If you are remotely thinking of going to a houseboat in Dal lake, I would actively dissuade you and ask you to look at Nigeen lake as an alternative.
The Khilona houseboat is the new kid on the block, with a brand new boat, that still smells of fresh wood.
Very very artistically done and comfortable. The fixtures and fittings are all premium and have a very exquisite look to them. This should be your first option, if you plan to stay in a houseboat.
The proprietor is a relaxed gentleman, who is well educated and travelled. He appreciates different perspectives and makes up for a great conversation.
The staff is courteous and will go the extra mile, if tipped well.
1. Be prepared with alternatives for meals. There are quite a few eateries, just a free boat ride away.
2. Indicate requirement for a shikara(boat) to cross the lake, much ahead than requirement, to ensure you don't get late.
3. Take a multi-pin adaptor, there is a shortage of plug points.
4. The place CANNOT be enjoyed, if you only plan to stay overnight. at least stay for a couple of days, to enjoy the entire cycle of sunlight and stars. For overnight trips, houseboats or not, make no difference.
Awesome awesome Royal great....mind blowing.....no words can describe experience there......just stay here only...don't come back....Mr. Gulfam is very very nice and humble person may Allah bless him. Amin. I would love to go again at khilona.
Very cosy atmosphere and excellent food served in the warmth of the stylish living room. I stayed there for 10 days and I missed nothing. The rooms are big enough for three people, with cupboards and wall to wall carpets. Living and Dining rooms are quiet and offer the luxury of the olden times.
This is my second visit to Kashmir and Khilona, thanks to make my sweet memories very beautiful in Srinagar Visit.
Staying as a guest at Khilona Houboat is a life time experience. One of the beautiful place to stay in Srinagar. Thanks to owner Ghulam Uncle for taking care of guest and hospitality; they took personal interest to make my stay comfortable
Location:- Nigeen Lake - Away from the crowded Dal Lake, A magnificent view of Himalaya ranges.
Rooms: Interior is very good, clean, comfortable and spacious.
Food: Awesome. Different Varieties.
Good People, Delicious food and awesome accommodation !!!!! strongly recommend this place
We had an excellent stay at Wangnoo Paradise boathouse on Nageen Lake for 5 nights in mid-September, an year after big Srinagar flood of 2014. Wangnoo Paradise is run by a quite and decent Hindi, English, French, and German speaking gentleman Mr. Ghulam Wangnoo, a fourth generation boathouse owner, while other Wangnoo boathouses are run by extended Wangnoo family.
We wanted to stay on Nageen Lake because we had heard Dal Lake boathouses were crowded in a location bit away from the central lake location. We chose Mr. Ghulam's Wangnoo Paradise based on pictures of the boathouse interior and reviews of other folks. Both were probably best decisions we made for the trip to Srinagar. With wonderfully spacious relaxing room, dining room, bedrooms, walnut furniture, carpeting, clean dry bathrooms, and wifi, Wangnoo Paradise is located on the western side of Nageen Lake with a beautiful view of the entire lake and the Srinagar Mountains with spectacular sunrises, surrounded by water lilies, duck chicks, which dive underwater for what seems to be eternity, and ducks. Wangnoo Paradise is served by shikara from Dock 1 near Nageen Park on the east side of Nageen Lake.
Unfortunately as you cannot get rental cars, we didn't have transportation to the usual touristy spots close to Srinagar. Mr. Ghulam arranged for it with a pleasant and careful driver, who spoke Hindi and English. Please find out the rates and bargain before you do anything at the tourist spots as they are government sanctioned swindle fests. The weather was very good and there was little dirt snow/ice on the mountains - September in Srinagar is probably not a good idea if you want snow. But it was beautiful for horseback ridding, hiking or multi-day trekking trips with a light rain jacket and running shoes.
We recommend you stay at Wangnoo Paradise boathouse when you visit Srinagar and enjoy your conversations with Mr. Ghulam about his trips to Europe. If you are in the market for the famous authentic Pashminas stoles/scarfs, ask Mr. Ghulam about them as he works with local weavers to produce high quality Pashminas and wool products for his stores. And don't forget to ask for pakora and Khasmiri Kahwa for the relaxed evening on the boathouse before you take off for the spectacular sunset shikara rid on Nageen and Dal lakes.