6 luxury retreats that give you a glimpse of India’s green side

From chic lodges to lavish safari camps, nature enthusiasts are spoilt for choice.

Harper's Bazaar India

Are you a self-proclaimed plant hoarder? Do you feel your best when you’re surrounded by lush greenery? Do you find yourself yearning for a healthy dose of unadulterated nature? Then it’s time to pack your bags and head to these stays across India that promise enviable views, plenty of solitude, and a brush with the country’s rich wildlife. And bonus, all are located in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries!

Treehouse Hideaway, Bandhavgarh

Photo: Pugdundee Safaris/Instagram

Bandhavgarh National Park
Situated in the heart of Bandhavgarh National Park, Treehouse Hideaway gives you the complete experience of living in the wild with its five tree houses that are named after the trees they’re built on—mahua, tendu, peepal, banyan, and palash. When you’re not relaxing and enjoying the lush views from your hideaway, make the most of the machan that overlooks a watering hole—you might not see the elusive tiger, but keep an eye out for sambhars, deers, and jackals. Closed during the monsoons, it reopens in October, so now is the perfect time for a visit. 
Address: Umaria-Badhavgarh Road, Vijarhia, Madhya Pradesh - 484661.
For reservations: +91-1140132687

Mary Budden Estate, Binsar

Photo: Mary Budden Estate

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
A favourite of stars like Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Ishaan Khatter, Mary Budden Estate is a luxe property nestled inside Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand. It is the perfect destination for avid birders—their Hodgson’s Way trail guided by the estate’s hosts traces the path taken by a government official of the British era who was instrumental in identifying a variety of Himalayan birds. There are four-legged residents in the sanctuary too—you might spot the Himalayan black bear or the Indian red fox on your treks. Once you’ve had your fill of the estate’s wild offerings, unwind in the lodge that is a take on a typical colonial cottage.
Address: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, P.O. Ayarpani District, Almora, Uttarakhand - 263601.
For reservations: +91-7827151151

Diphlu River Lodge, Kaziranga

Photo: Diphlu River Lodge

Kaziranga National Park
If spotting the rare Indian one-horned rhinoceros is on your list, then head straight to the Diphlu River Lodge tucked in Kaziranga National Park. While jungle safaris are the mainstay, also give the dolphin boat safari a go—you might come across the endangered Gangetic dolphins. And if you want to get more hands on, help wash a domesticated elephant in the Diphlu river. Once you’re done with your day, relax in one of the river-facing earthy cottages that are raised on cement stilts and connected through walkways in the traditional style of the local Mising tribe.  
Address: Kaziranga National Park, Near Bagori Police Outpost, Kuthari, Assam - 782136.
For reservations: +91-9209200013

Aman-i-Khas, Ranthambore

Photo: Aman-i-Khas

Ranthambore National Park
The national park, which is home to a large number of Bengal tigers, also has multiple resorts clamouring for attention, but the chic Aman-i-Khas stands out. Located on the fringes of the reserve, the property has ten luxurious tents that come kitted with a free-standing bathtub and twin writing desks among other opulent offerings. Explore Ranthambore National Park on one of the daily safaris arranged by the hotel along with a wildlife expert—it’s highly likely you’ll spot the shy big cat. If you’re looking to make your acquaintance with even more of the region’s critters, choose the Chambal river cruise and you might chance upon a variety of birds, turtles, and maybe even the gharial, a thin-snouted crocodile indigenous to India. 
Address: Village Sherpur-Khiljipur, Ranthambhore Road, Rajasthan - 322001.  
For reservations: +91-9413379194

Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge, Kabini

Photo: Evolve Back Kabini/Instagram

Nagarhole Tiger Reserve 
If you want to discover the wildlife in the country’s south, look no further than Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge in Kabini that skirts the Nagarhole National Park and is flanked by the Kabini river on two sides. The huts are fashioned on the Hadis (hamlets) that are found in the tribal villages of the region. Don’t let the exteriors fool you though–you’ll find indulgent living areas, expansive bathroom, and a bed with an open-air roof inside. Take a jeep safari to Nagarhole National Park offered by the resort or pick a boat safari down the Kabini river on a local round boat called coracle. 
Address: Beerambally, Karnataka - 571116
For reservations: +91-6366920434

Woods At Sasan

Photo: Woods At Sasan

Gir National Park Nestled in the midst of 16 acres of mango orchards and greenery in the Sasan Gir Forest, Woods At Sasan is a modern retreat that’s about being immersed in nature, holistic wellbeing, and enjoying the slow life. Prepare yourself to be acquainted with Gir’s lush wildlife on a birding trail, or if you’re looking for a more unique experience, opt for ‘The Woods Night Out’—the first immersive night time experience of the Sasan Gir Forest organised by the property. Find yourself in the company of wildlife experts, and then get a taste of the local delicacies of Sasan Gir.
Address: Sasan Talala Road, Gir Forest Sasan, Gujarat, 362135.
For reservations: +91 2877281000

Lead image: Mary Budden Estate