For Delhiites forever cursing the dearth of nice hotel getaways in their neighbourhood, there’s now an oasis of calm an hour’s drive from south Delhi. The all-suite Lalit Mangar, just off the beautiful Gurgaon-Faridabad Road, is low on carbon footprint and high on style. Perched on the edge of a ravine, the entire resort has been built using rammed earth, an eco-friendly technique pioneered by Canada-based Terra Firma. The rocks that were dug up during the construction too were reused in the cladding.
The suites are spacious and understated, the only lashings of colour coming from the kantha headboards, with every room sporting a different one. The ample shower area could easily have accommodated a bathtub but its absence is probably another nod towards responsible hoteliering.
Experiences at the Lalit Mangar centre around silence and rejuvenation. The clear night sky offers great opportunities for stargazing, to which their 1,000mm Meade telescope does full justice. You can go picnicking or cycling in the ample woods surrounding the property. You can indulge in a range of adventure activities, currently being offered at nearby Camp Wild. A pool is in the works, and may be ready by next year.
The restaurant, unfussily, is called the Dining Room. The food is subtly spiced, and really very good, and almost all of it is organic, with the produce being sourced from their own farms. Even the spa menu is surprisingly delicious.
Ah, the spa. The Time Reversal Spa at the Lalit Mangar is second to none, blooming as it is under the watchful gaze of London-based Dr Mosaraf Ali, who counts an impressive string of celebrities among his patients (the likes of Morgan Freeman and Prince Charles and, closer home, Shah Rukh Khan and Gulshan Grover). This is a spa that means business, relying as it does on a variety of techniques, including the Ayurvedic marma deep tissue massage.
Mangar village itself, home to the Mangarbani sacred forest, is witnessing a small cultural renaissance, with the opening of artist Sterre Sharma’s offbeat Tribal Jewellery Museum (there’s a no-frills eco-lodge attached too).
These are exciting times for the Lalit group, since last month saw the opening of not one but two hotels, the second being the prestigious Lalit London.
Location Camp Wild Road, near Mangar Police Chowki, Faridabad-Gurgaon Road, Faridabad, Haryana; 50min from the airport
Accommodation 35 Suites
Tariff Rs.15,000 including breakfast and wifi and exclusive of taxes
Contact +91-129-7157777, thelalit.com/the-lalit-mangar