Let me begin by saying – What a place!
It really is. Rokeby Manor is boutique hotel set in the hills and is quaint, dream-like, well managed, offbeat and simply wonderful place that will make you never want to go back. I went there first on the suggestion of my brother in law and my sister, who had recently stayed there for a weekend and wouldn’t shut-up about it. One day, the husband and I, with Gauri sitting in the backseat, were trying desperately to find parking at a famous restaurant in Dehradun for brunch, when he suggested we “screw this” head to Mussoorie instead. So we did.
While on our way, we decided to check out the place my sister and her husband had suggested and were clearly in love with – Rokeby Manor. We already knew that Scahin Tendulkar comes here every winter, and since this was November, I suspect that the husband was half expecting to run into Sachin. Happily, we headed to Rokeby. Sister and bro in law had explained the best way to reach it, and we felt confident of reaching in no time. This confidence quickly felt weak, when we saw the narrow lanes we had to drive through, and the extremely steep turns. We were driving our car – a Honda City, and the i kept praying no one shows up from the opposite side until we reach Rokeby. No one did – we later found out that it’s a one way street. Yay! So now that we know this, we always drive up there in our City 2014, and haven’t faced any problem yet. (fingers crossed)
While the husband was driving and the toddler was singing a self-composed song on top of her voice, I hit the internet looking for some dope on the place we were headed to. A little info on Rokeby Manor: It was built in the colonial times of 1840s, and did change quite a few hands during the course of history. This heritage building is resplendent with character
in its elaborate brick arches and niches, intricate stone
walls, real wood floors and beams, and cozy fireplaces.
Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas,it is now known for it’s charisma, it’s amazing views, the hospitality and the ambiance. And for its association with Scahin Tendulkar of course – at least to folks who follow cricket, aka my husband. We were both excited at all the info Google had provided.
It took us 1 hour 10 minutes to reach Rokeby Manor from Rajpur Road, Mussoorie.
By the time we reached, we were starving. But the place was so beautiful and oh, it also had an Army connection making the husband feel right at home, we first decided to check the place out. And – we loved it!
|Cute, aren’t they?|
The rooms are clean and comfortable. The guest washrooms are clean and state of art. Quick tip – if you have a toddler who wants to use the washroom, use the one that’s upstairs. It is more spacious and hence, toddler friendly.
The living room and reception ares are divided by a column, and there are a few couches facing a television that was playing a cricket match the day we first entered it – getting another tick mark from the husband, a cricket fan. And oh, turns out, Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t stay here every winter, he only eats here every day every winter. Yeah, we are now planning on being there every weekend in winter, heehee.
We then took a flight of adorable (but tricky for kids!) stairs to Emily’s – Rokeby’s restaurant. It is a feast for the eyes, no pun intended. The place is cozy and smells delicious. We ate more than we thought was possible, took a walk around and spent some time at nearby church, sat lazily in Rokeby’s backyard with a sofa-swing and lots and lots of opportunity for the toddler – stones and butterflies and pretty green gates that seemed to enchant her for some reason.
- Offbeat and yet not difficult to reach. In fact we drive our Honda City to the place every time, without any (major) problems.
- Emily’s is the name of their restaurant – small, warm and tastefully done, it also offers a great view to the Doon valley below, with dense deodar trees and distant snow clad peaks. There is also a balcony with two huge tables, that are almost always occupied by big happy groups.
- Food is yummy. The menu is short and focused – but everything we have tried in our various visits, has been good. You can request for certain adjustments to your dishes – like the German woman on the next table requested her Indian food without chillies. Our favorite is a Rokeby special, though – a pizza on a naan. Naanza, as it is called, is so flavorful you’ll want to gobble it up. Totally recommended! You can also go for chicken fingers with a tangy sauce which wowed us over the last time we ate there. The bacon and lettuce sandwich makes for a good evening snack. Actually, almost everything on the menu is good.
Pasta that we collectively loved
- Food for kids. My toddler is a picky eater, which is no breaking news to the blogging society by now. But she polished off half a plate of Pasta. Yeah, I was speechless for a few minutes there too. God bless the cook! For
toddlers, you can also try their baked potato skins with healthy fillings
(like feta and tomato – basil). Milkshakes always win the kids, so that’s a good option too.
Gauri and her Strawberry Milk Shake I told you, pasta won her over!
- The lounging room, or the living area is a splash of bright red with a huge TV and a lot of books. A few books are even signed by the authors which I thought was a very nice touch. I could sit on the comfy couch for hours, reading the books and sipping the delicious Hot Chocolate, honestly. I felt amazing here!
That’s me reading while Gauri was away playing with stones
- The rooms are very contemporary, and the one on the ground floor even have a live fireplace. I can’t wait to stay in one of those next winter! Imagine falling asleep with glowing embers and dreaming of happy things. *day dreams about it*
- This, the pictures below, is my favorite spot here. And Gauri clearly love it too. Like every other toddler, her love for stones is undying, and once in the manor’s backyard – she and the stones just want to be left to her own sweet devices. So the husband and I, we relax on the swing. What’s not to love? The only problem arises when we actually have to leave because then Gauri throws the mother of all tantrums, wanting to be left behind. She has been trying to smuggle the stones ever since our first visit.
Look mumma, STONES! I have enough STONES in my pockets now.
- The staff. These guys are golden, really. They will answer your unending questions about food ( and your suggestions for a kids-only menu), will offer to click pictures for you (when you are hanging out of the balcony trying to take a selfie), will entertain your fan-girl questions about where Sachin Tendulkar usually sits when here and what dish does he order the most etc. Very cool guys.
- It has a spa and salon! I am going to try it as soon as the summers are here. (I am a bit lazy about all this in winters, but that’s just me)
All in all, a place that is like a dream. If you’re planning to go for an offbeat weekend getaway near NCR, this is the place for you. Go there, stay for a weekend, enjoy good food, take a long walk around the mesmerizing place, click a few pictures of the breathtaking Doon valley, settle down on the couch and read a book, and have a good time. And if you find my book on their shelf, look for my message on the first page – it’s for you.
PS: You can look up their e-brochure here.
PPS: All pictures are mine. Please do NOT use the anywhere at all.