Dil Aram Guest House || A reasonably priced, well-located, comfortable home stay in Nishat, Srinagar, Kashmir

When we planned for a trip to Kashmir in April 2022, we initially booked a room in the Heritage Group of Houseboats for all the 4 nights. Our room was upgraded to a suite by booking.com and we were delighted. We called the houseboat to check that our booking was confirmed. We did this because of past experiences with some properties where they claim to be unaware of the booking once you arrive there. This happened to us in Thailand, so we thought it would be good to check. The Houseboat person confirmed our booking on phone.

When we planned for a trip to Kashmir in April 2022, we initially booked a room in the Heritage Group of Houseboats for all the 4 nights. Our room was upgraded to a suite by booking.com and we were delighted. We called the houseboat to check that our booking was confirmed. We did this because of past experiences with some properties where they claim to be unaware of the booking once you arrive there. This happened to us in Thailand, so we thought it would be good to check. The Houseboat person confirmed our booking on phone. 


However, just 4 days before our trip, we received a message from Booking.com that the property had cancelled our booking. It was very disconcerting because we were not sure if we would be able to find a reasonable stay option in such a short time. We searched and Dil Aram Guest House turned up. It was quite reasonable, just INR4,500/- for 4 nights as opposed to INR12,500 for the houseboat. The reviews and photographs of the property looked promising. So we booked our stay. We felt that in worst case, if the property wasn't good, we would move somewhere else.


However, just 4 days before our trip, we received a message from Booking.com that the property had cancelled our booking. It was very disconcerting because we were not sure if we would be able to find a reasonable stay option in such a short time. We searched and Dil Aram Guest House turned up. It was quite reasonable, just INR4,500/- for 4 nights as opposed to INR12,500 for the houseboat. The reviews and photographs of the property looked promising. So we booked our stay. We felt that in worst case, if the property wasn't good, we would move somewhere else. 


To be honest, we were almost relieved that we would not be staying in the houseboat, for several reasons. First, the person at the Heritage Group of Houseboats hadn't exactly sounded warm and welcoming. In contrast, Mr. Musktaq, the person who had answered the phone at Dil Aram, had assured us that we would be comfortable and welcome at his property. Second, we had heard from some people who had visited Kashmir recently that many of the houseboats weren't so well-maintained and there's foul smell because they are moored in stagnant water.


To be honest, we were almost relieved that we would not be staying in the houseboat, for several reasons. First, the person at the Heritage Group of Houseboats hadn't exactly sounded warm and welcoming. In contrast, Mr. Musktaq, the person who had answered the phone at Dil Aram, had assured us that we would be comfortable and welcome at his property. Second, we had heard from some people who had visited Kashmir recently that many of the houseboats weren't so well-maintained and there's foul smell because they are moored in stagnant water. 


Third reason was that many houseboats are away from the road, as was the case with the houseboat that we had booked, and one would have to rely on Shikara owners to transport you to and from the houseboat, so mobility would probably be restricted. And just a few days before our booking was cancelled, several houseboats on the Nigeen lake caught fire and were burnt to ashes.     About the second and third point, we cannot comment if these are indeed big issues. If we had been able to stay at the houseboat, we would probably have been able to dispel the rumours, if they are indeed rumours.     Anyway, coming back to Dil Aram Guest House, we called the property as soon as we landed in Srinagar. Our taxi driver had suggested that we first explore Srinagar and then go to our guest house. So we wanted to inform about the late check-in. Once again, Mr Mushtaq was very polite and accommodating. We reached in the evening and realized that the guest house is located in a very nice and posh colony with pretty streets and huge bungalows.


Third reason was that many houseboats are away from the road, as was the case with the houseboat that we had booked, and one would have to rely on Shikara owners to transport you to and from the houseboat, so mobility would probably be restricted. And just a few days before our booking was cancelled, several houseboats on the Nigeen lake caught fire and were burnt to ashes. 


About the second and third point, we cannot comment if these are indeed big issues. If we had been able to stay at the houseboat, we would probably have been able to dispel the rumours, if they are indeed rumours. 


Anyway, coming back to Dil Aram Guest House, we called the property as soon as we landed in Srinagar. Our taxi driver had suggested that we first explore Srinagar and then go to our guest house. So we wanted to inform about the late check-in. Once again, Mr Mushtaq was very polite and accommodating. We reached in the evening and realized that the guest house is located in a very nice and posh colony with pretty streets and huge bungalows. 


Mr Mushtaq turned out to be the owner of the place and he greeted us warmly, offered us tea and snacks. We ordered two cups of chai because we were very tired by then. However, re-energized by the tea, we kept our luggage in our room and headed out to explore a small group of shops a few 100 meters from the homestay. This market has grocery shops, one pharmacy, few fruit and vegetable vendors and a very cute bakery shop. We bought some breads, cookies, and Bakirkhani, which is a type of Kashmiri bread that is usually consumed with Kashmiri namkeen chai. And there are also a couple of shacks that sell freshly made samose and jalebis. We had these a couple of times.

Mr Mushtaq turned out to be the owner of the place and he greeted us warmly, offered us tea and snacks. We ordered two cups of chai because we were very tired by then. However, re-energized by the tea, we kept our luggage in our room and headed out to explore a small group of shops a few 100 meters from the homestay. This market has grocery shops, one pharmacy, few fruit and vegetable vendors and a very cute bakery shop. We bought some breads, cookies, and Bakirkhani, which is a type of Kashmiri bread that is usually consumed with Kashmiri namkeen chai. And there are also a couple of shacks that sell freshly made samose and jalebis. We had these a couple of times.     

Anyway, the reason, I mention this is that you only need to walk a few meters to have access to the supplies you need. And Dal lake as well is a walking distance from Dil Aram Guest House. So you don't need to rely on cabs etc if you want to roam around in the evenings. We often did that.     The host at Dil Aram, Mr Mushtaq, is an experienced Guest House administrator. Before him, his father used to run Dil Aram Guest House, so it runs in the family. We had dinner at the property a couple of times and vegetarian at both the occasions. It was very tasty. Mr Mushtaq's wife is a sweet lady who told us that she cooks the food with a lot of love. We did feel that love when we had the daal and sabzi that she had prepared. Their helper Mr. Zahur too is very helpful and someone who was always quick to warn us if he felt that they had made the tea sweeter than we preferred. The tea was always good though, so we never really had anything to complain about regarding food.

Anyway, the reason, I mention this is that you only need to walk a few meters to have access to the supplies you need. And Dal lake as well is a walking distance from Dil Aram Guest House. So you don't need to rely on cabs etc if you want to roam around in the evenings. We often did that. 


The host at Dil Aram, Mr Mushtaq, is an experienced Guest House administrator. Before him, his father used to run Dil Aram Guest House, so it runs in the family. We had dinner at the property a couple of times and vegetarian at both the occasions. It was very tasty. Mr Mushtaq's wife is a sweet lady who told us that she cooks the food with a lot of love. We did feel that love when we had the daal and sabzi that she had prepared. Their helper Mr. Zahur too is very helpful and someone who was always quick to warn us if he felt that they had made the tea sweeter than we preferred. The tea was always good though, so we never really had anything to complain about regarding food. 

We had a room at the ground floor and it was quite big and spacious with comfortable furniture and lots of natural light. All the rooms in the property, including the hall, have wall to wall carpeting and are very cozy that way. They also have a big lawn in front where you can sit and sun yourself if you happen to feel cold. They have free parking at the property and wifi. While we were there, we met a couple who had been staying there for a few weeks and had been working from there. It sounded like such a brilliant idea.

We had a room at the ground floor and it was quite big and spacious with comfortable furniture and lots of natural light. All the rooms in the property, including the hall, have wall to wall carpeting and are very cozy that way. They also have a big lawn in front where you can sit and sun yourself if you happen to feel cold. They have free parking at the property and wifi. While we were there, we met a couple who had been staying there for a few weeks and had been working from there. It sounded like such a brilliant idea. 

If you are headed to Srinagar and aren't too keen to stay on a houseboat, we would highly recommend Dil Aram Guest House. However, do make sure you carry your toiletries, because the guest house doesn't provide soaps, towels etc. We always make it a point to carry these things with us.   Overall, we were very happy with our stay at Dil Aram Guest House. We rate the guest house:  5 stars for location 5 stars for hospitality 4 stars for tidiness 5 stars for value for money 4 stars for amenities.

If you are headed to Srinagar and aren't too keen to stay on a houseboat, we would highly recommend Dil Aram Guest House. However, do make sure you carry your toiletries, because the guest house doesn't provide soaps, towels etc. We always make it a point to carry these things with us. 

Overall, we were very happy with our stay at Dil Aram Guest House. We rate the guest house:

5 stars for location
5 stars for hospitality
4 stars for tidiness
5 stars for value for money
4 stars for amenities. 

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