Uttarakhand is a place of myths, magic and majestic mountains. The region is rimmed with holy peaks, lakes and rivers. Although the presence of beautiful Shiva and Parvati temples tower over the state, the trace of the British era is quite apparent - the thrilling tales of hunter Jim Corbett living in the famed tiger reserve that bears his name. Blessed with stunning landscapes, including lush forests and a calm river in the park, Corbett is a destination that is far bigger than the national park itself. But, in my opinion, Corbett is not limited to just real wildlife lovers - there is a myriad of fun, leisurely as well as adventure activities that can be enjoyed.
Corbett is the only major tiger reserve that offers accommodation and rest-houses inside the park. For the ones looking for a luxury stay, the place offers swanky resorts outside the forest. And when it comes to choosing the right resort, both hospitality and the opportunity to soak in some culture are key for me. I experienced this recently at the Golden Tusk.
Sitting stylishly in a quaint village, Dhela, at the edge of the southern periphery of Reserve Forest, The Golden Tusk is a well-designed all-suite villa resort with two placid pools, two restaurants, and one wellness centre, and a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities, and much more.
Jungle Safari is, of course, one of the main tourist attractions of Jim Corbett and brings hundreds and thousands of tourists every year but what makes the difference is which safari you book and who is guiding you there. In my case, both the things were top-notch and finally spotted a tigress. And when you come back from the hours of jungle safari, go to the spa and rejuvenate yourself with the other activities that the resort has to offer - from outdoor adventure activities to lively evening musical nights.
Rooms at The Golden Tusk:
The rooms at The Golden Tusk are bright and breezy rooms with private balconies/porch to soak in the lush green views. There are eight categories of rooms and suites - Nature View Suite, Pool View Suite, Villa, Villa Grande, Tiger Suite, Garden Suite, Corbett Suite and Luxury Tent. You can take your pick from these categories and get ready for the ultimate pampering. I stayed at the Corbett Suite, which is also their presidential suite. It came with an expansive balcony facing toward the huge lawn and pool. A spacious room, comfortable enough for families as well as for a group of friends. The rooms are stylishly furnished and come with their unique selling feature. Some come with pool views and garden views while others are facing towards the forest and give you panoramic jungle views.
The décor of the rooms is also based on a minimalist concept which makes the rooms look very spacious and ooze a relaxing vibe.
Food and Drinks at The Golden Tusk:
It's easy to be a victim of a fast-paced world. Work, meetings and never-ending household errands, we often miss out on the little things in life, or just relax - and when it comes to cooking, it always takes the back seat. But if you are staying at The Golden Tusk, you will be spoilt for choice. How, you ask? The resort boasts two restaurants that offer a wide array of options - from contemporary cuisine and local delicacies to sparkling cocktails, you will find everything at The Golden Tusk that you want on your holidays or staycation.
The Golden Forest Restaurant: An all-day dining restaurant that offers an amazing mix of cuisine right at your table. From Italian and Indian to Chinese and even Kumaoni, you name it and they have it! I tried their Kumaoni thali, and instantly fell in love with the flavours, and oh the variety - I was spoilt for choice, quite literally!
Jungle Grill: Newly-launched restaurant at The Golden Tusk, Jungle Grill is the perfect dinner-date place. So if you are newly engaged or married (or even single), go there and dine under the stars at their top deck and get ready for some pampering. Do try their grill platter - both non-veg and veg selections are just incredible! Chef Chander and Chef Bhupendra did a fabulous job in curating the menu.
Staff and Service at The Golden Tusk:
It's rare that happens, at least with me, that you are more impressed with people than the food and decor of the place. But it happened here! Kriti Lakhotia and Anirudh Lakhotia (Founders and Directors of The Golden Resort) have done a fabulous job in selecting the people who tirelessly make our stay comfortable here. Suresh Rawat - who handles CSR - made it really easy for me to navigate everything within the resort. Right from the Operations Manager - Virender Singh, front office staff (Ravindra Adhikari, Arti, Kamlesh and bell boys - Pratap, Anil and Narendra) and housekeeping staff (Manju and Vishal) to even staff at water dining (Gajendra) - all are so warm and welcoming and this may make it even harder to pack up and leave the place. This is perhaps how people in Kumaoni region are - sweet and very hospitable. Also a special shoutout to the restaurant staff (Deepak Phartiyal, Badal, Prakash, Arti, Himanshu Manral, Deepak Arya, Ganesh and Tanu); they will keep on feeding you... so get ready to put on some holiday weight (pun intended!).
Where: Village Dhela, Ramnagar (Nainital), Uttarakhand - 244715
About Shubham BhatnagarYou can often find Shubham at a small authentic Chinese or Italian restaurant sampling exotic foods and sipping a glass of wine, but he will wolf down a plate of piping hot samosas with equal gusto. However, his love for homemade food trumps all.