Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa Review
After being confined within the four walls of my home for months, I was desperately looking for a change. The alarming pollution levels in Delhi were the final catalyst and I decided to leave the city for a couple of days. Rishikesh was within driving distance to Delhi, yet close to nature. I had been to Jim Corbett Park, Mussoorie, and Shimla so decided to explore Rishikesh.
One of the reasons for choosing Rishikesh was the newly opened property of the Taj Group – Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, Uttarakhand. Located on the banks of The Ganges, the upscale five-star property offers you decadent luxury in a breathtaking location. The property was in demand despite being steeply-priced. It was sold out for the weekend and so we planned our trip during the weekdays.
Drive to Taj Rishikesh is a long and arduous one. It took us nearly eight hours to reach the hotel from Delhi. Thankfully, the check-in was warm, smooth, and very quick. The staff had all the paperwork ready and completed the formalities at the hotel entrance itself. After the customary temperature check and sanitization routine, we were escorted to our rooms. The stunning views from the balcony of our 1st-floor room were enough to make me forget the long tiring journey.
The 12.5-acre resort sits on the foothills of the majestic Himalayas with the Holy Ganges engulfing the hotel from three sides. The resort has 79 rooms – 30 rooms and 49 villas – almost all of them offering unspoiled views of the enchanting river and the spectacular hillside surroundings. The hotel boasts of 3 dining options – Riverside, Rock Flour, and Pebble Beach & Pizza Bar serving you the best of international, Indian, and local cuisine. At present, due to COVID regulations, only Rock Flour is open. There is the Jiva Spa & wellness center, Panorama Bar, a salt-water swimming pool (closed due to COVID), free parking, a library, and a pebble beach.
Taj Rishikesh is located in Singthali, a small village 35 km from Rishikesh. The distance from Delhi is around 280 km and takes 7-8 hours. The nearest airport, the Dehradun Airport, is 51 km from the hotel, and travel time is around 2 hours both ways. The hotel provides airport pick-up/drop-off on a chargeable basis. Rishikesh Railway station is 20 km from the sprawling resort. To sum it up, reaching Taj Rishikesh is not easy.
All the rooms in the resort are generously proportioned and luxurious with all the standard 5-star amenities. The minimalistic, well-designed rooms & bathrooms are spacious, well-lighted, spotlessly clean, and tastefully furnished with locally crafted furniture. The contemporary rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offer awe-inspiring views of the formidable Himalayas and the holy Ganges. The attention to detail in the room’s facilities and layout is heart-warming
The deluxe rooms are located in the main building adjacent to the elegant lobby. The view from the 1st and 2nd floor is amazing. If you want to stay in the lap of nature, you can opt for Villas that are located slightly downhill amidst the steep manicured hillside. They are more expensive but they offer more privacy, space, a private sit-out, and a tub. And you are closer to the beautiful, serene nature and a few steps away from the flowing river. However, as the rooms are situated at a height, you can enjoy better panoramic views from the private sitting areas attached to each deluxe room. You also have more flexibility and better service in the rooms.
Taj hotels have always been known for their delectable food and Taj Rishikesh is no exception. The food served by the hotel is delicious and you can take your pick from the Italian, Chinese, Indian, and other international cuisines. Their Garhwali Thali, made entirely with local ingredients, is a must-try. It was my first experience of eating the local cuisine and I was highly impressed. The dishes were light, fragrant, healthy, and delicious. The chef and staff were really courteous & accommodating and went out of their way to make you comfortable and welcome.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES
The resort has all the facilities you would expect from a high-end resort – multiple dining options, a fully functional spa, swimming pool overlooking the Ganges, bar, gym, etc. The on-site spa ‘Jiva’ offers a wide range of massages and treatments to relax and rejuvenate you. You can go trekking, do meditation, or enroll yourself in Yoga sessions which are held every day. Ganga Aarti is organized by the resort every evening. If you are planning a longer stay – enjoy Himalayan Mountain Drive, go for picnics, explore the ‘Devprayag’ (confluence of three rivers and the starting point of the Ganges), or just go for nature walks in the adjoining mountains. The resort organizes everything for you at a cost.
THINGS TO KNOW
- The resort prides itself on being an eco-friendly habitat and a zero-discharge hotel. The use of plastic is kept at a minimum. The resort has a sewage treatment plant and a bio-digester on the premises to keep the environment clean.
- It is advisable to leave very early if you are driving from Delhi. The traffic in Haridwar, Roorkee, and other small towns en-route really gets chaotic as the day progresses.
- You are likely to miss the turn for the hotel. Though they have a big board, the narrow downhill by lane is difficult to spot from a moving car.
- Due to the construction work happening on the road from Rishikesh to Taj Rishikesh, expect some road slides and minor traffic jams.
- There is NO network in the hotel. The free Wi-Fi is quite good and should keep you connected to the rest of the world. However, each room is allowed to access four devices. If you need more, you have to pay Rs 800++ per day.
- The resort has no provision for a driver’s stay. There are lodges available in the nearby villages about 2 km away.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Monkeys are a menace here and you have to make sure that you lock all doors and windows before you leave your room.
- Rishikesh is a dry area and alcohol is not allowed there. But Taj Rishikesh is not bound by the restrictions and you can enjoy your drinks in the resort. The bar and the bartender are highly recommended.
- The property is sanitized regularly and is following all the COVID-19 protocols specified by the government.
- The hotel has received many prestigious awards in the year 2020
Taj Rishikesh is an oasis of luxury amidst gorgeous lush landscapes. Surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, shimmering jade-green Ganges, and lush greenery, the resort is a haven for nature lovers. Here you are having the best of both worlds. You are pampered by the impeccable Taj hospitality as you soak in the fresh air and relax in the lap of nature. The staff goes out of their way to make your stay a memorable one. The resort is mainly for relaxation, rejuvenation, introspection, and enjoying the calm nature. If you are looking for an adventurous vacation with a wide range of activities, you should stay at Rishikesh. This sheer luxury doesn’t come cheap and prices start from $300 per night. So, if you are in a mood to pamper yourself and want to enjoy nature at its best, head to Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa in Uttarakhand.
Hotel Website – https://www.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj/taj-rishikesh/
Google Map – Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa
PC – Dev Rajsingh, Taj Rishikesh