The lone hammock swayed in the breeze, tied to the sturdy trunks of two deodars. Sunlight streamed through the tall trees, playing the game of light and dark. This is bliss, I thought, watching the sun settle down for the day. I was staying at The Chalets, Naldehra. I had spent two hours just watching the birds, hearing the swish of the leaves, and letting the cool air wash away the tiredness. Famous for its pinewood cottages and a revolving restaurant, The Chalets is located quite close to the famous Naldehra Golf Course. With manicured lawns, blooming flowers, lots of birds, an indoor heated swimming pool, a spa, a small gym, and room for activities, this hilly resort is a place to forget the world.
Each chalet gives the impression of being in the woods, only it’s luxury in the woods. There is a seating area outside and the idea of breakfast in the open is pretty good. Walk around and you will discover a tunnel too, enjoy walking around for the quaint resort is replete with gardens cut into every nook and corner of the hill. A lot here is the remnant of the old world such as the heaters in the rooms. I stayed in one where the living room had a TV and fireplace, which would be a pleasure to use in the winter. Then there was a loft with children’s bedroom and a separate bathroom, that I really liked. And each chalet is dedicated to a traveller; mine was dedicated to Scottish traveller, writer, and artist James Baillie Fraser who was amongst the first westerners to observe the area. The owner Yatish Sud, a native of Shimla, explains that the pinewood is from Finland, that was treated in a unit and then the cabin was built. The USP is that it can be dismantled too, should there be any need. “All the dedications are a mark of respect to the explorers and they have been culled by travel expert, historian, and my friend since school Raaja Bhasin” explained Yatish.
The pleasure lies in staying in the quaint buildings, with fresh air and colours of the mountains. The multicuisine restaurant, Garden Pavilion, leaves one spoilt for choice from an extensive menu comprising Indian, Continental, Chinese, and Italian dishes. On the same floor is the place to choose your poison—it’s called Peliti’s Traditional Bar. Who was Peliti? A Chevalier, among the pioneer hoteliers of India who had a property quite close to The Chalets. So choose your poison, order a meal, and climb up to the revolving restaurant, 360º Top of the World. Watch the flowers, the sun, the mountains, the evening lights, and even the twinkling stars. And keep some time to laze around in the spa and the pool. Best to take an appointment though, if you wish to use the spa. I had a relaxing Ayurvedic massage. A deodar trail at the back introduced me to a small homestay called Vishal Home Stay and there is a village too nearby, but you need to go through the forest.
Of course, if you wish for noise, then head to the neighbouring Shimla, which is about 20 km from there. Sud also owns Hotel Pine View in Shimla and that has a rocking ice bar, should you look for more cooling. The kids might enjoy those pony rides near the golf course. Though the drive in the mountain is quite nice and curvy, I prefer to reach Kalka in the toy train. It’s the most scenic journey and brings alive the quaint times and the British era. Of course, you can choose to fly too.
The article first appeared onhttps://lbb.in/delhi/enjoy-your-summer-holidays-at-e546e6/