Where to stay in Shillong – A Guide to the BEST areas and hotels and homestays
Resting in the East Kashi Hills is Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya with a population of around 500,000 people.
The region is blessed with lush green landscapes, rolling hills, and stunning natural attractions including several waterfalls, treks, and the nearby living root bridges so the list of things to do in Shillong is long for nature lovers and photographers.
This hill station has a moderate climate throughout the year, with moderate temperatures in the summer and cool temperatures in the winter. Indians from many other parts of the country escape to Shillong to take a break from the brutal heat.
Shillong is home to a diverse population, and its culture is a fusion of Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo traditions. Visitors can explore the unique cultural heritage by attending local festivals and enjoying a range of traditional dishes from street vendors and local restaurants.
In the heart of the city, you can also expect to find well-recognized clothing stores and locally made products, clothing, and goods in the markets and bazaar.
All of this is to say that with so much diversity in landscapes from the bustling town to the tranquil hills on the outskirts it can be tricky when deciding where to stay in Shillong.
However, this guide breaks down all of the different areas and the accommodation options which range from comfortable homestays to affordable hotels and luxury resorts.
There is a hotel in Shillong for every budget so by the end you should have a good idea of where you want to stay in Shillong. Let’s get started!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
What are the best areas to stay in Shillong?
When thinking about where to stay in Shillong you need to consider your preferences and which style of trip you are looking to book. I have broken Shillong down into four main areas and below you can read a description of each area to give you further insight before I get into the specific hotel and homestay recommendations.
The Police Bazaar is impossible to miss! With the never-ending flow of traffic and the crowds of people, it can be an overwhelming place to stay in Shillong especially if you are coming to Shillong to relax and enjoy nature. However, if the hurriedness doesn’t bother you and you want to be in a convenient area, the Police Bazaar will be your ideal location. You will be no more than a few minutes of a walk from all of the shops and restaurants. Plus, the serene Ward’s Lake is just down the road.
Outskirts of Police Bazaar
If the Police Bazaar sounds like too much you should consider staying in the outskirts. The outskirts of the Police Bazaar are great for less noise but you will still only be a short taxi ride away from the city’s main attractions. Plus, you will also have more options for a comfy and hospitable homestay if you prefer that type of accommodation to a hotel.
If you are travelling to Shillong by car from Guwahati you will pass by the gorgeous Umiam Lake which is only 30 minutes away from Shillong City.
Instead of just stopping for a few minutes to enjoy the view of Umiam Lake why not spend a night or two here before continuing on to Shillong? You could also end your trip by staying by Umiam Lake on the way back to Guwahati.
Many of the homestays and resorts here offer stunning views of the lake with Orchid Lake Resort being one of the top choices. Umiam Lake is the best place to stay in Shillong if you want a mix of nature and activities which include, jet skiing, boating, picnicking, and hiking.
Upper Shillong Near Elephant Falls
If you are coming to Shillong for rest and relaxation Upper Shillong is perfect because it’s 12 km south of Shillong City in an idyllic natural setting right next to the iconic Elephant Falls.
Most of the accommodations here are homestays right off the main highway that heads to Cherrapunji. This is a great location if you want to relax and enjoy genuine hospitality in a calm setting or break up your trip before heading to Cherrapunjui.
The Best Places to Stay in the Police Bazaar
HOTEL INDIANA $
Photo Credit: Hotel Indiana
Hotel Indiana is a no-frills accommodation a short walk from the shops and eateries in the Police Bazaar. If you don’t want to break the bank but still care about cleanliness, warm rooms, and welcoming staff this hotel is a no-brainer.
You can expect to pay as little as $33 USD a night for a double room and they all have a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. Some rooms have a balcony.
Even though the price is low, Hotel Indiana shockingly makes wonderful food and the breakfast buffet is included in your room rate.
Hotel Indiana has to be one of the best affordable hotels in Shillong near the Police Bazaar. I’m sure you won’t regret staying here.
You can check availability and book HOTEL INDIANA on Booking.com.
Quinton Enclave $
A peaceful retreat in the Police Bazaar? Quinton Enclave is a hidden gem! The best part is that it’s affordable too with a nightly rate as low as $36 USD.
The rooms are nicely decorated and have everything one needs while traveling including a TV, tea/coffee maker, slippers, and free WiFi. The wooden floors bring a sense of comfort and warmth in the winter months.
The bathrooms are spacious and clean and have a geyser.
Each morning you can enjoy a continental, Asian, or vegetarian breakfast in the dining room.
Overall, if you are staying in the Police Bazaar, Quinton Enclave is one of the best places to stay in Shillong which has high value for money.
You can check availability and book Quinton Enclave on Booking.com.
Courtyard Marriott Shillong $$
The newly built Courtyard Marriott is the most luxurious 5-star hotel option in Shillong. This eye-catching property is set in a prime location on the edge of the Police Bazaar (around a 10-minute walk).
Outside you will find a beautiful pool that has in-the-water ledge loungers so you can keep cool while enjoying the sunshine during the warmer months. Feeling tight? Head to the spa for the treatment you deserve. There is also a game room with activities for adults and children.
The Courtyard Marriott offers a buffet breakfast and dinner with primarily American and Italian dishes. My fiance’s parents live in Shillong and they come here often just to dine and enjoy the ambiance! The food is average but the Masala Tea and dessert selections are the star of the show. In particular the chocolate pastries.
All the rooms have a beautiful view out of windows and the room service is super fast.
Expect to pay around $139 USD on average for a Superior King or Twin room but you can also upgrade to the Club King/Twin or the Executive King Suite that has a mountain view.
Stop wondering where to stay in Shillong and make your next vacation a memorable one at the Courtyard Marriott Shillong.
You can check availability and book Courtyard Marriott Shillong on Booking.com.
Vivanta Meghalaya, Shillong $$$
Another impressive place to stay in Shillong is the 5-star Vivanta which is very close to the Courtyard Marriot near the Police Bazaar.
As soon as you enter the staff are warm and friendly and are willing to go above and beyond to make your stay memorable.
Whether you choose a Superior, Deluxe, Premium, Deluxe Suite, or Premium Suite all of the rooms are modern, nicely decorated, and have fresh linens. Features inside include air conditioning, a minibar, a tea and coffee maker, a safe deposit box, as well as a flat-screen TV.
You can make the most of your vacation by pampering yourself in the spa, getting a workout in the fitness center, ordering a cocktail from the bar, or indulging in a fine dining experience at the Chinese restaurant where the focal point is a beautiful domed glass roof.
The nightly rate begins at $168 USD for the Superior Double Room. The Vivanta hotel chain is reputable throughout India so you can rest assured when booking here.
You can check availability and book Vivanta Shillong on Booking.com.
The Best Places to Stay on the Outskirts of the Police Bazaar
Dew Drop In
Set up in the hills in Upper Lumpairing is Dew Drop Inn which was established all the way back in 2013. They have been welcoming guests from all around the world who end up leaving with incredible memories.
Whether you’re vacationing as a family, with a group of friends, as a couple, or a solo traveler the Dew Drop In is one of the top places to stay in Shillong to clear your mind and connect with nature up on Shillong Peak.
From the property, you can trek for just 30 minutes along a path lined with pine trees to reach the Shillong Peak viewpoint. Other nearby attractions include a Buddhist Monastery and the City Market.
If you want to enjoy an amazing view book the room on the 1st floor which has its own private balconies. Those staying on the ground level floor are allowed to use the 1st-floor terrace for panoramic views.
The room will make you feel at home and include an electric kettle, bath amenities, filtered water, and complimentary WiFi. If you need a heater you can request one for a small charge. A Standard Double Room costs $34 USD on average whereas a Family Room averages $55 USD.
There is also a shared lounge space you can use to hang out with family or friends. If you are traveling to the airport or other cities a taxi can also be arranged for you by the staff.
You can check availability and book the Dew Drop In on Booking.com.
Cassiopeia Guest House
In the outskirts, Cassiopeia Guest House is one of the most affordable places to stay in Shillong. The location is very convenient sitting right off the main Laitumkrah (another popular center point in Shillong).
Here you can score a spacious Double Room with an attached bathroom a wardrobe, an electric kettle, and a TV for as low as $22 USD a night. A yummy homemade breakfast is also included, what a deal!
The personality of the owner and staff are very pleasant and they are available 24/7 to happily answer any questions you have in regards to restaurants, shopping, and attractions in the area.
You can check availability and book Cassiopeia Guest House on Booking.com.
Ivory Bliss, The Boutique Homestay
This 3-star homestay is away from the Police Bazaar traffic in the Lower Motinagar area of Shillong which is close to Ward’s Lake and only a 10-minute drive to the Police Bazaar depending on the traffic.
The supersized rooms at Ivory Bliss Homestay have plush beds, lounge chairs, and a dresser for your clothing. The private bathroom is extremely clean and has free toiletries.
A continental American, English, or Irish breakfast is provided each morning and there is free parking and WiFi. You can also rent a car from the property if you need to.
A Deluxe Double room that holds two adults and a child costs an average of $53 USD per night.
You can check availability and book Ivory Bliss Boutique Homestay on Booking.com.
The Best Places to Stay Near Umiam Lake
La Nicholas Dei Da Kine Resort
If you are wondering where to stay in Shillong which is affordable and also offers incredible views of Umiam Lake in a peaceful environment you must check out La Nicholas Dei Da Kine Resort!
This beautiful resort has an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, a terrace, and a restaurant. If you want to have breakfast here it is $12 USD per person and you can add it on while booking.
The rooms are rather simple but clean and spacious and have a desk and large windows that let in a lot of natural light. One of the rare amenities that you will find in your room is a large TV that is enabled with WiFi. You can expect to spend an average of $68 USD for a double room or $110 USD for a romantic cottage bungalow.
The resort is secured with guards, a gate, and surveillance cameras so it’s a safe environment.
You can check availability and book La Nicholas Dei Da Kine Resort on Booking.com.
Ri Kynjai – Serenity By The Lake
This slice of heaven is far and away one of the most beautiful places to stay in Shillong! I’m not just talking about the Umami Lake area but in all of Shillong. My fiance’s family had been coming to Ri Kynjai for years and they speak so highly of it!
If the incredible views of the lake don’t impress you then the beautiful rooms and food will! The Khasi-style architecture of the resort is truly impressive with individual huts that are supported by tall stilts that allow for incredible views of the lake and native plants. Each cottage has a fireplace in the living/bedroom area and the lower floor has an additional attached bedroom.
To destress, book a traditional Khasi treatment at the spa, enjoy mouthwatering local delicacies at the on-site Sao Aiom restaurant, go for a trekking adventure in the woods, or spend some leisurely time on the water in a boat or enjoy the thrill of a jet ski! The famous Shillong Golf Course isn’t far away either if you want to spend a day practicing your stroke.
If you’re planning to stay near Umami Lake to get away from the madness of the urban areas and have the budget to stay at Ri Kynjai do yourself a favor and spend some time at this resort!
You can check availability and book Ri Kynjai on Trip.com.
The Best Places to Stay in Upper Shillong Near Elephant Falls
The options in Upper Shillong are rather limited and each spot seems to have problems of its own but I’ve done my best to list the overall best choices. If you want to stay in Upper Shillong to be away from the chaotic nature of Shillong you may have to lower your standards a little bit.
SYLWAN-O SUNRISE HOMESTAY
Newly opened in late 2023, this homestay is a warm, safe, and comfortable stay in A-frame cabins on a spacious green piece of land. Sylwan-O Sunrise Homestay is located an additional 12 km south of Elephant Falls which is a more remote location very close to the Mawphlang Sacred Grove, the David Scott trail, and the Mawphlang Dam.
There is free parking for visitors and each cabin has a bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. Rooms are very affordable starting at $36 USD a night for 2 people including breakfast.
Currently, the only additional amenity at the property is a BBQ grill and outdoor kitchen you can and you can pay 25 INR for some wood for a bonfire. However, construction is underway for a swimming pool and playground for children.
SYLWAN-O SUNRISE HOMESTAY is already receiving incredible Google reviews and many guests note that the owner is friendly and accommodating. This is definitely one of the best places in Shillong for families and couples who are in search of a peaceful and accommodating experience.
You can check availability and book SYLWAN-O SUNRISE HOMESTAY on Booking.com.
Pine Hill Home Stay
Pine Hill Home Stay is practically as close as you can get to Elephant Falls and while it is not perfect it is one of the highest-rated places to stay in this part of Shillong where you will not be disturbed by traffic or noise.
The hotel staff acts like family and does a good job of keeping the rooms clean, assisting with vehicle arrangements, food orders, and suggesting nearby shops. During the winter months, they will give you extra blankets so you won’t freeze which is an issue you might have with other stays in the area.
Pine Hill Home Stay has a cook and the menu has a nice variety and you can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner here. However, the taste and quality of the food are inconsistent with some reviews loving it and others hating it.
On the bright side, the rooms are nice and can hold up to six people but they edge on the smaller side. If you get a balcony room you’ll enjoy fresh air and a nice view of the landscapes. The nightly rate is reasonable starting at $56 USD for two people.
There are plenty of parking spaces out front and hot water and WiFi are provided.
You can check availability and book Pine Hill Home Stay on Booking.com.
Pine Hill Comfort Stay
Pine Hill Comfort Stay has to be the best full-service hotel in the Upper Shillong area in close proximity to Elephant Falls and right next to Pine Hill Homestay as I mentioned above. Being right off the main highway it is easy to get to but there will be some road noise.
The main highlights of Pine Hill Comfort Stay are the garden, shared lounge, restaurant, and outdoor fireplace. It also has a sun terrace and mountain views.
The on-site restaurant has delicious Indian and Chinese dishes and there are vegetarian offerings but the menu is small. The staff have a reputation of being friendly and helpful.
Rooms are clean and have a nice view from the back window but are on the smaller side so they are best suited for couples, not families. Hot water is available 24/7 and each room includes a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linens, and towels.
You can check availability and book Pine Hill Comfort Stay on Booking.com.
Why I Book With Booking.com
Whenever possible I make all of my accommodation bookings with Booking.com. Why? Well, there are many reasons but for starters, I love that many of the properties offer a long cancelation window, and in many cases (depending on the service provider), I’ve been able to get a 100% refund just days before the start of my reservation.
Booking.com also has a low price guarantee meaning that if I find the same hotel listed for cheaper elsewhere online they’ll match the price for me! The best part is that I can do this all the way up until 24 hours before my arrival!
When you sign up for their Genius loyalty program it’s easy rather easy to climb the ranks. For example, to reach level 2 all you have to do is complete 5 stays in 2 years all you’ll get complimentary breakfast, free room upgrades, and 10 to 15% off discounts on select stays, and 10% off rental cars!
So if you want flexibility, the lowest possible price, and awesome perks along the way start booking with Booking.com today!
Final Word on Where to Stay in Shillong
Thank you for reading! There are lots of places to stay in Shillong so I hope this narrowed-down list will help you find the perfect place for your budget, group size, and travel style!
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