The Lalit Mangar is as close to a cabin in the woods as Delhi would allow- with 5-star service thrown in for good measure. Situated in the middle of a good-kind-of-nowhere on a thin road beside the Mangar Bani Valley, the property spreads itself out towards the hills, it’s massive rooms opening up to balconies that overlook the Aravalis. Add to that the chirping birds, the occasional howl of a hyena and the feeling of sheer tranquility.
Prepare to bury yourself under a pile of fluffy cushions, duvets, spa towels and bath robes for the weekend, for the Lalit Mangar is also a soon-to-be spa destination. Unlike most holiday spots and family resorts, this place isn’t bursting with humanity. The resort is all about peace, about being as close to the earth as possible, which is why most of the resort is constructed from “rammed earth” in what is a mix of clay, stone and mud. In keeping with their theme, the hotel has ensured there’s no music playing anywhere around the resort, the lights are dimmed out in the evenings, a Tapri Chai experience is provided to all guests and Charpois are laid out in different corners. It’s no wonder their adorable mascot- Spotty the deer, finds it safe to frequent the resort at her will.
The Rooms and The Property:
While weekend getaways are redefining the way we look at vacations and hotel stays, the Lalit Mangar is revisiting the idea of staycations with their attention to the little things. Rooms are far more spacious than those at most resorts; and where balconies come with pricey upgrades, The Lalit offers an intimate balcony for two with every room. These balconies are front-row seats to a golden sunset that spreads itself across the sky. The earthen architecture outside gives way to modern luxury within. Each room has a different colour scheme, a special pillow menu to pick from, a work desk and a dressing table. The hotel also offers a few tidbits (nestled inside the mini bar) on the house. The specially curated grooming kits for men and women, iced tea in tiny mason jars and a stuffed Spotty that greets you at the bedside table are little personal touches the hotel has put together.
The resort is being launched in two phases, and though the spa will be up and running soon, the pool is only a part of the plans for the second phase. The lack of a pool- so crucial to a resort, further defines the audience for the hotel, with fewer options for children to entertain themselves with.
There’s one dining room (with a live kitchen) at The Lalit Mangar at the moment, but more restaurants and cafes are being considered for later. This is a resort recommended for couples and adults, as opposed to families traveling with children, though the rooms are large enough to comfortably accommodate a family.
Interestingly, they have a few group activities available for large families, company off-sites or team-building getaways, in partnership with Camp Wild. The camp offers zip lining, rock climbing and an obstacle course experience among others, bookable through the hotel reception desk. The hotel also offers a visit to the village nearby.
In the evenings, a specially curated celestial experience is available for guests. I was lucky to view Saturn and identify it’s rings in the night sky through a telescope they set up on the roof. This was followed by a dazzling close-up of the moon; and to say I couldn’t get my eyes off the beauty would hardly do it justice. What ensued was a discussion on zodiac signs and constellations, that eventually took a turn for the profound.
Just sitting there under a blanket of stars, talking about the night sky, the limitations and strength of the universe- with the odd cricket stidulating in the background, is an experience that takes you far from the confines of a luxury hotel and into the humble beauty of the natural world.