I never tire of the hills. The wide open spaces and star-filled skies inspire me, define me. In the mountains, there’s always something to learn, and I feel like I am capable of so much more than I imagined. This was me reminiscing about my trip to Nainital, here’s the link. Then we did another blogpost on The Naini Retreat , a great place to stay in Nainital.
About the property : This post is about Shervani Hilltop, a boutique hotel located in Mallital. The wooden interiors, manicured lawns and lush green surroundings give an old world charm to the place. If you want to escape the crowd and have some time to yourself, it is an excellent option. You get a panoramic view of the mountains from any place in the property, but the Naini Lake isn’t visible from the hotel.
Dining options : Coming to the dining options, there’s the Courtyard bar which serves cocktails and mock tails and a restaurant for all day dining. Both these places have been done up in Victorian style and are very much in sync with the overall decor of the place. Though the view and the food options at The Naini Retreat are much better.
Recommendation : For people who are visiting Nainital for the first time, Naini Retreat is a better option as it is a beautiful heritage property located close to the Naini Lake and the Mall Road. For those seeking tranquility and an escape from the mundane city life, Shervani Hilltop is a good choice.
Travel Tip : Get your bookings done online as pricing is lower than what you will get at the hotel and this applies to almost all the good hotels in Nainital.
If you remember our very first blogpost on Nainital , we did mention about covering the best places to stay as there are no renowned hotel chains in Nainital. The three best hotels to stay are : The Naini Retreat, Shervani Hilltop, The Manu Maharani. Here we are reviewing our favourite out of the lot, The Naini Retreat –
About the property : Historically referred to as the residence of the Maharaja of Pilibhit, The Naini Retreat Hotel is among the best heritage hotels located in Nainital near the lake. The hotel is situated on the picturesque Ayarpatta Slopes, providing a breathtaking view of the Naini Lake at an altitude of 1,995 meters. The hotel embodies an old-world charm along with visible impressions of contemporary luxury.
Dining options : Coming to the food , there are 3 options : Lake View, which is their multi cuisine restaurant serving Indian and International delicacies. It is the perfect place to enjoy you meal with a panoramic view of the lake. Next is Stella Bar, which offers choices of the cocktails and mocktails. And then there is Garden Cafe and Grill for a quick breakfast, brunch or a dinner.
Recommendation : It definitely is the best place to stay in Nainital as it excels on all the prime parameters : location, food and luxury. Coming to the pricing, it was at a lower rate per day than both Shervani Hilltop and The Manu Maharani. Valley view rooms at The Manu Maharani were priced at fourteen thousand rupees approx, which is exorbitantly high compared to the facilities offered. Overall, a highly recommended place for your stay in Nainital.
Travel Tip : Call the hotel for exact directions as the route given by GPS isn’t appropriate for four wheelers.
The artificial lake in Auli is perched at an astounding elevation and is one of the world’s highest man made lakes. It was created to help in providing artificial snow on the ski slopes in event of scanty rainfall. This also helps in extending the skiing season in Auli. The lake is located right next to Clifftop Club and we did cover some of its pictures in our very first blogpost on Auli.
The snow-clad mountains, skiing slopes and azure-blue water make for the most amazing scenery. The fact that it is a man- made lake does not dampen the magic and beauty of the place in any manner. Nature truly holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
The rope way connecting Joshimath to Auli is 4 kms long and offers magnificent views of the Himalayan landscape. If you really want to have a rendezvous with nature, the chair lift is the best available option. It starts from near the ITBP base camp and goes up till the lake. The fact that the chair lift is completely open and runs just a few feet above the ground adds to the thrill.
How to reach : A good traveler takes only memories and leaves no tracks. The same cannot be said about Nainital, a popular hill station located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Nainital is ensconced around an emerald lake surrounded by lush green mountains, but the amount of trash being emptied into the lake is ruining the beauty of this serene place. If we keep throwing garbage like this, there will be no mountains. All we will have are mountains of garbage.
Places to visit/Staying options : The place is great for a small rejuvenating break from the routine. Almost all the good hotels in Nainital offer a panoramic view of the mountains and the lake. The three best hotels to stay are : The Naini Retreat, Shervani Hilltop, The Manu Maharani. One can choose to just relax and enjoy the surroundings. For the more touristy ones, there are several options like : boating in the Naini lake, shopping and eating at the Mall Road or Tibetan market, Naina Devi Temple, Cable car ride to the snow view point and visiting the zoo.
Every blogpost that urges travellers to switch to eco friendly alternative counts. Every less plastic bottle used and disposed counts. Every voice discouraging their usage counts. Everything we do as individuals counts. Every responsible travel choice counts.
There aren’t any renowned hotel chains in Nainital, we would be covering the best hotels to stay in Nainital in subsequent blogposts. Here are the pictures from our trip :
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Between Haridwar and Rishikesh, I have developed a strong affinity for the latter. Rishikesh delights me. In Rishikesh, one feels very close to nature and a sense of tranquility. On the other hand, Haridwar is congested and like a routine city. I would definitely recommend staying in Rishikesh and opting for a day trip to Haridwar to visit all the places.
About the property : We stayed at the Radisson Blu during our stay in Haridwar. It is far from the main city and is located close to the industrial hub. There wasn’t anything special about the property and it is just like one of those typical business hotels. I won’t advise it to people who are visiting Haridwar for religious/ recreational purposes.
Recommendation : It primarily caters to people visiting for official purposes or weddings. As a tourist, I was not happy with the idea of staying so far from the Ganga as that is what Haridwar is all about. But as they say, every experience teaches you something and makes you wise.
In the first part of this blogpost , we took you through day one of our stay at the picturesque Tripura Castle in Shillong. For day two, we decided to shift to a treehouse cottage, which was situated right on the top of the valley. It is not place where life is dictated by smartphones or the obsessive need to browse through the many apps that exist on that device.
It is a place to enjoy what you have forgotten- the sheer beauty of being in touch with the planet and its many joyous sites. It was my childhood dream to stay in a treehouse and I couldn’t be more happier.
Travel is more than the seeing of sights- it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
So this was my first sojourn in the North East, a long awaited trip with my bestie. We took a SpiceJet flight from Jaipur to Guwahati, which is the quickest and the most comfortable way to reach. From Guwahati, prepaid taxis are available to Shillong for two thousand rupees.
About the property : Since it was just the two of us, we wanted a hotel which is a like a mini hill station in itself . Based on the reviews and images on Goibibo, we booked Tripura Castle . It is located on a hilltop and offers a panoramic view of Shillong. The property is beautiful and the plush wooden interiors give you a vintage vibe. The property is managed by female staff and Shillong is essentially a matriarchal society.
The best part is that the property blends in very seamlessly with the natural surroundings. It felt like living right in the middle of a forest with all the comforts you need. And you can witness the entire town of Shillong right from the room’s window overlooking the valley. In the evening, there are bonfires and musical performances to add warmth to the otherwise chilly weather. Sun sets very early in Shillong and by 5 pm it is all dark, a very different and quaint way of life.
Dining options : Food was something that didn’t impress me much, more so because I am a vegetarian which is not a great thing to be in North-East 😂. So, it was definitely a struggle finding decent vegan options. There’s a lot of variety for non vegetarians.
For day one, we stayed in a room located in the main building while for day two we opted for a treehouse cottage which was a fascinating experience. The pricing varies from five thousand rupees to seven thousand rupees depending on the season. Here are pictures from day 1 –
Wanderlust- “A deep, uncontrollable urge to hit the road and travel, by whatever means desired, to explore and enjoy the world.” It is not always about escaping to the solitude of mountains or to the azure blue beaches, but to utilise every moment that you get to rejuvenate yourself and to spend time with the people you love, to experience luxury and immaculate hospitality that revitalises you and prepares you for the challenges of a grilling life.
About the property : Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury. The Oberoi, Gurgaon was one such break for us even though we spent less than 24 hours at the property, it helped us to recuperate from our mundane routine. The place is an oasis of tranquility amidst the chaos of Gurgaon. It is located right in the middle of the city yet once you enter the grounds, an island of green and blue welcomes you. The property is designed around a huge square-shaped water body called the reflection pool. It plays a crucial part in lending a natural aura to the hotel.
Dining options : Two sides of the reflection pool house a luxury shopping arcade, which has brands like – Gucci, Latique. Guests looking for a luxury dining restaurant can choose between their unique gourmet theatre: threesixtyone°, contemporary Indian fine dining space: amaranta, Oberoi Patisserie & Delicatessen, or relax and unwind at the Piano Bar and Cigar Lounge.
Recommendation : We made our booking through Goibibo, you can check detailed reviews about the hotel on TripAdvisor. Also note that The Trident and The Oberoi are adjacent properties belonging to the same group, The Oberoi is high on luxury. I will definitely recommend it to all those looking for solitude, very much close to the city still giving you the Caribbean vibe and very different from a usual business hotel.
Dress like JFK, speak like Hemingway, work like Ralph Lauren, party like Gatsby 😊 Sending warm festive wishes your way 😍
This was a small surprise gift I planned for hubby dearest. We did not go to any exotic locations after wedding, instead we opted for the best possible resorts in our all time favorite place- Goa. Once you have a look at these beautiful properties and the sumptuous luxury they offer, there is no stepping out. I will be doing a separate post on how we planned the entire 7 day trip. This post is exclusively about “The Leela”.
About the property : Sprawled between the Arabian sea and the river Sal, the resort has been designed by renowned architect Tom Pugliaso and it reflects Portuguese and Indian style of architecture. It has everything – limousine transfers from the airport to private plunge pools, dining areas and a designated club beach.
The rooms are spacious, elegant and airy reflecting the easy charm of Goa with balconies facing a lagoon with exotic lotus blooms.The resort has lush greenery, migratory birds and a beautiful Golf course. The setting seems straight out of heaven. The vibrant ambiance here will set the mood for a delightful stay.
Dining options : The resort offers some excellent dining options like Jamavar (Signature Indian), The Riverside (Italian), Susegado -Beachside (Sea food), Aqua (Lounge & Discotheque) and The Pool Bar. The buffet breakfast spread at Jamavar was very elaborate with at least one hundred types of delicacies on the table.
For gardening enthusiasts, there is a small spice plantation tour within the resort and a greenhouse too. What stood out the most for us was their immaculately clean beach, it almost felt like walking on a carpet made of sand. The resort was awarded the honour of being amongst the top 100 luxury hotels of the world by Conde Nast Traveller.
Recommendation : If a quite vacation in a beautiful beach setting is what you seek, it will be a wonderful experience. Also if you are planning a long trip and on a limited budget, plan a day at The Leela and pick other moderately priced resorts for the rest of the duration. For party lovers, staying in North-Goa makes more sense.
I love the idea of staycations. It is very important to take regular breaks from the routine life but not always one has the time to plan and go on a proper vacation, this is where the concept of staycations comes in. It could be a destination escape or a property located right in the middle of your city, choose as per your budget, time and requirements. This post is about one such staycation we took to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.
About the property : The property stands true to its name- it is palatial, serene and a true reflection of the Royal Bharat. We were mesmerized from the moment we stepped inside the hotel grounds. Amidst Impeccable Greenery and beautiful water bodies stands the gigantic- palace looking hotel. We were received with a traditional welcome and a beautiful stole as a souvenir. Also the welcome drink served at their “Peacock Bar” was refreshing. It was almost lunch time so we decided to go for lunch by the time the check in formalities would also get completed.
Dining options : We chose “The India Room” restaurant for lunch, it had an amazing three course Italian buffet with some splendid cocktails. The interiors of the restaurants are so tastefully done up, we were really in awe of the colours and aesthetics. After the sumptuous meal, we went to our room and where we again witnessed the ITC hospitality, our room was upgraded to a suite with an attached pool. They surely know how to keep their guests coming back all the time.
The rooms at ITC are named after cities having historical significance like Varanasi, Hampi, Thanesar etc. The decor style of the room is classy but minimal giving a very relaxed vibe. The aura of the overall place takes you back to medieval India. We spent the afternoon in there heated outdoor pool, the attached pool will be a big hit for summers.
Night lends a different charm to the place with beautifully lit chandeliers and candles. Due to immense greenery, the atmosphere is really pleasant and rejuvenating. One wishes having a permanent residence in this majestic palace.
Recommendation : I would not recommend it to people coming to Delhi/NCR for business/leisure purposes as it is quite far from the main city. Also spending so much does not make sense if you would not be enjoying the place completely. It is definitely an apt option for people looking for a weekend getaway near Delhi. You will come back refreshed and feeling like a Royal.
We made our booking through Goibibo, you can browse more about the hotel at TripAdvisor, Happy Holidaying.
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