple, followed by Sankat Mochan and the historic Tara Devi. Do try out the fabled cafes and bakeries on the Mall Road.  

Must-try experiences: Experience classic mountain hospitality with an emphasis on local flavours at The Residency.  

Must-try food: Siddu (local dumpling), Pahadi Raita, Gahat ka Shorba (horse gram soup) at The Residency.  

Address: Tutikandi, Near Gita Mandir, ISBT 

Nearby attractions: Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jhaku Temple, Christ Church 

User Ratings:

Booking.com: 8.7/10

Trip Advisor: 5/5

MakeMyTrip: 4.5/5 

Approximate price: INR 9,000 

How to reach: 

  • By air: Chandigarh Airport: 3 hrs 31 mins 
  • By rail: Shimla Railway Station: 11 mins 
  • By road: NH 205: 6 min 

Image Credit: Booking.com

Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels 

Nestled among a thicket of towering cedar trees, sits the splendid Welcomhotel Shimla – winner of Travel & Leisure magazine’s Best Tier-two Hotel 2022. Combining the rich cultural legacy of the region with ITC’s signature hospitality, the hotel offers 47 lavish rooms and suites, 2 food and beverage outlets 3 spacious meeting and banqueting areas. Enjoy a sumptuous meal filled with local and international flavours at the hotel’s restaurants, soak in the tranquil beauty of the hills, or revive your senses with decadent treatments at the spa.  

Things to do: Savour gourmet delights with stunning views at the all-day dining restaurant, spend time with loved ones at the family lounge and enjoy nature walks organised by the hotel staff.     

Must-try experiences: Try out your hands at creating delicious cocktails with mixology sessions, get your hands dirty in the kitchen with a live cooking class, or burn those excess calories at the state-of-the-art gym.   

Must-try food: Club cuisine and finger food at Swizzle, al-fresco dining at WelcomCafe Cedar.  

Address: Village Patengali (Near Tarapur), Mashobra, 171007 

Nearby attractions: Carignano Nature Park, Talai Temple, Pine Hills Nature Camp.  

User Ratings:

Booking.com: 8.4/10

Trip Advisor: 5/5

MakeMyTrip: 4.4/5

Approximate Price: INR 12,750 

How to reach: 

  • By air: Chandigarh airport: 4 hr 9 mins 
  • By rail: Kalka Railway Station (KLK): 1 hr 40 mins 
  • By road: NH 205: 58 mins 

Image Credit: Booking.com

The Orchid 

Escape the bustle of the town at The Orchid Hotel, which offers a superlative blend of modern comforts and curated experiences. The imposing structure of the hotel belies the warmth and intimacy it exudes through its opulent rooms, manicured gardens and panoramic vistas of the mountains. Offering one of the largest banquet spaces in the city, this property is also a great place for your dream nuptials. 

Things to do: Turn the lush green meadows turn white from the comfort of your plush room during the winter. During summers, viewing the morning sunrise on a clear, crisp morning is a must.  

Must-try experiences: Order a hand-crafted cocktail at the Harrington Bar while you enjoy the view of the rolling hills or rejuvenate your senses at the spa.  

Must-try food: Oriental, Continental and Chinese at the House of Glass and multi-cuisine at Café Vindhyas.  

Address: Shimla Bypass, Frood, Sanjauli, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171006.  

Nearby attractions: Mall Road, Kurfi, Mashorba and Fagu.  

User Ratings:

Booking.com: 8.3/10

Trip Advisor: 5/5

MakeMyTrip: 4.5/5  

Approximate price: INR 6,656 

How to reach: 

  • By air: Chandigarh airport: 4 hr 4 mins 
  • By rail: Shimla railway station: 36 mins 
  • By road: NH 205: 37 mins 

Image Credit: Booking.com

Radisson Jass 


Inspiring views of the stunning Himalayas, pampering wellness treatments, and attention to small details are the hallmarks of Radisson Jass – one of the top rated hotels in Shimla. Sleep well in one of the lavishly mounted rooms or unwind after a hectic day of sightseeing with a handcrafted cocktail. Feast on lovingly prepared grilled delights and Continental delicacies at the hotel’s in-house restaurant or simply stroll around through the meandering alleyways soaking in the sights and sounds of the place. In short, this hotel will tick all the boxes when it comes to choosing the perfect accommodation in the hill town. 

Things to do: Pay a visit to the Jhaku Temple, atop the highest peak in Shimla, explore the ancient art and craft of the region at the museum, or stop by Christ Church for an afternoon of quiet reflection. 

Must-try experiences: A casual afternoon dining experience at Café Valley Cue followed by shopping for souvenirs on Mall Road.  

Must-try food: Tandoori Murg, Dal Makhani, vegetable fried rice, Thukpa, roasted spring chicken, and Shepard’s Pie at the restaurant.  

Address: Near Auckland Tunnel Goodwood Estate, Lower Bharari Road, Shimla- 171001.  

Nearby attractions: Jhaku Temple, Himachal Museum of Culture and Folk Art, Christ Church, Viceregal Lodge.  

User Ratings:

Booking.com: 8.0/10

Trip Advisor: 4/5  

MakeMyTrip: 4.3/5

Approximate price: INR 9,000 

How to reach:  

  • By air: Chandigarh airport: 3 hr 34 mins 
  • By rail: Shimla railway station: 8 mins 
  • By road: NH 205: 11 mins 

Image Credit: Booking.com

Suryavilas Luxury Resort & Spa

Suryavilas dons several avatars at the same time. It’s a quiet retreat nestled among mountains, a place to socialise with other travellers, and a luxury property where incredible hospitality, curated experiences and thoughtful service combine to create an unforgettable stay for the wanderlust. Classic décor with modern amenities, plentiful dining options celebrating local flavours, and wellness programmes crafted to deliver well-being of the mind and the body will see you in good stead throughout your stay. 

Things to do: Attend a Group Yoga session or go on a nature walk to explore the flora and fauna of the region 

Must-try experiences: A range of meditation sessions including the Stillness Meditation, Love-Kindness Meditation and Chakras Meditation are must-try experiences, especially if you are looking to escape the humdrum of the modern life.  

Must-try food: Wellness-inspired dishes at the in-house restaurant. 

Address: Suryavilas Link Road, SH 2, PO Gandhi Gram, Nahan Road, Solan.  

Nearby attractions: Solan Valley 

User Ratings:

Booking.com: 7.4/10

Trip Advisor: 4.5/5

MakeMyTrip: 4.0/5 

Approximate price: INR 17,500 

How to reach: 

  • By air: Chandigarh airport: 2 hr 4 mins 
  • By rail: Salogra Railway Station: 56 mins 
  • By road: NH-22: 38 mins  

Image Credit: Booking.com

Wildflower Hall, An Oberoi Resort

The former residence of the commander-in-chief of the British army, Lord Kitchener, has now been transformed into a beautiful heritage hotel by the Oberoi Group. Wildflower Hall is where colonial charm meets modern luxury, offering a unique experiential stay away from the hustle-bustle of the city centre. The five-star property offers stunning views of the rolling hills, especially from their temperature-controlled outdoor infinity pool.

Things to do: Shop at Mall Road, or explore nearby hill towns of Mashobra and Kufri.

Must-try experiences: Indulge in a four-course meal at the Gazebo, have a picnic at The Peak or take a colonial heritage tour of the property.

Must-try food: European and Indian cuisine at The Restaurant.

Address: Charabra, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171012

Nearby attractions: Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary, Jakhu Temple Park and The Ridge.

User Ratings:

Booking.com: 9.4/10

Trip Advisor: 5/5

MakeMyTrip: 4.8/5

Approximate Price: INR 32,000

How to reach:

  • By air: Chandigarh airport: 3 hr 40 mins
  • By rail: Kalka Railway Station (KLK): 3 hr 15 mins
  • By road: NH 205: 1 hr

Image Credit: Booking.com

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What are the best stay options to explore in Shimla?

Answer: Oberoi Cecil, Clarkes Hotel and Radisson Jass are some of the best stay options to explore in Shimla.

Question: What are the top tourist attractions in Shimla?

Answer: Tourist attractions in Shimla include the Viceregal Lodge, Gaiety Theatre, Christ Church, Mall Road and Himachal State Museum.

Question: What are the best things to do in Shimla?

Answer: Shopping on Mall Road, going on a nature trail, and visiting the local attractions are the best things to do in Shimla.

Question: What are the in-budget stay options at Shimla?

Answer: Snow Valley Resort, Hotel Silverine, and Sunrise Villa are some of the best in-budget stay options at Shimla.

Question: What are the most expensive stay options in Shimla?

Answer: Oberoi Cecil, Suryavilas Luxury Resort & Spa and Welcomhotel by ITC are some of the most expensive stay options in Shimla.

Question: Are there any luxury resorts in Shimla?

Answer: Suryavilas Luxury Resort & Spa is a luxury resort situated near Shimla.

Question: Are there any private homestays options at Shimla?

Answer: Avaas Homestay, Dev Homestay and The City Escape Farmstay are some of the best private homestay options in Shimla.

Question: What are the best food to explore at Shimla?

Answer: Siddu, Maash Dal, Chha Ghost, Babru and Thukpa are some of the best local dishes to try out in Shimla.

Question: What are the best workcation options in Shimla?

Answer: Jungle Book Homestay, Olive Green Suite, Himalayan Brothers Bed & Breakfast offer attractive workcation options

Question: What are the best hotels near railway station/airport at Shimla?

Answer: Clarkes Hotel, The Cedar Grand, and the Royal Retreat Hotel are some of the best hotels to stay at near Shimla Railway Station.

Best Hotels In Shimla For A Relaxing Vacation In The Queen Of Hills

Ratnabir Guha is a writer, editor and content marketer specialising in branded and lifestyle content. He has previously worked for leading English dailies such as The Telegraph and Hindustan Times. When he is not writing or thinking of the perfect marketing pitch, you can find him in the kitchen cooking up a storm. He secretly hopes to have his own YouTube channel on smart cooking for the millennials.

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