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Since the very days when the the British arrived and settled in Nainital, the Royal Hotel has been a defining landmark of this quaint lake town. Established in 1906 by Colonel George Edward Bridge, an officer in the East India Company, the hotel was a hill retreat catering to officers, policy makers and nobility during the British Raj.


After the colonial years however, the hotel was taken over by the Indian Government and subsequently sold to the Punvani family which runs it to this day. During the early post-colonial period, the hotel witnessed it’s Renaissance, when it was revived from the ghosthouse that it had become, and transformed into a disco/night club, Nainital’s first and only for a long time.  While it may seem ironic, over the decades gone by, the Royal has undergone a complete metamorphosis, but maintains it’s nostalgic charm notwithstanding.


After the decade of the swinging seventies, the hotel was renovated and expanded. Six new rooms were built and others renovated to meet modern standards. It was during this time that the Royal was the set for “Masoom”, the Shekhar Kapur directed classic. In addition, the hotel was officially recognized as a heritage hotel by the Indian Goverment. But perhaps, the greatest honour bestowed upon the hotel was it’s recognition in the book of the “Leading Hotels of the British Commonwealth”.  To date, it is the only hotel in Nainital to have ever acheived this noteworthy distiction.


From British noblemen to Indian businessmen, the Royal Hotel has been a home away from home for visitors since over a hundred years. With it’s quintessentially British architecture, when one walks the corridors at the Royal Hotel, it becomes abundantly evident that history and heritage is all around. Formidable bay windows, wood-burning fireplaces, stone walls, rustic walkways and impressive sculptures echo an old world charm that is seldom recreated in these modern times. It is no surprise then, that guests at the Royal Hotel often  describe their stay as unique, nostalgic and unforgettable.

@2013 The Royal Hotel