REVIEW: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa – Best Luxury Resort in Gulmarg

Waking up to the views of the snow-clad mountains punctuated by coniferous trees, warming up with hot Kahwa, breakfast in bed with a stunning view, scenic stroll along tranquil trails, hearty conversation with fellow bloggers and snowmobiling in Gulmarg are some of the moments that are etched in my memory forever…

REVIEW: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa

 

The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa is one of the most luxurious retreats in India. Perched on a mountaintop overlooking the magnificent Apharwat Range, the resort is one of the most popular ski resorts in India and offers views like no other.

After postponing and canceling my trip twice, finally, I made it to Khyber. I had an early morning flight from Bangalore to Srinagar via Chandigarh. It was a familiarization trip and I had some of the top Indian travel bloggers for the company.  

REVIEW: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa 1

– WELCOME –

As we snaked our away to the hotel from the airport, we could not stop getting awed by the insanely beautiful panoramic views that accompanied us throughout our journey. I was there during the second week of April and all thanks to the heavy snowfall in Gulmarg a week prior to it, the entire valley looked straight out of a postcard. After an hour long drive we reached the resort and were greeted by the staff at the entrance who whisked us to the lobby.

REVIEW: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa

As soon as you enter the lobby, one of the first impressions is that of space: generous proportions; dark-wood paneling, furnishing, fabrics, loads of cushions artfully scattered, carpets and not to miss the exemplary design that echoes the use of local elements.

The check in formalities was done over a hot cup of Kahwa and post that we were promptly whisked to our Himalayan Luxury rooms overlooking the snow-clad mountains. 

 

– HOTEL –

Boasting 85 rooms across 7 acres perched at 8,825 feet above sea level in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, the resort is the epitome of understated elegance.

The use of local elements as you look around. Be it Khatamband ceilings on walkways, carpets winding all around, wooden panels, use of Wagu mats on doors of the spa, or jharokhas. Even the wood from Deodar trees is used for the construction of the resort. Floor to ceiling glass window revel in the view and beautifully frames the stunning landscape bringing in the right amount of light to the dark furnishing.

There are covered moving walkways to ensure guests donโ€™t have to walk in the snow. Spa, gym and other recreational activities are all interconnected. The highlight of the hotel is the indoor heated swimming pool with panoramic views of the valley and a state of the art gym.

REVIEW The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa Gulmarg

 

– ROOM –

The rooms have been designed with comfort and luxury in mind. The Himalayan Luxury Room that I was put up in was quite spacious and was peppered with bespoke furniture and had a patio that overlooked the surrounding mountains.

As soon as you enter, the first thing you notice is a huge wall sized mirror and on the other side a walk-in closet that leads to the bathroom. The highlight of the bathroom apart from luxurious touches is the super amazing bathtub with a VIEW.

Kidding not. And ya, it was no ordinary view that you could just pass on but the view of snow clad Affarwat Peaks.  

Most of my mornings were spent in the bathtub daydreaming.

– FOOD –

If food is what floats your boat then you are in for a delectable treat here. The food is a combination of modern flair with traditional Kashmiri cuisine. One thing not to miss is the elaborate meal — Kashmiri Wazwan meal.

If you are a non-vegetation you are going to love feasting on a typical Kashmiri Wazwan that is steeped in tradition and is heavily influenced by Afghan and Asian cuisines. The mouth-watering aromas and a heavy influx of cinnamon, saffron and other spices are hard to ignore.

The meal is served on a beautiful Tarami (serving plate) with a generous portion of rice that is accompanied by Doon Chetin — walnut chutney ( ..nom nom ), Tamator Panner, Ghustaba, Rista, Nadru Yakhni โ€“ dish made with lotus stem,  Haak Saag, Tabak Maas and Dhaniwal Korma.

The lamb here tastes way different than other parts of the country. It is more juicy, chewy and amazingly cooked. It was so heavy and rich that I could not finish the entire plate served but skipping the mouth-watering Phirni was hard. ๐Ÿ˜›

DINING OPTIONS

Cloves โ€“ The buffet and a la carte for lunch, breakfast, and dinner are served at Cloves. South Indian dishes especially Idlis and Dosa were also quite good at the breakfast buffet. If you donโ€™t want to leave the comfort of the room, you can also opt for breakfast in bed like I did. J 

Kashmir is such a beauty ?? Hope peace prevails in the valley soon and loads and loads of tourists can just pack their bags and head to #Kashmir without a second thought. @thekhyberresort Video Alert – New video is up on our YouTube channel ( Link in Bio ) #india #incredibleindia #thekhyberhimalayan #thekhyberexperience #luxurytravelblogger #luxuryresorts #beautiful #beautifuldestinations #wonderful_places

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Chaikash is a wonderful place for nibbles and tea/coffee or just to linger with a book.

Calabash is their sheesha lounge.

– ACTIVITIES –

Imagine sweating out with unparalleled views of the mountains in front of you. Or perhaps gazing out across snow-covered scenery while you float in a private indoor pool.

Besides the perfectly heated indoor pool, the spa facilities are also top notch and so is the gym with all latest amenities. I wanted to use their equipped gym but was too lazy for that. Well, if you are a fitness freak then you wonโ€™t miss sweating it out with a view like this.

If you donโ€™t fancy stepping out in the cold all the time, there are enough activities that will keep you glued and warm. The resort has its own dedicated cinema room for 12-15 people and boasts of a collection of both Hollywood and Bollywood movies.

Back at the hotel, I took advantage of the hotelโ€™s spa facilities โ€“ The Khyber Loaccataine Spa — ideal for unwinding after a day of sightseeing, or for a bit of pampering. I opted for a sublime  Almond Detox massage which started with a foot massage and later being slathered in heavenly aromatherapy oils and being gently massaged all over from scalp to toes. The masseuses did an impressive job digging out every knot of my body.

– SIGHTSEEINGS –

One our second day of our stay, after a pretty late breakfast we opted for sightseeing. We visited the famous 500 years old shrine of Baba Reshi, St. Maryโ€™s Church, Rani Temple and Maharajaโ€™s Palace.

 

This is my second time in #Kashmir and I still feel that this place has a charm with is beyond comparison. Can’t wait to share more pictures from the trip ??Keep checking Insta Stories. @thekhyberresort #gulmarg #india #kashmir #incredibleindia #thekhyberhimalayan #thekhyberexperience #ttoatxkhyber #sheisnotlost #femmetravel #girlsborntotravel #dametraveler

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On the third day of our stay, we ventured up to the famous Gondola ride which was just minutes away from the resort.We met our guide at the lobby who steered us to the starting point from where we boarded the cable car to reach the phase 1. If you love winter sports activities then you cannot miss this place โ€“ be it sledding, skiing, ATV rides or snowmobiling, you have it all here.

 

I had so much fun snowmobiling for the very first time.

My view is better than yours ??? Location : Gondola, Gulmarg, Kashmir @thekhyberresort #thekhyberhimalayan #thekhyberexperience #GulmargGondola #Kashmir #india #incredibleindia #indiatravel #_soi #beautifulindia #cntgiveitashot #MyIndiaCNN #lpmi

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Must Visit Places/ Things to Do in Gulmarg

  Gondola Ride is a must and if weather is favorable, do not miss the phase II

  St. Mary’s Church

 Maharajaโ€™s Palace โ€“ A beautiful palace of the last king of Kashmir, Hari Singh

 BabaReshi

 Day Trip To Srinagar

  Rani Temple โ€“ 100-year-old Shiva Temple 

 

– OVERALL –

With the reputation for being one of India’s best ski resort, Khyber has a lot to live up to….and it does! Impeccable service, beautiful scenery on offer, heated pool with a stunning view, world-class spa facilities and delight guests with luxurious extra touches.

There are very few resorts that you want to visit in every season and The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa is one among them. To sum up in just one sentence —

The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa is an unspoiled retreat for conscious escapism.

You can find more information about the property and tariff on their official website.

Few Things To Remember:

Alcohol is not served at the resort so please do carry your own.

The Resort is minutes away from Gondola

 Car can be easily hired for day trips and sightseeing from the resort itself.

 Best For Couples & Families 

 For best views, book Himalayan Luxury Rooms or in case you want to splurge and need complete privacy, you can also opt for Presidential Suite.

  Most of the places might be closed in winter depending on the weather condition so check with locals and plan your itinerary well.

BEST TIME TO VISIT GULMARG

For Snow โ€“ December to April 

For Fall Colours โ€“  September to November

Spring & Summer โ€“ April to August

For Tulips โ€“ 1st to 15th April

HOW TO REACH THERE

how to reach gulmarg

Khyber Himalayan Resorts & Spa is just 62 km away from Srinagar. From the airport it takes around 90 minutes to reach the resort.

Nearest Airport: Srinagar

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Special thanks to The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa for hosting us,
opinion as always is our own.

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52 Comments

  • Reply
    Rishabh& Nirali from Gypsycouple
    May 7, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Wow, this place looks amazing. I’m sure you couldn’t have chosen a better time to go with the fresh snow welcoming you on the white carpet. No better combination than luxury in nature’s lap.

  • Reply
    sarah
    May 7, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    This place certainly doesn’t look like many people’s idea of India. Your photos certainly show off the facilities at the resort brilliantly, and I’m a sucker for some nice pictures of snow (just looking at it, not actually being in it because it’s too cold).
    I think I’d be too tempted to stay in the resort if I were there, rather than venture out to see the local attractions.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    May 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    If I wouldn’t know that this report is in Kashmir I would easily guess that it’s a luxury one in Switzerland. I love the big windows and the balconies, with those beautiful views. Even in winter, it’s admirable that you can still have breakfast on the terrace. The design of the hotel is very pretty as well, pure traditional. I really like that in the lobby you sit on the floor, on a pillow. I have experienced that before in India and it’s such an authentic feeling of blending in with the culture.

  • Reply
    Mani @ A New Life Wandering
    May 7, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    How absolutely incredible! I saw the breakfast shot on instagram and THEN saw where it was and I couldn’t believe it. I thought it may be some place like Switzerland or Colorado. I’m so jealous. I want to go.

  • Reply
    Priyadarshini Rajendran
    May 7, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Gulmarg sounds like its right up my alley. I love snow and this places looks like heaven to me. I recently visited another snowy tourist spot, but this eats the cake as it is in my own nation! Khyber seems to a good resort, adding it to my shortlist.

  • Reply
    Judy
    May 8, 2017 at 1:12 am

    i couldn’t believe my eyes – this is India? It looked like a ski resort somewhere in switzerland! very beautiful place and you did a great job describing everything about it beautifully. Very inspired to visit this beautiful place!

  • Reply
    Punita Malhotra
    May 8, 2017 at 6:47 am

    This is absolutely stunning…all the pictures, specially the outdoors are enough to make anyone drool. I’ve heard a lot about this hotel and am dying to go someday. When did you visit Gulmarg?

  • Reply
    Mel
    May 8, 2017 at 7:45 am

    This is the second post I’ve seen on Kyber recently and now I am even more intrigued. The mountains are beautiful! The hotel looks so nice. I’d love to visit.

  • Reply
    Chaitali Patel
    May 8, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Gorgeous, gorgeous hotel and place! That wazwan looks so good. Interesting that the tip of the country also favours rice just like the South and East.

    I have seen so many reviews of this hotel, that it is certainly on my wish list. Would love to experience it with my daughter.

  • Reply
    Gracie Gill
    May 8, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Wow, that’s very luxurious! And that heated pool with a panoramic view looks very relaxing. Well the whole place looks very relaxing! I would love to experience this as well, though I think I would need to save up first. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Vicki Louise
    May 8, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    What a beautiful resort and spa! And in such a winter wonderland! I’d love to spend a week relaxing and taking in the beautiful mountains!

  • Reply
    Iza c/o Kathy James (Walk About Wanderer)
    May 9, 2017 at 6:25 am

    This was a great experience for you! You look so happy! I would like to go here too and pamper myself. The Khyber L’occitane Spa must be expensive but I am sure that it will be worth it.

  • Reply
    Only By Land
    May 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa looks stunning, luxurious with fantastic views. I would never think of India and Skiing, but now I see it’s possible! The breakfast looks delicious, I am a fan of fresh juice and the fresh juice looks perfect. Snowmobiling is what I would like to try the most from the list of activities.

  • Reply
    Abhinav Singh
    May 9, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Khyber is an unparalleled experience. The snow all around makes it all the more alluring. You have captured the spirit of Khyber and Gulmarg so well through your words and pictures.

  • Reply
    Fillia
    May 9, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    To be honest with you, this doesn’t look like somewhere in India. I would def check this place when I come to visit India xx

  • Reply
    Juliette | Snorkels to Snow
    May 10, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Oh wow you had me sold at the very first sentence! What spectacular views! Just wow to absolutely every single photo posted on this page. I forget these sorts of places exist for skiing because there is usually such a huge focus on a Canada, Japan & European ski fields during this time. Wow. Putting it on my bucket list

  • Reply
    Sonia
    May 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Loved the view from your room! The breakfast in bed looks delightful. Will visit this place in summers when I go to Gulmarg to learn skiing

  • Reply
    Jitaditya Narzary
    May 10, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    What a sumptuous property! Considering the image of Kashmir we have in our minds, such luxury and joy is hard to imagine. Even the food looks like a royal affair. Some great photography within the resort too.

  • Reply
    Riely
    May 11, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I am all about the views and those views are out of this world! The Khyber Himalayan Resort has a lot to offer its guests and what looks like impeccable accommodations. I would for sure spend most of my time bathing in the bathroom or relaxing in the indoor heated pool with those views. It’s so calming to look out into the snow caped mountains. Sounds like a wonderful destination.

  • Reply
    Adrenaline Romance
    May 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    What a beautiful hotel, although the empty hallways remind us of that spooky hotel in The Shining. LOL! Kidding aside, the snowy scenery outside the window is simply stunning. And the snow adventures—we’d die for that. Do they allow trekking in the mountains?

  • Reply
    Reebex | Recovering Hippie
    May 13, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Look at all that snow! I have never thought of India as a skiing destination, but I will do from now on! The place you stayed looks stunning, and HUGE fan of the massive bathtub looking out onto the mountains. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    May 14, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I have been to Gulmarg a couple of times but have not stayed at the Khyber Himalayan resort. I particularly loved the Kahwa. The views in Gulmarg have always attracted me. May be next time we will stay at this Khyber Himalayan resort. Your pics are stunning! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Lena from fouronaworldtrip
    May 14, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Ok, thats clearly a hotel I will never stay in; it’s just so much off budget ๐Ÿ˜€ But it does look awesome and weirdly, even though it looks really much like something from the Himmalaya, it reminds me a bit to a house that you would find in the austrian or swiss alps ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Taiss TogetherToWherever
    May 14, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    This place does look top notch! I love that indoor pool and the fact that they have covered, moving walkways is just going above and beyond to provide comfort! The scenery there looks so gorgeous and I’m not even a fan of cold snowy places! I’m sure anyone staying here would absolutely love it!

  • Reply
    Anita
    May 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    It looks like an excellent resort to stay. It sounds especially appealing that it is great to visit it every season. Your mountain pictures are stunning. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Bonita
    May 15, 2017 at 4:45 am

    This is really cool…I didn’t know of an Indian city where it snows this much, this post is an eye opener #wonderlust????….I was hoping to see a photo of the heated indoor pool though….

  • Reply
    Agness of eTramping
    May 18, 2017 at 11:45 am

    This resort is simply breathtaking. I would love to stay at this exceptional resort, especially in the winter!

  • Reply
    Rimjhim Borthakur
    May 26, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Amazing

  • Reply
    Neha
    May 26, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Omg!!! I am definitely staying here on my visit to Gulmarg. I simply LOVE the photos and the way you have reviewed everything. Bookmarked it for future.

  • Reply
    Debbzie Leksono
    May 26, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    This place is insanely beautiful! If I hadn’t read the article, I would have easily thought it was a resort somewhere in Alps Mountain. I’d really love to stay in this resort one day when I visit India! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Kevin Wagar
    May 26, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    This place looks lovely! I love the mix of European and Indian styles in the decor and architecture!

  • Reply
    Marcie in Mommyland
    May 26, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I feel so sheltered because I didn’t realize India had ski resorts! Or that it snowed. This resort looks amazing ! What a snowy wonderland! I’d love to visit it someday!

  • Reply
    Marta
    May 27, 2017 at 1:10 am

    This looks absolutely amazing! The views alone are spectacular!!

  • Reply
    Mink Borwornsenee
    May 27, 2017 at 9:12 am

    This is such a beautiful place even in the winter, will definitely give it a visit!

  • Reply
    Claudia
    May 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    What a beautiful property! Now I can see why its one of the most luxurious resorts in India! I am happy that its also good for families and thanks for the tops about the room!

  • Reply
    Megan Indoe
    May 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Wow, I can’t get over the view from this place! It seriously looks like a magical winter wonderland! We would love to visit Kashmir, as a matter of fact my husband has been talking about wanting to go for years! We will have to stay here when we do! I want that incredible view from the room too!

  • Reply
    Danik
    May 27, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Wow! Not only I would go here for the resort which looks totally fab (and beautiful) but would also go here for the mountainporn! WOW! WOW! WOW! That is all I can say. Love the surroundings. Would go here any day of the week ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Peter Korchnak
    May 27, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    “One of the most luxurious retreats in India” – certainly looks like it. It reminded me of Switzerland, from the comments I’m not the only one to think so.

  • Reply
    Soumya Nambiar
    May 27, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    The resort looks absolutely heavenly and I agree with you that Gulmarg looks like right out of a postcard. That insane swimming pool is something I would definitely want to try out. I have been postponing Kashmir for so long and I hope I get to change that soon.

  • Reply
    yukti
    May 28, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Khyber Himalayan Resort is looking like a super luxurious nature resort. I like the bathtub with views of snow and nature. I can bathe for hours now. Bed in the room looks like a Queen’s bed so royal. Breakfast with a view is also amazing.

  • Reply
    sara | belly rumbles
    May 29, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Firstly I have to say, wow, how stunning is The Khyber Himalayan Resort. Secondly thank you for reminding me how diverse and beautiful India is. I am yet to visit this gorgeous country. This area is definitely on my list to include when I eventually get there.

  • Reply
    Alexandra Trif
    May 29, 2017 at 6:23 am

    This is the best thing a hotel could ever hope for. This is true promotion, from a personal experience. Also admire the breakfast with a view option, which looks something out of this world. It might sound corny, but it’s the simple things and attention to detail that matter.

  • Reply
    Tamara Elliott
    May 29, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    This looks lovely! As a Canadian I often associate India with hot beaches, not ski lodges that look like something you’d find here in Canada!

  • Reply
    Rahul Khurana
    May 29, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Gulmarg is certainly a heavenly place. The pics are a proof that there is no other place as beautiful as Kashmir. The hotel looks really nice with all the luxuries. I would want to snowmobile here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Ana Ojha
    May 30, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    The resort looks like a complete destination in itself! Only the bummer is they don’t serve alcohol. Though the food looks quite delicious!

  • Reply
    Tami
    May 30, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    It would appear that Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa leaves no stone unturned when looking for ways to provide a truly luxurious experience. But those views are absolutely the best! How could you go wrong when you can see those beautiful mountains from nearly every window? I wonder if the mountains are equally stunning during the summer months? Is this a four-season resort? Or primarily a winter ski resort?

  • Reply
    Mags
    May 31, 2017 at 12:58 am

    The snow is so beautiful! As a Floridian, I always enjoy a cold weather get away. This place looks perfect.

  • Reply
    Heather
    May 31, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Wow, I can see why the Khyber Himalayan Resort has a reputation for being one of Indiaโ€™s best ski resorts. The property and the surrounding landscape is absolutely stunning. Soaking in that over sized bath tub with that amazing view looks like the ultimate luxury experience. I’d love to spend the day doing winter activities and then returning to spend the evenings to enjoy some of the authentic cuisine you highlighted. Thank you for putting Gulmarg on my travel radar, I will certainly make it a point to add to the itinerary when traveling to India.

  • Reply
    Jenna
    May 31, 2017 at 4:30 am

    This looks like a really great hotel! We were supposed to visit the Himalayas recently but unfortunately we had to postpone it–really hope we can make it sometime soon, and it would be great to check out this hotel! The views and activities you did look amazing. I love that bath too!

  • Reply
    Anindita
    June 23, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Looks like it is a great place ,loved those views from the rooms and the balcony,the Kashmiri menu looked great.Will keep this post in mind when we visit

  • Reply
    preeti dubey
    August 31, 2017 at 9:39 am

    thnaks for dis post,its very fantastic n stunning ur pics.

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