manali hotel lease

Running A Hotel On Lease In Manali In Himachal Pradesh: My Experience

Thinking of running a hotel on lease in Manali, Shimla or someplace else in Himachal Pradesh? You need to read this…

After nearly 5 years of my full-time travel blogging/vlogging stint, and working with tourism boards across the world, in 2021 I changed course.

In May 2021, I took a tiny 4-room mudhouse property in Hamta Valley (near Manali) and converted it into a backpacker hostel.

The idea of taking a property on lease in Manali and running it as a hotel was a sudden plan.

All You Need To Know Before Taking A Hotel On Lease In Manali, Shimla Or Someplace Else In Himachal Pradesh

From Footloose Camps to Footloose Resort…

In 3 years, I have invested nearly 10 times my initial investment.

In 2021, I started the property named Footloose Camps (offering budget accommodation, including tents and dormitory rooms) but renamed it Footloose Resort in 2024 (offering luxury glamping dome experiences). You can read all about it in this article about my two Hotels In Manali.

And if you too are thinking about doing something similar, but not sure from where to start, here are my two cents…

Prices of taking a hotel on lease in Manali for commercial purposes…

In general, the total cost of a fully functioning, furnished property in and around Manali, Shimla or a similar touristy town across Himachal Pradesh depends on the number of rooms.

For Manali, it lies somewhere between 1L per year to 3L per year per room.

For example, if you are taking a 6-room fully-furnished hotel, it is going to cost you somewhere between 6 to 18 Lakh per year.

Sadly, unlike cities like Delhi or Bangalore, there are no property agents and the market is highly uncluttered. The initial price of properties (when you go search for one in the market) often gives a shocker, followed by unbelievable negotiations.

The negotiations are even more evident when you try taking an empty land on lease for doing your construction. I have seen deals where owners give land for free for years in return for leaving the total investment done by the leaser (upon completion of the lease period).

I have helped several people in the previous years in taking land or a hotel in Manali on a lease.

Please connect with me on 8800763430. (PLEASE DO NOT CALL ME DIRECTLY because if I am busy elsewhere, out of frustration I might never help lol). Please leave a WhatsApp message stating the following…

  1. Your budget
  2. Location preference (including road touch or not/kind of neighbourhood you’re looking for etc)
  3. Land or furnished hotel as your preference (number of rooms in case you are looking for a furnished hotel)
  4. Number of years you are expecting to make the lease documents for
  5. Anything else you would like me to know to help you better

Please note I am not a property agent. I have connections I can pass to you to help you find a deal.

I can help you with Manali, Shimla, Jibhi, Kasoli, Kasol, Dharamshala, and Dalhousie. If you are confused regarding tourism potential among the stated locations, read my Himachal Pradesh Guide. You can also read various blogs I have written on each destination mentioned above on this website.

To Lease A Hotel Is Like Renting It

If you get confused with the term Lease let me clear that leasing a property is like renting it. A lease agreement is nothing more than a rent agreement.

It is legal documentation signed by a notary on a judicial stamp paper in the presence of both parties (the lessor and the lessee) and a few witnesses on behalf of both parties.

Make sure you get all terms and conditions written in your favor before signing the lease paper.

My Two Cents If You’re Starting Up, Or Have Little Budget…

If it’s your first time running a hotel on lease and you’re not sure of returns let me tell you that it isn’t a bad industry.

I suggest you take a property somewhere away from the main town where the prices are slightly on the lower side. But make sure you know how to take online bookings or market your property online.

Also, invest little in the beginning, see results, and reinvest after some time.

When I began, I started with a basic 4-room property. Thanks to my YouTube channel and other social media channels like my Instagram Channel, I did good business.

Next year, I invested more in the property to make it bigger. I suggest you something similar if you’re starting up and have little budget.

  • Rather than renting something in the main town, find something a little offbeat at a lower price.
  • Invest little in the beginning, experiment, and reinvest.

Good Luck! Godspeed!!

Categories India


I am Dev, and I've been travelling full-time since 2016. I was a journalism student & started my corporate career as a documentary film-maker in England, before moving to India & becoming a full-time nomad. 25+countries. 50+ Brand Partnerships. And the adventure continues...

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