5 cool places to stay when travelling to western India

The traditional charms of the western flank of India can be experienced in these choices of accommodation.
5 cool places to stay when travelling to western India

Garha Safari Lodge Located in a small village by the Rudramata dam, this lodge is designed like an ethnic Kutchi village. From the green lawns and the swinging chairs in the garden, watch pelicans circle above. Park yourself here if you want fresh fish and good Kutchi food, or explore the wildlife (primarily birds) and the Banni villages of the area. The lodge has 17 rooms that are simple but attractive, with their own kitchens. Jeep and camel safaris to different areas in Kutch including Dholavira can also be arranged. Location 12km from Bhuj. Contact 022-26350035, 26350826, gbglad1@sancharnet.in

Elsewhere The luxury of privacy in Goa, every tourist&rsquos paradise. Elsewhere is located on a private stretch of land overlooking the Arabian Sea, separated from the mainland by a creek. The gorgeous three-bedroom house is built in traditional Goan style with thick walls and a terracotta tiled roof. Or stay at Otter Creek, in tents which face a river (each with its own sit-out and jetty). Location Mandrem beach, south of Arambol. Contact 022-23738757, www.aseascape.com

Balaram Palace This neo-classical marble palace a few hours out of Ahmedabad, built by Nawab Muhamad Khan Lohani in the 1920s, sits on a hilltop with views stretching over the Aravalli hills. The beautiful marble galleries and the wooden staircases have been preserved, while modern luxuries like airconditioning have been added to the rooms. The palace presides over 13 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens with fountains and exotic flowers. Lazy people, just head for the Nawabi swimming pool. Location In Chitrasani village, off the Abu-Palanpur highway, 15km from Palanpur train station. Contact 02742284778

Rawla Narlai Tucked away in a tiny village called Narlai, midway between Udaipur and Jodhpur, and at the foot of a hill of the Aravalli range is this rawla&mdasha small palace often used as a hunting lodge. This one is built around a small walled courtyard, with the main rooms located off a verandah. The rooms retain their original frescoes and stained-glass windows. There are a few concessions to modern living&mdashlike running hot water&mdashbut everything else here is frozen in time. Sepia-tinted photographs from shikars and family portraits of the Jodhpur royals lie scattered all over. Spend your days riding the famous Marwari horses through the neighbouring forest or relaxing in the chaise longues amid the bougainvillea. Location 160km from Jodhpur. Contact 02934-260443, www.ajitbhawan.com

Rohetgarh This is the ancestral fortified desert home of the Rathores of Rajasthan&rsquos Champawat clan. Within the fortifications lie landscaped gardens where peacocks wander between neem trees. The hotel retains its old charms&mdashcarved wooden ceilings, traditional lamps, old photographs, historic trophies... The walls are decorated with frescoes, and there&rsquos a swimming pool surrounded by four pavilions where musicians perform. Location 40km from Jodhpur on the Jodhpur-Udaipur highway. Contact 02936-268231, www.rohetgarh.com

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