LOWER KHANDOLI VILLAGE,DEHRA DUNUSP: Every room is a different experience
It's with some anxiety and a where-are-we fidgetiness that we slowly move away from the more populated part of Dehra Dun, past the Indian Military Academy and others, in our tempo traveller and head into densely-forested sal tree territory, following the red-and-black jeep that's leading us. We're later told that too many signboards have been avoided to prevent walk-ins and preserve the private nature of the place, and soon realise why.
Vishranti is on Madhyant Farms, a 23-acre estate. Completely self-sufficient, right down to the vegetables on your plate (grown on the estate's own organic farm), it's a pampered existence you lead there.
Vishranti is a seven-suite resort, each named after a synonym of ‘Vishranti' (Sanskrit for ‘rest') – Aman, Chain, Sukoon, Khamoshi, Aaram, Shanti and Vishranti & Vishram. Originally the home of Michael Dalvi, who owns Madhyant Farms, it has recently been taken over by Leisure Hotels.
A conscious effort has been made, though, to see that the nature of the place doesn't change. No attempts have been made to clone the two suites and five rooms that are let out to guests — the standardisation that characterises hotel rooms deliberately avoided. As the people at Vishranti tell you, each room has acquired the personality of its original inhabitants. Every room has the furniture and décor it originally had. This could vary from the warm beige-and-brown interiors of Shanti to the green cheerfulness of Aaram or the floral airiness of the twin-bedroom Vishranti & Vishram. Art, part of Dalvi's private collection, is something that's common to all the walls and there are Picassos in the bathrooms too.
The dining room is a blue-walled, china-lined apparition, but you can also have your meals in outdoor dining areas spread around the resort.
A popular part of Vishranti is Holdy's Pub, named after R.L. Holdsworth. An Oxford ‘Triple Blue' (in cricket, football and boxing) and former House Master at Doon School (Dalvi's alma mater), he is famously believed to have lit his cigar on the peak of Mt. Karnet before sliding down to base camp.
Every year, during Doon School's old boys' meet, Holdy's Pub turns into a hangout for Doscos.
How to get there
Vishranti is in Lower Khandoli Village in west Dehra Dun, a 30-minute drive from Jolly Grant Airport (24 kms away) and Dehra Dun Railway Station. By road, it's 270 kms from Delhi.
Things to do
You can see the aviary on the resort that has birds like grey parrots and golden pheasants. Or visit the floriculture project site and organic vegetable garden. Go sightseeing in Dehra Dun at Robbers' Cave or ‘stickjaw' shopping on Rajpur Road.
Rishikesh is just 54 kms away, while you can even spot Mussorie on the facing slopes, 35 kms away.
Aman, Sukoon, Chain and Khamoshi (for two persons) cost Rs.7,500 per night. For Aaram it's Rs.8,500, for Shanti (suite) it's 9,500 and for Vishram & Vishranti (accommodates four) it's 14,000. This is valid till December 23, 2009 and between January 3 and April 15, 2010.
There's also a special offer for two nights and three days (for two persons), valid from October 1 to December 23, 2009, and from January 3 to April 15, 2010. Tariffs vary from Rs.14,999 (Aman, Chain, Sukoon and Khamoshi) and Rs. 15,999 (Aaram), to 17,999 (Shanti) and 23,499 (Vishranti & Vishram).
Call 0135 3294211/ 2773700/ 3291377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or contact Leisure Hotels at 011-4652 0000 or log on to www.leisurehotels.co.in