8 Amazing Reason to Choose a Homestay in Delhi for a More Authentic Travel Experience
There’s no faster way to connect with a new culture than by staying with a local family. If you find you don’t have friends or family who live in Delhi, the next best thing is a homestay.
Visiting India for the first time can be overwhelming. It’s a big country, and I wanted to start my experience in Delhi, India with an authentic travel experience. What is more authentic than booking a room at a homestay with a local family’s house? I also quickly found this is the best way to discover a destination.
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I visited Delhi for the first time and after lots of time researching hotels, I came across a great article from travel blogger and India expert Mariellen Ward from BreathDreamGo.com about homestays in Delhi and instantly became intrigued.
I began researching homestays and quickly realized this would be a great option for me, as a female solo traveler heading to Delhi for the first time.
If you want a unique local experience, a homestay is the way to go!
What is a Homestay?
A homestay is part of someone’s home that has been converted into a hotel. It’s similar to a bed and breakfast (B&B), but with a homestay, you are staying with the family who owns the home. Whereas, at a bed and breakfast, it may be the homeowner or might be an employee running the hotel. Also at a B&B the person who owns the home doesn’t always live in the B&B.
I stayed at Prakash Kutir, a homestay owned by the Gupta family during my time in Delhi.
Top 8 Reasons to Choose a Homestay in Delhi instead of a Hotel
1. Living with locals
For first-time travelers to India or any foreign country or destination you haven’v visited, a homestay will feel less intimidating than a large impersonal hotel. The family members will most likely have more time to chat with you than the front desk person at a hostel or hotel. Homes are often not in the ‘touristy’ areas, so you get insight into how people really live in that particular town.
2. Authentic Home-cooked Meals
One of the best parts about staying in a homestay is the delicious home-cooked food. It allows you to understand local cuisine and even learn what goes into the preparation. You might even leave with a handful of recipes.
3. Kitchen Access
Many homestays allow access to the kitchen or have a kitchen for guests. This is a great way to save money and not need to each at restaurants for every meal.
4. Local Expert at your Finger Tips
You can’t put a price on having a local share their insider information about the best restaurants and places to visit. Not only can they share this, but also transportation advice, best times of day to visit places and so much more. During my stay at Prakash Kutir, the family not only share
5. Improve your Language Skills
If you plan to visit for an extended period, a homestay is a great way to learn or practice another language. What better way to do this than staying in a local’s house when you travel? Or if you’re a student attending a language school in another country, stay in a homestay, and you’ll get to speak the language every day with your host family.
6. Learn About the Local Cultures and Customs
When I stayed at Prakash Kutir and the family was getting ready for a wedding. I got to learn about the customs of marriage in India and each day they shared the beautiful gifts they were purchasing for their soon-to-be daughter-in-law as well as the gorgeous bangles they had purchased for the mother. This is just one small example of how you can learn about local culture.
7. Homestays Generate Income for Locals
Not only are you helping the owners of the homestay, but you are much more likely to visit neighborhood restaurants and shops.
8. Lifelong Bond with Your Hosts
I can’t wait to return to Delhi and bring my husband and son. I truly feel like I’d be heading back to visit friends.
What Type of Traveler Should Choose a Homestay in Delhi
- First-Time Visitors to Delhi
- Solo Female Travelers to Delhi
They’re the safest options for solo women travelers.
- Students Attending a Language School
You’ll get to speak the language every day with your host family.
- If you are Moving to Delhi
Stay in a homestay for the first month or two and you’ll have met some local people who will quickly help you to feel more comfortable and secure in your new destination.
- Short-term Job Placement
There were several people staying at Prakash Kutir B&B who were on a short-term job assignment in Delhi. How wonderful to have a home rather than a hotel at the end of the day (not to mention home-cooked meals).
Prakash Kutir in Delhi
Prakash Kutir translates to “A Home of Light” and honors the ancient Hindu tradition of ushering in the Sun Lord as you wake up.
Ajay and Savita have ancestral lines that date back more than 200+ years in Delhi, India. So, it’s fair to say you might have a hard time finding a family that is more locally knowledgeable. The Gupta’s turned their family home into a bed-and-breakfast homestay by building two additional floors above their bungalow in anticipation of the 2010 Commonwealth Games ( XIX Commonwealth Games).
Today, Prakash Kutir is considered one of the best homestays in Delhi and is accredited with the Delhi Tourism Board. Not all homestays in Delhi have a proper license and this is very important when choosing a homestay or B&B.
What to Look for With a Delhi Homestay
- A proper license with the Tourism Board
- Good reviews on TripAdvisor
- Up to date website with contact information
You’ll find on the Prakash Kutir website they call themselves a bed and breakfast as well as a homestay. For me, Prakash Kutir is exactly what I imagined for a homestay. The Kurtir family lives on the main level of the house and they built two additional floors that offer seven rooms with private attached bathrooms.
You can book an individual room or an apartment. The apartment is a furnished three-bedroom space with a dining room, lobby and fully equipped kitchen. The apartment includes linens, kitchenware, and bath essentials as well as high-speed wifi and LCD TV with cable connection. There are four private rooms that are all very spacious and decorated with handcrafted wood furniture and all have en suite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, TVs and balconies.
Breakfast is included and it’s a deliciously prepared vegetarian Indian dish. What I loved most, was the variety. Each morning I enjoyed a different Indian dish. If you are lucky– and I was– you might enjoy a wonderful home-cooked dinner with the family.
There are many areas in the home that are communal areas such as a shared kitchen, lounge area, and a wonderful outdoor balcony.
Prakash Kutir was everything I was hoping for with my first homestay and my first trip to Delhi. I can’t wait to return and explore more of Incredible India!
- Prakash Kutir
- Prakash Kutir on Facebook
- Prakash Kutir on Twitter
What to Pack for a Trip to Delhi
- Get the Eyewitness Travel Delhi: Places to Visit in Delhi
- Bring a good quality mirrorless camera for getting those beautiful photos of Delhi’s historical treasures. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- Tummy issues can happen, so it’s best to bring DiaResQ, Travelan and Imodium.
- You’ll need an adapter. I bought the Ceptics USA to India Travel Adapter Plug from Amazon. I picked up a 3-pack for $9.99.
Pin it for Later!
Read More About India
- How to Prepare for Travel to India for the First Time
- 10 Reasons To Visit India During Monsoon Season
- 52 Tips for Traveling to Northern India
- Delhi Day Tour Visiting the Most Important Historical Landmarks
- Best Things To Do In Kerala, India
A huge thank you to Gupta family for hosting me during my stay at Prakash Kutir for their generous hospitality. As always, all opinions are our own.
Thinking about visiting Delhi or trying a homestay? Ask your questions in the comments below!
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Alexa, I’ve stayed with families in Thailand and I’ll be doing something similar in Sydney next month. Didn’t realize you were born in Paris.
Yep, born in Paris. Lived there less than a year though. So glad you’ve done homestays as well. Have a great time in Sydney.
I would be so nervous about doing a home stay. What if we don’t get on or the language barrier is too tricky?! Still I think it is the BEST way of getting a truly authentic experience.
This homestay, I had my own private room and it’s really breakfast where you spend most of the time with the family. You can really spend as much or as little time as you want with the family. Although, it’s what made it so special for me!
That looks like it was an amazing trip. I am not sure how I feel about India right now though with the problems they have in enforcing laws on sexual assault. I mean when they had to create separate train cars for women, to prevent assaults on trains, it seems pretty bad.
I wrote a piece about it abut a year ago.
I did take a train while I was in India and felt safe. To be honest I don’t know much about the problems with sexual assault, but will do some more research.
Didn’t even know that’s an option!
It’s a great way to experience a new country. Hope you think about giving it a try!
I have never tried a homestay, but it sounds really great. I love the idea of immersing oneself with the locals.
It would be fun for your kids too!
This place looks amazing! I’ve never thought of doing homestays but will definitely keep this in mind for future trips 🙂
Hope you think about giving it a try!
Just the act of staying in a homestay could qualify as a tour. Discovering cultures is a large reason that I travel.
Although I travel a lot around India, I’ve never tried a homestay. Perhaps I should see what it’s like in one of my upcoming journeys. And yes, I’ve read about this one on Mariellen’s blog. Those kettles on the wall are unmistakable 🙂
I spent five years living in India and think home stays are a great way of seeing the country and meeting people. Good one!