Pitched under the canopy of luxuriant trees, Oberoi Vanyavilas celebrates the great outdoors. The all-tent resort is located just a few kilometers away from Ranthambore National Park, making it a perfect base to explore the famous tiger reserve.
True to its Sanskrit name, the Oberoi Vanyavila is the “charm of the forest”. It spreads over 8 hectares of an attractive garden featuring indigenous flora while backing up to the wild jungle. A collection of lakes, pavilions, and 20-odd spacious tents nestles amidst this verdant landscape. Yet the placement of these structures was delicately done so as not to uproot a single tree and maintain the forest experience.
But don’t think of the Oberoi Vanyavila as a usual sterile hotel because it’s very much a part of the jungle. In fact, the resort is situated right at the western edge of Ranthambore – one of India’s most renowned places to observe the Bengal tigers in their natural habitat. Monkeys, squirrels, peacocks, and many other exotic wildlife also make their way onto the premises. And an observatory tower soaring over the forest canopy allows guests to enjoy fantastic views of the endless green scenery.
Through charming flower beds and leafy pathways, Virender, the receptionist, ushered me to my home for two nights, with the promise of an unforgettable glamping experience. He showed me to the resort’s organic garden and some species of birds and foliage on the property. As we arrived at my secluded tent, an elaborate carpet of marigolds and bougainvillea was laid out at the entrance. It was indeed a memorable welcome.
A place for rejuvenation in the wilderness, the tent at Oberoi Vayavilas is designed to combine opulence with nature. It takes a page from the canopied shelter made for the royals during their caravans from a bygone era, with kitted-out white cotton canvas and a traditional interior in rosewood and teak. Every detail evokes a glorious past but with the added luxury of modern amenities. Each spacious tent has an en-suite bathroom featuring a claw-footed bathtub and walk-in stone shower. A glass floor-to-ceiling door opens onto the verandah overlooking the private walled garden and the surrounding canopy.
As we are in the land of the tigers, it’s no surprise to see the feline silhouettes weaving their way into the design of the tent. They make an appearance in print and thread throughout the abode. For example, the interior ceiling features hand-embroidered tigers in gold thread, or the ultra-soft pajama is imprinted with the ultimate big cat. Chocolates in the shape of tiger paws also added a nice sweet touch.
An unforgettable glamping experience.
The Main Building
With marble floors, sparkling chandeliers, and hand-painted frescoes throughout, the main building of the Oberoi Vanyavilas resembles a sophisticated hunting lodge for Maharajas. It reflects the rich culture and heritage of Rajasthan where legends of adventure and indulgence is much vivid. However, the building remains small and intimate, so as to not overshadow the beauty of the surrounding nature.
The whole structure comprises the lobby, an elegant library, a billiard room, and a swimming pool to relax and unwind after a thrilling day in the neighboring jungle. A restaurant is also attached to the building. Here, guests can savor the simplicity of slow-cooked Indian cuisine or globally inspired dishes. There is a small courtyard (completed with a campfire) where local musicians enthrall diners each evening.
The Jungle Drive with Oberoi Vanyavilas
Oberoi’s famed attention to detail and impeccable service reaches every aspect, including the jungle drive. From the choice of zone, and the vehicle, to the breakfast, everything is well planned in advance. The staff even prepared a professional camera so that I wouldn’t miss a chance to spot and photograph the wild Bengal tigers.
With knowledge and great enthusiasm, they added a deeper and more interactive dimension to being on safari in Ranthambore. As we returned to the resort, Lakshmi – the mascot elephant was waiting in the front yard. She welcomed us back with a shower of marigolds after an unforgettable day in the jungle tracking tigers and other wildlife.
This post is written based on my personal experience. It was neither sponsored nor solicited by Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort or any third party. All texts and pictures reflect my own opinions and are provided solely for informational purposes. I will not be liable for any errors or damages by using this information.