“Eco-chic cottages, tents and rooms in 20 wildlife-rich acres, all right beside Ranthambhore Park”
All rooms are lovely, but the Luxury Cottages are knock-out. Staggered down a slope near the house, they face onto vistas of pampas grass and a small lake (complete with a resident crocodile!). Each has a private porch where you can watch birdlife by day and stargaze by night.
Inside, décor is simple but stylish: colourful block-printed bedspreads, white linen curtains, recycled paper bedside lamps, and waffle robes neatly folded into squares. There’s not a great deal of space, but everything is beautiful and the beds are very comfortable. Huge sandstone bathrooms have twin basins, walk-in drench showers and bespoke vetiver and sandalwood bio-organic toiletries. Better still, beyond the bathroom lies a totally private courtyard with twin loungers, a big stone tub and an overhead shower. A gorgeous place to read in the sun.
Perched on wooden platforms, the Luxury Tents are tucked in lush gardens or overlook open grassland. Less sumptuous than the cottages, they are nonetheless very attractive with white linen exteriors, comfortable double beds and quirky bamboo shower cubicles. Fans help to keep things cool, although we had to retreat to the plunge pool to escape the midday summer heat.
The Standard Rooms in the main building provide a cheaper - and less luxurious - option, although unlike the tents, they do have air-conditioning. Those on the upper floor have large cushioned bay windows for gazing out over the park.
In keeping with the lodge’s organic ethos, food is ultra-fresh, 100% vegetarian and, whenever possible, home-grown. There’s an enormous vegetable garden, and the surrounding wheat fields supply grain for the home-baked bread. Even the cows are fed organic to make their milk tasty!
Set-menu meals are served by friendly waiters in the airy dining room, a pristine white space with open arches peeking out to the gardens.
Our tasty international lunch began with an excellent chilled pumpkin soup and garlic bread. This was followed by pesto spaghetti, tomato and balsamic salad and a sweet potato Thai red curry with rice. Bursting at the seams, we managed a fresh fruit salad for dessert.
Evenings kick off with drinks around the campfire - a lovely opportunity to meet fellow guests. There’s the usual range of beers, spirits and soft drinks (wine is only available by the bottle, but staff can chill leftovers for the following evening). Guests then wander into the dining room and help themselves to a Thali buffet. We had paneer with tomatoes, potato with cumin and coriander, pomegranate raita, and a lentil daal. Fresh naan breads and chapatis were baked in an outdoor tandoor oven - both very good - and dessert was rice pudding. Private tables can also be set up by the lake.
Breakfast was also good - a buffet of cereals, sliced pomegranate and fresh breads, along with some hot options. We enjoyed masala and cheese omelettes, as well as perfectly poached eggs and yummy pancakes.