Silent Valley – V Resorts’ Queen Meadows, Ranikhet

Hydroelectricity is the chief source of power, though the resort is looking at composting for gas in the future. But for a TV, every amenity that a hotel of this price range is expected to have is present. Including organic toiletries, sourced from a local NGO.

The food is primarily Indian, though I did see a fair sprinkling of ‘conti’ stuff – front oats and fried eggs to hash brown and bacon at breakfast. A Kumaoni meal is a treat I missed, though others vouched for it as the culinary highlight of their stay.

For those who have the time, do step out for a day by the river, a tributary of the Kosi (not to be confused with the sorrow of Bihar). Or simply sit back and let the Sarins take care of you, over a bonfire as you look over the twinkling lights of Ranikhet in the hills in front. Or enjoy a cosy candlelit dinner in one of the many nooks. One could, of course, go trekking, rappelling, rock climbing or play golf at a course nearby. There is a clubhouse and souvenir shop within the resort. A bookshelf is well stocked with past copies of Outlook Traveller! Every room comes with a hammock, ideal for a balmy evening.

My recommendation is a spot of reflexive time alone in the pagoda-like gazebo on stilts, incidentally the highest point in the resort. Or just take in the unmatched vistas over chai-pakodi. For the eco-conscious who want a luxurious holiday in this part of the world, look no further.

Getting to Queen Meadows, especially if you are considering driving up from say Delhi, can be arduous, taking around nine hours, if all goes your way. Perhaps you could instead take the train to Kathgodam, and then a cab from there. But once you get there, the warm hospitality of the Sarins and their 22-strong staff means it becomes your home away from home.

THE INFORMATION

LOCATION: Village Badhan, Chiliyanaula, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand

ACCOMMODATION: 8 villas, 7 luxury tents

TARIFF: 225$ for a double occupancy villa, all-inclusive. Not just breakfast, lunch and dinner, but also all the coffee or soft drinks you can glug! Or barbecue snacks, or local fruits, or anything else you might fancy…

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