With the threat of COVID-19 still lurking around, several companies have asked their employees to work from home (WFH), schools are unlikely to open any time soon, and international air travel is far from being back to normalcy.
As such, working from the mountains has really caught up with travelers who want to leave the city life – at least for a couple of weeks or more – and mix pleasure with work. One can limit the interactions with people because usually the population in the lesser-known destinations in the mountains is scarce, so physical distancing in the times of COVID-19 comes naturally.
Although Katie’s Abode, Hartola is only in its third month of operations, we have been flooded with inquiries from travelers wanting to stay at our homestay. Also, we have been following a couple of Facebook pages of common interest wherein travelers and hosts interact on a regular basis. It’s quite illuminating to read the queries posted by intending travelers waiting to escape the confines of their city homes. It all started with pretty standard stuff, the demand for wifi topping the list. But, with every passing day, emboldened by the offerings posted by owners falling over themselves to capture this opportunity, the list of expectations are getting longer and funnier!
Snowfall on demand, clear view of snow-capped mountains, high internet speed like in the city, night rates that are less than an Uber ride to office – are some of the demands that homestay owners are receiving from travelers wanting to work from the Himalayas (WFH). Well, I don’t blame them. The situation is such that if one can squeeze a deal to save a couple of bucks, then why not! Even if it means squeezing the poor hosts who have put in all their life’s savings to be able to finally open the doors of their home to guests – so much for being a retirement plan!!
So, that brings us to the question of what we are offering at Katie’s Abode, Hartola.
I would say:
- Clean, big, tastefully-designed and comfortable rooms
- Spacious common areas
- Simple, but delicious food
- An attentive and pleasant caretaker
- Creature comforts to beat the chill like heaters, cosy beds, fireplace, etc.
- Traffic-free outdoors to walk leisurely – nature, nature and more nature as far as the eye can see
- A wide collection of books to spend your time reading when not working
- Dedicated work-area
- Organic food right from the farms
- WiFi internet courtesy two Jiofi devices.
Our homestay offers a warm and memorable experience that guests can carry back with them when they come to work from this mountain workation.
What we can’t guarantee during your Work from Himalayas (WFH) workation:
- Speed of internet: At Katie’s Abode, Hartola we have two Jiofi devices with the best plans the company could offer. Speeds of the internet in both devices have been recorded at 13 mbps with good upload and download speed. Having said that, based on the kind of work your profession demands, this speed may not suffice. Moreover in the mountains, the signal strength may fall at times. So travelers need to take these into consideration too. Travelers will perhaps also understand that getting a broadband connection is not as easy in the mountains as it is in the cities. There are several challenges, predominantly being to get these people to work. I had been pursuing the technicians of Air Jaldi, the only broadband internet provider in Hartola, but to no avail! The excuse being Coronavirus!!
- Clear view of the snow-capped peaks: The view of the snow-capped mountains from our homestay is awesome. Usually after September till early March one can see the peaks right from the rooms on clear days. Having said that, since day before yesterday there has had been a cloud cover and the mountains are not visible at all. So travelers who would have stayed during this period would definitely be disappointed, but not our fault, you see!!
- Snowfall on demand: Does it snow in Hartola? Yes!! Will it snow when we are there? Well, something we can’t guarantee, can we? Usually, snowfall is experienced here in Jan-Feb.
- Outdoor temperature suiting individuals: The weirdest question asked by a recent traveler was it will be December when we go, won’t it be cold outside? Of course it will be cold outside; it’s December! And there is nothing we can do about it. But we will definitely say this: If the sun is out, it’s pretty warm and as long as you have your ears and head covered, it’s comfortable even outdoors. But then, we can’t guarantee whether the sun will shine when you are there or not.
- Wine glasses for whiskey: An inquirer recently wanted to know if we have wine glasses at our home because his uncle with whom he was to travel, loves his sundowner (read whiskey). Well, although we can guarantee wine glasses, we would, however, not offer wine glasses for whiskey. We have plenty of glasses for your sundowners as long as you bring your own bottle of whiskey (or whatever your poison is) and also share a couple of drinks with the host (just joking).
For all intents and purposes, this article is to give you an understanding of what to expect at Katie’s Abode, Hartola, which is our home and not a resort or hotel. And since we are not a hotel, we go that extra mile to ensure that guests are comfortable and that they have a wonderful time at our home and that we exceed their expectations. So every question you may have before booking a room at our homestay, we will honestly and truthfully answer. After all, we’d hate to see our guests dissatisfied. And so would our mascot, Katie!