An ethnically popular trekking destination, Uttarakhand boasts of several places that offer scenic views and stunning spots to soak in the sun and fresh air. One such place is Matchali, few kilomteres away from Ranikhet.
Here sits a boutique homestay called Firwood Cottage overlooking the terraced fields and the stunning Himalayan ranges. Vivasvat and his family run this recently opened homestay that was built a couple of years ago with love. The family has beautifully crafted their home into a welcoming homestay which speaks in volumes about the hospitality ushered by them.
Staying at Firwood cottage is worth the experience as it not only contributes to a tourist’s experience of an offbeat hill station, but also goes towards creating memories with the family that would be registered in the soul for a longer time as compared to a hotel stay.
How to Reach
If you are coming from Delhi, a flight to Pantnagar should be ideal as there is a long hill ride for 5 hours. The cab came to pick me on time with a very polite driver who drove me to the cottage in a very steady pace. The road is good, so you will enjoy the ride while soaking in the majestic views of trees and inhaling fresh air throughout the way.
We reached our destination in the evening. The soft hues painted on the sky looked enchanting.
Room & Amenities
The cottage opens up to a warm cosy living room and small dining area that offer stunning views. You can literally sit there for hours and gaze at the snow clad ranges.
A small fireplace is put up in the evenings to add warmth. After I settled down, the host, Mr. Vivasvat offered some hot tea. The tea was as refreshing as the company of his mother who also runs another homestay in Himachal.
The cottage has three rooms including one suite, each one with beautiful views. After tea, I was ushered to my room. My door was wooden with a manual lock.
Everything is extremely basic with a bit of luxury amenities like bedside lamps, a chest drawer with a subtle tone of green to add more brightness to the room, paintings hung on the walls. There were double bed, with soft mattresses, pillows and beautiful bedspreads. The beds were perfectly adequate. There was a door attached to the balcony that had the most spectacular view of the mountains.
The attached bath is spacious and is equipped with a rain shower and a large sink. You need to bring your own dental kit as it’s a family run homestay. The bathroom had hot water, fresh and nice smelling soft towels, bath gels and a large mirror. There was always plenty of bottled water and a flask with hot water.
Fresh hot dinner comprising of lentils, vegetables and gluten free breads was the best food I had while traveling in all these years.
I woke up to the sound of roosters crowing and the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee. I enjoyed a hot cup of French pressed coffee while feasting my eyes on the snow clad Himalayan ranges – glistening as the morning rays fall on them.
After a hearty breakfast of eggs, I went for a short trail with the caretaker who has been with the family for more than a decade.
The trek is worth experiencing as you go past small villages, farms, greet animals on the way and smell fresh blooming flowers. My experience was simply beautiful and totally soul satisfying.
Later, I went for a sightseeing with the driver from Firwood who was well aquainted with the places.
Places to explore –
Jhula devi temple
Kumaon Regimental center
You can also visit little shops selling basic – about a 15 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride away. Also worth visiting a women welfare organization that weaves woolen clothes. The products are worth buying.
Firwood cottage offers an experience like no other. Visit the place and take back a bag full of memories.
You may contact Vivasvat here for bookings.