Shakti 360 Leti

Kumaon, Uttarakhand, India Book from Book from £1212 per night

An exclusive, remote retreat, with panoramic Himalayan views that will make your soul soar
The jagged white peaks of the Heeramani glacier bear down on you from the north, while to the east, Nepalese snowcaps twinkle in the glittery distance. This kind of scenery is normally reserved for hardened trekkers - but you’ll find Shakti 360 Leti a lot more indulgent than Everest base camp. Four futuristic glass, wood and stone cabins, and a larger communal dining and lounge area, perch on a stunningly remote mountaintop that commands knockout views of the northwestern Himalaya. And while you soak up this incredible vista from a height of 7,314 feet (2,230m), you'll be living in the lap of solar-powered eco-luxury.

The incredible location redefines 'remote' and getting here isn’t easy. But it's incomparably, indubitably worth it. An overnight train journey from Delhi and a lengthy car ride bring you to the tiny mountain village of Leti. From here, it’s a 1-hour walk along a narrow track (porters carry your bags) before you finally arrive at this sumptuous hideaway, designed by Mumbaiker Bijoy Jain. Be warmly welcomed by your hosts before feasting on gourmet cooking and fine wines, then retire to your cabin's comfort of giant beds adorned with duvets and pashmina blankets. During the day, visit mountain temples, explore secluded mountain paths and picnic by waterfalls; spend evenings by your private firepit. Whether you are adventuring, in search of the ultimate escape, or on honeymoon, this is the perfect place to unwind and breathe in the crystalline air - and to gaze upon those once-in-a-lifetime views.

Highs

  • The magical views, the incredible views, the Himalayan views - all of it without the pain of arduous treks or overnights in a tent
  • We loved the feeling of glorious isolation and communing with nature; and the stunning architectural design which uses only local stone, canvas, timber and glass in harmony with the landscape
  • Service is 5 star; the staff are prompt and genuine in responding to any request, every detail has been thought through, and the guides are extremely professional
  • Perfect for romance and relaxing, with private dining available in your cabin
  • If you want to get further under the skin of this unspoiled region, request the Kumaon Village Walk on the way in or out (1-5 days of light trekking, with excellent guides) - we thoroughly recommend it

Lows

  • Bear in mind that there's a minimum stay of 3 nights (understandable, given the time taken to get here); you can reduce travel time using charter flights or even a helicopter
  • Intrepid solo trekkers may feel restricted: all treks need to be accompanied by a guide for safety, as phone connectivity is poor
  • There’s no internet or mobile phone reception, so don't expect contact with the outside world - a blessing, we'd say!
  • Although remote, your proximity to other guests means you're never really 'alone'
  • The prices, as well as the altitude, might take your breath away - but they include almost everything (meals, drinks, porterage, guides, transfers, private car and driver where required)

Best time to go

Shakti 360 Leti is open from 1 October to 30 April each year. October - March offers the best views of the Himalaya. The wild cherry trees come into blossom in Oct/Nov and while December and January are cold at night, this is the time to soak in the crispest mountain views. From March until the end of May, it gets warmer and hazier, although the sight of the red carpets of rhododendrons coming into springtime bloom is spectacular.

Our top tips

Considering the travelling time it takes to get here, we'd advise staying for 4-5 days (the minimum is 3). You’ll never tire of the views, and the walks from the camp are fabulous. We strongly recommend taking one of the options which include a guided Village Walk, staying overnight in simple but lovely village houses: it gives a real insight into the people and the culture of this time-stood-still region.

Great for...

Eco
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Mountain Lodge
  • 4
  • All meals and beverages included
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 4 cabins wrap you in simple luxury from the moment you arrive. Glass walls on 2 sides maximise the stunning Himalaya views, a giant canvas windsail is stretched across the roof, and slate floors are strewn with sheepskin rugs. Furniture is handmade and all pieces are original. Walls are made of local stone, constructed with lime and a 'dry-stacking' technique; no cement is used.

Gigantic beds wrapped in duvets and locally woven pashmina blankets face the floor-to-ceiling windows. Relax and watch the stars at night, the sunset across the roof of the world or the dawn rise pink over the snowcaps. Simple white blinds provide privacy and wood-burning stoves keep things cosy in the colder months.

Bathrooms have the finest fittings, with teak floors, solar-powered rain-head showers, brass basins and organic, local soaps and shampoos. Bottled water is provided, as are luxurious bathrobes. Open-air windows, cut into the stone bathroom walls, are positioned to catch the best views.

After dark, light comes from solar-powered lanterns, and each cabin has a private sit-out with a firepit for moonlit bonfires. By day, the patios have deckchairs from which you can soak up the once-in-a-lifetime views.

Each cabin looks out over a different view – the stunning river valley far below, snow-capped Nepalese peaks, or fields and farmland stretching into the distance.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Extra beds
  • Firepit
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Wood burning stove

Eating

Meals are served in the communal living and dining area, which has glass window walls, teak flooring, and a wood-burning stove at its heart. Damask tablecloths, candles and silver service provide a convivial atmosphere; meal times are completely flexible, according to daily activities and preferences. Note that breakfast and lunch are always served at individual tables.

Resident chef, Yeshi, is Tibetan and has honed his skills on the trekking slopes of the Himalayas. Indian, Continental, Asian and Middle-Eastern food is served around a spacious, communal table. Breakfast is a feast of fresh fruit, fluffy omelettes (made from eggs with deep orange yolks from a village 20 minutes away), and freshly-baked bread while lunch is a healthy array of dishes such as couscous, mint, feta and pomegranate salad, fresh hummus, Spanish frittata, carrot and peanut salad and reviving pea and mint soup.

Dinner is a lovely affair with candles and a glowing fire providing an intimate atmosphere. Fine French and New World wines accompany the meal, much of which came from the on-site organic greenhouse when we stayed: pumpkin soup, saag aloo, and curried squash and cauliflower. Red and white rice, delicious daal, and a variety of chicken and mutton dishes came from local suppliers. Yeshi’s Tibetan momos (dumplings) are first class and must be savoured during your time here.

Private dinners can be arranged in your room, on your cottage terrace, or by your outdoor fire, and picnics are encouraged at stunning locations near the camp during the day. The bar area is usually set up next to the dining table pre-dinner, when guests gather round the fire for drinks. Sometimes the bar is set up outside by a camp fire under the stars. Dietary requirements can be catered for - let them know when you arrive.

Features include:

  • All meals included
  • Communal dining
  • Organic produce
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Guided walks from the camp - wander past streams and working watermills, villagers and donkeys laden with produce, and take in the incredible views of the Ramganga valley from the nearby Shiva temple. There are a number of more strenuous guided treks from the property, including an extension with a 5 hour trek and an overnight camping option

  • Breakfast or lunchtime picnics can be taken at nearby beauty spots - guides will carry and arrange your picnic for you

  • Cooking lessons in Tibetan and Indian cuisine on request; guests can wander through the organic garden and gather vegetables and herbs along with the chef

  • The enthusiastic can swim under a waterfall, where the water is wonderfully pure

  • Or take a day's excursion to go fishing; note that this involves about 3 hours walking

  • Meditation and yoga classes by arrangement; just ask

  • Find out more about the local flora and fauna; the spring wildflowers are amazing, catch glimpses of eagles soaring or Himalayan griffins

  • Relax and read by day, stargaze at night

  • A stay at Shakti 360 Leti can be combined with the Kumaon Village Walks, so you can do some trekking

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Meditation
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Stargazing
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Yoga

Kids

Only older teenagers can be accommodated given the difficulty of getting to Shakti 360 Leti. There are rollaway beds available for a third guest in a cabin if required.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Location

Shakti 360 Leti is situated in northwestern India in the state of Uttaranchal, which is bordered by Nepal to the east and Tibet to the north. To get here, you need to fly to Delhi, then travel to the pretty hill station of Almora by private plane, or train and car, or car. An overnight stay at Almora is included in the rates. The next day you'll have a 5-hour drive, followed by a 1-hour walk. Or you can helicopter directly from Delhi to the camp.

By Air
Fly to Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. Click on the links below for a list of airlines which fly here.

From the Airport
A private charter flight is available from Delhi to Pantnagar (1 hour; enquire when booking), followed by a 4-hour drive to Almora, or to Pithoragarh, which is 3.5 hours drive from Leti. Or you can travel to Almora by train then car (see below).

By Train
An overnight first class train ticket from Delhi on the Ranikhet Express can be arranged (7-8 hour journey) at the time of booking. On arrival at Kathgodam station the following morning, you will be picked up and driven the final 3 hours to the pretty hill station of Almora. An 8-hour drive from the train station directly to the camp can also be arranged.

By Car
From Almora, it’s 5 hours of hairpin driving through steep mountains to Leti, followed by a 1-hour walk to the camp (porters will carry your bags), along a narrow trail that clings to the face of a plunging cliff.

By Helicopter
A private helicopter can be chartered directly from Delhi to Shakti 360 Leti (2hrs flying time) although this is weather dependent - additional cost.

By Car
You can also drive from Delhi to Almora, which takes about 8-9 hours. If coming from Corbett National Park, the driving time is about 4 hours. Rishikesh can also connect to Almora with a stopover in Corbett. Rishikesh to Corbett is 5-6 hours drive.

Combine your stay here with Kumaon Village Walks
After your final ‘homestay’ in the Jwalabanj Village House, you can be driven 4 hours to the roadhead at Leti, and walk 1 hour to the camp.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com

More on getting to Uttarakhand and getting around

Airports:

  • Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport 519.0 km DEL

Other:

  • Beach 999.0 km
  • Shops 10.0 km
  • Restaurant 25.0 km

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