Monday is when I start planning the weekend. And with the holidays coming up, there’s a lot of planning to do. To make the planning process easier, PlushEscapes travel experts have curated this list of for you. It has been a fruitful year with many long weekends, which are now part of happy travel memories. So let’s get packing for another laid-back luxurious break – because too much fun isn’t always a bad thing.
Itmenaan Estate, Kumaon
The hills are calling? The Itmenaan Estate is a 100-year-old traditional home. The stay at the estate is a thoroughly enjoyable experience with the classic contours of the building and the double-storeyed cottage next to it – both of which offer an unhindered and breathtaking view of the Himalayas. The Nanda Devi peak is visible from the estate as well, and the staff will be happy to take you for excursions through the 10-acre property, stretching across rhododendron, pine and oak clusters. The perennial spring running through the property is a book-lover’s ideal-setting.
The Himalayan, Manali
This great Gothic setting, set against the Himalayas, is just the perfect idea for an interesting weekend. Situated at a comfortable distance from the bustle of Manali, The Himalayan is a luxury lover’s paradise. The castle makes for a classic English stay but the charming cottages with their privacy and isolation make for a wonderful disconnect from the world. There’s no challenge the concierge will not rise to, from arranging jeep safaris to the mountains or angling trips in the river to mountain biking and paragliding – all is taken care of.
Kailash Farms, Hoshiarpur
Fun times should include the family and this family-run luxury farm-stay is all about celebrating togetherness. Kailash Farms have rooms and cottages to suit the needs of the whole family and evenings spent with the hosts involve folk music, dance and delicious cuisine. The family can spend an entire day looking on and even participating in the many farm-related activities within the premises, coupled with tractor rides and more.
Vishranti Resort, Dehradun
The farms and the mountains can be a potent combination. Vishranti Resort offers you just that and much more. The suites at this resort are breathtakingly designed and offer an uber-luxurious stay option. Named Aman, Shanti and Vishram & Vishranti – the three suites are the crown jewels of this period-themed resort. Owned by Michael Dalvi, celebrated Ranji Trophy player – the resort is a tribute to the classy, luxury-oriented traveller from anywhere in the world.
There’s nothing quite like a dose of authentic Punjabi-loving added to your luxury. This farm-stay by Itmenaan Lodges offers a safe haven to soak in the goodness of fresh air and farm life over the weekend. If you are not engaged by the interesting Punjabi décor of the 4 standalone cottages, maybe the lure of a tonga ride will interest you. There is not much to do around Punjabiyat except go for long walks or cycle around and if you are interested, a visit to a dairy farm can also be arranged, where you can try a hand at milking cows!
Lakshman Sagar, Pali
The weather rings in good news for those bound to Rajasthan. The consistent rains have transformed the otherwise arid state to quite the hill station setting. The mud-brick castle of Lakshman Sagar is a destination in itself, with the ominous grey clouds adding to the setting. Renovated every year, Lakshman Sagar is one of the foremost names in luxury accommodation in India today. Located in Pali district of Rajasthan, it offers the ambience of the hunting lodges of Indian royalty, and every luxury a modern-day traveller would seek. It was a hunting lodge of the Thakur of Raipur, Lakshman Singh in the 19th century and the standard of hospitality offered here is unparalleled.
Patan Mahal, Patan
Much has been said about the glorious tales of Rajasthan but this one frontier where a royal family of Rajasthan lost a battle is just as significant. Reduced to ruins, the Patan Mahal has been renovated with great love and artistic appreciation by the living members of the family that once ruled from here. While only the lower section of the once formidable palace has been converted into a heritage resort, the ruins of the upper chambers that are located at halfway and at the top of the hill, make for a very interesting hike. A seasonal stream lends magic to the atmosphere and a chattri (built for shade) that was once home to a powerful ascetic adds an element of mystery to the outdoors.
The Himalayan Village, Kasol
Oh, the sweet smell of deodar trees! Such a warm signature of the Himalayas. This Himalayan Village in Kasol is set amid a deodar forest with cottages named after the many destinations of the region. The entire resort is a reflection of the Kathunia (native to Kullu) architecture and quite the sight to behold. The quaint machans are the highlight of this property and offer an undisturbed view of the mountains as well as the forests. The spa offers an array of pampering delights for the body and soul.
Tree of Life, Jaipur
Tree of Life, Jaipur really requires no introduction and should be on your list of worth-a-visit. An extended weekend is just what you need to unwind and relax at one of the 14 villas of the resort. The sandstone and lime structure offers an instant shift to a traditional Rajasthani luxury saved for royalty. A walk around the resort is like a visit to an erstwhile age of grandeur. The service is impeccable and the resort’s tailor-made outdoor excursions will go all the way to make you and your family feel very special.
Te Aroha, Dhanachuli
A perfect getaway for those in search of a little silence and calm. This boutique resort near Mukteshwar is a quiet celebration of class. Te Aroha is unmistakably a paradise for book lovers, with cozy corners and an unending supply of tea to keep you company. The view of the mountains is serene and the understated take on luxury within the rooms, formerly the owner’s residence, is welcoming. Meals taken together by all the guests at the restaurant makes for a great exchange of ideas and plans. The resort’s grand celebration of art is evident from Chitrashala, a museum of sorts for the guests to enjoy.