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Chitvan Jungle Lodge
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Reviews (508)
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Reviewed August 20, 2012

We booked Chitvan lodge after reading the reviews on tripadvisor and were happy with the choice we made. First the good things about the lodge - the service is great, the food is outstanding and the staff make you feel at home. Other things you should know while making a choice - electricity is not there through the day which means that ACs run only in the evenings and mornings for a few hours (not that they are needed through the day). Last point is that make a reservation for the national park well in advance since the last few entries are sent to a far off end of the park when not only are the tiger sightings rare but also the drive itself takes well over half an hour.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Natarajan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SharadKumarVats, Owner at Chitvan Jungle Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking out time to write about your experience at Chitvan, Kanha. We are happy to note that you enjoyed the services, food, and overall ambiance. Kanha is in a very remote area, and we do not get continuous supply of electricity. Mostly the supply is for only 10 hours daily. Hence we have to manage the comforts of our guests keeping the time of day in mind. We much appreciate your understanding of the issue.

We would love to welcome you again in the near future.

With Warm Regards

Sharad

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

We stayed at Chitvan Lodge in Feburary and enjoyed every minute. Our welcome by Ashwani and his staff was genuine and warm. Our accommodation was excellent and the food served to us by Ashisha was incredible. It was our first visit to India and Ashisha provided us with a huge variety of different dishes to give us an idea of what to expect as we travelled this incredible country. We toured the magnificent garden and surrounds. The food is fresh and homegrown so we looked forward to every meal.
Our game park drives were excellent with Mehesh as our driver. He tried so hard to find the elusive tiger but to no avail. However he did find a magnificent leopard which we sat and watched for ages. The leopard enjoyed having a good look at us too. We were so close.
Ashwani took us on a bullock - cart drive to the local village where we visited a local school and a home. What a humbling experience. We don't know how lucky we are. These people have so little yet so little seems so much.
The information given to us from Ashwani, Vjay and staff about India and its customs was invaluable. We learnt so much.
Thankyou so much, we definitely felt at home as you cared for us like family. It was the perfect start to what has been the best and most amazing trip we have ever had.

Room Tip: We stayed in lodge accommodation which was excellent. We were also shown brand new cottages which I am sure would be wonderful too.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Jan73132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SharadKumarVats, Owner at Chitvan Jungle Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2012

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Chitvan!

Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences in Chitvan. We value your feedback, and we always share the same with our entire team. I will personally congratulate Mr Ashwani our GM, Chef Ashish, Mahesh, and the rest of the team members for making your stay memorable and your feeling like family.

It is always our endeavor to provide an insight of the destination that you visit, hence the village, visit. THank you once again for chosing to stay with us.

We hope to see you again in future sometime.

With Warm Regards

Sharad

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2012

We were at Chitvan Jungle Lodge from 14 to 18 March, having come by road from Pench Jungle Camp. The lodge and Kanha National Park are far from any supply source -- truly a place apart. Shortly following our arrival, lodge manager Ashwani invited us to visit a family among villagers who had been relocated from the park under auspices of Project Tiger. We brought food staples as gifts, and family members were pleased to show us their house and garden. Ashwani's efforts help maintain positive relationships between local people and the park & Chitvan.

Our suite at Chitvan was one of two on a 2nd story with a view over other lodge buildings and gardens that yield its fresh produce. From our spacious balcony, we entered a nicely furnished sitting room with a rocker and comfortable chair & writing desk as well as sofa & coffee table. This opened into a large bedroom with a king-sized bed flanked by nightstands, a cabinet containing a fridge and topped with a basket of snacks, and table & two chairs by huge windows in the wall opposite the bed. The bedroom and bath were separated by a small room furnished with a mirrored armoire, luggage stand, and laundry basket. The large bathroom featured a long counter with twin sinks, tub, toilet, and glass-enclosed shower.

After beverages & biscuits were brought to our room at 0500, we joined Chitvan naturalist Sanjay and driver Mehesh as the only guests in their gypsy for the short trip to Kanha's Mukki gate where we joined the obligatory queue of gypsies awaiting credential checking and assignments of park guides prior to entering. This procedure was somewhat streamlined by the lodge having made copies of our passports the day before. Two features unique to Kanha, contrasted with three other parks we visited, were the inclusion of women among its park guides, and morning game drives that could extend for nearly six glorious hours. During our drive we saw Hanuman langurs, crested serpent eagle, shikra, Indian scops owl, and several groups of hard-ground barasingha, a subspecies of swamp deer found only in Kanha and therefore a compelling reason for visiting this park. We also saw guar and a jungle cat. A highlight of our morning drive was our excellent packed breakfast.

At lunch, which was set up on the restaurant porch, Chitvan's chef Ajay inquired as to our choices for dinners. Following our afternoon game drive which ran from 1515 until 1815, Ajay presented a Continental dinner highlighted by excellent French fries. Dinner the following evening was Chinese with a tasty noodle dish. Ajay was very attentive at meals, taking a personal interest in our preferences.

During three full days of game drives, we saw four deer species including sambar, spotted deer or cheetal, and Indian muntjac or barking deer, in addition to barasingha. We saw many wild boar and an array of interesting birds, but neither we nor any other park visitor during this period saw a tiger. During our final morning game drive, Sanjay learned that mahouts had found a tiger and placed us in position to ride the first elephant taking visitors into the forest to see an alert four-year-old tigress lying mostly in view some distance from a road as all of Kanha's tigers seemed to have been doing. For our last breakfast, Sanjay and Mehesh took us up onto the plateau known as Bamhnidadar, the highest point in Kanha.

In many respects we found Chitvan and Kanha a place apart. Both seemed to be run in a more visitor-friendly manner than we encountered in other parks. Only at Chitvan was our accommodation an entire well-furnished suite. Only Chitvan assigned a naturalist and the same driver to accompany just ourselves on every game drive. Only at Chitvan did the head chef repeatedly visit with us at our table and prepare special meals for us. Only at Chitvan did the lodge manager take us to meet local people, affirming their relationship with the lodge, the park, and its visitors. Only at Kanha did we find women among the park's guides, game drives that could extend for entire mornings, and an environment in which sounds were generally attributable to nature.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank afriCATreks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 6, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for writing such an elaborate experience of Chitvan. I am happy that you rate Chitvan as a class apart compared to the other resorts you stayed in, and Kanha a very different park as well.

It is our constant endeavor to exceed the expectations of our guests in all aspects, be it the spacious and well appointed accommodation, or the variety of food, and most importantly the interaction of our Management with our guests to understand them better and deliver as per their requirements.

We also try and keep the same driver and guide or a naturalist during the entire stay of our guests, as it becomes easier to showcase Kanha better. Our General manager Mr Ashwani Agarwal is indeed carrying the objectives of Chitvan to new scales, his concerns for the local community is really appreciated by all in the area including the park authorities and civil administration.

I would like to thank you for choosing to stay with us, and we look forward to be of service to you in future.

With Warm Regards

Sharad

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Reviewed June 22, 2012

We were at Chitvan along with our two children from the 13th June until the 17th June. We fell in love with the place the moment we arrived! The staff is most helpful, humble and well trained. The property is very beautiful and the swimming pool is so well maintained. The kids enjoyed the dips in the pool. We enjoyed the tranquility of the property and the massages at the spa!! We had a very relaxing time. The food is too good! I even managed to get some tips from the chef!! Ashwani the manager is a wonderful person who takes very good care of the guests and is personally involved, available round the clock. We took 3 safaris and saw so many different kinds of animals and birds. Kanha, that way has a diversity of birds and animals unlike most other parks. We saw 3 tigers and 4 cubs and that was really fantastic. We saw different deers 4 kinds, the Indian Bison (Gaur) mongoose with a red nose, lots of birds etc...For a person who enjoys nature and for all those who need some tranquility away from the city, Chitvan is the place to do an Express Check in!! I would like to thank Sharad, Ashwani and his team for making our holiday so pleasurable...we will be back soon...Abha and Kamal Kalsi

Room Tip: All rooms are nice and spacious. I loved the furniture. Personally prefer the suites.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank abha1468
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 26, 2012

Dear Abha & Kamal,

Thank you penning down your experience at Chitvan here. I am happy that you really enjoyed your stay, the food, the service, the ambience, spa, and importantly you felt well looked after by our team led by Ashwani.

Good to know that you sighted 3 Tigers and 4 cubs, alongwith many more mammals and birds in Kanha. Indeed Kanha ia a very rich forest compared to many other parks.

It was our pleasure to be of service to you. We hope to see you agai in future.

With Warm Regards

Sharad

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Reviewed June 12, 2012

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.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank 15Leanne_E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SharadKumarVats, Owner at Chitvan Jungle Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 16, 2012

Dear Guest,
A big thank you to you for such a descriptive feedback about your stay. I must compliment you on covering all aspects of our product and services in such minute details.
Thank you for rating us over the Safari Lodges in Kenya, we are humbled to get such a compliment from a widely travelled guest. You have got it absolutely right that we are in middle of nowhere and trying to provide a seamless stay to guests who comes to this part of the country leaving the urban comforts behind. Not easy, but our incessant hard work is in that direction.
I am happy to note that you liked the spacious rooms, with views of the gardens, big living room, bathroom, and clean linen. The reason behind our clean linen is our own laundry in Chitvan, we do not take our linen to the nearby river to pollute the river and also spoil our linen. Our focus is to keep the carbon and water imprint to a minimum. We do provide the hair driers on request to the guests, and we have mentioned the same in our services directory kept in the rooms. But we take a point from your feedback and shall devise a method wherein all our lady guests know that the same is available on demand.
We have intentionally kept the pricing of beverages very low, despite knowing that it is a major source of profit. Reason behind being our belief that main source of our profit is our delighted guests. Yes, we have kept a kettle to make tea/coffee and provide free snacks in rooms as it keeps our operational costs low, by not recruiting additional staff to service the same, as we are a seasonal resort. I am also happy to note that you enjoyed the food served, and the Chef catered to your requests of western dishes as well.
I am sharing this feedback of yours with our entire team, and especially to the Kitchen and safari drivers and naturalists who enhanced your overall experience at Chitvan. Most sincere thanks from core of my heart to you for providing our potential guests a very detailed feedback of what to expect when in Chitvan.
Hope to see you again in near future.

With Warm Regards

Sharad

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