Jaipur. You’ve probably been there. You’ve probably been there more than once. But there is now a new home stay facility that you might want to check out next time you are in the Pink City. It’s called the Jaipur Pride. They don’t welcome you with the regular marigold petals or follow the bed-and-breakfast grind. Instead, the unique selling proposition here is the symbiotic relationship between the host and the hosted towards weaving memories of pride for the past gone by in Rajasthan.
“It is an innovation in the lodging industry, imparting and sharing knowledge, imbibing a sense of pride among the home owners, creating benefits, additional employment, and above all, contributing towards the tourism growth of the country” states Apurv Kumar, executive director of UP Hotels and pioneer of the Jaipur Pride home stay concept. Started two years ago, it is now one of the world’s largest branded home stays.
“It’s better than staying in a hotel” says Kim young Jin, a Korean visiting Cosy Home, which is run by an ex-banker Mahesh Tikku and his family. After a hearty Indian supper, the Korean family retires into the homely comfort of the neat and spacious rooms at Cosy Home. “Living and spending time in an Indian home is the best way to see India. We had exchange seminars to learn more on treating and dealing with guests even if language would be a barrier,” explains Tikku. Specifics like the size of the room, lighting, facilities, food, sanitation and accessories are the other issues that are also to be addressed.
These home stays have three categories — home, deluxe and luxury. The tariffs ranging from Rs 2,000-5,000 are inclusive of breakfast and the costs are reasonable for other facilities like laundry, internet, phones and heaters. There is also a call-home facility for massages, tailors and anything possible within the vicinity of the homes.
“It is great to be having people from all parts of the world, sitting with them over a barbecue or a bon fire and knowing about each other and our cultures and countries,” states Candy Singh, owner of the Sriniwas Country Home. This country home is an enchanting structure in a village in suburban Jaipur, away from the chaotic cacophony of the city. It has the stamp of royalty, harking back to the Raj era. The furniture, wall hangings and even the old photographs complement the look further. “Many visitors opt