The Retreat is a 150-year-old colonial bungalow, lovingly preserved in its original charm, complete with period furniture, artefacts and paintings, in a former tea estate in the Lake District of the Himalayas. Surrounded by a profusion of trees — Deodar, Cypress, Oaks and indigenous ones – that merge into the forest, the estate borders mountain lakes, including pristine ones which you can swim in. Wonderful long walks, bird-watching, paragliding, kayaking and riding are among the other activities you can engage in to build up your appetite for the amazing food that is cooked by the hosts. The hospitality is warm and personal, garnished with stories about the fascinating history of the place and the family. You get your own space, as well, so people seeking solitude are happy too. An easy train ride or drive from Delhi, yet a haven of peace that lives up to its name.
Cuisine: Continental, Colonial, Indian, Pahari – delicious home cooking with family recipes handed down the decades, home-made preserves and fresh home-made baked bread
Summer – Min 17°C, Max 32°C
Winter – Min 0°C, Max 17°C
Monsoon – Min 13°C, Max 25°C, Heaviest rainfall in July and August
By Air: Pantnagar Airport (60 kms, 2 hrs)
By Rail: Kathgodam Railway Station (25 kms, 1 hr)
By Road: Delhi (300 kms, 7 hrs)
THINGS TO DO
Bhimtal: Visit the town and the lake, which has an island in the center of it. There is an aquarium on the island which can be approached via boat.
Nainital: Located about 20 kms away, sitting at an altitude of 2,100 meters is the famous and popular hill station of Nainital. Visit the lake at the center of the city and enjoy the boating activities. Visit the bustling market and the observatory at Hanumangarhi close-by.
Sat Tal: Visit the famous interconnected group of seven freshwater lakes situated near Bhimtal
Panna Tal: A 30 to 40 minute walk away, take a swim in the cool waters or picnic at the shore.
Nal Damyanti Tal: Located about 2 kms from Bhimtal. Feed the sacred Mahseer fish and visit the temple with its ancient Ashtadhatu idol which was excavated from the lake bed. Also have a look at the 100 year old water driven flour mill.
Nature Walks: You can enjoy nature walks through the Lakeland Estate, formerly a British Tea Plantation. Beautiful agrarian scenes of rice terraces, wheat fields, and small villages where you can take in the aroma of dinners being cooked and listen to the happy sounds of children playing. Wildlife abounds amidst the luscious green pine and oak hillsides and throughout the valleys of the estate.
Hiking: Hike through the forested hills of the Estate to the cliffs of nearby Surya Gaon. There is a possibility of spotting Ghoral, Serow, Sambhar, Muntjac (Barking Deer) and numerous bird species while on the walk. There is also a full day hike to the top of Karkotak Hill which has a view of Nanda Devi.
Birdwatching: Birdwatchers will enjoy a stay here as the entire area, which is well-forested, has numerous bird species right at The Retreat as well as on all the walks around.
Tea Picking: Pick tea from Orange Pekoe tea bushes, planted by the British in the 1850s from our Estate Forests. The tea bushes flourish in Oak forests that have been allowed to grow around them.
Village Visit: Visit a village on the Estate with a village guide and have a Pahari meal in a village home if you like.
Boating and Fishing: Being in the lake district of Uttarakhand means there is no shortage of places to go fishing and boating. Permit can be arranged. If the weather is clear, parasailing can also be organized.
Day Trips: Other popular hill stations nearby include: Almora (65 kms), Mukteshwar (45 kms), Ramgarh (35 kms) and Ranikhet (60 kms)
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