Khem Villas

Ranthambhore National Park, Ranthambore National Park, India
Book from GBP Book from £208 per night

Khem Villas

Ranthambhore National Park, Ranthambore National Park, India

Eco-chic villas, cottages, tents and rooms in 30 wildlife-rich acres, all right beside Ranthambhore Park

Eco-chic villas, cottages, tents and rooms in 30 wildlife-rich acres, all right beside Ranthambhore Park

This place is a treat. Lush gardens wrap around a colonial-style white house, and the air is fragrant with frangipani, lavender and roses. Daybeds scattered here and there allow you to sit back and take in the views, the silence only punctuated by birds, of which there are many. It’s incredibly serene, bordering Ranthambhore Park - the closest you can get to actually staying in the park itself.

An admirable hotel in many respects, owners Goverdhan and Usha are pillars of the rural community. Their whole ethos is ethical sustainable tourism: food is vegetarian and the lodge’s 30 acres of grassland, lakes and forest were hand-planted years ago, cultivating a flourishing natural habitat for myriad wildlife – they even have resident crocodiles. People come here for the national park’s tigers, but with sightings never guaranteed, a place as special as this will ensure you don’t leave Ranthambhore disappointed.


  • An ecological oasis teeming with bird and animal life - make time for a walk with the resident naturalist
  • A warm welcome: big smiles, chilled face towels and sweet lime juice instantly revive you
  • Gorgeous accommodation including chic thatched cottages and luxury tents, plus some cheaper rooms in the main building
  • Little indulgences: a cooling plunge pool, a small spa offering relaxing massages and fun evening drinks around the campfire
  • An ethical lodge: the owners have set up a local hospital and school, introduced animal husbandry and only employ local staff


  • The food is good, but a little repetitive
  • There's not a lot of light in the bedrooms at night
  • A bit off the beaten track - although you can arrive by train and get collected from the station, the journey is a bit stressful
  • Tiger safaris need to be booked at least 6-8 weeks in advance

Best time to go

Weatherwise, the best time to visit is from October to March, although you're more likely to see tigers in May and June if you can take the heat (temperatures can rise above 40C). November, December and January can bring cold mornings and evenings, with crisp, sunny days. The park is closed during the monsoon season (July to September), although Khem Villas remains open.

Our top tips

Bring sturdy shoes for doing jungle walks, binoculars for wildlife-spotting, an extra memory card for your camera (if you see a tiger, you won't stop snapping) and some ear plugs to avoid getting woken up by early birds!

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Safari Lodge
  • 26 rooms, villas and tents
  • All meals included
  • Not ideal for children
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


All accommodation options are lovely, but the Private Villas are knock-out, each with Jacuzzis from which you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Ranthambhore hills.

Equally gorgeous are the Luxury Cottages. Staggered down a slope near the house, they face onto vistas of either pampas grass and a small lake (complete with a resident crocodile!), or towards the forest. 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.

For those who'd like to get closer to nature, the Luxury Tents overlook open grassland and onto the surrounding hills and lotus lake. Less sumptuous than the cottages, they are nonetheless very attractive with white linen exteriors, comfortable double beds and quirky bamboo shower cubicles. Equipped with central heating for the cooler months and air conditioning to keep the summer heat at bay - although we often retreated to the plunge pool when temperatures peaked at midday. Similar are the Superior Tents, though they offer a little more space and a slightly less rustic feel.

The Standard Rooms in the main building provide a cheaper - and less luxurious - option. They're on the first floor and have large cushioned bay windows for gazing out over the park.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Fan


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.

Features include:

  • All meals included
  • Bar
  • Organic produce
  • Vegetarian options


  • Most come here to see Ranthambhore Park’s wild tigers (sadly not guaranteed although, promisingly, the population has doubled in recent years). Daily morning and evening safaris can be arranged - we'd recommend booking at least 2 well in advance. Choose between a 6-seater Gypsy or 20-seater Canter vehicle. Neither is better, sightings are just down to luck
  • Even if you don’t see tigers, you’re pack your binoculars for fabulous wildlife. We came across heaps of deer, peacocks, snakes, crocodiles, eagles, owls and monkeys
  • Built in 900AD by the Rajput rulers, hilltop Ranthambhore Fort was later invaded by Akbar's army and today offers wonderful views from its ramparts - reception can organise visits
  • Camel rides to nearby villages and trips to see black buck in the desert can also be arranged
  • Fantastic on-site birdwatching - a telescope and night-vision monocular can be provided, as well as naturalists to guide you - and expeditions can be arranged to view the waders, ducks and migratory species of Soorwal Lake and the Chambal river
  • Back at the lodge, take a walk of the grounds with knowledgeable resident naturalist, Mittal. She has an extraordinary ability to spot critters you would have otherwise walked straight past
  • Cool off in the plunge pool, or treat yourself to an Ayurvedic a massage in the spa

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Camel rides
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Safaris
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife


Although children are allowed, they cannot be left unattended (especially after dark) due to the wildlife in and around the camp. Families should book the two Deluxe Rooms as they can interconnect to sleep up to 6. Extra beds and baby cots are available in other accommodation options.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:


Khem Villas is set on the outskirts of Ranthambhore National Park, 13km from Sawai Madhopur. It's 200km (4 hours by car) from Jaipur and 300km (6 hours by car) from Agra.

By Air
Jaipur (200km away) is the nearest airport. It has internal flights from most Indian airports, including Delhi and Mumbai (Bombay). There's also a private airstrip and helipad at Sawai Madhopur; Khem Villas can advise on plane or helicopter charters.

By Car
It's a 4-hour drive from Jaipur airport to Ranthambhore. Our Tailormade Tour Operator can arrange a driver for the single journey or as part of a longer bespoke tour of Rajasthan.

By Train
There are daily trains from Jaipur to Sawai Madhopur (2-hour journey), Delhi (4 hours) and Bharatpur (2.5 hours). The hotel offers a free pick-up service from the station.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Rajasthan and getting around


  • Jaipur 200.0 km JAI


  • Beach 900.0 km
  • Shops 13.0 km
  • Restaurant 13.0 km

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