Named for its perch in the mountainous region of Kumaon in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand, The Kumaon, which sits about 5,250 feet above sea level in the village of Kasar Devi, is a boutique hotel that enjoys magnificent views of the Indian Himalayas.
Designed by Sri Lankan architects Pradeep Kodikara and Jineshi Samaraweera of Colombo-based Zowa Architects, the 10-room hotel is nestled in a sloping, terraced agricultural plot that overlooks uninterrupted views of undulating mountains and valleys.
The impactful dining room is surrounded by glass on three sides and clad in bamboo sticks that reduce the visual impact of the steel structure.
"By dispersing the built structure around the site and using bamboo cladding, we were able to dissolve the visual impact a building such as this can have in a sensitive environment," says Kodikara.
A peaceful library offers a moment of contemplation in an inspiring environment. All the buildings of the Kumaon are equipped for rainwater harvesting with a drainage system that brings collected water from the roofs to a large holding tank at the bottom of the site.
The upper volume of the main building holds the dining facilities.
Above the lounge is a terrace for outdoor dining and yoga.
The foundational level of the chalet was built out of stone quarried from nearby, while the walls were built with fly ash bricks with bamboo cladding.
In the chalet room, the bed, table, and seating were designed as a island unit finished in smooth cement render.
The guest rooms are located within chalet buildings that are scattered across the two-acre site, with each chalet split into two levels with one room on each.
The concrete soffits were left unplastered, and the fly ash walls were finished with just a coat of paint to create an atmosphere of rustic simplicity.
In each room, the toilet walls are finished in ‘kadappah’ – a black stone cut in to tiles.
“Kota”, an affordable granite that’s commonly used in India, and that has a texture similar to smooth cement, was used for the floor of the terraces and balconies.
Ground floor plan
Chalet floor plan