I have been always intrigued by destinations that seem exotic, different and offers an interesting experience by itself.
Recently I had an opportunity to stay in one of the finest hospitality spaces, Aahana resorts in Jim Corbett, Uttarakhand.
The train from Old Delhi railway station left on time at 4pm and going with a group of likeminded people ensured that I didn’t have to have to be bored. Good company is ideal for a good holiday experience but if I were to go for a solo trip too, I would definitely recommend this holiday destination for its diverse experience, safety and options to spend the holiday. Likewise a destination that has enough to offer in its platter for families and friends.
I was most definitely looking forward to see and experience Jim Corbett as I had read enough on this region but never could set my holiday here earlier. Anyhow I was equally looking forward to my stay as much as the destination as the space seemed extremely promising in photographs and other reviews.
Our train was delayed and we finally reached Ramnagar, Jim Corbett at around 10.30pm. Soon after a 20 minute drive we reached Aahana.
Aahana means ‘first rays of the sun’ and I was really excited to what my stay had in store particularly for the next day as it would unfold for me.
As we had reached quite late, most guests and hotel staff were asleep. We were surprised to be greeted by select hotel staff who were indeed waiting to welcome us.
Little gestures in the hospitality sector make a huge difference and premium spaces never underestimate its importance.
After a good buffet spread I was directed to my room and the ambiance again ensured I could be hopeful on a lovely experience. Soft lighting, clean spacious room with a balcony, fruits, cookies and mints as part of welcome kit in the room are minor, but gestures that show the host cares for their guests.
The image that made me feel I am at a majestic space was the photograph hung on the wall, yes of course of the tiger, for which travel lovers come to Jim Corbett.
After a good night’s sleep it was time for me to make the best of the next 24 hours. Pleasantly before I could reach out to my mobile alarm to stop ringing, I was woken up by incessant chirping of birds.
With a warm cup of coffee I sat in the balcony for a few minutes before I stepped outside to record the musical chirping notes of the birds. It was a few moments to capture the warmth of the morning sun rays too.
Aahana resorts has over 300 birds within the area in the resort and just outside the resort too. If one is a bird lover or has keen interest in photography, you will love this space. On my walk with the expert Mr. Balwant, I managed to see through his binoculars quite a number of birds like the Indian Gray Hornbill, White throated Kingfisher, Red whiskered bulbul and lots more than I could remember on my fingertips.
Even the neighborhoods surrounding the resort resemble the lush green patches that seem to exist in limited terrains in the country. I was introduced to a few interesting trees that looked great, lush and ready to photographed and admired.
The entire region is a bird’s paradise and if you are someone who will do a happy dance every time you spot a rare bird or a colorful one in layman’s terms, you have the option to spend your morning leisurely at the Aahana premises or outside on the bird walk tour.
After a good morning walk with interesting picturesque sightings to behold, we came back to Aahana. Being a mum myself, I was happy to see the regular facilities that the resort had to offer, but it surely adds up in making an interesting holiday experience for kids. A few kids and families were enjoying their morning swim and a few naughty ones made the most by jumping on the trampoline. Soon, it was time for a lavish breakfast.
The sunlight, ambience, the pool view ensured I have a leisure breakfast.
Later, post a long relaxing shower I decided to tour the resort. There were benches that overlooked clean green open spaces and hammocks strung in designated areas tempting me to laze around and even spend time cycling around where permissible. There are cycles for little ones too.
As one might not be surprised, Aahana resorts is listed as the eighth best resort by TripAdvisor and the space has ensured it adheres to complete ecofriendly measures.
The waste generated is recycled, there is designated space for organic kitchen gardens so that the food that lands on our tables is fresh and devoid of unhealthy chemicals and preservatives.
There is even a ‘gaushala’ where cows are raised and you can even milk them in the mornings.
Ahana also has Naturopathy center that offers various services. I had an opportunity to interact briefly with one of the experts who shared on various aspects of our body functions and how the experts at Aahana address specific concerns if one decides to opt for their Naturopathy services.
After a lavish breakfast, I decided to go light with my lunch as I had a scheduled spa therapy appointment post my meal. Banishing my thoughts on going for a long nap I decided to make the most of ‘me time’.
I opted for a rejuvenating facial, body massage and steam bath ending with a herbal green tea. At the end of the session I just wanted hours to be delayed as I was totally pampered. The elements used in the facial or massage, I was informed, were organic and everything came from the gardens at Aahana itself.
After a rejuvenating experience it was time for me to indulge in another interesting activity.
So in the evening I had the time to go in for a jungle walk and experience the famed jungle safaris that forest reserves boast. This was again a plus factor as we got to know so much on the forests, the animals why we need to respect their privacy and just walking on the dried leaves was different and awesome. We did of course have a family of langurs happily jumping from one branch to another as company, before they decided to stay in one place.
When I came back late evening in the open air jeep, I was glad my day had gone well with many interesting activities and it was time for a good dinner. The entire jungle gives you the positive vibe and am glad I did go to Jim Corbett. At the resort, the tempo was set and I was happy to see families, kids and friends who had stayed enjoying their dinner accompanied by good live music.
The weather was pleasant and with good music and good food and ambience, I had my day gone well.
I am told guests generally like to stay for more days to explore and experience Aahana services and try their luck in spotting a tiger in one of the safaris.
After a really good night’s sleep in my cozy room at Corbett Club, I did catch an early morning safari.
No. I hadn’t spotted a tiger but the entire experience hadn’t disappointed me and had in fact built lots of cherished memories for me. I was more than happy to spot a sambar deer, relish the morning rays of the sunrise in the jungle, warm my face and leave Ramnagar with an unforgettable and a memorable holiday.
Personally the entire experience for me was interesting as there were enough options to laze or be pampered at Aahana and experience the famed Jim Corbett safari rides.
The holiday should be in your must-do list of activities as it gives opportunity to be that perfect weekend destination or even the extended holiday experience if you want to do Nainital-JimCorbett.
A few facts on Jim Corbett
- There are various zones to enter Jim Corbett reserves like Jhirna which is open right through the year. Others are Dhikala, Bijrani. Dhela, Sitabani to name a few.
- Summer months can be hot so be prepared, but it is said it is the best time to spot animals
- Jim Corbett is believed to house over 110 tree species, 580 birds and boasts of animals like tigers, elephants, langurs, jackals to name a few.
A few pointers before you want to go in for a safari
- Do book in advance or let your hotel like Aahana know on your preference to visit a safari. It is generally booked so an advance intimation will help.
- Do not wear bright colours when going on a safari
- If you intend to go for the morning safari, then opt for the blankets provided by Aahana.
- Lastly respect the space of the animals and remember regardless of you get to see a tiger or not, the entire experience will be memorable.
How to reach Jim Corbett and Aahana resorts
One can always come to Delhi and take a train to Ramnagar (be prepared for one to two hours delay) or reach Kathgodham and book a cab.
You can reach Ramnagar, JimCorbett after you visit Nainital which is less than 2 hours distance.
To book your room at Aahana resorts refer to details here- http://www.aahanaresort.com/
(Reshma krishnamurthy from Mums and stories was invited to experience Aahana stay as part of a meet up in March 2018.)