In Ranthambhore – ‘The Tigress’ plays it cool

As the car left the main road on to a muddy track, I thought we might lose our way as there was no sign of vehicle movement on the track. It was a desert-like area with scanty bushes around barren land. The bumpy track finally approached a huge structure with ‘Chhatris’ (domes) on top. A main gate led to the forecourt of the building. This was ‘The Tigress,’ a big hotel in the tiger country -Ranthambhore, known for its tiger reserve.

As I entered the main building into the lobby, I took a sigh of relief, the inside was air conditioned. Completing the check-in formalities, I was led to my room which appeared cooler than the exterior with thick curtains on the large window. There was a private balcony, but seemed pretty warm outside, so I preferred to remain in the room.

Outside the row of rooms was a large courtyard with a fountain in the middle.

On the ground floor level was a restaurant with motifs painted on the walls on all four sides.

Breakfast was still being served,I went in for a quick round of the hotel. The spa which had been recently opened was situated in the midst of a orchard of guava trees all hanging with ripened fruit. The good thing was that the guests could pluck ripe guavas and eat it from the huge orchard.

The spa and a gym were all decked up for guest use. From the gym a track led to the villas outside the main building of the hotel.

This wing of private villas was provided with a private garden attached to each villa. One could hold a private party in the small garden attached. The exclusivity of each room in the villas was the heating system which on switching on came up and resembled a bon fire.

From the villas I moved to the swimming pool on one corner of the main building. A table for breakfast had been laid out on one side of the pool. Some guests had already descended into the water.

Once again inside the main building was the conference hall, all set for a meeting of over thirty people. A screen and slide projector had been laid out for the meeting.

Adjacent to the conference hall was a recreation room with a billiards table and chess board. During the day time when guests were free after their safari they could come down to the recreation room and play.

Time for lunch; the restaurant was laid out with a buffet offering typical Rajasthani dishes in addition to north Indian ones too. A vegetarian soup and salads were also there.

There is nothing like an afternoon siesta after meals on a hot day. This is what I indulged into.

I got out of my room around six in the evening. It was getting cooler outside so I preferred to have my evening cup of tea in the courtyard outside. The sky was cloudy as if it would rain, which it did not.

There was no much to do except play chess.

The lazy evening drowned into a cooler night and the ‘chhatris’ (domes) all around the main building were lit up.

At night the building looked like an oasis of tiny lights on the barren piece of uninhabited land.

The next morning a safari had been planned and therefore I must be up at 5.30 for a cup of tea and leave for the safari.