The 7-hour drive from Delhi to Ramnagar seems like the perfect nightmare for someone suffering from motion sickness (me). Thankfully, my poor sleep cycle ensured a long nap broken only by the jolt of the brakes. When the car finally paused outside the property, my eyes opened to a large gate fronting a path surrounded by every shade of green.
My room was no less impressive. The villa’s top floor was split into two rooms. I resided in the one on the right side. A large bed took up a chunk of the space but there was more than enough room to stroll, stretch or break out into a dance routine. A comfortable table rested between two chairs overlooking a window stretching across the wall. A short corridor led to the bathroom (maintained in perfect condition).
Here are 4 (of many) reasons why I would recommend a visit to Aahana resort. That's other than the fact that it rhymes with my name:
Expectations always soar when one enters the vicinity of the jungle. Often times, in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the elusive tigers in Corbett, people miss out on much else the forest has to offer. What many people fail to understand is that one cannot promise a tiger sighting during the safari. Aahana resort too makes no such claims. However, what is assured are sweeping views of the lush, natural settings, and gimpses of stags, deer, peafowl and other birds. As the resort guides took us past the checkpoints into the jungle, I reserved my excitement for the authentic experience. This was my first-ever open jeep safari. When you give up on unrealistic assumptions, you realise just how refreshing it is to simply be in the forest area. Valleys, trees and creatures graced us with their unforgettable presence. A few spotted deer unsuccessfully tried to take cover in the woods. A memorable moment - seeing deer, stags, and peafowl wander around on an expansive open landscape. A distressed call teased us with the possibility of a tiger sighting. No such luck though. All in all, while the sight of a tiger would have surely made for an interesting trip, I can't say I particularly yearned for it. The greenery and calm of the forest were enough.
Many lament global warming, yet only a few are willing to make changes to practice an eco-friendly lifestyle. Going green is no casual affair at Aahana. The resort is conscious of its footprint impact and works towards environment-accommodating growth. Just beyond the entrance are rows and rows of Canna flowers planted on gravel. This, in actuality, is their sewage treatment system. The clean water is then used for the plants on the property. Additionally, the resort also has its own biogas plant that uses slurry and compost. A large area is designated for the compost where all the waste of meal preparation and biodegradable items are turned into a sludge that is then used as manure for the plants. Solar panels supply electricity, though they also have a generator for power cuts. It wouldn’t come as a surprise that the resort also ensures waste segregation. And of course, there are the seemingly endless grounds lined with trees and plants.
The resort also plans eco-friendly weddings. If you are getting hitched and are conscious of your carbon footprint, you can be assured of minimal addition to it at the resort.
Rugged looks and great hospitality will only get you so far when you judge a resort. It is also the food that most people remember. Thankfully, Aahana did not disappoint. Every meal had an impressive variety of dishes. I had Kumaoni cuisine at the resort for the first time, and it did not disappoint. Traditional main courses such as aloo Kumaoni, Kumaoni badi ki sabji, and mooli ka thechua, were coupled with pasta and noodles. Entire stations are designated for starters, main course, and desserts. The locally-made singori was a personal favourite. Breakfast service was a feast with beans, bacon, muffins and fresh fruits, among many other items. A live counter offered delicacies with every meal.
A peaceful silence envelopes the resort, broken by the rustling of leaves and the occasional call of the birds. Swings and seating areas are carefully set on walking paths for those who wish to soak in the natural surroundings. The clean air and star-filled skies are a much-needed, break from chaotic city lives and will replenish your energy reserves.
Nestled in the town of Ramnagar in Corbett, the resort is a short drive away from many cities. Residents of Delhi, Gurgaon, Dehradun, Chandigarh, and Ghaziabad have all the more reason to visit the property. Apart from the serene landscapes, safari experience, and impeccable hospitality, one can also indulge in the resort's spa facilities or take up various adventure and sight-seeing opportunities in Corbett. Mountain-biking, trekking, and fishing are some options for the former and the Corbett Museum and the Corbett waterfall for the latter. One could truly make a refreshing weekend of it.
You can choose amongst the packages that the resort offers, including Pretty Woman (spa treatment, buggy rides, cocktails, mocktails and more), Golden Ager (safari, Kumaoni dinner, gardening sessions and trips to the museum and temple for senior citizens), and Christmas and New Year Celebrations.