Winter vacation 2020: Here’s everything you need to know to be prepared for your trip to the igloos!
Manali’s Igloo resort: Eskimo experience awaits you this winter! Now is the time to do away with the stress of this eventful year and get some much-needed relaxation. And what better place to enjoy vacations than the laps of the mighty Himalayas. Close to Himachal Pradesh’s Manali is the Hamta valley, where every year, Vikas Kumar of Keylinga Himalayan Adventures with his team of five others builds five igloos to host tourists in winters. This year also, Vikas has his igloo hotel now ready to entertain his guests, offering them unique experiences of the eskimo life. Here’s everything you need to know to be prepared for your trip to the igloos!
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Price of stay
The Manali Igloo hotel offers day activities at the igloo site and also allows for night stay. During the day visit, the tourists would be able to get experience of several adventure activities like skiing, sledging and rubber tube sliding. For overnight experiences, visitors get to stay for one night two days or two nights and three days. In both these packages, the stay at the igloo site is for one night only. The igloo stay is spanned across 24 hours and includes adventurous activities, bonfire, night stay and all the meals. On the other hand, the package for two nights includes one night’s stay at the base hotel in Manali and local sightseeing, and the other night at the igloo site.
“One day at the igloo site is enough to enjoy all that we offer. There is nothing more that tourists would get from staying another night. However, sometimes they do wish to stay there for an extra night, in which case there is additional charge, so it can be accommodated, but we did not make a package for it because there is nothing else we offer on a second day at the site. That is why we have added price-inclusive local sightseeing of Manali at the base hotel,” Vikas explained in an interaction with Financial Express Online’s Bulbul Dhawan.
The day trip to the igloo site would cost Rs 1,500 per head for adults and Rs 1,200 per head for children not below 6 years old. Meanwhile, a one night two day package at the igloo site costs Rs 5,500 per person on a double-sharing basis. This includes the cost for all the activities and food and beverages at the site. Two nights three days package, with one night at the base hotel and one night at the igloo site, would cost Rs 7,699 per person on a double-sharing basis. This would include a breakfast and a dinner at the base hotel, pick up from and drop to the Manali bus station, half a day of local sightseeing in Manali, all meals and beverages at the igloo site and all the activities at the igloo campsite.
In case of families with two children going to visit, the hotel offers a 50% discount on the charges for children.
Facilities at the Manali igloo hotel
At the igloo site, the tourists staying for the night are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with unlimited tea or coffee. Since the food is cooked at the campsite, which has to be reached by a kachcha path, the food is kept simple and light, and the menu is fixed.
The lunch is vegetarian and the tourists are treated to “pure pahadi kadhi chawal”. On the other hand, tourists can get vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food for dinner, which typically includes a paneer dish, a chicken dish, chapati as well as rice. Lunch is served around 1:30pm, while dinner time is around 9:30pm.
Apart from that, a generator at the site provides electricity to the tourists, and it is switched off at 11pm every night.
Currently, temperature in Manali is reaching -4 degrees at around 8:30pm, and this can dip to -10 degrees after midnight. Thus, to keep tourists warm, Vikas and his team provide people with sleeping bags having inner fleece. These bags are effective even in temperatures as low as -30 degrees. However, tourists should note that sleeping bags, though very warm, can be uncomfortable because of the lack of space to move around.
Apart from that, tourists also get a hot water bottle that can be very effective in warding off the cold. Moreover, the walls of the igloo are kept 1.5 foot thick, which increases the temperature inside the igloo by 7-8 degrees, because snow is a great insulator.
Things to keep in mind before heading to Manali igloo stay
Aside from highly warm clothes, Financial Express Online asked Vikas what else tourists should keep in mind before heading to the site.
“The first thing I would say is physical fitness. The path from the base hotel to the igloo site is a kachcha path, and we can only go by a 4×4 vehicle. Sometimes, we might have to go by foot as well. In such a situation, it can be hard for our team to take care of all the tourists. Thus tourists should be physically fit. We advise overweight people to not come to the site because walking in snow is hard and if they are unable to maintain their balance, it can lead to problems. Apart from that, children below the age of 6 years are not allowed,” Vikas said.
Mental preparedness and woollens
“People also need to be prepared mentally and remember that the place they are planning to visit is going to be extremely cold. I have seen people coming to Manali in sandals and a simple T-shirt and then shivering and regretting their decisions. Even we, who are so used to this temperature, wear four layers of clothing, but tourists forget and they come with bare minimum clothing. If people are not prepared for the winter, it can cause severe health issues,” Vikas advised.
He added, “While snow suit and snow boots can be rented here, people must carry some woollens with them, including gloves and socks.”
Dry clothes at all times
“It is also very important that people keep themselves dry at all times. If any clothes have got wet, they must immediately go and change, because there are very high chances of pneumonia,” Vikas said.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the possibility of frostbite. If a tourist’s socks get wet and they continue to sit in the cold without changing them, they can get frostbite. “I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to keep all the clothes dry at all times is,” Vikas asserted. Tourists must also ensure that their shoes are waterproof.
Protection from bright Sun
Apart from that, due to the snow, the Sunlight is reflected and it becomes very bright. In such a situation, even the natives wear sunglasses. “People must bring good quality sunglasses with them, and also bring caps. Moreover, people in the cities do not get much exposure to the Sun. Here, due to so much reflection, the UV rays can be really harmful. They can burn the skin, so carrying sunscreen is very important,” he added.
Keeping these simple things in mind will make you ready to head to a vacation to remember for life. So this winter, head to Manali’s igloo hotel to have the time of your life!