“Magical tents pitched on a dam overlooking a lake teeming with birds, in the heart of rural Rajasthan”
Each luxury canvas palace is hand-stitched and furnished with locally crafted furniture and fabrics. Their outstanding features are the gorgeous hand-painted floors, which are based on traditional henna designs. You get a huge comfortable bed, soft pillows and private outdoor seating so you can lounge around watching birds skimming over the water and antelope grazing on the jungle-fringed banks beyond.
We stayed in one of the 2 Hilltop Tents, which get the best sunsets, panoramic views and a cooling breeze. They’re also much more private - great for honeymooners. The remaining 11 Double / Twin Tents are placed in a line along the top of the dam, so they share equal front-row watery views.
Modern slate bathrooms have hot and cold running water, showers, bathrobes and slippers. After dinner on a cool winter’s night, you’ll find your bed pre-warmed by a welcome hot-water bottle placed between the sheets.
There’s no air-con but you get large powerful fans and plenty of natural breeze. We never felt stiflingly hot, despite visiting in the hotter months. They also lack locks and secure storage, but we felt entirely safe during our stay.
Lotus seeds with cardamom, rosewater-and-rose-petal pudding - the time-honoured family dishes cooked with care by the gentle Nimaj ladies are exceptionally tasty. Meals flavoured with fenugreek and chillies, grown organically in fields nearby, are savoured in the open-sided dining tent or alfresco under the stars, accompanied by campfires and lake vistas that are as superb as the food.
Our 3-course fixed menu dinner included an excellent Goat curry and imli baingan (aubergine and tamarind), alongside chappatis, aromatic rice and raita. Lunches are a little less formal and breakfast features lots of fresh fruit, yoghurt with pomegranate and eggs any way.
Early morning tea, coffee and biscuits are brought to your tent so you can wake up gently to birdsong – just watch out for the cheeky squirrels after those biscuits!
Alcoholic drinks are also available, including sundowners (normally ice-cold beer or gin and tonic) served on top of the hill as the sun melts into the vast plains spreading out beneath.
Although the camp accepts children of all ages the atmosphere is aimed at adult travellers. We would strongly advise you not to bring young kids or toddlers as the dam parapet is low (and non-existent in places). Older children with an interest in nature would enjoy it here, but teenagers wired to their iPods will quickly become bored.
Children (4-12 years)
Each tent has space for an extra bed (baby cots are not provided).