Whether it is ‘me time’ you are looking for, a break from the monotony, or the much-awaited getaway with your family, here is a weekend getaway that will definitely leave you refreshed!
Words: Jayanti Pandey
Te Aroha is a small boutique luxury resort amidst the scenic surroundings of a little known village, Dhanachuli. Located a few miles from Mukteshwar, this enchanting resort is nestled in a place blessed with pleasant weather, breathtaking views of the Himalayas, lush forests and enticing apple orchards.
Awash with white, with a generous sparkle of yellow sunshine (there is no other yellow roofed property in the entire area.); Te Aroha is a welcome mélange of the old and new. The original structure of an old summer house has been successfully preserved to retain its original colonial style charm. The architecture and design of the newly added residential and restaurant sections complement the property, built over different levels to make each step a wonderful discovery and is in keeping with the terracing of the surrounding topography.
Furbished thematically, the property hosts spacious suites and rooms. Each room differs in detail, ambience and even in name. Three Steps Down, The Attic, The Long House, Master’s Bedroom, The Family Cottage, all evoke an air before you step into them. Most pieces of furniture including the beds in the guest rooms are antiques sourced from different parts in the country. Interesting artifacts like benches from the Supreme Court and the Indian Parliament only add to the charm of stepping into an era gone by.
• Dhanachuli is a 6-7 hours drive from Delhi (depending on what time you leave and the amount of traffic) with the option of leaving the highway at Kathgodam or Rampur.
• There are three trains from Delhi to Kathgodam. The resort is a 90 minutes drive from the Kathgodam station. Taxis are available at the station or the resort can pre-book one to receive you.
Engage your senses
Benches, seats and swings have been vantagely placed at various levels to enjoy the sunshine. You can gaze non-stop at the Himalayan snow peaks, watch the residents birds warble and fly past, read your book, put your feet up and glow in the sunset with your cup of steaming chai/cappuccino or a glass of red wine to keep you company as the magic unfolds.
Choose to spend a few hours browsing through Chitrashala, a museum of rare vintage photographs from India, housed in the property. This collection of masterpieces of visual art is from the personal collection of Sumant Batra.
Spend a day in the Reading Room with its vast collection of books, encyclopedias and current magazines.
Sip love, sip life, as you order tea especially sourced from the House of Anandini well-known for its handmade blends powerful with anti-oxidants.
The Activity Room might tempt you into a game of ludo, carrom, and snakes and ladders as you laugh away the hustle bustle of urban life and rediscover the child in you.
While the property consciously does not have TV sets in guest rooms, The TV Lounge is the place to catch up on news (when you do wish to reconnect with civilisation) or the game you did not want to miss or even watch a favourite movie from the collection of DVDs.
Indulge your senses in the restaurant over a menu which takes into account varying tastes and also introduces you to the local culinary delights. Eat in the restaurant, request a meal on the terrace in fine weather or order in the privacy of your room.
Te Aroha, with its personalised service, impeccable hospitality and superbly crafted menu, is the perfect weekend getaway from which you will come back recharged and with the most amazing cache of memories. This might just be the visit you will want to make again and again.