The Coolest Houses You Can Rent in India

  • 01 of 12

    Flamingo Villa, Mararikulam, Kerala

    Flamingo Villa
    ••• AirBnB

    From beaches to desert, and historical to contemporary design, we've uncovered the coolest houses you can rent in India. They're no ordinary houses either. They include a castle and a tree house. Your vacation is sure to be a memorable one!

    Flamingo Villa, Mararikulam, Kerala

    Cool Quotient: It's a 75 year old ancestral property built in traditional Kerala style.

    Situated in a village only 10 minutes walk from peaceful Marari beach, near Alleppey in Kerala, this house has been immaculately refurbished. Laze by the swimming pool, canoe along the canal at the back of the house to the beach, or explore the area by bicycle. An in-house chef is provided to cook all meals.

    • Bedrooms: 4
    • Cost: 25,000 rupees ($375) per night for the whole house. Individual rooms can be rented separately. Breakfast is included.
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 2 of 12 below.
  • 02 of 12

    Mud Villa, Shantiniketan, West Bengal

    Authentic Mud Villa, Shantiniketan
    ••• AirBnB

    Cool Quotient: It's made out of mud, and is decorated with traditional art and handicrafts.

    This authentic double-story mud home is an ode to Bengali heritage. It's situated amid nature in Noble Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore's birthplace, Shantiniketan, about 4 hours northwest of Kolkata. The town is renowned for its culture, handicrafts, and visual arts. And, the house is the perfect place to stay and soak up its atmosphere. For the best experience, visit during the Poush Mela (usually in late December), with its live Bengali folk music, or Holi (celebrated as Basanta Utsav). A village market is held there every Saturday as well.

    • Bedrooms: 1, plus another separate villa in the garden. Can sleep up to 12 people.
    • Cost: 10,000 rupees ($150) per night for the whole house. Breakfast is included.
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 3 of 12 below.
  • 03 of 12

    Designer House in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

    Designer House in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
    ••• AirBnB

    Cool Quotient: Renovated by an Italian designer, it's a fusion of Italian and Rajasthani architecture.

    Experience the evocative sandstone city of Jaisalmer in style by staying in this gorgeous home. It's located only 150 meters from Jaisalmer Fort, and you can enjoy a magical closeup view of it from the property's rooftop terrace. The owner arranges off-the-beaten track camel safaris into the desert, which is a bonus.

    • Bedrooms: 8
    • Cost: 48,000 rupees ($715) per night for the whole house. Individual rooms can be rented separately. Breakfast is included.
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 4 of 12 below.
  • 04 of 12

    Karikkathi Beach House, Kovalam, Kerala

    Karikkathi Private Beach House
    ••• Karikkathi Private Beach House

    Cool Quotient: It's on a private beach.

    Dreaming of quiet chilled-out days by the beach? This house is for you! You'll be able to really get away from it all, as there's no road leading up to the house. It's accessed by a pathway through the palm grove. Ayurvedic treatments, administered by experienced doctors, are available for guests. There's also an in-house chef who prepares Ayurvedic cuisine.

    • Bedrooms: 2
    • Cost: 16,500 rupees ($250) per night for the whole house. Individual rooms can be rented separately.
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    La Belle Vie, Nainital, Uttarakhand

    La Belle Vie (The Beautiful Life)
    ••• AirBnB

    Cool Quotient: Designed by the owners, and built with local stone and reclaimed wood.

    Life is indeed beautiful at La Belle Vie. This trendy rustic-style house, which has been featured in Good Housekeeping magazine, is the product of its owners' artistic expression. They even designed and made the dining table! Nature-lovers will appreciate the surrounding walking trails and forest. If you think Nainital is too crowded these days, you don't have to worry. The house is located in a peaceful area near Naukuchiatal Lake.

    • Bedrooms: 3
    • Cost: 12,000 rupees ($180) per night for the whole house. Individual rooms can be rented separately
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 6 of 12 below.
  • 06 of 12

    The Chhoto Bari @ The Rajbari Bawali, Raipur, West Bengal

    The Chhoto Bari -- The Rajbari Bawali
    ••• AirBnB

    Cool Quotient: It's a 300 year old royal landowner's mansion, furnished with many antiques.

    Be transported back in time to the days when wealthy landowners ruled present-day West Bengal, by staying in this house. The owner has a keen interest in heritage and restoration, and recently painstakingly transformed the mansion back to its former regal splendor. It's located only an hour from Kolkata. The mansion's Chhoto Bari (small house) sits separately in the garden by the pond. Guests can access the swimming pool, gym, living areas and library in the main mansion.

    • Bedrooms: 2
    • Cost: 20,000 rupees ($300) per night for the whole house. Breakfast is included. Individual rooms can also be rented in the main mansion.
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 7 of 12 below.
  • 07 of 12

    Shikar Oudi, near Udaipur, Rajasthan

    Shikar Oudi.
    ••• AirBnB

    Cool Quotient: It's a 200 year old former jungle hunting lodge, from where royal ladies observed the hunt.

    This house forms part of an estate given to the owner's ancestors for leading the Mewars of  Udaipur to victory against the Mughals in war. It's been converted into a luxury property and is ideal for anyone who loves the great outdoors. The house overlooks a private lake about an hour east of Udaipur. Possible activities include jungle walks, wildlife watching, boating, fishing, tree planting, and visits to local village communities.

    • Bedrooms: 2
    • Cost: 25,000 rupees ($375) per night for the whole house. The rate is less for only two guests. Breakfast is included.
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 8 of 12 below.
  • 08 of 12

    Sathin Garh, Sathin, Rajasthan

    500 Year Old Castle
    ••• AirBnB

    Cool Quotient: It's an original desert fort castle, and it's more than 400 years old!

    You really can be the king of your castle here. Situated in the rural heart of Rajasthan, about an hour east of Jodhpur on the way to Ajmer, rambling Sathin Garh was once the abode of the ruling Bhati clan of Marwar. It's still owned by the family, who are passionate about its history.  They'll teach you how to cook traditional recipes, handed down from generations, and take you on local village walks and jeep safaris.

    • Bedrooms: 4
    • Cost: 18,000 rupees ($270) per night for the whole house. Individual rooms can be rented separately.
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Mawi Infinitty Villa, Lonavala, Maharashtra

    Mawi Infinity Villa
    ••• AirBnB

    Cool Quotient: The view overlooking Pawna Lake is superb.

    This stunning, luxurious contemporary villa is nestled into the lush hillside a few hours from Mumbai. It's split into two parts, with the more private lower part having a single bedroom that opens out into a deck with infinity swimming pool and Jacuzzi. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the villa, it's possible to trek to Tung Fort behind the property, or go on a picnic by the lake.

    • Bedrooms: 4
    • Cost: 50,000 rupees ($750) per night for the whole house. Individual rooms can be rented separately. All meals are included.
    Continue to 10 of 12 below.
  • 10 of 12

    Shunya Gor Tree House, Goa

    Shunya Gor Tree House, Goa
    ••• Shunya Gor Tree House, Goa

    Cool Quotient: A luxury tree house to revive childhood memories.

    This airy tree house sits in a cashew and mango orchard near hip Ashwem beach in north Goa. It's one of a string of fashionable properties created by an Indian creative director turned social entrepreneur, and his Scandinavian partner who's an interior designer. Two of them (Shunya Eco Bungalow and Shunya Kaju Varo Villa) are next to the tree house and can all be rented together. They have a shared swimming pool and outdoor barbecue dining area.

    Continue to 11 of 12 below.
  • 11 of 12

    Taara House, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

    Taara House
    ••• AirBnB

    Cool Quotient: Its living room has a glass roof. You can dine under the stars.

    Looking for a serene mountain getaway? This cozy boutique cottage is like a breath of fresh air! It's been built in traditional style out of reclaimed teak and oak wood. Yet, it has plenty of modern touches such as Scandinavian light fixtures, customized furniture by a Delhi design studio, and contemporary wall art. It has its own monogrammed linen too. A viewing deck and apple orchard add to the appeal.

    • Bedrooms: 2
    • Cost: 10,000 rupees ($150) per night for the whole house. Individual rooms can be rented separately.
    • View Property on AirBnB
    Continue to 12 of 12 below.
  • 12 of 12

    Summertime Villa, Goa

    Summertime Villa.
    ••• Summertime Villa. Sharell Cook.

    Cool Quotient: The bedrooms are an enormous 730 square feet each, and the main one opens out onto a patio and koi pond.

    One of Goa's best private villas, Summertime is only 10 minutes from busy Calangute beach but it feels like a world away. The owners (she's Indian and he's Dutch) built the house with love and care to possibly retire in, so it has every comfort imaginable and more. They run a travel business and each item of furniture that they've collected has a story behind it.  Not surprisingly, the villa was awarded Asia's Most Romantic Boutique Retreat 2016 in the World Boutique Hotel Awards. What's more, the owners have a luxury yacht and guests get a 25% discount.