It is a common fact that India’s wildlife is rich and wild. With the terrain changing every few hundred kilometres in India, so does the ecology and culture of the region. From tigers to blackbucks to one-horned rhinoceroses, India is home to some of the most exotic species of birds and animals and to be able to spot them is no less than a luxury. It is only fair then that most wildlife reserves in India are also home to some of the most luxurious resorts in the country with their design and architecture being as close to the region’s ecology and tradition as possible. Open showers, luxury tents and a royal way of life whilst being at one with nature are more than possible thanks to these very resorts!
List of Wildlife Luxury Resorts In India:
1. The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve
One of the most popular tiger reserves in India, Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan is not only known for its eighty-odd tigers but also its luxurious resorts. The Oberoi Vanyavilas is one such resort which features luxury tents that date back to the royal caravans in design and inspiration. With a spa, a fine dining restaurant and a warm team of hosts, this is the place you want to go to after a long day of jeep safaris and spotting tigers in the wild!
2. Udai Vilas Palace, Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary
The Bharatpur Sanctuary is perhaps one of the best bird sanctuaries in India with over 300 species of migratory and resident birds living here. Dedicated to Dr Salim Ali, the Birdman of India, this sanctuary also houses a special palace who wish to receive royal treatment after hours of marvelling at various birds species that fly from all over the world- some even from the Mount Everest- and choose Bharatpur as their feeding or breeding nests. Located in Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Udai Vilas does not only offer wildlife tours but also has some 50 well done colonial-style rooms to choose from.
3. Aman-I-Khas Resort, Sawai Madhopur
Situated deep amidst the Aravlis at Ranthambore in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, Aman-I-Khas is a premier luxury resort featuring ten tents echoing the style of the royal Mughal era, placed around a common fireplace. This laid back yet fanciful resort is the best place to spot some Royal Bengal Tigers during the day, watch the golden hues of the sunset take over the skies and spend the evening immersing in Rajasthani culture and food.
4. The Taj Gateway Hotel Gir, Gujarat
Located right by the River Hiran, deep in the jungles of Gir, Gujarat, the Taj Gateway Hotel is nothing short of pure bliss. Watching the sunrise over the river from your private balcony before heading out into the jungles in private safaris to catch a glimpse of Asiatic lions bathing in the sun or a herd of blackbucks prancing in the tall grass, is as good as life gets! Complete with a spa, fitness centre and a swimming pool, this hotel is the perfect amalgamation of modern luxury and raw nature.
5. Sunderban Mangrove Retreat, Sunderbans
Located over the Satjali Island in Jamespore village in West Bengal, this luxury resort is fringed by the Sundarban forests on all its side. Bringing together traditional architecture, natural resources and luxury together, the Sunderban Mangrove Retreat offers a delightful stay along with safaris to spot the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. Their promise of sustainability and eco-tourism is a true inspiration to other large scale resorts.
6. Taj Mahua Kothi, Bandhavgarh National Park
Located deep in the jungles of Bandhavgarh in the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, Taj Mahua Kothi is a lavish sprawling property located in a private patch of the dense forest. Flanked by the Vindhya Hills, the Bandhavgarh National Park is not only famous for its tiger sightings but also has several trails that allow visitors to watch other wildlife like the sambar deer and Indian bison in their natural habitat.
7. Kanha Earth Lodge, Kanha National Park
Inspired by the traditional architecture of the Gond tribe, Kanha Earth Lodge features 12 luxurious yet low-impact suites built using naturally available materials like local stone and upcycled wood. Each bungalow features private open verandahs and en suite bathrooms to give you comfort without compromising on luxury. Set deep amidst the forests of Kanha Reserve, away from tarmac roads and urban civilization, the surrounding areas of this lodge are a birdwatcher’s paradise.
8. Tusker Trails, Bandipur Wildlife Reserve, Karnataka
Set in the quaint Mangala village in the Bandipur Reserve, the Wildflowers Tusker Trails Resort is known for its absolute cutoff from television and other types of communication networks to enable guests to be at one with nature and spend time doing organic activities. With several safari trail options available near the resort, guests can also opt for spending time with a knowledgeable naturalist on board the resort and learn about things old and new.
9. Tree House Hideaway Resort, Bandhavgarh
Featuring five treehouses, the Tree House Hideaway Resort in the Bandhavgarh Natural Reserve is home to a number of birds, animals and reptiles species that can be enjoyed on various trails around the resort. While the exterior of the treehouses may look rugged and raw, the interior opens up to comfort and luxury mixing well together. All treehouses have been built by the local communities using their craft knowledge that has been passed down on them from generations.
10. Kaziranga Resort, Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Fringed by the Brahmaputra River on the north and the Karbi Anglong Hills to the south, the Kaziranga National Park is most famous for its one-horned rhinoceros and is the largest natural reserve in Assam. Apart from its several rooms of varying ranges, the Kaziranga Resort is most known for its various tours and safaris including a waterfall tour, dolphin spotting tour, Orchid Biodiversity Park tour etc., making it one of the best wildlife luxury resorts in India.
11. Corbett Leela Vilas, Jim Corbett Park, Uttarakhand
Also known as Jungle Leela Resort, the Corbett Leela Vilas is one of the best wildlife resorts in the Dhikala and Bizrani zones of Corbett National Park. With wooden floors and mud tiles for roofs, surrounded by mango trees, this resort ensures a perfect combination of nature and luxury to make the guest’s visit a pleasant stay.
12. Samode Safari Lodge, Bandhavgarh National Park
Featuring 12 independent villas built in vernacular architecture, complete with a spa, the Samode Safari Lodge is a beautiful property amidst the vast jungles of Bandhavgarh National Park. Private verandahs, open roof showers, and several hiking and cycling nature trails around the resort, this is the place to make the most out of your visit at Bandhavgarh!
13. Hotel Taj Garden Retreat, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Bordering the state of Tamil Nadu, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Thekkady in Kerala and is one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in India. With 32 luxurious cottages built on wooden stilts in the traditional architectural style, the Taj Garden Retreat is surrounded by dense forests and is a treat for any nature lover.
14. Muthoot Cardamom County, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Located on a small hill facing the Sanctuary, Muthoot Cardamom County is Kerala’s first ISO certified 4-star resort. With a beautiful outdoor pool and an ethnic fusion restaurant featuring Kerala’s best flavours and spices, this is truly a piece of paradise in God’s own country!
15. Corbett River View Retreat, Uttarakhand
Situated right beside the flowing River Kosi in the lap of Corbett National Park, this riverside retreat features independent cottages complete with a living room and a small kitchenette. Not only is this resort perfect to enjoy the several safaris around the national park, but the surrounding areas of the resort too are also a haven for nature lovers.
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