My husband and I stayed in Chitvan as part of a tour of India and some of the National parks. It was arranged via tour operator Hayes and Jarvis so we were expecting a fairly high standard. We were not dissapointed.
We arrived after a very tireing journey and were made to feel so welcome straight away. All the hotel staff are accomadating and welcoming. Nothing is too much trouble and they will go out of their way to accomadate any needs you have. The staff take great pride in their work and are genuinely friendly and love to chat and get to know you. Equally if you are the type of people who prefer to keep themselves to themselves they will not be intrusive at all.
Our room was fantastic. It was a suite style with a very large bedroom with views of the garden an ajoining bathroom and a sitting room. You will not get the standard of say the Hilton or the Raddison in Agra or Deli, but remember that you are in the middle of nowhere! Air conditioning and fans available and in working order. There were a few power cuts but the backup generator ensures air con and ighting remains working. The rooms were cleaned daily and fresh towels left, despite following the 'hang up if you want to reuse' rule. Linnen was cleaned and changed daily as far as we could tell. Bear in mind that the local laundry is the river so the sheets will not exactly be Daz fresh, but very definately clean and we had no complaints at all. The beds are very firm which seems we found to be standard for India. plenty of blankets if you are cold at night. We were not as we stayed at the beginning of the summer but I believe that it can get cold in the winter. They provided basic toiletries if you wanted to use them and restocked daily. No hairdrier ladies but this I think is to be expected. There was a kettle in the room with tea and coffee and snacks available which was restocked daily free of charge. A chargable mini bar with soft drinks and alcohol was also available.
The food was fabulous. Traditional indian food with western dishes available on request. They operate a wake up call for Safari which leave at about 5.30am in the summer. 6 ish I think in the winter. They will bring tea and/or coffee to the room with some biscuits at a requested time. You return from safari at about 11.30 so have breakfast in the park at a checkpoint with toilets available. This is a packed breakfast with tea or coffee, sandwitches (cheese) boiled egg, muffins and indial dishes such as samosas. all beautiful. Lunch could be taken in the dining room or your room. We just had sandwitches and fruit. Other couples had chips and soup and some a full meal. Baisically they will prepare for you what you like if they have it. Dinner is indian food again. soups, followed by beautiful currys, not hot at all, mainly vegatables, chicken and paneer (cottatage cheese-normally I hate this but but was compressed and more like vegatable protien in texture and was yummy) side orders of rice, breads and traditional indian puddings. We had no issues with Deli belly at all. Alcohol was not too expensive considering the prices in the city hotels. We stayed 4 nights and had 1-3 drinks each per night and a few during the day. Our drinks bill came to 2800 rupees (about £40) Water, tea and coffee is free. Water for safari and your room is provided. We have no special dietary requirements, but if you do they will accomadate as best they can. You can pay your bill with cash or credit card. The chef likes to come out to the dining room and will talk you throught the food. He will happily prepare you something of your choosing. It was my birthday when we were there and they made me a birthday cake and all sung happy birthday to me which was a lovely touch. Meals in your room does not cost you any extra. They grow their own food and the chef will love to show you his kitchen garden if you are interested.
The hotel is close to the main park gate, about 10 minutes. Two safaris a day 5am-11.30am and 4pm-6pm aprox although times vary according to season. If you have not paid extra you will share an open jeep with another couple. Four per jeep including driver and naturalist. no issues with being able to see at all. naturalists and drivers all excellent with good knowledge and excellent sighting abilities! You keep the same driver and naturalist for your stay so we tipped at the end. Our naturalist was excellent and was ever present in the hotel looking after us.We tipped about 1500rupees for the driver and 2000rupees for the naturalist. Safari is very dusty and when the sun came out it was blistering. We wore t shirts and shorts/cropped trousers and sandles. Yoiu do not need boots or anything as you dont get out of the jeeps at all. We took hats and I followed the indian trick of using a sarong to cover my head and arms once the sun was well and truly up. I do not normally suffer from travel sickness but I did feel a bit queasy at times as you do spend alot of time bumping along. I would reccomend some travel sickness tablets as they do help.
In conclusion, this was a fabulous hotel. Yes, they were not as high a quality as the city hotels but considering you are in the middle of nowhere, we were highly impressed with the standard of the facilities. If you are expecting this sort of standard, you have picked the wrong holiday as that is not what these trips are about. We have stayed in Safari lodges in Kenya which were not of this standard (although good) and they have been catering for the tourist trade for alot longer. We would happily return and would not hesitate to reccomend this to anyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chitvan is an 12 suite luxury jungle resort, situated near Mukki gate of Kanha National Park. Accommodation that include tastefully done up suites, with a view of the forest while relaxing in your bed, with mini bar, open terrace, and an open shower, restaurant, al fresco dining, facilities include spa and a swimming pool. Jungle Safaris, tribal evenings, organic farms, bonfire, delicious bar-be-cue, peaceful destination for leisure traveller & honeymooners. Recently awarded the Outstanding Practice Award by TOFT UK. ... more less
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