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Sukoon is, quite simply, the best luxury houseboat on Dal Lake in Kashmir, the mystical corner of north east India that has come in from the cold.
Originally built in 1979, Sukoon has been lovingly restored and modernised with just five guest cabins, including one suite. Each spacious room has large windows, beautiful lake views and en suite bathrooms with both showers and baths.
The attention to detail is evident everywhere, from the gleamingly polished vintage chandeliers and carved cedar wood panelling that are reminiscent of Kashmir's 70s and 80s heyday, to several contemporary touches such as environmentally friendly water purification systems and solar panels.
Guests can enjoy expertly prepared Kashmiri and Keralan dishes (the owners also own Neeleshwar Hermitage in Kerala, and many of the charming staff are from that state in southern India), served in the dining room or on the roof terrace. In addition, not much can beat a sundowner cocktail or beer sipped on the rooftop overlooking the lake.
When you eventually tear your gaze away from the epic view, Sukoon can arrange a raft of activities including motorboat trips around the lake and treks.
Why we love it
It's all about location, location, location for the houseboats on Dal Lake and Sukoon houseboat has a prime position one boat in from the end of the row - and that final boat is never used - so tranquillity (which 'Sukoon' means) is guaranteed.