The new world order is afoot. 2020 forced us into confinement to (re)consider our callousness, conscientiousness, and consciousness; conversations began to shift. For the travel industry, the year accelerated urgent reforms. How practical or lasting these will be, only time can tell. But one thing is certain – there’s no mindlessly rewinding to the old guard anymore. The only solution or way forward is to be more thoughtful; particularly when it comes to the luxury industry.
In some sectors, the heritage and timelessness of a product represent the ultimate hallmarks of luxury, while in others the focus is on the experience of exclusivity of the service. However, travel is an amalgamation of both. 2021 has managed to change the dynamics – people no longer want 'the only comfort', they seek experience along with adventure.
Amid the ongoing pandemic, one needs to feel safe while travelling and the best way to do that is to opt for a staycation – a vacation that you take near your home for a slightly longer period than a regular holiday. Guests want to surround themselves with greenery and nature and get some fresh air with good weather after being locked inside their homes for months now.
With the Uttarakhand government lifting the travel ban, Haridwar has emerged as one such location where you can explore both. Haridwar is known as the place where pilgrims seek solace and bereaved families attempt to bring peace to their dear departed. But it is more than that – Royal Havelis and luxury tented accommodations in between the jungle where you can spot leopards and elephants.
On the banks of Ganges, five minutes by rickshaw from the car park, you’ll find Haveli Hari Ganga – for an authentic Indian royal experience and cosy stay. The property accommodates 14 heritage rooms and 6 Ganga-view suites. This is a 107-year-old property that retained most of its original workings – just how they were when the royal family of Pilibhit first lived there. The Pilibhit family photographs line the walls on the ground floor, right next to cabinets of organic honey, face packs and a crafting display. That’s not all, the hotel also offers evening bhajans and have their private ghat – a place for people who want to take a dip in the Holy Ganga without stepping out of their sanitized hotel – A-plus during the pandemic. It’s a place for those who wish to stay as royalty and experience the best of everything.
Vibhas Prasad, Director, Leisure Hotels Group, tells Outlook, “We are committed to offering guests a safe environment, utmost convenience, and a warm and delightful experience across all its properties. We are the only hotel chain to offer Covid RT-PCR test at home when the state government needed travellers to get tests before crossing state borders.”
If you are in Haridwar, visiting Rajaji National Park has to be on your list. Chances of spotting a tiger or an elephant are high if you can reach the place around 5 am. Once you are done with the safari, head to The Forrest, Rajaji National Park, after crossing a treacherous stretch of 3km. Fourteen luxury tents make up this resort where the moon smiles a little wider and leopards roam around chasing langurs.
The tents at The Forrest are spacious. The restaurant has a view to die for. The chef here prepares the best of local delicacies for you, be it a Kumaoni Dal or Arsa, the local sweet dish. It is all perfectly splendid.
Forrest (Rajaji National Park) is spread over 10 acres and emanates luxury and affluence nestled in the ambience of wilderness. This wildlife resort promises to invigorate your sense of enthusiasm for wildlife and adventure! Give yourself the rare opportunity to catch animals in their natural habitat when you visit the resort for an escape from the mundane.