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These nature retreats are surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. And have great WIFI!
During the pandemic, people turned to nature to recharge and rejuvenate, but even as hybrid work options continue, those who can are choosing to take ‘workations’ in breathtaking natural locales. If you had any doubt that ‘green’ is biggest desire for most people this year, you can see Asian Paints’ ColourNext forecast report 2023. The trend ‘Edge of the Forest’ explains that our love affair with nature is here to stay. The report reveals that people will continue to want to stay in spaces that provide an indoor-outdoor living experience.
What better time than May to curate a guide of one-of-a-kind boutique hotels and homestays that provide people the opportunity to work encompassed by surreal natural landscapes. Pick your favourite and make your bookings!
The erstwhile palace of Maratha Queen Ahilyabai Holkar, this boutique hotel offers panoramic views of the majestic Narmada River. Built in the 18th century, the hotel features carved stone walls, scenic courtyards, and picturesque gardens decked with beautiful flowers. Guests can work from their rooms with views of the serene river or respond to emails while sitting in one of the gardens, thanks to the property’s excellent WiFi connectivity. Moreover, the hotel houses a library with a projection screen, which can be converted into a study room, and a small meeting room with 8 to 10 seats. For relaxation, Ahilya Fort has an outdoor pool and offers yoga sessions on request.
Situated in the Sasan Gir forest, this property exhibits biophilic design principles. This 38-key hotel comprises elegant guest rooms and cottages that are enclosed by 16 acres of mango orchards and lush greenery. The guest rooms feature indoor spaces that merge seamlessly into the surroundings. Each stay comes with a private open-air deck and garden and interiors housing locally crafted, reclaimed wood furniture, bamboo accessories, hand-made ceramics, macrame decorative items, and mud-work wall art made by local artisans. Visitors can host business meetings at the Woods Social Hall, which has panelled interiors and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. Furthermore, the property’s expert team curates activities for guests to unwind post work. These experiences include forest bathing, yoga and meditation sessions, guided cycle trails, bird-watching expeditions and jeep safaris to spot Asiatic lions.
Spanning 180 acres, Tamara Coorg is a tranquil hill retreat. Surrounded by coffee plantations and an untouched forest, the hotel offers luxurious cottages with modern amenities. The property provides high-speed internet connectivity to ensure that guests are always connected. Additionally, each cottage is equipped with a study area allowing visitors to work in peace and comfort. Tamara Coorg is well-known for its bespoke experiences that help guests reconnect with nature. These include coffee plantation tours, bird-watching excursions, and forest therapy trails. Moreover, the property features an infinity pool that offers unobstructed views of the awe-inspiring natural scenery and a well-equipped fitness centre for guests to revitalise themselves after a busy work day.
SaffronStays Ekam is a four-bedroom, pet-friendly homestay. Providing arresting vistas of the Himalayan ranges, the property is surrounded by pine and deodar forests. The retreat features a beautiful garden with a gazebo, a library, numerous balconies, and an expansive terrace, ideal spots for writers to be inspired. The bungalow’s WiFi speed is excellent for those who want to enjoy a ‘workation’ with spectacular views. After work, guests can unwind at this distinctive indoor-outdoor home or visit the nearby Chail Wildlife Sanctuary. Furthermore, visitors are served delectable local delicacies and international comfort food made using fresh produce from the estate’s gardens.
Set amidst 180 acres of farmland and alongside a peaceful lake, Oleander Farms is an hour's drive from Mumbai. Guests can work in their sumptuous room or while sitting by the retreat’s glistening outdoor pool. To take a break from work, they can take a dip in the pool, go for a trek in the nearby hills, dine at the property’s popular multi-cuisine restaurant Saltt or have some drinks at Common House, the in-house brewery.
Located in Guniyalekh, a small village in Kumaon, Aarish is a spacious four-bedroom mountain retreat. Overlooking terraced fields and the majestic snow-covered Nanda Devi range, this rustic homestay showcases vernacular architectural elements. The quaint property's interiors are minimal yet comfortable. Moreover, the interiors of the bungalow flow seamlessly into the outdoors, creating a zen-like atmosphere. There are plenty of nooks and corners to work in the living room where you can soak in the views from the large glass windows while a wood burner keeps the room warm and cosy.
This three-bedroom homestay is a hidden retreat in a dense forest near Bhimtal. It features contemporary glass facades, a naturally lit living and dining area, an outdoor fireplace, and an independent recreational annex. The property’s interiors are aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, providing ample design inspiration to a graphic designer or architect. But the focus is on the jaw-dropping views outside. After a day’s work, guests can go boating in the Bhimtal Lake or check out the neighbouring towns of Sattal and Naukuchiatal.
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