To travel is to live, said author Hans Christian Andersen.
And we have only one life to explore so much that our travels and explorations have to offer. And, in the process, find our own bliss.
So start saving up now so that you can afford to have these larger-than-life experiences around India. Because you only live once, my friend.
1. Summertime Villa
Where: Calangute, Goa
Book the property for INR 27,898 per night. The property has a luxury yacht for charter, too.
I recommend their home-cooked pancakes right after a swim in the infinity pool that looks on to the lush greenery around the property. An added advantage is if you're a book lover - every wall and cupboard in this house has enough literature to last you an entire lifetime!
2. Suryagarh Heritage Resort
Where: Sam Road, Jaisalmer
You can even choose one of their outdoor experiences in the middle of the Thar Desert while you're staying there.
Don't forget to enjoy their halwai breakfast which is basically a spread of fruits, sweets, cereals, Rajasthani platters and fresh juices served right at your seat. Then, head to Rait, the spa for a full-body rejuvenation session.
3. Punjabiyat Farms
Where: Gurdaspur, Amritsar
You can make reservations here to experience the essence of Punjab at its truest.
You can even go vegetable picking in the farms and join in the process of cooking your own food on the earthen stove to indulge in an authentic farm to table experience whilst listening to Punjabi folk music.
4. Atmantan Luxury Wellness Resort
Where: Mulshi, Maharashtra
Book the Aqua Base Floating Mat session at an additional INR 2,600 plus taxes for 45 minutes while you're there.
The best thing about this place? The fact that there is no cell phone reception which instantly makes you connect with the calm environment of the property and really focus on the wellness aspect of your trip. You won't miss a thing!
5. Ananda In The Himalayas
Where: Narendra Nagar, Uttarakhand
Choose from your preferred packages at the best luxury spa resort in India.
There's no feeling in the world that matches one of being at one of India's best luxury Ayurvedic retreats where you can surrender to yoga, Vedanta and an organic cuisine.
6. Narendra Bhawan
Where: Samta Nagar, Bikaner
Indulge in a food meditation itinerary while at the resort and dine like the royals do.
The luxury heritage hotel retells the story of the last reigning Maharaja of Bikaner, His Highness Narendra Singhji, through hospitality and experience that soaks in the culture of Rajasthan.
7. The Birdcage
Where: Leti Bunga, Mukteshwar, Nainital
Stay in any of the 7 beautifully designed suites at this boutique stay.
Honestly, it's one of the few boutique home stays that are culturally inclusive and welcomes city dwellers , straight & gay couples, travellers with pet dogs and even reclusive writers. You want to unwind without societal judgement, you go here.
8. Belgadia Palace
Where: Mayurbhanj, Odisha
While staying at the palace, explore the tribal tours around the city.
The walls of this palace are dripping in a rich history very few know about. The palace is built on a hill, surrounded by orchards and groves and is in close proximity to the Simlipal Tiger and Elephant Reserve.
9. Family In The Hills
Where: Hartola, North Gola Range, Uttarakhand
You can laze around in a hammock or indulge in recreational activities while you're at the luxury camp hotel.
The property gives you an authentic camping-in-the-woods experience while you live amidst the virgin greenery of Nainital. The property has 9 luxury tents to let out to tourists all of which come with a backdrop of the Himalayan range, Nanda Devi and the Trisha Hills.
10. Ahaana Resort
Where: Ramnagar, Sawaldeh, Uttarakhand
Experience wildlife tours while you stay at the luxury Corbett wilderness resort.
The experience is said to be at par with those offered at African wildlife resorts; the property is constructed in such a way that even the restaurant and the swimming pool give you a magnificent view of wild elephants, jackals, deer and occasional wild boars.
11. The Grand Dragon Hotel
Where: Sheynam, Leh Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
When in Ladakh, experience Ladakhi hospitality at its best.
One of the premier luxury hotels in the region is an ode to the Himalayas and has been decorated using paintings of Ghulam Mustafa, one of the first modern artists of Ladakh. The exclusive suite in the property is entirely handmade - from the walls to the beds and the upholstery - and costs approximately INR 50,000 per night.
12. Noor Mahal
Where: Noormahal Crossing, Karnal, Haryana
Get ready for a royal and traditional experience down south.
The hotel has been designed by Himmat Singh Ji, the renowned Delhi architect and is full of intricate details that capture the authentic essence of traditional Mughal and Rajputana styles of architecture.
13. InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort
Where: East Coast Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Enjoy the scenic sunset as your backdrop and the gentle waves as the music.
The hotel is located within close range of the world heritage site in Mahabalipuram and the hospitality and experiences for the guests here are curated in typical Coromandel style.
14. The Tamara Kodai
Where: St. Mary's Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Experience the best of Kodaikanal while you stay at the best luxury resort in the vicinity.
This restored property that dates back to the 1840s, used to be a rest house for priests of Nagapattinam. Tucked away in the hills of south India, each of the 53 suites in the property has a bedroom with large balcony, living room, and an attached bathroom.
15. The Leela Kovalam
Where: Beach Road, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Get ready to experience life at India's only cliff-top beach resort.
You don't need Valentine's Day to be romantic when you're staying at the Leela Kovalam, to be honest. All you need is a beach view room, a bottle of wine on arrival, a butler at your service and the experience of a lifetime!
16. Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club
Where: V & V Estates, Kumily, Kerala
Transform your travel down south as you experience a sensory journey at the retreat.
Situated quite picturesquely between the cardamom plantations in Thekkady - hence, the name - the retreat gives you a chance to live amidst nature in her rawest element. In between enjoying freshly-cooked regional food, you can enjoy spice walks, treks through dense evergreen forests, bamboo rafting at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, or spending a day with the Asian elephant.
17. Fairmont Jaipur
Where: Kukas, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Unwind in the lap of Rajasthani culture as you take in the breathtaking view of the Aravalli Hills.
The Fairmont Jaipur is known for its regal opulence which is what makes it one of the best regal hotels; not just in Jaipur. The property offers hot air ballooning, adventurous mountaineering at the Aravalli hills and elephant picnics.
18. Vini's Farm Island Estate
Where: Munroe's Island, Kerala
You can fulfill your dream of owning an island somewhere far away, even if it's for a short period of time.
The island is about 10 minutes by boat. You get the whole island to yourself, along with a private chef. It's very Christian Grey-meets-Edward Cullen on a holiday retreat.
So, what are you waiting for?
Designs by Ashish Kumar