Where birds flit constantly, where the breeze talks to you, and calm is the norm—this is the world of Corbett Wild Iris Spa & Resort. Located in the quiet village of Kyari Kham in Ramnagar, famous for the Corbett Tiger Reserve, this boutique resort is an apt getaway for all the tired city souls. Greeted by trees and the tangy buransh aka rhododendron sherbet, this green paradise will make you forget the world in seconds. Home-cooked fresh food, thatched roofs, sweet smiles, and lots of sunshine, it’s THE place for a relaxing holiday. Pretty much in tune with its surroundings, the resort has ample trees which give shade as well as add an aesthetic touch to the place. The 42 rooms, or should I say cottages, have been carved around the many different species of trees. And there is a signboard giving the name of each tree. So guess what? I saw a litchi tree for the first time in my life.
The rooms are well-equipped with your everyday amenities. You can even call for hair dryers, iron, and laundry services on request. There are different kinds of rooms and suites available here. I stayed in the premium cottage which had a nice seating area and loft for kids, which I thought was pretty cool, and my room had a heater too. The open-air Orchard Grill is where you can enjoy your drinks along with some fresh snacks. There is a swimming pool and a spa which offers a facial along with massages. I quite like the way the spa has been built around trees—it’s quite nice to see life in sync with nature. While the restaurant does serve all kinds of cuisine, I particularly enjoyed the fresh Indian meal.
I recommend you try the poha, sewayian, upma, masala black chana for breakfast. The main course has some yum paneer dishes and the Kumaoni thaali is a must eat. The dal, veggies, and rice are light and easy to eat. There is ragi roti too. Oh, and don’t forget to try the dessert comprising bal mithai. The resort offers a deal in which meals are included and that can work well for holidaymakers. There is a souvenir shop too, in case you want to carry a bit of Corbett back with you – tees, coffee mugs, bird nests, stuffed tigers, fridge magnets, hats, and lots more.
With ample parking space within its boundaries, the resort offers MICE facilities and outdoor activities including nature walks, body surfing, cycling. As most of the staff belong to the village, they’ll even tell you some local stories. We enjoyed the way women celebrate Holi here–sitting in a circle in the afternoon, singing traditional songs, and dancing away.
There is free 24*7 wi-fi but the networks come around the reception and only BSNL and Jio networks have good connections. Airtel and Vodafone are tough to connect in this area but have good signals outside.
A walk around the area is interesting, you can enjoy some tea at the nearby shops along with momos and maggi. The villagers are friendly and welcoming and the area is a paradise for bird lovers. The resort facilitates bookings for a safari to the Corbett Tiger Reserve, arranges tours to the nearby Pawalgarh forest rest house, Kaladungi museum which was actually the winter home of the iconic Jim Corbett, and Girija Devi temple housed on a small mud hill. There is a facility for carrom, chess, and a small library lies in the reception area. Cultural evenings highlight the Kumaoni way of life and a short documentary on Jim Corbett is all the knowledge you will need to appreciate the natural beauty all around.
An interesting tour to the village of Choti Haldwani which has a homestay, IttuSa restaurant offering the traditional meals, the old wall which kept the animals at bay, houses the home of Trilok Singh, the guardian to a precious gun—the one that Jim Corbett used to shoot man-eaters. This was gifted to his father and now you can take some snapshots as souvenirs.
You might also like to take a complete and wholesome organic meal at the home of Savitri Devi who runs the Durga farming school nearby. She offers training classes and has become iconic with healthy food, she even exports rice to Switzerland. There are elephant rides too in the buffer zone. I didn’t do that but I did enjoy feeding them some jaggery. What I do recommend is an early morning walk to watch the sunrise along the dry river bed with monkeys sitting high on the trees, busy eating, and the birds flitting from branch to branch. A getaway to this place is exactly what an exhausted city soul needs. It’s best not to walk outside the boundaries after sunset as sometimes animals do tend to come close to the village.
This article first appeared on https://lbb.in/delhi/wake-up-to-the-chirp-a47968/