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Home Stays

Discussion in 'Hotels' started by Joanne, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. Joanne

    Joanne New Member

    I was just reading another post about travel and someone suggested we check into home stays.. Is this the same as they have in a few other countries. A person opens their home and rents out a few room to tourists? You live in the home and they prepare your breakfast and dinner for you?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Home stays are almost the same concept as bed and breakfast accommodations. Guests are either staying in the family home or at a nearby accommodation, maybe a guest house or a guest room. Nowadays, home stays are gaining more popularity as it exposes tourists to the real culture and tradition of Indians. Here's a few advantages of staying in such home stays:
    • A variety of options. Like I said, not all home stays are the same, there's lots to choose from. You can opt for a guest room, a guest house, a guest cottage, a guest nipa hut or even plantation bungalows.
    • A personalised service. The best thing about staying in home stays is that you can get to know your host family. They serve you authentic Indian dishes out of their very own recipes. You can chat with them and know more about India as well.
    • Local activities. You get to experience India as a local as well. You can participate in local festivities or activities that you would not have known have you stayed in the hotel.
    Here's a few home stays that I can vouch for:
    • Sirohi House in Old Delhi
    • Colonel's Retreat in Delhi
    • Capella in Goa
    • Spiti Homestays in Himachal Pradesh
    I hope this helps!

  3. Karan

    Karan Member

    In an era where travelers seek more meaningful and immersive experiences, homestays have emerged as a popular and heartwarming accommodation choice. Unlike traditional hotels or resorts, homestays offer a unique opportunity to connect with local cultures, traditions, and communities.

    What Are Homestays?

    Homestays are accommodations where travelers stay in the homes of local residents or families. These accommodations can range from a spare room in a family home to fully furnished apartments or cottages. The defining characteristic of a homestay is the interaction it fosters between travelers and their hosts. Unlike hotels, which can feel impersonal, homestays offer a chance to live like a local, share meals, and engage in cultural exchange.

    The Popularity of Homestays

    Homestays have gained immense popularity in recent years, and several factors contribute to this trend:

    1. Cultural Immersion: Travelers are increasingly seeking authentic experiences, and homestays provide a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the daily life, traditions, and customs of the host community.

    2. Personalized Service: Homestays often offer a level of personalized service that is hard to find in larger hotels or resorts. Hosts go out of their way to make guests feel comfortable and cater to their specific needs.

    3. Warm Hospitality: Many travelers value the warm and welcoming nature of hosts. Staying in someone's home can lead to genuine connections and a sense of belonging.

    4. Local Cuisine: Homestays often include meals prepared by the host family. Travelers get to savor homemade, local dishes, which is a delightful culinary experience.

    5. Off-the-Beaten-Path: Homestays are often located in less touristy areas, providing travelers with an opportunity to explore hidden gems and experience life beyond the typical tourist hotspots.

    6. Unique Activities: Hosts may organize cultural activities, workshops, or tours that allow travelers to engage with the local community and traditions.
    What to Expect at a Homestay

    When you choose a homestay, you can anticipate a range of experiences that go beyond basic accommodation:

    1. Warm Welcome: Hosts take pride in offering a warm and heartfelt welcome to their guests. You're not just a visitor; you're treated as an honored guest.

    2. Comfortable Accommodation: While homestays vary in terms of comfort and amenities, they generally provide cozy and clean rooms with basic facilities. The focus is on creating a homely atmosphere.

    3. Home-Cooked Meals: One of the highlights of a homestay is the opportunity to savor homemade cuisine. Hosts often prepare authentic regional dishes, providing guests with a taste of local flavors.

    4. Cultural Exchange: Staying in a homestay encourages cultural exchange. Travelers can participate in local festivals, ceremonies, or cooking classes, gaining insights into the host family's way of life.

    5. Local Insights: Hosts can be excellent sources of information about the area's history, culture, and attractions. They can guide you to hidden treasures and share stories that guidebooks often miss.

    6. Unique Activities: Many homestays offer unique experiences like nature walks, pottery workshops, or dance performances, allowing travelers to actively engage with the local community.

    7. Meaningful Connections: Staying in a homestay often leads to meaningful connections and friendships. It's a chance to break down cultural barriers and build bridges of understanding.

    Examples of Homestays Worldwide

    Homestays can be found across the globe, each offering a unique experience tailored to the local culture and environment. Here are a few examples from different parts of the world:

    1. Japanese Ryokans: In Japan, ryokans are traditional inns where guests can experience Japanese culture, including tatami mat rooms, communal baths, and kaiseki cuisine.

    2. Thai Village Homestays: In Thailand, you can stay in rural villages and experience Thai hospitality, learn to cook traditional dishes, and explore the countryside.

    3. Italian Agriturismos: In Italy, agriturismos offer the chance to stay on working farms, participate in agricultural activities, and enjoy farm-fresh meals.

    4. African Safari Homestays: In some African countries, travelers can stay with local communities near national parks, providing an authentic safari experience and contributing to community development.
    Tips for a Memorable Homestay Experience

    To ensure a memorable and enjoyable homestay experience, consider the following tips:

    1. Research and Booking: Do thorough research on available homestays, read reviews, and communicate with hosts before booking to ensure that your expectations align.

    2. Respect Local Customs: Be mindful of local customs and traditions. Dress appropriately, remove your shoes when required, and ask for permission before taking photos, especially in sensitive cultural contexts.

    3. Communication: Communicate any dietary preferences or restrictions, allergies, or special requests to your hosts in advance.

    4. Participate Actively: Engage with your hosts and the local community. Participate in activities, ask questions, and be open to new experiences.

    5. Learn Basic Phrases: Learning a few local phrases or greetings in the host's language can go a long way in building rapport and showing respect.

    6. Be Flexible: Embrace the slower pace of life in some regions and be adaptable to unforeseen circumstances.

    Homestays offer a gateway to authentic travel experiences that go beyond sightseeing and standard accommodations. They provide travelers with the chance to connect with local cultures, build meaningful relationships, and savor the essence of a destination. Whether you're exploring a remote village in Thailand or staying in a traditional ryokan in Japan, a homestay can transform your journey into a cherished memory filled with genuine moments and cultural exchange. So, the next time you plan your travels, consider choosing a homestay for a truly enriching adventure.