The Big Six: Luxury Indian camps
Saturday 05 December 2009
Chhatra Sagar, Rajasthan
The majestic location of these 11 hand-stitched tents is a 119-year-old dam, overlooking a bird-filled reservoir that regularly attracts buffalo, deer and pelicans. Following the Rajput tradition of roving luxury camps, the tents contain comfortable sitting rooms, stone bathrooms, henna-painted bedrooms, locally crafted furniture – and the modern concession of Wi-Fi. Activities include birdwatching and village tours.
Chhatra Sagar, Pali-Marwar, Rajasthan (00 91 29 39 23 0118; chhatrasagar.com). Tents start at Rs19,800 (£258), full board.
Banjaar Tola, Madhya Pradesh
One of Taj Safari's newest up-market camps, Banjaar Tola is pitched on the banks of a river overlooking Khana National Park. The luxury tents feature bamboo floors and are decorated in forest tones, with balconies overlooking the water. Local artisans have provided the artwork that is scattered around the camp and there's a swimming pool to cool off in at the end of the day. Safaris might afford the chance to see hyenas, leopards and the rare tiger and are followed by dinner either back at camp or in a jungle clearing.
Banjaar Tola, Kanha Village, Manitola, Tehsil Balhar, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh (00 91 22 66 01 1825; tajsafaris.com). Tents start at Rs38,000 (£496), full board.
After crossing a footbridge, you come to Elsewhere, a group of restored villas and three tents bordering a creek and the Arabian Sea. Each tent has a four-poster bed and en suite bathroom, while home-cooked meals are served communally under a banyan tree near the beach. Directions to the exclusive hideaway are given only when a booking is confirmed.
Elsewhere, Asvem, Goa (00 91 93 26 02 0701; aseascape.com). Tents start at £319 per week, room only.
Hornbill Camp, Kerala
Hornbill Camp is in one of India's most important bird sanctuaries. The simply styled "cottage tents" merge with the surrounding forest and come with private balconies and en suite bathrooms. Rafting trips and visits to an elephant rescue centre can be arranged.
Hornbill Camp, Thattekkad, Kerala (00 91 48 42 09 2280; thehornbillcamp.com). Cottage tents start at Rs4,500 (£58), full board.
Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Kutch comes from a word meaning "intermittently wet and dry", which sums up the location of this camp, in a seasonal wetland and desert. Tours of local sights or wildlife are offered; back at camp the large, luxurious tents surround a pool.
Infinity Rann of Kutch Resort, Khatau Wadi, Nani Aral, Taluka Nakhatrana, Kutch, Gujarat (00 91 28 35 27 3431; infinityresorts.com). Tents start at Rs9,395 (£200), full board.
Sher Bagh, Rajasthan
These replica hunting lodges, just outside Ranthambore National Park, have opulent green marble bathrooms. Meals are made with produce from the camp's organic garden and there is a spa offering Ayurvedic massages. But the highlight is the nearby tiger reserve.
Sher Bagh, Sherpur, Khiljipur, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan (00 91 74 62 25 2120; sherbagh.com). Tents start at Rs25,000 (£326), full board.
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