The final leg of the year is here and so is the festive season. While Diwali is a time best spent at home with family - the noise, smoke and pollution caused by the bursting of crackers and traffic in the cities can be a major turn-off and put a damper on the festivities.
If breathing clean air and staring at the clear blue sky are high on priority list this festive season, we recommend taking the first Friday of November off and escaping to one of these outposts with your loved ones.
Here are seven recommendations from Le Mill you can escape to for some peace and quiet:
If you’ve had your fill of the cities of Rajasthan, Aman-i-Khas is where you should go next. With Ranthambore National Park as its backdrop, the luxurious wilderness camp houses 10 expansive tents, and is even equipped with a tent spa that offers body scrubs, facials and Reiki healings. Enjoy breakfast in the guava orchards, explore Ranthambore Fort, or borrow a book from the library to read in your marble bathtub back in your tent.
La Villa, Pondicherry
This 19th-century bungalow in the heart of White Town has been transformed by architect duo Tina Trigala and Yves L'esprit into a tasteful, contemporary boutique hotel that offers one of Pondicherry’s finest French dining experiences. A stone’s throw away from the beach, La Villa is perfect for those looking for some me-time as the hotel has a strict no-children (under 12 years) policy. Pets are allowed with prior approval.
The Himalayan, Manali
Ever dreamt of living in a castle? The Himalayan will transport you to a different era, with its Victorian and gothic-style architecture, medieval arches and cast-iron fireplaces. Sitting at an elevation of 2000 meters, the hotel offers unparalleled views of the mountains from its balconies. You can choose to stay in the cozy chambers in the castle, or the charming two-bedroom cottages nestled between apple and cherry orchards.
The Bison Resort, Kabini
Situated at the confluence of the Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks, The Bison Resort offers beautiful waterfront African style tents and rustic machans by the Kabini river. Watch elephants and gaurs grazing while having a drink, or take a midnight boat ride on the backwaters. The tranquil experience is truly one of a kind.
Amrit Bhawan, Haridwar
A boutique homestay by the Ganges, Amrit Bhawan sits on its own private ghat, away from the bustle of pilgrims and travelers. Originally a family home built in the 1970s, the property has been redesigned and refurbished to offer guests a modern, intimate space where they can spend their time undisturbed. The house has a cozy library, a private yoga deck, a garden lined with mango trees, and a terrace from which you can take in sweeping views of the Ganga river.
The Tamara, Coorg
Set amidst coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations, The Tamara’s unique cottage-style villas are a treat for the senses. For Diwali, the resort has created a festive ambiance with traditional decor and lighting, thematic gourmet dining and live performances for guests. Attend a yoga session, indulge in a coffee-bean spa therapy, or pick and brew your own coffee at the resort’s Blossom to Brew session.
Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, Satpura
Sitting adjacent to the Satpura Tiger Reserve, Reni Pani is a 30-acre property sprawling over a beautiful jungle landscape, a treat for any nature lover. You can choose between mud cottages and luxury tents with sloping roofs built using locally sourced and sustainable materials. While spotting local wildlife here is easy, with the lodge being located next to a perennial waterhole, the hotel also offers unique experiences such as the canoe safari on the Denwa river and night safaris where you can spot rare creatures of the night like the Indian civet and leopards.