Much before you hit the hotel cluster of popular weekend destination Jim Corbett, a narrow road in the jungles takes you to Jim’s Jungle Retreat- a 18 room boutique resort. Jim’s Jungle Retreat (JJR) is an eco-friendly resort with earthy and tastefully done interiors.
We checked in during a weekend to get away from the hustle-bustle of city life and Jim’s Jungle Retreat did prove to be an ideal getaway. Here’s why.
Jim’s Jungle Retreat has 11 cottages and 7 lodges. While cottages are all located on ground floors, lodges are elevated suites that offer panoramic view of the wilderness. Step into a cottage and the earthy interiors, thatched roofs and mud exteriors will charm you. Each cottage has a bedroom, dressing, bath and a sit-out done in a style that is reminiscent of the Raj era. Lodges, elevated at a height of 15-feet are bigger and have expansive bathroom and balcony. If you can spend a little more, a lodge would be an ideal choice. There are no televisions in rooms and phone connectivity is sketchy. So if you are looking at digital detox.. this is where you should go.
In-house Chef Deepak dishes out delectable Kumaouni delicacies at the all day dining restaurant. Many small hotels and boutique resorts offer food just for survival. But food is where Jim’s Jungle Retreat scores, offering a great gastronomical experience and in fact giving weekend goers a reason other than tigers, to check into this property. It offers local cuisine done in an organic fashion with many ingredients coming from hotel’s vegetable and herb garden. A walk with Hiralalji in the hotel gardens is one thing you should add to your itinerary if you are checked in at the hotel. The breakfast spread was quite good as well and I don’t remember having such soft Bhaturas ever in my life.
JJR like many boutique resorts is targeting experiential travelers. During the weekend when I checked in Cordon Bleu Chef Michael Swamy was at JJR as part of it’s Gourmet Club initiative for travellers. So we spent three days learning about local cuisine, attending outdoor cook-out sessions, watching Michael use old cooking techniques and sampling all the lip-smacking food that he prepared. So keep a tab on JJR’s event calendar if you are looking for an exclusive experience on your holiday.
It’s a hideout in a perfect setting during day time but at night JJR looks mesmerizing with lantern adorning this gorgeous resort. It has a swimming pool, a small spa and a pretty looking television room. It has a well stocked library which has some great books on history of the Corbett National Park and Tigers. Don’t forget to pick up some local products from the shop at JJR which houses handicrafts from local artisans and produce like local rice.
The spa, which has two treatment rooms and only male masseurs offers some rejuvenating organic treatments. I tried the 30-minute organic facial and the freshly concocted milk, yogurt and honey did some good to my skin battered by Delhi’s pollution.
Delhi-based Inder Pratap Singh Akoi is the founder of Jims Jungle Retreat and love child of Daleep Akoi. During my stay I had a chance to meet Daleep and his pretty cocker spaniel Myra. After meeting Daleep it wasn’t difficult to gauge how JJR has got it’s aesthetics right and knows it’s traveller well. A former journalist with Reuters, theatre actor and hotelier, Daleep has infused life in this resort.
Meanwhile the ever-smiling and omni-present hands-on GM of the hotel Ratti does her job perfectly. Whether its early morning breakfast or late night wine by the poolside you will see her around and she personally takes care of hotel guests, walking that extra mile to ensure that they are comfortable. We like hotels with a face and a heart. Jim’s Jungle Retreat has both.