Oberoi Wildflower Hall shimla
Situated at 8,350 feet in the magnificent Himalayas, Wildflower Hall is a fairytale luxury resort set in 23 acres of virgin woods of pine and cedar. The former residence of Lord Kitchener, rebuilt to a new magnificence, Wildflower Hall recreates the grand style of the colonial era. Enjoy beautiful views of mountains and valleys from the restaurants, outdoor Jacuzzi and the heated swimming pool. Take leisurely walks on the trails winding through the fragrant pine forests and enjoy Gourmet picnic hampers that accompany your explorations. For the adventurous the resort offers white river rafting, trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, archery, billiards and golf.
A world class Spa at the resort positioned it right into the top league of luxury destinations. The Oberoi Spa offers holistic treatments based on Ayurvedic, Asian and Western therapies to relax, rejuvenate and inspire. With tranquil views through lush green cedar and pine forests, the Spa Pavilions offer stressed out guests a peaceful haven in which to revitalise the body and soul.
It is picturesque 45-minute drive over a 13 km distance through forested hills from Shimla
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar
Ahilya Fort is right in the centre of the action in Maheshwar, a 4,000-year-old town in Madhya Pradesh. Its ramparts reach into the Narmada, one of India’s holiest rivers, said to have been formed from a drop of sweat from Shiva’s forehead. Ahilya is an 18th-century fort, built by Queen AhilyaHolkar, known as Ahilya Bai.
Its is a magnificent structure around 250 years old. Overlooking the Narmada River, it is perched-up high on a hill and thus offering an amazing view of the ghats.Whitewashed walls with royal images, bougainvillea-festooned courtyards and bronze idols tell stories of love and valour, was once the residence of Ahilya Bai Holkar one of the most celebrated women rulers of India during the 18th century. There are 13 restored rooms include the Neem Suite, which was once occupied by Maratha queen Ahilya Bai Holkar. Feast in the moveable restaurant on food cooked using the royal family’s recipes.
Chhatra Sagar, Rajasthan
Luxury tents have always been an important part of Rajput lifestyle. Constantcampaigns in far flung lands meant long stays in tents under inhospitable conditions. Tents were the only luxury available and soon these “homes awayfrom home” evolved into mobile, mini-palaces.
ChhatraSagar captures the essence of this romance.
A Luxury camping site just two hours from Jodhpur, ChhatraSagar has receivedaccolades for the cuisine that the family serves there and affiliations because of itsspecial focus on conservation through water harvesting and sustained farming. All activities that ChhatraSagar endorses is a part of the per night tariff. A walk through the farms, visit of the shepherd’s village, birding around the lake are activities that guests enjoy.
Raas is a beautifully designed contemporary boutique hotel right in the heart of the walled city of Jodhpur with magnificent views of the Mehrangarh fort. The hotel comprises four original buildings with three additional contemporary structures, influenced by and contributing to its cultural past as part of the Walled City. The new buildings are modern and contemporary in their use of space and light; and yet grounded in tradition. Indeed, each of its structures is adorned with intricate architectural carvings in the iconic Haveli style of the 18th century.The whole complex is overlooked by Mehrangarh, an awe-inspiring 15th century fort looming 400 feet above the Jodhpur skyline. When lit up in the evenings, the views are simply breathtaking.A Spa that is run by ‘Serena’ is a relaxing indulgence for the guests while the adventurous may opt for an organised walk upto the fort through the lanes of the old city. Another activity which could be interesting in Jodhpur is a photography walk through the bazaar and the city (this is just an idea, you will have organise this through your offices.
Chanoudgarh , Rajasthan
A home-stay.Where the home is a 300-year-old palace.Dreamingly grazing at the wooded Aravallis stands the palace of ChanoudGarh. It’s unperturbed by the fast-changing world; knowing that its ramparts are strong enough to keep any sandstorm of change from threatening what it has preserved within. The experiences are well thought out and sensitive, connectivity varied and easy. Signature activities here include Jeep Drives to the Salt pans and riding in the vicinity, an interactive ( morning only ) village walk, cooking lessons, festival interactions and community efforts like the school and the hospital. The restoration story of the fort and the family efforts to bring this fort back to its days of glory is a wonderful introduction to ChanoudGarh.
Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling
A working plantation retreat, Glenburn Tea Estate offers guests an inclusive experience in West Bengal’s famous tea district. Plantation bungalows restored to themed suites in English country cottage style, mighty views of the Himalayas all around, the air scented with roses and honeysuckle, endless cups of tea and delicious home cooked food.Glenburn offers different cuisine including local fares, traditional Indian dishes, South-East Asian and even European food. Much of the herbs, vegetables and the spices used are grown in the estate’s own kitchen garden. Walks through rolling tea gardens, picnics by the river, comfortable excursions to explore the region or endless hours that call for quiet relaxation, Glenburn is a complete destination and warrants long stays and just perfect for slow travel. Glenburn’s Tea Tour is a highlight of a plantation stay at Glenburn as is the recommend night in the log cabin by the river. Other activities are hiking trips to the orchards, rafting, fishing and day trips to nearby places.
Mary Budden Estate, Binsar
Budden estate sits on five serene acres of land, perched at almost 8,000 feet above sea level. It is one of only five privately owned estates in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Lovingly restored for comfortable and elegant living, it still retains its original charm.
Budden Estate is named in memory of its last known inhabitant in the 19th century, Ms. Mary Budden. In 1990 Ashwani and Serena Chopra bought the estate and with it they inherited an enamel jug, some of Mary Budden’s books, an old armchair and the ruins of a girl’s hostels that held on to the memories of her life in Binsar.
The estate is Mary Budden’s biggest asset, thick with age old deodars and oaks right in the laps of Binsar Sanctuary. Mary Budden is a birding haven and perfect for a vacation amidst nature. Walks and treks within the sanctuary, yoga workshops and the option to stay at the village home in Dalar village are some of the activities to fill your days.
Nimmu House, Ladakh
It is one the last surviving examples of a significant original style of traditional architecture in Ladakh. Located at a 40 minute drive from Leh, it is one of the very few noble houses that stand today. The house is a unique place with 30 beautiful rooms ( only 5 rooms have been currently restored as accommodation ) , including two Buddhist temples, stables, an orchard of 5000sq meters with hundreds of apricot, apple and walnut trees. There is plenty to do while staying at the Nimmu House. Village tours can be organised along with a half-day hike and full day tours of the monasteries of Basgo, Likir and Alchi. Rafting on the Indus or the Zanskar early morning can be the perfect start to the day.
Champakali , Goa
A tribute to Goa, most precisely OLD GOA, Champakali is for those for whom Goa can still be nature bound and a haven of peace. Explore old churches on foot, enjoy fests and choirs there on occasion, cycle in the villages where the homes and buildings speak an enduring history, walk upto the river ( yes, Goa has rivers ) , take a cruise, seek birds in the Salim Ali bird sanctuary and discover somethings and call them your own. Or just stay in your tree ridden villa, swim, read and rejuvenate.
Rajbari Bawali, Kolkata, North Bengal
One of the most beautiful mansions in the vicinity of Calcutta, Rajbari can be your getaway from the metro or a stand-alone boutique hotel to immerse yourself in a ‘Bengali’ experience. The British and the cultural charms of ‘Kolkata’ are just over an hour away while at Rajbari you can experience village walks through sepia tinted lanes of crumbling temples, village ponds, old homes, sweet shops, playgrounds etc. Step out to explore nurseries the biggest export within the country and outside, riverside historical relics like the Chinese temple, a link to the Japanese in our history at Badge-Bajdge or just stay longer to see experience art and craft around, Baul singers, Bengal drums, folk performances, cooking lessons, spa and life in mofussil Bengal.
Ri Kiyanjai ,shillong , Meghalaya
Presiding over the picturesque UmiamLake ,RiKiyanjai literally means “Serenity by the Lake” in Khasi, offers you the perfect getaway from the urban hubbub. Nature lovers can choose to luxuriate in perfectly appointed cottages, undergo traditional Khasi spa treatments and dine on local delicacies… the more adventurous may prefer the beautiful hill treks, boat rides and island picnics, and of course, a day at the Shillong Golf Course, dating back to 1889, and still referred to as the ‘Gleneagles of the East’.
This boutique resort is as perfect for families seeking the ultimate all-round getaway, travellers looking for serenity, lovers of authenticexperiences will be particularly pleased with the architecture – inspired by the building ‘language’ of traditional Khasi cottages while incorporating the best of modern practices.
The Khyber , The Himalayan resort & Spa , Gulmarg , Srinagar
The Khyber lies 8,825 feet above sea level in the PirPanjal range of the Himalayas, a world-class resort that captures the beauty of its pristine setting. With majestic views of the Affarwat Peaks, The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa is spread over 7 acres of a sylvan coniferous forest. A world away from the ordinary, this 85-room resort is a haven of luxury, designed to pamper in every way – with plush interiors, fine cuisine and restorative treatments at The Khyber Spa by L’Occitaine. Go for ski on some of Asia’s finest slopes in winter, trek and picnic through unspoilt forests and flower bedecked meadows in spring or tee off on the world’s highest golf course. The Khyber is paradise in every season of the year.