A rainy weekend in Ranthambore {feat. Tree Of Life Resort & Spa}

By 11:22 Monday 11 November 2019 , ,

The Indian state of Rajasthan is one of the world's top tourist destinations owing to its rich cultural heritage, historical significance and dreamy palaces turned into hotels that give you the ultimate taste of luxury. Despite its geographical vastness, the only cities that seem to be enjoying the travellers' limelight are Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, to name a few. After seeing enough of the mentioned places, it gave me immense joy to explore the lesser-visited gems like Bikaner, Mandawa, Kota in the last two years and more recently, Ranthambore.

One of the largest national parks of North India, this tiger haven is situated near a quiet town called Sawai Madhopur which only comes alive in the months of October to June, with wildlife enthusiasts pouring in from all over the world. I got to experience Ranthambore's wilderness along with a slice of luxury owing to my wondeful stay at The Kipling Lodge by Tree of Life Resorts and Spa. Constructed in the style of a typical old-school jungle lodge {one with fireplaces, stone cottages, et al}, Kipling is a fine mix of rustic and fancy with a much-expected influence of Rajasthani culture and art. My three-day stay at the property with my mom proved to be just the relaxing break I didn't know I needed.

First impressions

I reached the property early morning after an overnight journey from Delhi via Dehradun Express and an easy 30-minute drive from Sawai Madhopur railway station. After receiving a warm welcome in true Rajasthani style {with garlands and everything!}, I took a quick round of the property before retiring to my lovely 'Horse Cottage'. I was instantly charmed by the beautiful archways with Indian murals around the adequate courtyard, the lush greenery along the path that led to my room and two gorgeous ponds strewn with water lillies. I caught a glimpse of the pool but saved the full picture for later.

The dining area comprised of beautiful ceilings, chandeliers and a master wall with colourful ceramic dishes all over it {which eventually became one of my favourite spots for my outfit pictures, no surprise there}

The stay

Just a short walk away from the reception and dining area, each cottage is divided into a living room and a bed room, complete with two private outdoor seating areas and a shared rooftop, an extra spacious bathroom and a separate outdoor shower area enclosed between the bedroom and the bathroom {yep, imagine having a relaxing early morning shower with the warmth of the sun and the sounds of nature}. Everything, from the furniture and linens to the paintings and artefacts exuded an extremely aesthetic vintage vibe that I so adore. Each cottage can easily fit three adults {four, with the help of extra bedding}. 

I spent a lot of my time inside my cozy cottage, making the most of their impeccable room service and also by the pool, sipping on ginger tea and gorging on yummy chilli cheese toast. Luckily, it rained all three days that I was there. The lovely overcast sky and freshly-wet greenery around the pool area made my chai-sessions even more beautiful.

Another one of my favourite spots at the property was the super snug reading room. Complete with vintage cabinets and old-timey photographs, stunning coffee table literature, and swanky leather furniture, it is the perfect spot for some quiet me-time.

The hotel staff also arranged a beautiful candle-lit wine and dine scene for my mom and I by the foreplace in the reading room. If you're looking to celebrate a special occasion with your travel companion, this could be a great way to do so!

In terms of food, I was extremely pleased with the in-house restaurant. From the good ol' Dal Makhni and Butter naan to Rajasthani Gatta Curry and Italian Pastas, the chef had us satisfactorily covered from breakfast till dinner.

The Safari

Ranthambore is one of the most beautiful forests I've ever seen: surrounded with oddly shaped hills, grass that changes shape and colour every few metres, tiny streams sprouting between rocks and most of all, the thrilling possibility of spotting the yellow beast. Since it rained heavily during my entire jeep ride and we had to return midway, I could only spot a few deers and antelopes. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the wind in my hair and the smell of the rain with sprawling greenery as fas as my eyes could see.

You can book your safari online via the government operated portal or ask the property concierge for assistance. There are separate charges for the pick up from and the drop back to the property.

Parting notes

Ranthambore makes for an amazing weekend getaway, no matter who you're travelling with. It is far enough from Delhi to make you feel disconnected yet close enough that the journey doesn't take a toll on you. The property is a fine example of affordable luxury with the most courteous staff, dozens of Instagram-worthy corners and every pre-requisite for short-and-sweet break from the daily grind.

For more info and bookings, click here.

Liked this post? Read about another one of Rajasthan's little known jewel here.

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