Dhanaulti With Zero Stay

Friday has its own excitement. It brings a unique fervor which makes us head to work. Because when we come back there is weekend waiting for us. At work also everyone is clad in bright casuals and it’s hard to miss the excitement of weekend on everyone’s face. The excitement grows by leaps and bounds when a travel plan shakes hands with Friday. Something like this happened to me one fine Friday. My leisure Friday evening plans went for a loss and I was packing for Dhanaulti instead. No complaints whatsoever. I like when travel wins over all other uncertainties.


With time I have become pro in packing. While a lot of people don’t enjoy the drill I absolutely love it. It took me less than two hours to get the gears ready. This sudden travel plan was courtesy my flat mate and her office colleagues. I had met all of them before at a party so I knew what faces to expect. In no time the tempo traveler was there and we all hopped in for the night long road trip. Apart from the unplanned road trip and the crazy bunch of people the most interesting aspect was out stay at Dhanaulti. We were going to put up at a place called Zero Stay in Dhanaulti.

Zero Stay in Dhanaulti

Now you might think what is the big deal with Zero Stay in Dhanaulti? To begin with it was owned by a couple who was travelling with us. Rest you will come to know as we move ahead. We stopped a couple of times for food and refreshments and by the dawn we could smell mountains. The chill in the air confirmed that we are in the hills. Dhanaulti is situated between two hill stations Mussoorie and Chamba in the Tehri Garhwal district. The silhouettes of the quintessential Deodar trees looked perfect against the blue sky and dense mountains. We reached our destination within the stipulated time. The abode was still thirty minutes trek away from the main road. We were on foot from that point.


As we trekked up the light got better and the view got more mesmerizing. From far away we could see a small house on one peak. Remember the house that we used to draw in our drawing books, just exactly like that. I was thrilled like a kid. By the time we reached we all were dead tired and we all slept like a log.


Zero Stay not just brick and mortar but a dream

A knock on the door and the word “tea” got me back on my senses. It was time for lunch and that was the time when this place became more special for me. The couple who owns the place Zero Stay are just a regular couple but the fact they are so passionate about their place makes them way too special. Manish (husband in the couple) told me how owing a house in hills was a dream for him and how much he has worked hard to achieve that dream. Now having a house in hills, who doesn’t dream for that? But only few have the patience and gumption to push the boundaries and step closer to the dreams.


It would be a lie if I say I don’t have the same dream. I do and the fact that there was a couple right in front of my eyes who has made their (my) dream a reality makes the place a big deal for me. I kept bombarding questions at him and he patiently answered all of them. Right from acquiring the land, designing the house, placing the props, zeroing down on the employees, food supply he knew the minutest details of all the affairs.

Queries continued…

I asked him if he has started getting return on the investment considering it is a pretty new venture. He responded that till now they have hosted around seventy guests and with every group coming in and going out they have improved in some or the other aspect. He was less worried about the returns on the investments and more about the guests returning to his place. Isn’t that the first rule of hospitality? After a long conversation I thought I should leave him alone as he was also on a vacation with his wife.

More about Zero Stay 

The whole property has two rooms and can accommodate at least six people in each room. The rooms are creatively done and are very cozy. There were two permanent bunk bed setup in both the rooms. The room has rustic look and feel and was screaming all things mountains.There is a fire place just outside the room. The dining area is a little ahead of the rooms. The dining area had tree trunks as chairs, quite creative it was. At such an altitude one doesn’t ask for much anyways but Zero Stay had everything that could have possibly thought of.

stay-area-of-zero-stay overlooking-the-dining-area room-with-the-bunk-bed-setup dining-area-of-zero-stay


Dhanaulti and around

What did I do in Dhanaulti? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Just sat across beautiful mountains and sipped multiple cups of tea. While the whole group decided to go for a short trek I decided to stay back and help a local woman in the fields. I helped her in clearing the weeds from the field, she was shocked that I even wanted to do that. She invited me for tea and how on earth I can say no to tea. I roamed around and did some more clicking.

Beautiful butterfly
Nature at its best
Met these cute munchkins, could they be any cuter

By the time everyone was back I knew her complete family history. As the Sun descended the chill in the air was back. When in mountains how can you not have a bonfire? Some old melodies in the backdrop, ferociously burning logs and high spirits marked the end of the day. I strongly believe that we should go for nothing-to-do getaways with no things-to-do list.

Spent the day looking at these views
We flew kites and played badminton

Goodbye Dhanaulti 

The next day started with a lousy morning and after the breakfast it was time to make a move. We trekked down and said goodbye to the hills. We leave only to come back, that’s what I told myself. Our vehicle was right there where we left it and in no time we were on our way back to our regular lives.

Gang amaze sipping tea. The couple at extreme right (Megha and Manish) owns the place.

If have read the whole post you would know it is not a sponsored post but I highly highly recommend this place to everyone. Not that it has wings or something but it is someone’s dream standing tall in brick and mortar. The hospitality is amazing. Maybe you will come back inspired to work hard towards your dream just like I did. You can know more about the property at their official website http://zerostay.com/

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  1. Beautifully written , visiting this place since long when there was not much hotels except GMVN , even eco park built couple of years back only. I am worried in coming days it will become like mussoriee , shimla . Nainital …..have you visited surkanda which is hardly 6 km from Dhanulati


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