Looking for experience-based vacation options? Look no further-we’ve made the calls and compiled an A-list of 7 boutique hotels that are still open. These are conveniently located, purposefully lavish resorts, tiny boutique hotels, wellness resorts, and jungle lodges that blend opulent comforts with thrilling travel experiences while honouring the places they stand and the people they coexist with.
Cheetahgarh Resort & Spa, Rajasthan
There is not an iota of roughing out at this jungle resort – a complete package of all things luxurious and authentic experiences of the Land of the Shepherds and Leopards, Jawai. Being the only hotel with a lake within its premise and villas that overlook the rocky hanging boulders of the Aravali, birding and leopard spotting begin from the balconies of your rooms! And then there are the warm Rabari village experiences, safaris in super-customized 4X4 jeeps, and the incredible culinary spread and cocktail concoctions at their clubhouse. WH Cheetahgarh Resort & Spa is a happy 3-hour drive from Udaipur or Jodhpur.
Spice Village, Kerala
Looking to stay in a place that doesn’t feel like a concrete jungle? Spice Village located near the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady is modelled on the traditional swelling of the Mannan tribe of the forests here, including the unique thatching with elephant grass. Year after year, the resort works with the tribal community to rethatch these roofs using their unique technique.
Understated, earthy luxury with intention, conception, dwellings, cuisine and experiences fundamentally based on the native Manan tribe and the cardamom hills of the Periyar forest, Spice Village is a wondrous spice garden of orchards and vines. Choose from villas with or without private pools and revel in the thrills of the Asian Elephant habitat with plantation visits, naturalist-led nature walks, Periyar forest hiking, bamboo rafting, etc. Getting to the property is convenient with a 5-hour drive from the Kochi airport or a 3-hour drive from Kottayam.
Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort, Himachal
The Himalayas is a treasure trove of Incredible India. Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort is set in the majestic Shivalik range within the Himalayas, a nature lover’s paradise. The beautifully laid-out resort boasts 62 deluxe rooms and two opulent family suites each of which has an en-suite bathroom with a bathtub and shower that face out into the Shivalik range. The resort has state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to the enrichment of physical, and spiritual health, beauty, and well-being. The therapies offered are a mix of traditional Ayurveda and international experiences.
The resort offers a large number of outdoor activities like mountain bicycling, zipline, archery, and Burma Bridge among others. Make time to chill by the poolside and enjoy a stunning sunset. Or else opt for a sensual pampering in the hot tub and infinity pool with beautiful views of the mountains in the daytime and clear starry skies at night. The bonfire in the evening and the festive music will keep your spirits up. Moksha is just one hour drive from the Mohali international airport, a short drive from Chandigarh, and a five-hour drive from Delhi.
Fazlani Natures Nest, Maharashtra
Christmas marks the beginning of the festive season we wait for all year long. What better way to celebrate this year’s Christmas & New Year holidays than in a property that combines wellness with some fun activities? There are a host of activities for you to enjoy like pottery, kite flying, trekking, and nature walks. You can calm your mind and body with a session of yoga or meditation or experience forest bathing at the resort.
Besides the tastefully done-up Spa and Wellness Centre, Fazlani Natures Nest is also equipped with a gym and a unique outdoor 3-tier swimming pool in a spectacular outdoor setting. If you are a music lover, karaoke is at your disposal. Enjoy a bonfire in the evening and relish a sumptuous especially curated lunch and gala dinner! Getting to the property is convenient with a 2-hour drive from the Mumbai airport or a 1-hour drive from Pune airport.
Chokhi Dhani Resort, Rajasthan
The resort offers a unique setting where guests immerse in the rich Rajasthani culture. This Rajasthani-village-themed resort promotes the local heritage and culture that is indigenous to Rajasthan. Chokhi Dhani Resort offers guests an opportunity to experience traditional artistry, culture, and its delectable cuisine all under one roof.
Chokhi Dhani Resort is a part of the village ‘Chokhi Dhani’ that is famous for the music and dance performances by locals. The most well-known of them is the performance by the nomad tribe showcasing Kalbeliya, Ghoomar, and Chari dance forms. Apart from this, the Bamboo Acrobatics, Terah Thali Dance, and the Traditional Fire Act showcase the daring acts done by various folk artists which leave the audience intrigued, speechless, and in awe of their heritage.
Anatra Luxury River Cruises
River cruising is a one-of-its-kind experience that allows one to discover places in a completely new light. And if you are onboard a luxurious vessel, the fun is endless. Antara Luxury River Cruises boutique ships Antara Ganges Voyager sail along the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers touching precious shores with the most immersive luxurious hospitality and cuisine on board! These destinations showcase untold stories of the medley of cultures from across the world that has mingled here through centuries.
There are also experiences of the UNESCO-protected Sunderbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, and Ganga Sagar – a pilgrim must-do and a photographer’s joy. All aboard the luxury ship in one seamless journey. Crafting some transformational experiences on and offboard, their bouquet of voyages also delves into Benaras, Chandannagar, Serampore, and Bandel for more insights into history and heritage.
WH Tadoba Vanya Vilas Resort & Spa, Maharashtra
Located close to Nagpur and just a kilometer and a half away from the forest gate, this premium resort of lavish cottages and luxury tents is a gateway to the popular tiger haven of Tadoba. Expect 65 acres of unspoiled beauty, 5-star facilities, great food, and the warmest hospitality. And add to this, a rejuvenating spa and thrilling safaris – perfect for a memorable break. – IANS