The staycation that became a dreamcation.
Instead of a mobile alarm, my day started to soulful tunes from a distant flute. As I opened the blinds, sweeping views of the valley greeted with a warm sunshine, ice-capped peaks glinted in gold, mountain trees swayed with the melodious breeze and the birds chorused along to the flute. This enchanting moment set the tone for the rest of the stay. Adivaha resort had cast its magic spell. The staycation had now transformed into a dreamcation.
The path circling a tea estate
Reaching Adivaha Resort in Dharamshala is an uphill task, quite literally. A narrow lane cuts from the city to a forest of enchantment. A path shrouded in trees & littered with pinecones, circles along the resort as the vehicle enters a time capsule. A manicured tea estate brings back the glory of the Raj era, complemented by the grand entrance set in stone.
The cutest reception
Adivaha is unlike other resorts, where gardens outnumber the rooms. The reception is housed in a cute wooden cottage, where the creaking noise of the wooden floor is music to the ears. The welcome drink is a nectar, or it seemed so in the pristine setting overlooking the valley. Had they built a library here, this would have been an ideal nook to spend languorous days.
The cottage of dreams
The resort boasts of just one cottage apart from two buildings that house few rooms. The cottage is the main draw, away from the hotel buildings, away from civilization, closer to heaven. It is divided into 3 suites, two of which feature a living room as well. One of the suites lays claim to a porch that extends to a large verandah, a romantic setting for overworked city dwellers.
The rooms are antiquated, showcasing the glory of yore – typical large beds, leather couches and the subtle works. This isn’t your typical modern, well-equipped, or luxurious resort. But it makes up with natural abundance for the modest amenities.
The epicenter of the hotel
The walk from the cottage to the hotel is scenic, the stone path overlooking the tea estate. A grand wall welcomes the squinting eyes, a flight of two staircases reaching for the hotel’s dining area and two buildings. The restaurant is admirably vintage. Wooden walls, large glass windows, yellow lights, quaint bar and modest amenities. Dining area is the epicenter of the hotel. A terrace outside dining room boasts of sweeping views of the peaks & valley. This is one of the grandest views one can have, while munching on delicious pahadi food. Another garden extends from the terrace, where al fresco dining is festooned with stars and infused with mountain breeze. The good life. Where daily activities are none less than festivities. Weekly entertainment chirps up the hamlet – live performance by a singer strumming melodies that waft in the air creating a hallucinatory drama.
A la carte experience in a buffer setting
The food served at their restaurant is homelike & essentially pahadi. No pretense or eccentric fusion. Just flavorful food – fresh from the forests, served with love. Their service level outweighs the behemoth hotel chains, a truly ‘atithi devo bhava’ experience where they will serve you personally, as if you’ve visited a relative’s home. Nowhere would you get a la carte experience on a buffet setting. We were served dishes that were not even in menu, offered customized tea (every person likes to have tea their way) and they even packed parathas for us for our journey ahead.
A walk in the groves
The two buildings that border the dining garden are made of stone, have the typical hill station vibe. Rooms are basic yet large. Amenities are adequate. The town is sleepy, hence it’s advisable to come back by sunset. Restaurant closes by 10pm, so late night room service is not an option. For nature lovers, the hotel offers plenty of excursions. One can walk through the groves or tea estate. It’s a long walk that features beautiful views on every curve.
To sum up, Adivaha is in itself a destination. It offers an escape to a different world. Nestled away in the lap of nature, it is a place that beckons you to let go of the hustle and bustle of the city and just be. Here, the air is fresh, the landscape lush, the stars twinkle brightly above you, and the gentle sound of flutes fills the air with a melodic hum.
It’s a place to relax, revive and find yourself again. Here, you can start anew, unencumbered by expectations or pressures from the outside world. The beauty of Adivaha is that you don’t have to venture beyond its boundaries to experience all it has to offer. You’ll find everything you need right here – good food, entertainment, rejuvenation, discovery – all contained within this blissful sanctuary.