Chhatra Sagar is a Resort that I have been wanting to visit ever since it opened . Which is why I was a bit worried as we drove up the last stretch hoping I had not built it up too much in my head ! But boy did it exceed expectations .( And I am a tough critic being a Luxury Hotelier with 20 years behind me selling top end hotels :) )
Firstly the location . Makes you sigh as you climb the stone steps and get your first look ! Located on an ancient dam wall overlooking a huge lake which is teeming with migratory birds .A restful and calming setting .
The accommodation Large Luxurious , spotlessly clean tents . White on the outside ,The interior of the tents are hand printed to remind you that you are in the colourful state of Rajasthan . But nothing is over the top or kitschy .Well equipped with comfortable beds with clean crisp bed linen, Fabulous bathrooms with a stunning stone wall , large counter and a seriously effective shower , No bath tubs but then who has time to waste while there is so much to enjoy .
The best feature of the tents is that if you roll up your window blinds you look right into the magnificent sunrise over the lake right from your bed .Or if you prefer you can sit in comfortable chairs outside the tent and gaze at the sun rise ,read a bit and then gaze some more as the day passes and the bird activity increases and then ebbs with the hot sun .
The disadvantage if any , These are actual tents so have thin cloth walls .You need to keep voices low and if you have kids with you then you will say shhshh quite often .Also I would be very careful with kids below 6 as there is no boundary and you are on a dam wall after all .
Hosts ; Run by the same family whose ancestors had made the Dam originally ,to harvest water for their subjects .Harsh and his brother Nandi run it along with Raj their nephew ( I hope I have this right ) . Gracious hosts ,they are around at all times without being obtrusive .They personally escort you for the afternoon bird watching walk as well as the morning visit to the village and farms. They are always at hand at meal times explaining each dish to the mainly foreign clientele. Keeping a close watch on your plate and asking the staff for refills with the quite wave of hand or a hushed command . The evenings are set up with a beautiful born fire while guest sit around , have a drink and exchange travel tales , The small size 13 tents I think makes it feel like one was at a private party .The ambers of the fire are used to fill up individual heaters which are placed beside you as you dine ,
The Food . The best I had on a 8 day trip through Rajasthan , The breakfast is western with a home made Fresh Pomegranate studded Muesli,cereal , eggs of your choice and toast. Juice and Tea coffee .
Lunch and Dinner are Indian on a fixed menu basis , The food is wholesome and delicious , Full of the flavours yet light and non oily. That taste can only come from a home kitchen or a kitchen run like a homes and not a hotels . My twins who are fussy eaters normally gobbled up every thing on their plates .
Activities : IF you want to do anything other than sit in your tent verandah and watch the lake and the birds then two activities are scheduled every day . A morning rural village and farm visit , We missed this so I cannot tell you about it .The evening walk assembles at 4 pm and is a comfortable two hour walk around the lake . Nandi led it for us accompanied by the three wonderful dogs and an assistant who carries a Telescope on a tripod, sets it up for you to have a closer look at the bird as well as promptly opens the right page in the Bird guide that he is carrying ::)) This is Bird watching in style . We saw 28 kinds of birds or at least my kids wrote 28 names down in two hours , The dogs also played their part and managed to bark a Huge Wild Boar out of his hiding place in the tall grass for added excitement .If you are staying longer you can also go to a spectacular sunset point which is a bit of a trek.
I wish we had stayed longer and not treated it as a pit stop on the way to Jodhpur , In hind sight I would have lopped off one night in Jodhpur to get atleast two night here , But then one can always go back !
Caveat This is a lovely shant ( quite in Hindi ) resort . Great for couples (young and old )and kids who are used to the experiential travel . If your kids need TV , a swimming pool and constant entertainment of the hyper active type then maybe it is not for you .
My 9 year olds found this to be the highlight of their trip ,specially the birds and the dogs !
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury tents have always been an important part of Rajput lifestyle. Constant campaigns in far flung lands meant long stays in tents under inhospitable conditions. Tents were the only luxury available and soon these “homes away from home” evolved into mobile, mini-palaces.Chhatra Sagar captures the essence of this romance. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Chhatra Sagar Hotel Pali
- Chhatra Sagar Rajasthan
- Chhatra Sagar Hotel Rajasthan
- Chhatra Sagar Pali, Rajasthan, India