We recently visited Kashmir - Srinagar for the first time & stayed 2 nights in Bostan Gulistan boathouse. it was a very pleasant and safe stay. Mr Ashraf, Mr Akbar and the shikara boat rider were very friendly and warm towards us, they did everything to make our stay a memorable one. I would definitely recommend them to all those who are visiting Srinagar in future. Thank you for the wonderful hospitality Bostan Gulistan staff. Keep up the good job.
I had a wonderful stay at Bostan Gulistan group of Houseboats. Service are 100 % good love to stay there. We will keep those days in our memories. Anyone who wanst to visit Kashmir needs to understand that first. I would recommend at least 2 to 3 night stay on the houseboat, as its an experience which needs to be cherished for the rest of the life.
Actually our trip to Kashmir was in 2010 and we stayed in Bostan Gulistan along with all other arrangements made by Shalimar Travels. it was a truly memorable experience and i feel THE BEST HOUSEBOATS in Kashmir. Mr Yaqoob & Mr Ashraf made our stay out of this world experience and as if were in Paradise.
Infact I wish to compliment Shalimar Travels - Mr Bashir ( Singapore) and Mr Amin ( Delhi) for yet again making the perfect arrangements for our tour to Manali/ Sarchu/ Leh & Ladakh. They are just so good at their precision and faultless arrangements, that my entire India trip will be only through them from now on. Not only were all the arrangements perfect and safe and truly up to the mark, their personalised care and checks were too good to be true.
Thank you team Shalimar and Bostan for being the best in your field of work.
Without a stay on the houseboat a Kashmir trip is incomplete. Anyone who visits Kashmir needs to understand that first. I would recommend at least 2 to 3 night stay on the houseboat, as its an experience which needs to be cherished for the rest of the life. The way Kashmir conflict is magnifying now, the fate of tourism in Kashmir doesnt look very bright in the coming years. We never know when these floating beauties would suddenly cease to exist.
Houseboats are basically large wooden floating villas with living room, bedrooms, kitchen and toilets with all furniture, amenities and facilities a good Hotel can offer. However what makes houseboat special is the decor, the ambiance and the amazing personalized hospitality offered once checked in. A typical houseboat would have a liner design with the entrance leading to a large carpeted living room with intricate wood carved wall panelling. All decorations and ornamentation inside a house boat are necessarily hand crafted by traditional craftsmen of Kashmir. Kashmir is famous for wood crafts, fine textiles and works of embroidery. A houseboat is like a display of such fine arts and crafts in all its elements.
3 families of us stayed 2 nights in a 4 bed roomed houseboat, which in any standard was very luxurious. The living room or the sitting room was common with a central Bukhara (wood fired chimney) to keep the room warm. Lavish carpet and intricately carved wooden furniture adorned the room. There TV and free wifi available. As soon as we settled in the houseboat steaming Kahwa (Kashmiri tea) was served with freshly fried onion and aloo pakoras. It was the month of November and it was really cold, with night temperature hovering around 3-4 Deg C. The dinner arrangement was also lavish, not to mention the wooden dining table and royal chairs. Piping hot food are served straight from the kitchen to the table, Rotis are oven fresh, salad is freshly prepared, all served by couple houseboat staff- all in all its impeccable personalized hospitality. If anyone wanted any particular dish to be customized (say less spicy chicken for the kids), the cook of the houseboat needs to be informed in advance.
The toilets were clean and equipped with geyser and shower, but it took quite a long time to get running hot water! The mattress over the beds were a little hard, but the soft and warm blanket with the sift warmth of Bukhara made the sleep experience a cozy and comfortable one.
The mornings are beautiful with serene and calm views of the Dal lake with solitary sellers in their Shikaras. A floating market nearby is also not to be missed in the evening. Being peak winter we did;nt get a bright sunny morning but the misty foggy cold winter morning had its own charm.
Groups of friends and families planning a trip to Kashmir, must spend at least 2-3 night on a houseboat to complete their Kashmir experience. As I said in the beginning, unless stayed in the houseboat one has not seen a major part of Kashmiri hospitality!
My wife and I had a wonderful stay at the Bostan Houseboat. We will keep those days in our memories.
The boat has a beautiful interior full with local crafts. It gives you a feeling for Kasmir from the first step in. The staff is remarkable. Abdul is the man of the boat. He takes care of all your needs and is service oriented per se. This guy knows how to make your stay unforgetable. The chef is serving local cuisine-it is like you eat at a friends home. The owner is a passionated professional with a good local network. The man who paddels the boat is friendly and was always on time to cross the beautiful lake Dal. We visited several sites from our boat, the moghul gardens, old town, tempel, mosks at beautiful sites. The evenings were on the veranda with a nice busy view with boats on the lake. You can buy fresh fruits, handcrafts, flowers, ice cream etc on all different kind of boats.
We highly recommend the Bostan Gulistan Housboat.