I had a lot of expectations from Meghalaya before my visit this October and like I shared earlier, it turned out to be a mixed bag of sorts with some great experiences, some disastrous and a few borderline average.
Anyway, our plan involved staying in Shillong and using it as a base to explore the Living Roots Bridges, Cherrapunji, Barapani and the likes. Every single review I read online mentioned staying in Police Bazaar where apparently all the action was. It was peak time and since we did not find any available hotel in this location, we booked ourselves in the relatively unknown (to the online world) Polo Bazaar. I thought, what the heck, how bad could it be?
To put things bluntly, I hated it! The hotel in itself was okay but the view was horrible, noisy and far from what I had imagined. It seemed like such a waste to come this far and stay in such an uninspiring place. We decided to head out and try our luck at Police Bazaar again, and all I will say having seen the place is that I really can’t fathom why people want to stay there. It offers nothing more than a few restaurants and some local shopping but is too crowded and too touristy for my taste.
Having met a dead end, we decided to cheer ourselves with some food (obviously!) and headed out to Cafe Shillong. After the chaos at the bazaars, I just fell in love with this quieter street called Laitumkhra on which the very famous Cafe Shillong and Munchies is situated. We got a little chatty with the locals who suggested some hotels close by and it was just by chance that we landed at the Asian Confluence guest house – I guess some things are just meant to happen! I am surprised that such a gem exists in Shillong but does not feature prominently in any review and this is exactly why I want to share this with all you readers who may visit Shillong at some point and need to figure out places to stay.
The Asian Confluence is an initiative of the DivyaJeevan foundation, with an objective of promoting cultural exchanges to better the understanding and appreciation of India’s north eastern states. They organize a lot of local tours for visitors and run programs and events regularly to promote local arts and crafts. And you will find a reflection of this spirit in the guesthouse that they run by the same name.
Set at the end of the street right opposite cafe Shillong, you will find a large white bungalow. Enter into a small reception and you will be greeted by the smiling staff. The walls are adorned with beautiful paintings, arts and crafts, it really is like a small and chic gallery. We were taken up to our rooms (the property had just 12 of these) which are smallish if you want an extra bed for a third person, but just perfect for two. The room is vibrant and cozy, with colorful cushions and a pretty antique carpet.
Room service is not available and there isn’t a coffee shop either. But you can let the staff know if you want lunch or dinner and a home style Indian meal will be served in the dining area. Breakfast is complementary and consists of cereal, fruits, eggs, bread and some Indian fare.
The cutest thing I discovered (again by chance) is an in-house library. I was chatting away on my phone and happened to pass this interesting looking room with lots of comfy sofas and cushions, a huge wall book shelf and pretty knick knacks. I decided to plonk myself comfortably here with friends and a few drinks. A fine way to end the day!
Asian Confluence is tasteful yet comfortable in a very inviting way. Explore this hidden gem on your next trip to Shillong!
Lady Veronica Park
Landmark : Lane right opposite Cafe Shillong
Contact Number : +91 8575024861(Mobile) , +91 3642222892(Office)