You may have gifted your parents the latest gadgets or clothes or even a car, but if you’re looking for a unique gift for them this year, think of gifting them a holiday—an experience they will cherish forever. Here is our pick of top five holiday experiences to choose from.
A Houseboat Stay in Alleppey
If you’re looking to gift an authentic Kerala holiday to your parents, book a day-and-night’s stay in a ‘kettuvallam’, a traditional rice boat that cruises through the backwaters of ‘God’s own country’. Crafted with a strong steel structure and natural materials that make the houseboats steady and safe, these also have living rooms, air-conditioned bedrooms and kitchens that feel like a home on a lake. As they cruise through the Vembanadu Lake, the longest backwater stretch, or through the canals that run between island villages—they will not only enjoy the bustling village life but also the scenic backwaters. Book the houseboat stay in advance with a reliable boat operator and surprise your parents with a holiday they won’t forget in a hurry.
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Royal Living in a Haveli in Udaipur
Rajasthan conjures up images of kings and queens, of magnificent forts and palaces, of a culture that’s vibrant and enchanting, and of history that one wishes to step into right away to enjoy it first-hand. The best way to have your parents sample this royalty is to have them live in one of those restored Shekhawati havelis that once belonged to a landlord in the bygone era. On the lines of a boutique hotel, these architecturally-rich havelis are decorated with 18th century furniture, hand-painted murals, intricate crystal chandeliers, teak wood doors, and ornate stonework. Personal service by turbaned staff and conversations with the owners who live in a part of the haveli, makes this experience even more authentic. Giving your folks a taste of the lavish lifestyle that the landlords of yore enjoyed, a stay in a haveli also includes traditional meals of Dal Baati Churma and live puppet shows. Now that’s a rather royal gift!
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A Quaint Farm-stay at Coonoor
With lush green meadows, pine groves and beautiful gardens and orchards, the quaint farms in Coonoor offer a home-like stay with the unique opportunity of enjoying life on a farm. Right from living in a rustic cottage with wild flowers growing all around to helping the owners milk their cows or tend to their organic vegetable garden, to even learning how to make your own cheese and cook authentic Nilgiri fare—a farm-stay in Coonoor is filled with all those things that make your days languorous and precious. You also get a chance to spot wild animals like bison, leopards and deer who wander into the farm. If your parents crave a leisurely life, a farm-stay at Coonoor might just be what they are looking for.
Beach-side Resort Experience at Havelock
What better way to enjoy Andamans than to live in an old-world but comfortable thatched cottage by the turquoise sea on the Havelock Island? Add to that a scenic landscape featuring sugar-white beaches, lush lagoons and verdant forests, and you’ve got a beach holiday that your parents will savour the rest of their lives. Book a stay for your parents in one of the many eco-friendly boutique beach resorts that offer modern amenities, breath-taking views of the oceans around, and a plethora of activities like nature-walks, kayaking and snorkelling.
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A Serene Stay at a Coffee Plantation in Coorg
If your parents are coffee aficionados or enjoy the tranquil life found only in places away from the hustle and bustle of urban areas, then a gift of a plantation stay is likely to please them immensely. There are several authentic coffee-plantation stays to choose from, where you can see the bean-to-cup journey of coffee, lend a hand at the rice paddy farms and enjoy an organic way of life that’s all about soaking in the beauty of the place and relishing a slower pace of life. With coffee estates scattered through Kodagu, quaint little villages to pass through, paddy and maize fields lending the landscape a lush shade of green, and bubbling streams and gurgling waterfalls adding to the natural beauty of the place—a holiday in Coorg thoroughly soothes one’s soul. And if your parents are the adventurous kind, then throw in a white water rafting experience to complete their Coorg experience.
So where are you packing them off to this month?