If there’s one thing Delhi is lacking right now, it is clean fresh air. Quality of the air hits rock bottom especially when Diwali is just around the corner. One can choose to escape from this chaos by using masks and taking other precautionary measures, but there’s something even better, a getaway! 😀 Hence, we decided to go on a road trip to experience the unparalleled beauty of the untamed wilderness and fresh pure cold air of Corbett National Park. The next major task was selecting the hotel/resort and after hours of research and numerous phone calls we finally selected our place of stay, “Corbett Wild Iris Spa and Resort”, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand.
IRIS Spa & Resorts is located in the town of Ramnagar, Corbett National Park, a 6 hours drive from Delhi (300 km), away from the hustle and bustle. Resort is tucked in 6 km inside the jungle in Kyari Village and getting there was no child’s play. The final stretch is full of surprises as you get to experience the thrill of driving off the beaten track amidst the thick forest full of natural trees, enchanting chorus of forest birds, this is a travel experience unlike any other!
We reached there at around 12 in the noon and the staff welcomed us with an authentic welcome drink made from Rhododendron flowers and escorted us to our cozy cottage. The rooms come in 4 categories namely; Jungle Cat Deluxe Cottage, Leopard Duplex, Tiger Suite and Tusker Suite Rooms. The cottages are equipped with contemporary facilities to best suit individual comforts. The cottage we stayed at had sloping thatched roofs, ethnically designed to keep the indoors warm in winters and cool in summer. The room and bathroom were clean and well maintained. Although, the mattress was a little squeaky and troubled our backs a little. The cottage also offers a private open deck which gives you a homely feel.
IRIS is located in a scenic spot close to nature and it’s almost like living in the middle of the jungle. Next up was lunch! The restaurant was spacious and very well maintained. We were very happy with the buffet lunch as the food choice and taste were authentic. Our favorite was the Chicken Kali Mirch, the hero of the lunch!
Iris replicates a jungle atmosphere created by the perfect natural surroundings and varied flora and fauna, at the same time, they offer a variety of activities like indoor and outdoor games such as table tennis, pool table, badminton, softball cricket, carom and swimming in the cool blue water in the pool.
Iris also has a ‘Nature Shop’ for souvenirs and memorabilia along with local handicraft items and herbal cosmetics. One can also rent a bicycle on an hourly basis, but we found it be expensive as they charge INR250 per hour which usually is free of cost. They also offer Spa services designed to soothe your spirits, using a range of therapies and massages.
We also got to experience the beautiful effect of nature’s love in the vicinity of Kyari Village through ‘Nature Walk’ organized by Iris at 5:30 in the evening to explore the beauty of the untouched forest. Our guide even told us stories of people spotting tigers in this area. :O ‘Body Surfing’ is another activity organized in the relaxing jungle stream where you swim with the wave and let the motion of the current take you with it. My favorite part of the package was the borne fire and live singing by Amar Rana which totally set up the mood and drained away all my stress and strain.
Dinner was delicious especially the spicy mutton curry. In general, the food they serve at Iris is quite good barring few dishes and desserts we found flavorless. Also, the breakfast was average at best. A big shout out to the staff for their warm hospitality and generosity!
What we liked:
- The beauty of the resort with the green patches all-around
- Clean and well-maintained rooms and swimming pool
- Helpful and polite staff
- Food and service
- B.Y.O.B! Bring Your Own Beer! 😀 Guests can bring their own alcohol and need not to purchase from the store there. They were pretty cool about us drinking in the premises, that too the alcohol we brought with us!
*Do make sure you drink responsibly*
Points to improve:
- Better mattresses for better backs 😛
- More breakfast choices could be introduced.
- Bicycle rides could be made free of cost.