Getting married in the high mountains is a magical experience where it seems as though nature’s remarkable wonders – from the snow-capped peaks and gently flowing rivers to forests of pine, oak as well as deodar – are also part of the celebrations. The views and backdrops from a hill station, whether in Kashmir or Kodaikanal, are almost always unparalleled. Little wonder then that hill station weddings continue to be popular with couples who want a blend of serenity with sensational vistas.
Some of India’s leading wedding planners share their recommendations for hill stations hotels in different locations across India that are guaranteed to add a magical and memorable vibe to any wedding hosted there.
“The landscapes of Mussoorie which encouraged the imagination of one of the most popular authors of all times, Ruskin Bond, makes for an ideal backdrop for an inspiring wedding. A popular tourist destination, the town offers an extensive inventory of rooms, of which 115 can be found at the JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa. The hotel has great outdoor venues as well as a grand ballroom that creates a lively ambiance for celebrations that can include up to 350 guests. Jaypee Residency Manor, also in Mussoorie, also makes for a noteworthy luxury property with a 134 key capacity.” – Varun Dua of Evolve Weddings
JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy – Mazda Studios
Jaypee Residency Manor
“Most people in Mumbai and Pune need only an excuse to visit Mahabaleshwar, and a wedding is definitely an excuse enough! Located in the Western Ghats, the Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa is surrounded by 27-acres of pristine evergreen forests, making it a breathtaking escape that is easily accessible from two major cities. The hotel’s lawns can accommodate anywhere between 100 to 400 guests at a time, and for smaller functions they even have a few charming indoor venues to choose from.” – Kaival Patel of Absolute Events
Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa
“A place of utter calm and spiritual resonance, Rishikesh in Uttarakhand is a wonderful place to welcome new beginnings. A property that blends the pristine natural beauty of this region with unparalleled luxury is the Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa. The hotel has meadowed terraces and alfresco dining outlets which can be converted into event spaces. However, the highlight here remains their Pebble Beach where the hotel organizes the Ganga Aarti every evening, which makes for a magical setting for auspicious occasions such as the pheras.” – Kanika Kumria of Kaleerein By Kanika Kumria
Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa
“Shimla is easily one of the prettiest hill stations that India has to offer, so it is no surprise that it was a preferred summer destination of the British. For couples who would like to witness Shimla through a colonial lens, a wedding at The Oberoi Cecil will give them just that. This heritage hotel that was extremely popular during the days of the Raj, is perfect for intimate celebrations. With its teakwood interiors and opulent chandeliers, the property extends a distinctive old-school ambiance and offers wonderful views of the high peaks and lush valleys that it overlooks.
Another absolutely mesmerizing property within this district is the Taj Theog Resort & Spa. Arising from the edge of the mountains, the hotel overlooks the Churdhar, which is the highest peak of the outer Himalayas. The interiors are all about bringing provincial charm and modernity on the same page. With tall French, rich drapes and choicely selection of artifacts, the property creates the perfect hillside atmosphere.” – Shweta Acharya of Baraati Inc
The Oberoi Cecil
Taj Theog Resort & Spa
“The mighty Himalayas have the power to leave one awestruck and for those who are captivated by its beauty, there can be no property better than The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa in Gulmarg to tie the knot. It is a retreat that needs no introduction and embraces the state’s heritage architecture which gives it a distinctive personality. The views from here are splendid and the facilities quite fantastic. The property houses 84 rooms and suites, along with a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, the largest of which can hold approximately 800 people.” – Shankar Ganesh of Ahan Destination Management
The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa
A hill station property that truly allows one to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city life is the WelcomHotel Pine n Peak. It is situated on a plateau that cuts it away from the happenings of the town and offers guests memorable stays steeped in serenity and luxury. The 66 rooms and cottages capture the essence of Kashmir through the local artifacts and handicraft that adorns the interiors. This, however, is a hotel for an intimate wedding as event spaces are ideal for around 100 people only, but it comes with a promise of an unforgettable celebration.
WelcomHotel Pine n Peak
“In India, we have plenty of hill station properties, but there are few which have a definitively distinctive character, and the Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa, Coorg, is certainly one of them. Hidden within a 180-acre rainforest, the retreat creates a setting that feels one with the nature around it, and adds a magical vibe to its environs. Its rooms and villas spell pure luxury and romance, and the events spaces overlook lush panoramas. This indeed is a property that will etch the wedding in the memories of the guests. The Evolve Back, Coorg, too, is a great hotel for nature lovers who may be looking for other options.” Poonam Mayank Sharma of Poonam Mayank Sharma
Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa
The Evolve Back
“A location that brings together the best of hills and heritage is the Savoy, Ooty – IHCL SeleQtions. The 200-year-old property borrows its endearing charm from the heyday of the British and seamlessly blends Victorian aesthetic with modern amenities. The hotel’s 40 rooms and suites have distinctive personalities, and their event spaces are designed to add to the elegance of any soiree. While their largest venue can accommodate up to 850 people at a time, the smallest’s seating capacity is for 80 guests which makes it an ideal for both grand and intimate weddings alike.” – Poonish Navlani of eLaR Entertainment
Savoy, Ooty – IHCL SeleQtions
“There are some hill stations in India that are extremely popular and see a large number of visitors, and then there are some quieter gems such as Kodaikanal. This is certainly not one of the first few names that come to one’s minds for weddings, yet it captivates with its endless beauty. Couples who wish to wed at a location that is a little offbeat will find several properties across categories here. Built in the mid 19th century, The Tamara Kodai houses 53 suites and banqueting spaces that can host up to 200 people at a time. This is a property that provides luxury and heritage like no other.
Great Trails Kodaikanal by GRT Hotels, Sterling Kodai Valley, and Sterling Kodai Lake are a few other properties in the region that definitely deserve a mention.” – Amit Gutgutia of Floral Hut
The Tamara Kodai houses
Great Trails Kodaikanal by GRT Hotels
Sterling Kodai Valley
Sterling Kodai Lake
“A relatively unexplored location, Shillim offers untouched natural beauty, and to experience this region in utmost luxury there can be no better place than the Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa. Nestled in the green hillscapes of Maharashtra, this resort offers world-class luxuries and a wonderful setting for an Indian wedding that is defined by sophistication. The property houses a great mix of indoor and outdoor venues that can accommodate a little over 250 people in order to create the most romantic ambiance for an intimate celebration. What really stands out about their venues besides the splendid views, is just how versatile they all are. The spaces make for a fitting canvas for a number of decor themes ranging from classic to quirky, giving each couple a chance to experiment with different styles and truly make their wedding their own.” – Aashna Singh of Aash Studio
Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa