1. The Machan, Lonavala
Driving time: 2.5 hours
An express weekend in Lonavala might be a pass for a Mumbaikar veteran, but this eco-resort manages to have a new vision. An appealing upgrade on glamping, the treehouses at Machan are just about everything you would like for a nature vacation without the discomfort of camping. The wood and glass treehouses, soaring up to 40 feet above the forest, have the warm aesthetic of a log cabin that makes you feel like you are sleeping in the thick of the trees. wood. A tree bursts through the floor in the middle of your bedroom, leaves penetrate your bathroom (if not already an outdoor bathroom), glass walls or ceilings let the night sky surround you while you sleep – the immersion is really complete.
You can choose a type of treehouse, or “Machan,” which best gives you the kind of enveloping feeling you are looking for. But first place goes to the Starlight Machan, which is literally a glass house that seems to float above the valley. The Heritage Machan, a two-level loft with wonderful views and a vintage vibe, is a very close second. In the spirit of social distancing, meals that were only served in the dining room can now arrive in your cabin, as can snacks for hungry. Prepare for severe withdrawal symptoms to hit you as soon as you step into the chaos of Mumbai.
On the way
Just under 11 km from Lonavala are the Karla Caves, ancient rock-hewn Buddhist caves, the oldest of its shrines dating back to 160 BC. Large arches and stupas are a treat for any ardent visitor before heading to the calm stillness of the hills.
2. Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa
Driving time: 3 hours
A spa retreat in the hills is just the ticket needed in the pain of what can only be described as a “stressful year”. Nestled in the cool, spectral Shillim Valley of the Sahyadris is the Hilton Eco-Wellness Retreat, a short drive from the city to get away from even a not-so-long weekend. Villas are luxurious without being overdone, from the Spa Pool Villa – with its private pool and garden – to the three-bedroom Presidential Villa, which enhances the garden with a view of the valley. Outdoor enthusiasts may prefer nature walks, hikes, and beautiful nature hikes, but if you fancy a quality spa day, consider your pre-booked schedule.
You can get a mix of treatments ranging from old favorites like aromatherapy to unique treatments like Ku Nye (Tibetan herbal ritual massages) through its preset wellness programs – although treatments are not available. out of programs for the moment. There is, however, a quiet meditation cave and a yoga pavilion, so you can create your own relaxation program as an alternative. Punctuate your days with cocktails at the Valley Bar and dinner at the chef’s table at Terrazzo, and you have an enviable isolation routine.
1. Ganga Kutir in raichak on the Ganges
Driving time 2 hours
Ask anyone who lives in Kolkata for getaways that don’t involve theft, and the answer is either “I have absolutely no idea” or “Raichak.” While an incredibly long ride would bring you in colorful Banaras or postcard bait in Darjeeling, Raichak has the luxury of being a quiet little place at a fraction of that distance. But the peaceful river town is no consolation prize. It’s the perfect long weekend, especially if you are staying at this luxurious resort of Raichak on the Ganges. While it has other more popular properties in town (including a spa resort at L’Occitane), we prefer these bucolic rooms and suites for their secluded setting and serene river views.
The property has its own dining area, but take a little tour of Sonar Tori – literally across the sparkling green pond – whenever you can. The high-ceilinged restaurant, which is also part of the larger RoG property, deserves repeat visits both for its waterfront setting and authentic Bengali cuisine. It’s a sleepy but striking city, which makes it exactly the kind of place to cycle in the crisp, twilight hours. Who Said A Relaxing Workout Is An Oxymoron?
On the way
In a small village called Sarisha there is a legendary candy store, Sri Ramkrishna Mistanna Bhandar. Going from here for a takeout box of gulab jamuns is never a bad choice.
2. The Belgadia Palace, Mayurbhanj
Driving time: 5 hours
Mayurbhanj in Odisha might not be your first thought when imagining a peaceful trip, but this charming property is a well-kept secret that will change that notion. A restored 18th-century Victorian palace dating back 200 years and still home to the Mayurbhanj Royal Family, it has ten bedrooms, each designed by the current Maharani of Mayurbhanj and his daughters. The space is an esthete’s delight, filled with royal furniture and artwork that could easily become ostentatious, but never do. The time travel effect of the Imperial Halls, dotted with Persian rugs, chandeliers, and century-old oil paintings, is enough to make you feel like you’ve finally escaped the relentless chaos of the city.
What adds to the sense of escape is the park itself, with the palace perched on a small hill with sprawling gardens and flowers surrounding it. The open-air checkered verandas are a great place to have a cup of tea – or, if you want to miss the dining room, a late-afternoon meal of home-cooked Odia dishes. The Natural Lake at a Frontier will prove to be the perfect place to dive into in-depth reflection (and maybe sketching), while the well-groomed footpaths that cross the estate make for real walks at Downton Abbey. Free up space on your phone, it will fill up with photos before you know it
1. Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa, Coorg
Driving time: 6.5 hours
The cool climates and the fragrant air at Coorg Coffee (officially known as Kodagu) will never be too overwhelming for the Bengaluru crowd on the road trip. With its rolling coffee and spice plantations, the land of the warrior Kodanavas has a sharp sense of peace about it. Sitting on top of a hill, 4,000 feet above sea level, the Taj Madikeri captures this calming effect and subtracts the tumultuous from tourists.
The villas and cottages that look out over mist-covered valleys and forest are ideal for a day lounging, if you’re not on hikes or walks in the rainforest. You can also relax with a bit of yoga or a day at the spa. When you dine, you will have your choice of restaurants (Nellaki mostly does brilliant Kodava dishes),
but also try one of the hotel’s more off-the-book dining experiences; dinner at the gazebo or a 101 candle light dinner at the amphitheater come to mind. You’ll be back to certified reloaded grind – and not just because you’ll be 80% java by then.
2. Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, Hampi
Driving time: 6 hours
Known for the archaeological ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi is more than fodder for a budding photographer’s next exhibition. The World Heritage Site is a history buffs delight, with royal temples, towers and statues dripping with fascinating origin stories. While a tour of the city’s 14th-century art and architecture would have been a must, this hotel’s air of regal luxury makes up for having to miss it. The suites soak up the ambience of the palace with lavish (but tasteful) interiors, private Jacuzzis, or, if you prefer to do it all, a private plunge pool.
If you can’t resist exploring, they will organize a Tungabhadra trek or Raya architecture trail for you. Otherwise, there is no time like the present to sink into the life of the sequel without guilt.
3. The Serai Kabini
Driving time: 6 hours
Anyone’s nemophile would rampage in the thick, animal jungles of Kabini. Game drives, treks and bird watching may be Kabini’s typical highlights, but the riverside lends itself just as well to a restful and pastoral weekend. Located on the water’s edge, the mini bungalows at this resort have a lovely cabin feel in the woods. For a comfortable trip for two, the warm and welcoming waterfront villas do the trick. The residences, flanked by the river and a cove on either side, with its private jacuzzi and verandas, give it a vacation home feel.
The Multi-Kitchen Wildgrass is where you’ll head for meals, but you might be drawn more to the riverfront patio of its bar, Outpost. Nothing like an Old Fashioned by the water, right?
1. JW Marriott Walnut Grove Resort & Spa in Mussoorie
Driving time: 7 hours
If you feel more mountains than beach-slash-river, you can take a few different turns by car from Delhi and head to a part of Uttarakhand that offers the perfect hillside detox. Away from the bustling crowds of Mussoorie (about five miles away) is this oak hideaway nestled on a hill all its own. You could spend your days hiking, having lunch in his greenhouse cafe, bowling or eating a Mediterranean meal at the Wisteria Deck.
L’Occitane’s charming Cedar spa should hopefully be back soon, but until then yoga and relaxation are a happy alternative. After eight months of weathering Delhi’s whimsical weather, tea and a good book on a chair in front of a sunset over an ethereal sierra is a pretty appealing prospect.
2. The Rosy Ganges, Rishikesh
Driving time: 6.5 hours
As close to an idyllic beach vacation as you can get by car from the capital, this resort’s private white sand beach is actually a better compromise than any touristy shore in Goa. A spa town that overlooks the Ganges, with the hazy silhouette of the Garhwal foothills playing as a backdrop, the place’s Instagram potential is endless. The minimalist villas are ideal for a few days of quiet treatments, yoga and relaxed early morning nature walks. There are pastry shops and bakeries in the fray, but the authentic Garhwali and Kumaon cuisine at Chidya Ghar, designed by Rahul Dua and Kainaz Contractor (of Cafe Lota and Rustom) is the star. While the pool isn’t open for swimming at the moment, maybe you could dine poolside for a change of pace?
Recommendations for travelers
• It is advisable to prepare a negative Covid-19 test and isolate it for 72 hours before travel.
• If you are traveling without testing, quarantine or isolation on property may be required (varies state to state).
• Check official guidelines and complete all necessary forms for condition prior to travel.
3. The Oberoi Vanyavilās Wildlife Resort, Ranthambhore
Driving time: 7.5 hours
Rajasthan is a pretty natural destination for Delhi-based backpackers and their favorite allies. Between the bustling city of Jaipur, majestic Jaisalmer, historic Jodhpur and empyrean Udaipur, you could really drive in any direction of this culturally rich state and find yourself in a fantastic place. A touch more unexplored than the usual suspects is Ranthambore, best known for its wildlife and Bengal tiger trails, and best known up close in Vanyavilās. Surrounded by the Aravali and Vindhya mountains and enough lush greenery to feel like a vintage Old Spice advertisement, the resort’s luxury tents were born for sybaritic seclusion.
The resort borders Ranthambore National Park, home to deer, leopards, crocodiles and, of course, those Royal Bengal tigers which can be spotted via jungle walks. Add to that the farm-to-fork breakfasts, private yoga sessions and lakeside dinners under the starry sky, and you have an ideal handsome getaway.
On the way
The NH 148 road allows you to stop at Neemrana Fort Palace for lunch and a visit (if you call ahead), while the NH 248A road takes you through Alwar and past the highly photographic Bala Quila.
About six kilometers before arriving at Mussoorie, stop to admire the stunning views of Lal Tibba Scenic Point at the top of Depot Hill, in Landour. At 2,275 meters above sea level, it is the highest point in the region and offers an unparalleled panorama.