A small guesthouse run with old world hospitality, a bungalow where you can lounge by the pool and catch up on your reading, or a luxe villa in the Aravallis, away from the bazaars and the crowded Mall Roads on hill stations — finding a weekend getaway not teeming with tourists is never easy.
You’re itching to leave the city behind, but there’s the nagging feeling that you’ve already been everywhere worth going. Trawling through the net is an option, but not always reliable. Service levels at places recommended by Rough Guide and Lonely Planet could plummet by the time you visit them.
We get you five new destinations that are gaining popularity for their quirky charm or earthy appeal.
Tikli Bottom, for instance, is a Lutyens-style haveli run as a guesthouse by Martin Howard and his wife Annie, a British couple who’ve made India their home. If the name tickles your imagination, get a quick fact-check: It’s the location, stupid! The guesthouse is across the village of Tikli in Haryana, off the Delhi-Jaipur highway. “It is ideal for those looking for a contemplative country experience,” says Howard.
Jaipur, of course, is a favoured weekend destination. Close to the Pink City’s Aamer Fort, a new resort has set shop. Tree of Life was launched three months ago by hospitality veteran Himmat Anand and it is here that Abercrombie and Kent India executive director Rajesh Khanna and his wife spent a long weekend before Christmas. “It is a good change from the Tridents and Rambagh Palaces. We enjoyed the seclusion,” says Khanna.
Close to Samode, which has been drawing tourists by hordes, Chomu Palace is a relatively unknown palace hotel now gaining popularity.
If you’re looking for an economical option, try Dera Mandawa, a family-run boutique hotel. For those who think green, the hotel uses a solar plant for hot water and a biogas plant for cooking. For bird watching and nature walks, head to Jaagar, the village resort on the periphery of Jim Corbett Park.
The choices are growing. You could even check out Sheikhpura Kothi, the chateau run by Sir Chhotu Ram’s family near Hisar. Are you already packing your bags?