The last month of 2019 is just about to end, and with it comes the merry festival of Christmas followed by ushering in a brand new year! This season gets us dreaming of snowy mountains, sun-kissed beaches, cozy home stays and huddling around warm fireplaces with a good book and there really is no better time than now to pack your bags and get away to someplace surreal to soak in the festivities. Go on, what are you waiting for? Time for a truly memorable holiday season!
1. Gogunda Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan
This beautiful oasis is just 40 kms from Udaipur. It is here that Maharana Pratap was coronated as king in 1572. They offer you 7 types of Suites, where each room and suite is different from each other – be it murals, woodwork, jharokhas and the gorgeous yellow ochre palace, which now nestles lazily making for a vivid portrait against the pink boungainvilleas. While staying here indulge in activities like local village walk, jeep safari, cycling ,trekking tours and bird watching, yoga sessions or you can visit the Ranakpur temple, Kumbhalgarh Fort or Haldi Ghat.
2. Shervani Hilltop, Nainital, Uttarakhand
This boutique garden resort is set at an altitude of 6,300 feet above the sea level and is spread across the lush green land of Uttarakhand with elite facilities. The 47 rooms here have splendid view of the mountains and the town. They offer multiple options when it comes to dining- The Multi-Cuisine Restaurant invites you to indulge in a range of dining experiences –curated by the master chefs to pacify your senses. Enjoy Al fresco dinning at Garden Bar-be-que Restaurant- savour yourself with great Indian kebabs at the bar-be-que in their garden. Pamper yourself at The Courtyard Bar with the finest assortment of liquors that include an impressive range of cocktails, premium whiskeys and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
How about renting a magnificent waterfront Portuguese Estate on the banks of the Chapora river – a two-minute walk from the world famous Morjim Beach known for its Ridley Turtle habitat! Share unforgettable moments with your loved ones in the verandahs and balcaos with sweeping views of the river through swaying coconut trees. This is an ideal stay for travellers looking for an extraordinary vacation experience.
4. Shivadya, Karjan, Himachal Pradesh
Shivadya is a designer boutique spa-retreat nestled snugly amidst apple orchards in Karjan village. Built from the ground up using the ‘Zero Wastage’ concept, this mountain hideaway is truly a marvel by itself. The 15 rooms here have splendid view of the mountains, valleys and orchards. You can even enjoy lunch with the family in the apple orchards or even by the gurgling Himalayan stream on special request.
5. The Mudhouse, Puttalam, Sri Lanka
Spread throughout a large expanse of forest on the outskirts of a small village in Sri Lanka, this retreat is blessed with abundant birdlife, wildlife and natural beauty. Its main principle is environmental sustainability and the sanctum is a refreshing force for coexistence with nature. Traditional village cuisine is cooked in the customary way with clay pots and firewood hearths. Also, visit the numerous parks and wildlife reserves and enjoy the laidback vibe of this rural Sri Lankan lodge.
Doesn’t it feel a lot like Christmas already? So, get planning!
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