The number of tourists visiting India has increased manifold during the past few decades. Especially after the tourism attraction program of Incredible India, India is witnessing a large influx of tourists .Even our countrymen have also started coming out of their shells and visiting every nook and corner of the country.
Not only foreign tourists, but even many local tourists prefer staying in the comfort of a homely environment where one is not bounded by so-called protocols. One can freely mingle with the local people, enjoy homemade food and relax in the cosy comfort of a house away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The desire for such holidays has given rise to a new concept: Home Stay i.e. a home away from home. It has enabled tourists to enjoy their stay in these Home Stays and a scope to learn local culture and traditions. One can clearly say that these Home Stays definitely offer a home away from home feel.
What is a Home Stay?
Home Stays are houses inside farms or plantations in areas which are away from the town or city. People living in those areas have converted their farm houses, heritage houses or hill cottages with a view to accommodate a couple of guests. These guests can live in a homely atmosphere and get a chance to mingle with another local family who are mainly the host. At some places even more than one family are accommodated at one place. As per the guidelines set by Government of India, any Home Stay can have only 5 rooms at the maximum.
Types of Home Stays
Depending upon the place, you can find different kinds of home stays. They are available near the beaches, in the plantations and even in some villages. Though the place may vary but the basic concept of Home Stays remains the same everywhere. While staying at those places, you can watch the fishermen going out to the sea for their catch or the labourers at work in the coffee, rubber or tea plantations. You can also get a chance to have a stay for a day or two in a boat houses and idle on the decks of boats, ride a bullock cart, plough a field with a tractor, join the labourers in the plantations and enjoy the local festivals. Besides offering local delicacies in their meals, some Home Stays also offer the guests to learn some local cuisines.
According to an estimate, currently only about 25% of the homestays in India are actually registered with the Government. Home owners can register their properties with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India under Incredible India Bed & Breakfast/ Homestays Establishments Scheme.
There are two broad categories under which properties can be registered: Gold and Silver. The broad guidelines can be downloaded: Incredible India Bed & Breakfast / Home Stays Establishments Scheme.
What you need in order to open a Bed and Breakfast / Home Stays Establishment
- Spare bed rooms in your house – minimum one and maximum five
- You must reside at the premises with your family
- Clean rooms with proper ventilation
- A minimum floor area of 200 sq ft for Gold Category and 120 sq ft for silver category
- Attached private bathrooms; minimum size of each bathroom: Gold-40 sq ft, Silver: 30 sq ft minimum
- Western style toilets with toilet paper
- 24-hour running hot and cold water with proper sewage connection
- Well-maintained, smoke-free, clean, hygienic, odour-free, pest-free kitchen
- Air-conditioning / heating depends on climatic conditions
- Internet connection
- Laundry services
- There shall be no front office and premises should be presented primarily as a residential property
- Maintain a register / or computerized record in electronic form with detailed particulars of the guests
- Send information of the guests to the municipal body concerned and the police every fortnight
- Get employee verification done
- Maintain the establishment in a good state of repair and cleanliness and fit for habitation of guests at all times
- Comply with any rules respecting standards of health, hygiene and safety including fire safety
- Provide good quality food prepared in hygienic conditions
- Don’t carry out or allow any commercial activity of tours and travel, sight-seeing, transport, handicrafts or any other similar activity in or from the establishment
- Indulge or allow any such activity that adversely affects the privacy and rights of the neighbors and residents of the locality
List of Famous Home Stays in India
- Vembanad House Homestay, Alleppey
- The Homestead Homestay, Corbett
- Bel Home Homestay, Coorg
- Capella Homestay, Goa
- Jai Vilas Homestay, Jaipur
- The Cottage Homestay, Jeolikot
- Royal Mist Homestay, Munnar
- Fort Rampura Homestay, Rampura
- Devra Homestay, Udaipur
- Glenora Homestay, Wayanad