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India - Five gorgeous getaways

Five gorgeous getaways in India

From a remote desert camp in Rajasthan to cottages right on the sand in Kerala, these five exclusive Indian pads are the perfect antidote to winter .

Five gorgeous getaways in India

A Beach Symphony in Kerala encourages complete relaxation – but also offers toddy tapping, bicycle tours and boat rides in the backwaters. What is now a four-cottage resort, located on the pristine Marari beach in Alleppey, was previously a cluster of fishermen's homes. The beach-adoring Belgian couple that brought the property in 2007 refurbished the homes into themed luxury cottages: two are sea-facing, one has a plunge pool, and the fourth has a private garden. Sunloungers and hammocks can be found all over the property as well as in the two-room cottages that can accommodate four people each, and have alfresco shower areas. Guests can customise their meals, which are delivered to the room, or opt for candlelit dinners in the resort's garden. While the management encourages complete relaxation, they also offer toddy tapping, bicycle tours through Alleppey, and boat rides in the backwaters.

Five gorgeous getaways in India

Kushalgarh Lodge, Kushalgarh, Rajasthan Get a taste of the privileged life of an Indian royal at this refurbished haveli (private mansion) that was the weekend home of the late Maharani of Alwar, Rajasthan's oldest princely state. Haveli suites and luxury tents make up the 14 rooms in this seven-acre estate framed by the Aravalli mountains. The air-conditioned double-occupancy tents, which are lit by antique kerosene lamps, have lavish bathrooms and a seating area with a view of the lush green haveli grounds. Guests can take their home-style Rajasthani or international meals in one of the arched verandas inside the pastel-blue haveli, by the poolside, or as a picnic in the grounds. Once you've had your R&R, sign up for guided visits (charged separately) to the nearby Sariska tiger reserve – also home to the caracal cat, leopards, and species of deer including sambar, chital and nilgai. The imposing Kankwari Fort, where Dara Shikoh, brother of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, lived the life of an exile, is in the heart of the reserve.

Five gorgeous getaways in India

Manvar Desert Camp and Resort, Thar Desert, Rajasthan If you like to flaunt your travel experiences like trophies, camping in the undulating Thar desert is one to add to your list of boasts. Manvar, on the highway between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer and built from beige stone with thatched roofs in the style of a village settlement, offers tented luxury in the middle of the otherwise inhospitable Thar. Glampers will love the rich jute rugs, teak furniture and tiled bathrooms common to each of the sprawling tents that come with patios for viewing sunrises and sunsets. Rajasthani and north Indian meals are served in the central common tent or darbar. At night, guests can gather around the daily campfire to watch performances by Rajasthani folk musicians and dancers. There's also the option of staying at a more quiet camp, made up of 10 tents and located 400m away from the main camp. The resort organises camel treks and jeep safaris through the desert to spot gazelles and visit the homes of local communities such as Bishnois, Rajputs and Meghwals.

Five gorgeous getaways in India

Mahua Vann, Pench national park, Madhya Pradesh. Tigers are elusive at this time of year, but what you will get at Mahua Vann, a jungle resort close to the Pench tiger reserve, is quiet time and a vast cover of green, both of which are rare commodities in Mumbai. Each of the resort's rustic cottages have machans (viewing platforms) ideal for birdwatching which can double as alternative lodging. Wildlife enthusiasts can pack their schedule with safaris through Pench, best-known as the setting for Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

The reserve abounds in wolves, hyenas, jackals, cheetal, sambar, wild boar and over 300 species of birds, and if you're lucky, you may even spot the majestic Royal Bengal tiger. To know more about Pench's abundant wildlife, guests can immerse themselves in the documentaries and reading material in the Mahua Vann library. Once you've had your share of the wild, you can take a stroll through a potters' village.

Five gorgeous getaways in India

The Tamara, Coorg, Karnataka A book is perhaps the only travel accessory that you will need to bring to The Tamara, a luxury resort on a fragrant coffee estate. The resort, constructed and furnished almost entirely with wood, is made up of luxury cottages built at an elevation and affording expansive views of the Nagarhole national park (known also as the Rajiv Gandhi national park). You can soak up the incredible scenery from your king-size bed or from deck chairs on verandas that overlook the forest. Coffee-lovers can sign up for the resort's plantation tours (that include preparing your own brew after picking and processing berries) or while away their time at the in-house coffee shop that specialises in Coorgi brews. Also on offer are guided meditation sessions held under the rudraksha trees scattered across the estate.

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