Where To Stay In Leh

A Himalayan Desert: The negative 6 degrees Celsius temperature may have numbed our hands, but not our hopes.

Leh, March 2021

There are plenty of guesthouses and resorts that will provide you with a comfortable stay, but if you’re traveling in the winters I’d recommend watching out for the heating and water system in your resort/guesthouse. Since the water freezes during the winters, a lot of places don’t provide the facility of running water, something that might end up being a problem early in the morning, or during ablutions (#sayitlikeitis)

We stayed at Raku Guest House, a beautiful homestay located less than a kilometre from the Main Bazaar (all thanks to TripsyTurtle for this fabulous find) Sonam and his family, the wonderful hosts at this property, took care of every single thing- right from arranging an airport pickup to helping us plan our days in Leh, they made sure we were comfortable at all times.

Raku Guesthouse lies 7km from the airport, a drive that will take you a total of 10minutes. You can request for an airport pickup (or haggle with the taxi drivers at the airport: chances are, you’re going to waste a lot of time doing this) To save time, we requested an airport pickup that cost us 700INR (yes, traveling here is a little expensive)

The property offers 5 rooms, an expansive space that includes a garden, an organic farm, a cozy kitchen kept warm & comforting by heaters and the smell of ginger tea, and a meditation area with breathtaking views of the Himalayas (and the Khardungla Pass in the distance) In the summer months, they also organize tours and treks to places in and around Ladakh. If you’re visiting in the warmer months, you’ll be lucky to get a taste of their apples and apricots too!

Our room looked like a dream: large windows that showed us the farm and the snow-covered peaks in the distance, a cozy bed with warm blankets (and hot water bags to keep the beds warm during the night) and even the bathroom offered lovely views of the Himalayan peaks. The room came with a heater, running water (hot water is available too!) a large cupboard, and did I mention the great views?

You can request for meals at the property, for an additional charge of 300INR per meal. The food is GREAT, so I’d recommend you give this a try. Please do not leave before sampling the Ladakhi roti and chai combo that aunty makes with all her love and heart.

It’s difficult not to fall in love with Raku Guesthouse, and it’s the excellent hospitality that takes all the credit. Sonam and his brother Jigmet will make sure you’re comfortable, well-fed, and well-traveled when you’re in Leh, while their folks run the household, dividing farm, maintenance, and kitchen duties. You’ll arrive as a guest, leave feeling like part of their family.

We’d spend 2hrs here at night, talking to the family as they finished their dinner. We’d bring in cakes and brownies from the market, and share the dessert with everyone as we caught up with each other’s days, and made plans for the future. This is also the time we’d watch some TV, and I think Cats vs Dogs, Man vs Bear, and Airport Security are fun shows that facilitate family bonding 😂 )

Expect to pay anywhere between 2000INR- 2500INR per night (double sharing) for a room. To get in touch with Raku Guesthouse, you can either DM them on Instagram, or connect with Sonam at 84920 56559.

To know more about commuting in and around Leh, check out this blog post that covers all the relevant details. For information related to health, please read this post.