Taking a break from my routine life, I went to explore The Chalets, Naldehra on an invited stay. Tucked almost 22km away from the renowned and now much known as the ‘crowded’ hill station of Shimla, the destination is nothing less than a paradise perched on the hills. ‘The Chalets’ is built on a top of a mountain bed without disturbing the natural landscape, spreading across an area of almost 3 acres with a patch of forest on one end and a view of deep valley on the other. The property is ranked amongst the finest hotels-resorts of the region and serves as a perfect offbeat destination promising you every ounce of a lifetime experience.
The magnificent property has adopted Finland-based architecture, not only the design but also the lodges used to build these log homes that were exclusively imported from Finland. Interestingly it is the first property built in India with the expertise that has come to be associated with Scandinavian log homes.
What came to me as a special and different feature about these distinctive contemporary designs is that these are earthquake resistant and also owing to the fact they are not concrete and rather developed with ‘lodge and nail’ technology, if needed then these log homes can also be opened up and reassembled somewhere else, held tight with steel rods and bolts. Interesting, isn’t?
Yatish Sud and his son Amish Sud, the brains behind this wonderful property have not left even a single stone untouched to make the place to feel like a ‘home away from home’ while giving all that is needed to pamper oneself to the core a single roof.
The log homes at The Chalets have been developed with a strong sense of guests’ security. Every apartment, cottage or bunglow here have been designed at a good distance from each other, giving essential privacy and comfort to everyone who walks in! Not only that, no matter which space of the property you opt for, every single room here gives another magnificent and different view. To enjoy the property at its best, you can choose from duplex cottages, apartments (studio, duplex & regular), family chalets, double bedrooms, three bedroom bungalow or four bedroom bungalow, depending upon the requirements. Each and every arrangement there has a view of its own. Well, I went for the beautiful cottage set almost in the centre of the property. The Sunset and the sunrise view from there were completely mesmerizing!
Attractions at Chalets!
The Chalets have many in-house arrangements to make your day go well. The staff there was on their toes to make us feel good about the place and yes I did, absolutely! To please you much, they have made wonderful arrangements for number of recreational facilities that you may seek at a leisure trip, with every dose of relaxation to pamper yourself. The main attractions are the two temperature controlled pools enclosed within a large glass house, while bringing inside the beauty of surrounding woods and also with a bar placed at one corner (making it even more exciting).
Going further, guests’ even got a choice to go for a soothing spa or other health club facilities of international standards including massages, sauna, Jacuzzi pool, steam room, hot and cold showers and more. The mere idea of taking a dip into the pools, still feels cold to me. But then to cover it up, the hot water arrangements, the soothing Ayurvedic massage, followed by sauna and Jacuzzi, in all made a perfect plot to charge my cells.
Another major delight is the famous 18-hole golf course in Naldehra, which is perhaps one of the most scenic and oldest playing ground in the country and is located at just five minutes distance from the property. Golfing enthusiasts can choose to spend their time at the ground while paying a nominal fee of around Rs. 250 to Rs. 500.
Being an absolute fresh player, I had a little different experience there. The coach there had taught me how we go about this silent game. Yes of course he did a perfect job to teach me the minute tricks and skills about the sport and I did try to make it to the hole, but alas, could manage only when the ball was kept just a feet away from the set hole. Aha! I know how brilliant I am (wink). And then like ever we ended up taking pictures there, you never know when I might get the chance again to visit such beautiful picturesque site again. Pictures were no doubt needed!
Going further, one can even choose to go for a long nature walk amidst the thick forest with long imposing cedar trees, right behind the Chalets. Guests’ can even opt to go for a horse-riding or white water rafting or a small village visit to get the flavor of local life at Koghi heritage village near Naldehra. While other activities like croquet green, putting green, evening bonfires and cricket pitch and can also be explored.
The dinner/lunch can be planned in the garden pavilion with a live set up for BBQ, or at the ‘360 degree- top
of the world’ revolving restaurant which offers a magnificent view in day time and indeed a more refreshing view during the night-time, giving all together a different feel to the visitors during the two different hours of a same day. I am sure that you won’t be able to keep your eyes off from the views you’ll be getting from the top. While another treat is being at the Peliti’s Tradition Bar, which was notably one of the pioneering hoteliers and restaurateurs of India and had a property close to the Chalets Naldehra.
To talk about food, Chalets have got the best of the chefs specialised in their respective cuisines; serving you the dishes with a natural tint n’ touch. The lip-smacking food and the prompt services there are indeed impressive. The choice of cuisine ranging from Chinese, Italian or the North Indian have got all that in menu to serve that you may think of.
And yes not be overlooked, the green initiatives adopted by the owner of the Chalets. Not only how you treat your guests’ is important, but also how much you love and respect your environment is definitely of huge concern. They have systems installed for generating biomass gas, treatment of waste water, solar water heaters, kitchen waste management, green house gardening and rain water harvesting. All this and much more make the place an apt spot for the nature lovers as well.
The design, location, uniqueness, hospitality and an absolute magnificent setting amidst the world’s greatest mountain range, Himalaya, collectively makes it a perfect mountain retreat. The Chalets, Naldehra with its flawless service, fabulous ambiance and all best of the options available in-house is definitely a not-to-miss destination for all travellers.
How to reach:
•By Road: Around 6-7 hours journey from Delhi
•By Train: Kalka Shatabdi will take almost 5 hours to make you reach Kalka station. From there it may take 3-3.5 hours to reach the resort. Pick-up and drop can be arranged by the hotel staff if asked for.
•By Air: The airport at Shimla is 40 km away whereas the airport at Chandigarh is 147 km away.
Text and images by Kamya Kandhari