Everyone who has taken their pet on a vacation once knows that there is no going back. Every time you take a break without your pet, you have returned to the look of ‘pure betrayal’ in your pets eyes. One whiff and they know where you’ve been because we, the undeserving humans, are poor at covering our tracks.
My first vacation with Moneypenny, my cat, was actually an overnight stay at a friend’s house outside town. I had read all about animals going crazy during travel and how they should be sedated before long trips. I was pleasantly surprised to find Moneypenny spending her entire time staring out of the glass window of the car, occasionally turning her nose to the small gap at the top to take a whiff. The ride was smooth, and I realized that she took surprisingly little time to settle into her new surroundings at my friend’s place and left me with more than fair share to chatter away.
Encouraged, I felt I should take Moneypenny more often on my travels and thus began the search for pet-friendly stay options in the country. It was only then that I discovered that it is far easier to find a pet-friendly stay for a canine than a feline. Claws out!
Thankfully, with a lot of help from other cat-lovers, I have been able to put together this fresh list of 5 best pet-friendly (all kinds of pets welcome) in India.
Thakran Farms, Pataudi, Haryana
Just 40 kilometers from New Delhi, Pataudi is famous for its current ‘King’, who is also a celebrated Bollywood film actor, Saif Ali Khan. The retreat is best suited for homely cats like Moneypenny as she is very particular about her own bed and food (the retreat does not provide pet beds/food). Yet, the serenity is one not to be missed. This is a great option for first-time pet vacationers from the Capital as it is close to the city and the ride, even from airport, is a comfortable one.
Address: Village Lohaka near Village Lokra, Pataudi Tehsil, Malpura Mau Road, Lokra, Haryana 122414
Acro Iris Boutique Homestay, Goa
If you feel like hitting the beach and getting your silly poofball to learn new tricks in the sand, Acro Iris is one of the many houses of the ‘noblility’ developed by Neemrana around the country and the third in Goa. It is spectacularly located, and has all amenities you’d like for your pet. Call in advance, like all good pet parents, to cover all your pet needs.
Address: Arco Iris Boutique Homestay
House No 1384; Sinai Bagh
Near Carmel Chapel and High School, Curtorim, Goa 403709
The Ranger’s Lodge, Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Staying at the homestay of a celebrated naturalist, Mr. Imran Khan, is one of the best ways to experience the wilderness and also get a better understanding of your pet. Be prepared, the jungle can stimulate a lot of the wild in your furry friend. And yet you are in good hands, and great company. The vegetables are sourced from the kitchen garden and your pets have ample space to sprint about and explore. It’s a delight!
Address: Malla Kaniya, Across ESTC, Ramnagar, Corbett Tiger Reserve, District Ramnagar, Uttarakhand 244715
Contact: 098371 85386
Ekaant – The Retreat , Lavasa, Maharashtra
This one is Moneypenny’s personal favorite, and I have spent some priceless moments staring out at the lake from the balcony. The sounds of water and wind only melodiously interjected with the soft, content purring as we sat curled through that rainy afternoon. It comes highly recommended for solo travellers with a pet. Quality bonding time! Since there is not much room (or weather) to play around much, it is also an ideal option for senior pets who would like to soak in the silence by your side.
Address: Village Dasve, Post Mose (Budruk),
Via Panshet, Taluka Mulshi,
District Pune 412 112, India
Mustard Seed Farm-Stay, Sikkim
Far east, scenic, quiet and rich in natural goodness – Sikkim is just so good for the soul. This has been the most affordable trip with Moneypenny so far and it has encouraged me to explore the eastern region as travelling with pets can be more than a tad expensive. The farm-stay has animals of its own – farm animals as well as pets along with caretakers who excel in breaking up fights (uncannily similar to the other fights in the region – football). There’s much laughter and love along the perfect measure of silence.
Address: Ranipool-Rumtek-Sang Rd, Sikkim 737135
Phone: 081169 59665 (Owner – Passang)
– Text By Priya Tripathy