Nestled in the dense shrubbery of the bushveld are thatched huts called rondavels (yes they’re round) replete with netted canopy beds and soft white linen, plus wooden decks overlooking the dry river bank and sub-tropical woodland. Elephant Plains Game Lodge is romance and adventure wrapped in old-world South Africa safari trimmings; a place where spotting leopards, lions, cape buffalo, elephants and rhinoceroses is almost assured. There are even webcams hung around Kruger National Park! By day, trackers load up Land Cruisers for game drives to traverse the Sabi Sand Elephant Plains concession for up-close sightings of hippos, wild dogs, leopards… and in the evening, as hyenas begin howling, relax in the spa until drums summon all to a traditional outdoor Boma dinner.
Mist in the morning, warmth by day; cool and quiet by night – in the heart of an Indian jungle with elephants, Bengal tigers, spotted deer, mongoose and reuse monkeys roaming the neighbourhood. The air’s scented with wilderness and fragrant spices from chef Negi’s cuisine served at private tables in the woodland. There’s a canopy bed in a villa; a cottage or safari tent to snuggle in after dark; romance from the bygone era of adventures with regal comforts in untamed surroundings. Linen on tables, lanterns by a pool, heated bottles under blankets and…quests for pugmarks and listening for animal calls. It’s Jims Jungle Retreat – one of the romantic Jim Corbett resorts inside India’s oldest nature reserve, Jim Corbett National Park. And getting there’s just half the fun!
Ever wondered what it would be like to wake up one morning, get out of your room and watch the clouds play hide & seek behind the mighty Himalayas; to hear the morning birds sing without hindrance; to listen to the gurgling sound of a distant river; to forget about the ever-so-busy city life? Well, this is my story. Of an escapade planned overnight. Utterly tired of our busy humdrum lives, me and my five girlfriends planned a trip to the Rishikesh valley, in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. India holidays… ahhh yes, but we were unaware of all the experiences we were about have. It began while hunting for Rishikesh hotels but ended up being an adventurous Rishikesh camping trip instead, with tents, homemade food, evening bonfires and breathtaking scenery.
Drive up steep hilly roads, take sharp turns, maneuver through congested lanes and finally reach a slice of Tibet – in northern India’s Uttarakhand state. That’s where Doma’s Inn is located, in Mullingar Hill, Landour, 35 km. from Mussoorie hill station, and near the Landour market. The Inn is small, cozy and decorated like a typical Tibetan village. The owner (apparently a Bollywood fan) has hung film posters on the walls, albeit alongside dragonhead tapestries & traditional Buddhist thankas! Domas Inn is famed for its eclectic décor and sumptuous Tibetan, Chinese and Indian cuisine. It’s not one of the regular restaurants / hotels in Mussoorie, but a country Inn, renowned for an eccentric Tibetan-style ambiance, great food, stunning views and personal service.
Snuggle under goose-down duvets, choose books from the private library, feast on wild mushrooms & drink Polish spring water amidst views of the Carpathian Tatras Mountains in a nook near the Poland-Slovakia border (145 km south of Kraków). Nestled amidst hills, beech-fir forests & river valleys, is a picturesque writer’s retreat called Cottage at the Springs. This rustically-elegant Polish holiday cottage is “at the springs” due to the natural spring water sources – one 200m from the cottage and others in Wierchomla (500m), Piwniczna (11 km), Muszyna (26 km) & Krynica (38 km). The cottage, a private 3-story chalet with traditional gabling, cozy attic, luxury salon and spa-style bath, also comes with “powitanie” from Krystyna, Witold and their four loveable dogs.
Chokhi Dhani means “fine hamlet” in Marwari - a Rajasthani dialect. Arriving at the facade of the resort (on Tonk Road Via Vatika, about 18 km from Jaipur city), guests are welcomed in royal style with dhol (a drum) and tilak (a mark on the forehead with turmeric & vermillion paste). Designed to replicate a typical Rajasthan village, the staff is dressed in ethnic attire: women in vibrant ghagra-cholis and men in white dhoti-kurtas and brightly coloured jackets. Guests can choose to stay in a royal cottage or haveli style suite, taste Rajasthani manuhar cuisine, ride a camel or bullock cart, witness live folkloric dances, and have a blacksmith forge little trinkets. Chokhi Dhani Jaipur takes visitors on an exotic journey into a Rajasthani village in a nutshell.
Spend the night relaxing in the peaceful tranquillity of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, NSW. Let the romance blossom when you spend the night at the Fairmont Resort, conveniently located close to Sydney making it the perfect weekend getaway destination. Take in local native bushland while you relax in the resort and spa and treat yourself to the best views of Australia’s natural environment. Dine in one of the four restaurants within the resort, each bringing the local flavour of the Blue Mountains to life. Whether it’s high tea or a romantic dinner by the fireplace, there are fine dining options infused with the taste of the outback for everyone. Recently re-furbished, the rooms in the Fairmont Resort cater to all modern romantic’s needs.