The green expanse gives way to the narrow lanes dotted with temples that lead to the tranquil haven in the middle of nowhere- Aalia on the Ganges. Aalia Resort’s address -Shyampur Noamabad, near Rajaji National Park, Haridwar- gives out nothing about its character. So wait don’t pass it off as just another hotel for the pilgrim traveller, we have got you the real story of this gem of a hotel.
Aalia is an all villa resort located in the vicinity of the Rajaji National Park. Each villa has three rooms, a living room and study. Though, distance-wise speaking Aalia is not very far from holy hotspot Hairidwar, but is nothing you would expect a typical Haridwar hotel to be. The villa-rooms have jacuzzis in balcony, it’s all day dining restaurant serves lip smacking non-vegetarian dishes, its bar is well-stocked, there is a cigar lounge (though connoisseurs might feel that the choice of cigars is limited) and a helipad as well! Aalia is a luxury boutique resort that you should visit if you love open spaces and dream of waking up to the sights and sounds of the nature in the morning. The clincher? Holy river Ganga quietly flows behind the resort and you can just walk the cobbled pathway to take a dip in the river or enjoy the aarti at sunset that the in-house pujari performs.
There are 12 villas at Aalia and each villa can accommodate six to ten people. So if you are looking at a holiday with your family or friends, Aalia is an ideal accommodation. You could spend time at the private garden that every villa has or the living room.
I really enjoyed my time at Aalia Resort which I visited over Christmas. The resort arranged our jungle safari to Rajaji National Park known for elephants. Though we couldn’t spot the big animal as it usually stays inside the deep woods during winters, we were lucky to see three types of deer and wild boar. Aalia impresses and engages its guests. There is jungle safari and outdoor activities like archery that you can try your hand at. There are yoga classes in the morning and a spa ensuring a relaxed and rejuvenating holiday. Spa Manager Amar Dev Prasad deserves a special mention. He has experience of working at the destination spa Ananda so if you are ever at Aalia leave yourself in the able hands of Amar. He suggested me a foot reflexology and even though I had my apprehensions I am glad I tried the 60-minute heavenly treatment.
The staff at Aalia is attentive and a lot of credit goes to it’s affable manager Dheeraj Chauhan. I have known Dheeraj from his days at the Wildflower Hall in Shimla and I knew the service will be great at the resort as an ex-Oberoi manager can never go wrong with hospitality! Dheeraj’s charming wife Seema is also the housekeeping manager and together they add a personal touch to the hospitality at Aalia. They walk that extra mile to help guests or just to have a conversation with them. With so many luxury hotels and resorts opening across the country, it’s service and personalized hospitality that now distinguish one hotel from another. Aalia is doing the right thing!
Aalia has got it’s food right too. Not only the Indian fare but continental dishes too are done well at its restaurant. The must-try items include Laal Maas, Fish Tikka, Murgh Malai Tikka, Grilled Fish and their pasta.
This might be the owners- Aditya Paul Lakhanpal and Arjun Paul Lakhanpal’s -first hotel project but they have put their heart into it which pretty much makes up for the lack of experience. Watch out for their another all villa property that is being developed in Goa. I already have great expectations from that one.