New levels of luxury in Kashmir

From a chic Himalayan retreat to a Dal Lake houseboat

The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa in Kashmir
The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa in Kashmir | Image: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa

In the Indian Himalayan state of Kashmir, luxury has arrived in the mountain town of Gulmarg. The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa (pictured; www.khyberhotels.com; from £200), which opened in December to catch the ski business, has now had six months to establish itself as one of the state’s few deluxe hotels outside the capital, Srinagar. In October, a new spa will offer Ayurvedic treatments – a first for the high Himalaya. Pair this with a few days on Dal Lake where under the British Raj the colonialists fled to houseboats to avoid the heat of the Indian plains. Among the floating homes with shingle roofs, steep gables and potted geraniums is a new standout address: Sukoon (www.sukoonkashmir.com; from £95, including dinner). All rooms are ensuite, with everything from the mattresses to the rooftop terrace commanding a level of luxury new to a lake buzzing with local gondolas (shikaras) powered by love-heart paddles.

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