Ri Kynjai resort is located by the Umiam Lake
Ri Kynjai resort is located by the Umiam Lake

Best Monsoon Resorts

Situated across various mist-laden corridors of the country, these rainy stays promise a retreat far from the chaos of the metropolitan cities

As dark nimbus clouds swivel across the sky, one longs for a monsoon escape to a picturesque locale where raindrops upon fern fronds, and the chorus of cicadas by the waterfalls, are punctuated by a myriad of earthy smells and shocks of greens. Luckily, there are a few charming resorts in India where you can fully enjoy these sensory experiences of the rainy season. From the lake views of Meghalaya to the tea plantations of Coorg, here are some of our recommendations.

Ri Kynjai (Serenity by the Lake), Shillong

In the Khasi hills, the thatched roofs of the Khasi tribe, shaped like an upturned boat, are known for their ability to withstand the heavy rains of the region. The lead architect for Ri Kynjai, Prabhat Dey Sawyan, drew inspiration from traditional Khasi architecture and design when he gave shape to the resort.

A mixture of modernity and age-old Khasi hospitality, the Ri Kynjai resort presides over the Umiam Lake, surrounded by rolling hills and paddy fields. Inside, the cosy pine-panelled rooms come equipped with fireplaces to deal with Shillong's cold winters. The lake, known as Barapani, is visible from almost every suite. If you get weary of lounging by the lake, visit the on-site emporium, which features a collection of Northeastern textiles and crafts.

rikynjai.com

Tariff: 14,000 onwards

Tamara, Coorg

At a height of 3,500 feet, Tamara sits in the lap of dense spice plantations. Outside, it may look like a jungle retreat, but inside, it has every luxury for the well-heeled traveller. Apart from warm wood-panelled cottages, the property houses unique gathering spaces like "The Window." Built next to a valley with a three-tiered waterfall, "The Window" is a conference room with glass walls and unhindered nature views. "The Yoga Temple", on the other hand, modelled on a garbha griha, is made of traditional Mangalorean clay roof tiles. Imagine sitting here in a vajrasana as the rain draws a pattern on the roof.

In terms of design, the resort is based on eco-conscious hospitality. "We approached the conception of Tamara Coorg, from design to operations and service offerings with sustainability at the centre," Shruti Shibulal, CEO and Director of Tamara Leisure Experiences, told Outlook Traveller. A sustainable resort, Tamara holds a mass-capacity rainwater collection pond that collects 90 lakh litres of rainwater for the property.

thetamara.com

Tariff: 21,800 onwards

The Machan is a carbon-neutral property
The Machan is a carbon-neutral property

Wildernest Nature Resort, Chorla Ghats

Nestled in the verdant Chorla Ghats in Goa, Wildernest Nature Resort offers the best of monsoons in the Western Ghats. As a wellness retreat, the property promises meditative silences and rain-splattered nature treks.

The resort has many cottages that offer guests the experience of being in the heart of the woods. "The Valley View" cottage offers an expanse of the Swapnagandha Valley and the surrounding forests as far as the eye can see. It is a must for those who like to gaze at verdant greens from the luxury of a cosy room.

The resort organises cultural evenings with local artisans who present performances around jungle lore at the resort's activity centres. In addition, the resort contributes to preventing wildlife poaching and preserving the catchment areas of the Mahadayi River's two significant tributaries.

wildernest-goa.com

Tariff: 7,500 onwards 

Clockwise from top left: The dance floor at Tamara, Coorg; the pool amidst lush foilage at Rainforest Resort; the cosy forest view room 
at Wildernest Nature Resort, Goa; a scenic view of the Umiam Lake from Ri Kynjai, Shillong
Clockwise from top left: The dance floor at Tamara, Coorg; the pool amidst lush foilage at Rainforest Resort; the cosy forest view room at Wildernest Nature Resort, Goa; a scenic view of the Umiam Lake from Ri Kynjai, Shillong

The Machan, Lonavala

Don't be surprised if you hear the distant croak of the rare tree-climbing frog near The Machan. After continuous efforts of the resort team, not just frogs but other wild species, such as the barking deer, have returned to a safe habitat.

Deep in the thickets of Lonavala's forests, The Machan, which translates to a lookout point, is one of the most prominent eco-resorts in India. It is situated in Jambulne, one of the world's 25 most biologically diverse areas. The property comprises numerous Machans (treehouses) done up with warm colours and wood tones while providing unobstructed panoramic views. To take the indulgence a notch above, book the "Starlight Machan," which has a plunge pool and two private decks.

The Machan also boasts of being a one-of-a-kind carbon-neutral resort in India. From solar-powered electricity to sustainable water harvesting systems, the Machan's green footprint makes it a coveted stay for eco-conscious travellers across the world.

themachan.com

Tariff: 10,000 onwards

Polo Orchid, Cherrapunjee

"During monsoon, Cherrapunjee is a sight to behold. It might resemble a scene from Lord of the Rings," says Deval Tibrewalla, CEO and Director of Hotel Polo Towers Group. "At Polo Orchid Resort Cherrapunjee, guests can lounge next to gushing waterfalls," he added.

Polo Orchid is a stunning clifftop property in a mist-kissed village called Nohsithiang. Among many luxurious offerings, the property boasts a "floating breakfast" that you can enjoy while in the infinity pool that presides over descending valleys with stunning sunset views.

As a prime resort in Cherrapunjee, Polo Orchid is conscious of the seasonal drinking water shortage in Cherrapunjee. The resort has created multiple water restoration units that utilise rainwater for daily needs. In addition, the resort also strives to reduce plastic waste by providing reusable water bottles and practicing proper waste disposal methods.

hotelpolotowers.com

Tariff: 8,500 onwards

Rainforest Resort, Athirapally

A cocoon of comfort and contentment, the Rainforest Resort is a warm nest in Thrissur—the land of waterfalls. Is there a better way to enjoy the rain than in a Swiss-designed waterfall-facing treehouse? For many of us, the idea of a rainy vacation means a day spent well in the spa. At the Rainforest Resort, Ayurvedic treatments offer a fusion of traditional and modern spa techniques that aid rejuvenation and healing.

If the rain perks up your culinary curiosity, the resort offers a rustic menu from the Kadar Tribe—the aboriginal people of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala who rely on sustainable hunting and gathering practices to source food. Located amidst rainforests, the resort values the preservation of the delicate ecosystem in which it resides. It has partnered with Forest Post, an indigenous business that sells forest products, to support tribes like the Kadar, Malayar, Muthuvar, and Mannan living in the forest. The goal is to help them build sustainable livelihoods by utilising their expertise, abilities, and rights regarding forest resources.

rainforest.in

Tariff: 26,000 onwards

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