Valentine's Day is just round the corner and as always, couples around me are struggling to make the perfect plan! Movies, dinner, chocolates and even getaways have become a cliché now. So, if you are looking for something different, something off the regular circuit, look no further! This luxury retreat, nestled in the jungles of Ranthambore, is perfect for a thrilling, private and high-on-romance Valentine's Day plan!
This property is tailor-made for couples. With a spa, a heated outdoor pool and royal treatment, this resort is perfect for spending a couple of cosy nights!
At the edge of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore is the epitome of luxurious retreats. An opportunity to spot the royal Bengal tiger lies just ten minutes from the resort and the extravagance offered by the resort is what you need to appreciate the ruggedness that surrounds it.
The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore is a beautiful contrast, the exteriors are in tone with the jungle while the interiors reflect the opulence of a royal suite. Spread across 20 acres of lush, beautifully landscaped gardens, the property is rich with indigenous plants and birds. Strolling though the torch-lit pathways, you can easily get mesmerised by the melodious chorus of night animals or can stare at lilies blooming in small ponds scattered across the property.
There is a strategically placed observation tower that offers panoramic views of the bordering jungle and you can spot wildlife at a nearby watering hole from there. Couples can also opt for a quiet evening there, with champagne in their hand as they see the sun go down.
Scattered amongst the 20 acres of verdant gardens, lie unique, lavish and utterly beautiful tents. Located in clusters that afford privacy, these luxury tents are perfect for a couple looking to be cocooned in private luxury.
Cradled by fragrant flora, the tents have mud walls and pebbled paths lit by glowing torches at night. Designed to imitate the majestic caravans that crossed the deserts carrying noblemen during the times of the Raj, the inner canopies are decorated with woven tiger prints and plush rug cover polished teak floorboards. The bed is a four-poster, positioned in the centre of the room. The en-suite bathrooms are subtly concealed behind cotton curtains and feature a standalone bathtub, that looks out onto the private terrace of the tent. A separate shower cubicle is crafted out of evergreen marble and the walk-in wardrobe is lined with faux animal hide. All of the above comes with all modern amenities you might be looking for.
There is high-speed internet, organic toiletries in the shower and tea kettle in the rooms. This is one place where you will sleep to the hum of frogs and wake up to the chirping of birds.
The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambore creates a perfect atmosphere for a memorable dining experience. The al fresco main restaurant has a daily changing menu of authentic Rajasthani delicacies, pan-Indian specialities and continental dishes. The ambience of the restaurant is enhanced by bonfires in winters and live folk music throughout the year.
For couples, there are private dining options available. The verdant restaurant garden, amphitheatre and even lush mango grove can be converted into a romantic candlelit dining experience.
The elegant tents feature hand embroidered and block printed fabrics, teak wood floors, a four poster bed and a dressing room with a walk-in closet. Bathrooms have a colonial style free-standing bathtub and separate shower. The cost for a night for two is ₹57,000 without any meals.
The Ranthambore National Park is open from October to June. The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambhore is also open in the same months. The best time to visit the park and stay at this property is between November to March, when the weather is pleasant and the chances of spotting a tiger are high!
Resembling a classic Rajasthani haveli, the spa is beyond the flower-filled waterbodies, under Mughal archways and surrounded by a sunlit courtyard. Each therapy room overlooks a lush, green lily pond. This luxury spa provides traditional Ayurvedic therapies along with signature Oberoi spa sessions. However, for couples, they have a very special service called 'Romance of the Vanyavilas', which is a rejuvenating spa ritual that uses Ayurvedic techniques to relieve tension and stimulate marma points (concentrated energy centres) around the body.
Duration: 3 hours for 'Romance of the Vanyavilas'. Other sessions have different hours.
Price: A spa session starts from ₹3,000 per person. 'Romance of the Vanyavilas' costs ₹3o,000 per couple.
The outdoor pool is perfect for a swim to start your morning on a refreshing note, or even to just laze around in the evening after a fulfilling day. The pool is heated during winters and provides the perfect setup for a chill-out session.
Duration: The pool is accessible from sunrise to sunset.
Yoga is a popular activity for de-stressing and relaxing and also to maintain a healthy body and mind. Experience this in a private yoga session where the expert instructors conduct a lesson based on your individual needs. Learn breathing and meditation techniques, better poses and asanas for stretching and Sanskrit mantras to help rejuvenate your whole being. This is a great activity to do with your partner as it will help both of you connect on a whole new level.
Duration: 1 hour
Price: ₹3,000 per person
A delightful way to end the day with a loved one is to stare at the sky full of twinkling stars. This experience is led by our in-house naturalist from the top of our observation tower. As you are amazed by the countless stars covering the inky sky, try and guess the constellations visible to the naked eye or opt to observe them more closely through a semi-professional telescope.
Timings: After sunset.
A perfect day in the jungle is a specially curated experience offered by The Oberoi Vanvyalias, Ranthambore. It starts with an early morning ride in a private SUV to the majestic, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ranthambore Fort. The day proceeds with breakfast at the hotel in the mango orchard, luxury treatments in the spa, sunset at the observation tower, with sparkling wine served chilled, and ends with a lavish private dinner served at the romantic amphitheatre.
Duration: Full day
Price: ₹80,000 per couple
This safari is a unique opportunity to spot India's critically endangered gharial, in its natural habitat, the Chambal River. Approximately one hour's drive from The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Chambal River is home to the country's largest population of this species.
Duration: Approximately four hours, including an hour and a half on board the boat.
Price: ₹25,000 for up to four guests, inclusive of return transfers and a picnic lunch on the riverbank.
By air: The resort is 157km from Jaipur International Airport and you can take a cab from there to the resort. The price for a cab starts from ₹3,000 from the airport to the resort.
By train: Sawai Madhopur Railway Station is the nearest railway station at 5km. You can easily take an auto or a local cab from the station. You can also call the resort and ask for a pickup from the station.
All images have been sourced from the official website of The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore, unless mentioned otherwise.