Planes? What are those? Travel bans all over the world have us feeling the loss of spontaneous getaways, planned holidays and a cold one by the beach on a gorgeous island. But there’s a way to satiate your jet-set-go cravings without, you know, actually ‘jetting’. We’ve gone and done the research for you– presenting a list of road trips to take in India that end in stunning resorts, homestays and in-the-wild cabins.
Drive from: Mumbai or Pune
If scaling up a treehouse perched 50 feet over forest cover and snuggling in with a book sounds like your ideal vacation, The Machan Treehouse Resort is where you need to head to. The luxury eco-resort is in the heart of Jambulne, a biological hotspot just 2.5 hours away from Mumbai. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of majestic animals in the wild. We’re in love with their Starlight Machans, which have a fully retractable roof for days when the stars are out in full force.
Drive from: Goa
Goa isn’t all sundowners, parties and beaches upon beaches. It’s also a whole lot of greenery and natural beauty– something the Wildernest Nature Resort puts on full display. The resort boasts of gorgeous wood cottages in a lush valley, overlooking waterfalls. Have a soak in the infinity pool looking out to the valley or replenish your energy in the meditation centre. There’s no Wi-Fi but, once you get there, you’ll want to lose yourself for a few days anyway. There’s much to explore, so pull on your hiking shoes and traipse off into the wild. Explore the wilderness to the sound of over 140 species of birds. And while you do all this, keep in mind that you’re staying in one of India’s richest biodiversity hotspots, the Western Ghats. There’s something you can’t experience every day.
Drive from: Bengaluru or Mysore
This serene eco-retreat in Adlur, a few hours away from Bengaluru, consists of four cabins between lush plantations. You’ll share natural environs with peacocks, bison and other non-human visitors, well away from buzzing phones and pinging laptops. The biodiversity hotspot is home to trees over 400 years old and an array of critters and creatures. We have a special love for Kerehaklu because the owner, Pranoy, is one of our contributors for Mysore as well. Try and snag some of their amazing avocados and other produce – and of course, take home some of their prized coffee. Kerehaklu delivers fresh produce, coffee and massive avocados to Bengaluru and collaborates with world-renowned chefs to create fabulous farm-to-table experiences.
Drive from: Bengaluru
Enjoy views of extensive paddy fields and the verdant Western Ghats from this boutique homestay in Chikmagalur. The home itself is elegant– think patterned tiles, Tuscan pillars and seating areas that invite cosy conversations. The Malnad-style home-cooked meals are the proverbial cherry on top. If ever you’ve wanted to slip into a slower pace, tuck your legs in front of a bonfire and talk about all things whimsical, this is the place to do it. We also love that CrepeGinger hosts pilates retreats. This only seems fitting considering how spacious and inviting the place is when it comes to discovering yourself.
Drive from: Bhopal
Reni Pani is a modern-day lodge centred around conservation and wildlife. It is perched on the brink of the Satpura National Park, which just happens to be the largest tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The cottages are exquisitely designed– luxurious yet blending seamlessly into the surroundings out of respect for the environment. The real draw is arguably the jungle explorations and wildlife adventures that await guests. Visitors like to book a full-day safari from Reni Pani to Bori Safari, its sister lodge, through the game reserve. In all, staying at Reni Pani is a rare chance to fully immerse yourself in nature and catch a breather from the rat race.
Drive from: Bhopal
Rustic environs and natural beauty without giving up creature comforts– that’s Bori Safari Lodge in a nutshell. It’s named after the wildlife sanctuary – India’s up-and-coming tiger landscapes – that’s practically next door to the lodge. Apart from soaking in the plunge pool and destressing in the spa, you can experience village tours and wildlife safaris. We’d highly recommend that you sign up for a nocturnal walk with a naturalist. You might be able to spot jungle cats, predators, even an elusive tiger if you’re lucky.
Drive from: Delhi
Perched on a ridge 5,400 feet above the ground, Maya’s Crest offers guests breath-taking Himalayan views and an atmosphere suffused with warmth and comfort. The house has three double bedrooms of varying sizes, each with its own allure. As is fitting for the home of an artist and designer, each corner is either kitschy or comfy or both– we’re sure you’ll find plenty to Instagram both inside and outside the house on the rolling hills. P.S., you can also get to Maya’s Crest from Chandigarh, which is a two-hour drive away.
We’re just about ready to pack our bags and head off into the hills (or valleys and jungles, we’re not picky at this point). We hope you’ll catch your much-needed break at a getaway on this list of road trips to take in India.
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Featured image: Reni Pani Jungle Lodge