In The Holiday, soon after a rather handsome, albeit fairly inebriated Jude Law knocks at his sister’s door (rented for the holidays by a rather charming and irate Cameron Diaz), Diaz, when propositioning a night together, says, “This is what a vacation is supposed to be, right? You're supposed to vacate your life.”
And as we begin the year, exhausted already by the drudgery that we always forget will follow, we can’t help but think about vacating our lives, too, and finding joy in identifying and planning those upcoming long weekends, including the one this January, with a luxurious getaway. Assuming you want to do the same, and to make the work just that little bit easier for you, we put together a list of some of the best in the business.
The Fern Cottage, Landour
Deep in the cantonment town of Landour, cocooned by dense oak forests, and in the lap of the Himalayas is this 100-year-old cottage. Visit quaint churches or spooky cemeteries, go birding in the rhododendron forests, spend a day with the wildlife in the Jabarkhet Nature Reserve, take a walk around the Landour Loop of Chukkar, or perhaps simply snuggle up on the wooden floor by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. With its warm wooden rooms, patio into the woods, colonial design and modern amenities, this is perfect for a quick getaway from the hustle.
Contact: +91-9871379731/ email@example.com.
Cinnamon Loft, Goa
Amidst the Portuguese-style hotels in Goa, Cinnamon Loft stands out for its New York-style design. Think plush apartments nestled in the paddy fields of Nerul and overlooking the Nerul river—the brain and lovechild of Londoner Joe Vadgama who visited Goa, and, well, never left. It is environmentally-conscious—think ample natural light to reduce electric use, no single-use plastics, sustainably sourced water, upcycled material used for furniture, and sustainable material used for all construction—fully-equipped, and oh so modern chic. Add to it the plunge pool and the infinity pool and we are sold.
Contact: +91-8975279059 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ging Tea House, Darjeeling
Legend has it that this is one of the first colonial tea planter’s bungalows in the hills of Darjeeling. Built in 1864, it is your chance to travel back in time to the British era—where you spend a cosy night in the palatial wooden rooms by the fireplace, wake up to a lavish breakfast out in the gazebo, go for a walk or a hike or maybe even a picnic in the estate's tea gardens, and spend an evening sipping on warm tea. And if you are looking for a fun night out, the town is only 30 minutes away and replete with old bakeries, pubs, and festivities, all set against the backdrop of the Kanchenjunga range.
Contact: +91-9831076877 / +91-9874411414 / email@example.com
Niraamaya Private Residence, Kumarakom
There are the banks of the Lake Vembanad, the lush tropical gardens, and the uninterrupted views of the backwaters—and you don’t have to choose among the three at Niraamaya. This is a wellness retreat complete with private pools, patios to soak in the vistas, Ayurvedic rooms and treatments, fitness centres, and, better still, activities like fishing, houseboats stays, bird watching, and even cooking lessons with the chef from their two gourmet restaurants. And if you feel like stepping out, there is sunset on the waters and experiences of the village life waiting for you. This is privacy, relaxation, and rejuvenation at its best.
Contact: +91 63 6412 3461 / +91 80 4510 4510 / firstname.lastname@example.org
RAAS Chhatrasagar, near Jodhpur
A slice of the Rajputi lifestyle, this is glamping at its best. Stay in luxurious tents—contemporary style and locally furnished—on a private wildlife reserve with a view of a reservoir, dine at the lakeside restaurant known for it’s homegrown organic produce, go birdwatching and boating with experts, take a dip in an outdoor pool, or spend a relaxing day at the spa, all while enjoying modern amenities. Could there be anything better and fresher? It’s a home away from home, the hotel says, and well, who wouldn’t want a home like this.
Contact: +91 291 2636455 / +91 80947 15421
Jehan Numa Palace, Bhopal
Perched on the slope of Shamla Hill, this is a living tale of the Begums of Bhopal, and, truly, pure opulence. The palatial palace was built in the 19th century and is a coming together of British colonial, Italian renaissance, and classic Greek architecture across 94 rooms and six suites furnished with old time furnishings and indigenous tribal artworks. You may find it difficult to get yourself to leave these plush rooms, but if you do, there are regal walks that await you in floral courtyards, relaxing spa therapies, cycling tracks, a fitness centre and pool, and six restaurants to choose from.
Contact: +91 75 5266 1100 / email@example.com
Udaan and Le Arc, Lonavala
Choose between gazing out at the Lonavala hills from the patio, strolling around the lawns or taking a tour of the curated art around the properties, watching your cinematic favourites as you lay on the cosy sofas, relishing a delectable meal from the Anglo Indian Cafe & Bistro at the opulent eight-seater dining area, and diving into the refreshing plunge pool that’s right by the living room—these neighbouring villa of Udaan and Le Arc are perfect examples of homestyle luxury, whether it is a quick getaway that your soul is craving, or a long cleansing month off.
Contact: +91 9820204355 / +919930004289 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Nandanvan Estate by SaffronStays, Kodaikanal
Amidst 35 acres of lush coffee plantations is this pet-friendly homestay in the hilltown Kodaikanal, a perfect getaway for nature enthusiasts. Enjoy an assisted tour of the coffee estate, go for a nature walk and do some wildlife spotting, or relax in the gazebo with a cup of freshly brewed coffee made from beans right off the property. Savour home-cooked meals made with locally sourced ingredients and experience the cultural heritage of South India. You're going to go back refreshed and ready to hit the hustle.
Contact: +91 8069160000