Meena Bagh Resorts are two newly opened, award-winning eco- resorts in Himachal committed to eco-friendly practises.
With their wood-panelled and mud-plastered walls, they are also the closest you get to live in typical ‘Himachali’ homes in Himachal.
We are barely an year old, but have garnered appreciation for our hospitality, design and sustainable practises from guests, media, and award committees. In Feb 2018, Meena Bagh Shimla was awarded by the Outlook Responsible Tourism Awards in the Best Boutique Property category. The property also holds a Gold certificate for sustainable tourism by Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism.
Meena Bagh Shimla is situated in the capital Shimla and Meena Bagh Ratnari sits bang in the middle of an apple orchard 85kms beyond Shimla.
Meena Bagh Shimla has three separate units or suits, which can collectively accommodate over 20 people. While Meena Bagh Ratnari is one big bungalow, which, with its sunroom and lounging areas can accommodation about 12 people.
Why Meena Bagh?
Meena Bagh gets its name from our apple orchards in Ratnari. These are over 65 year old orchards planted by our grandparents in this now famous apple belt in Himachal.
The Team :
Caretaker (Meena Bagh Shimla): Satpal is from Himachal’s Sirmaur district. He came to us as a mason and almost all walls of both the resorts have been built by him. He and his team also did the mud plaster. He is talented, reliable, resourceful and a happy go lucky Himachali hand. So when the resorts opened a year ago we decided to absorb him in the work force.
Cook/ Caretaker (Meena Bagh Ratnari): Deshraj is from Mandi in Himachal and rides on a lot of experience which includes a two year stint in Iraq where he rustled up meals for the American forces. Besides cooking he is also the overall incharge at Meena Bagh Ratnari.
Mahavir Thakur :
Waiter (Meena Bagh Ratnari): Mahavir was Satpal’s help in the masonry job. He lives in the adjoining village from Satpal’s. When we employed Satpal we decided to hire Mahavir too. Though he did not go to school, he is diligent, responsible and gets the job done.
Owner: A journalist, a photographer, a hobby architect and a part-time orchardist, I am a proud jack of all trades and a master of none. I travel a lot and have stayed in hotels/ resorts around the world. This inspired me to build something of my own for travellers. In fact, I have stolen many of the design ideas for Meena Bagh Resorts from these travels. Meena Bagh is a work in progress and when not with carpenters, I travel or write on travel, culture, nature, books etc. Some of my published articles can be found at www.sanjayausta.com
“Every aspect of it is informed by the owner Sanjay Austa, a photographer and writer …The overall impression is of a cosy yet elegant home with enough beauty within it, and around it, to make doing nothing a delicious prospect. “
“Its a rare to find an accommodation that distracts you from the spellbinding views. At Meena Bagh in Ratnari, it’ difficult to decide what to focus on- the homestay, or the views.”
” We found Meena Bagh a breathtaking property in Shimla, and we’re in complete awe of its beauty. What we love the most about Meena Bagh is that they’re super pet-friendly and encourage hosting guests who bring their furry friends along. And they’re LGBT friendly too.”
” Himachal’s apple harvest season is in full swing by mid-August.There’s no better time to book a room at the newly minted, eco-conscious resort, Meena Bagh in Ratnari, 85 kilometres from the hustle of Shimla.”
“One of the friendliest airbnbs we’ve come across, they give preference to people with pets, are LGBTQ-friendly and ‘also allow married couples.”
” Meena Bagh sets a good example for hotels and resorts to take up sustainable practices. It has a water harvesting and recycling system in place. What’s more, the home is gay-friendly, pet-friendly, and there is upto 50 per cent discount for writers, journalists and people involved with conservation activities.”