The Neemrana Hotels group, known for their restoration of historical architecture as modern-day heritage hotels, has made a new addition to their ‘non-hotel’ portfolio of resorts. Dubbed the Himalayan Hideaway is nestled in the hills of Rishikesh at Shivpuri, which is about 20 minutes away from central Rishikesh and away from the buzzing tourist areas. The little resort sits alongside Neemrana’s existing riverfront resort, The Glasshouse on the Ganges.
The Delhi-Haridwar highway leading to this resort makes the five-and-a-half-hour drive (from Delhi) a delight for travellers. The cruise-worthy smooth tarmac highway is a driver’s dream, especially if you decide to get behind the steering wheel yourself. As long as you take a brisk mid-journey breather, the road journey hardly induces fatigue. The frequent and (importantly) well-sanitised restaurants that line the route give you plenty of choices for quick pit stops -- while old-timers on the Delhi-Dehradun route would identify with Cheetal, while for those who crave fast food can find solace in grabbing one of their favourites from Burger King, Subway, Dunkin Donuts and even a Carl’s Jr.
It is when you reach the resort and hear the gushing sound of the Ganges downstream, peppered with soothing birdsong that you realise how peaceful and therapeutic such an escape is. I was at the Himalayan Hideaway, just ahead of their official launch, and I understood the appeal of this getaway, particularly given our circumstances of working from home, and the fatigue caused by the stay at home restrictions.
Once there, I was checked into a room named after the bird ‘Jungle Fowl’, which also oversaw the river from its balcony. The rooms are spacious and the interiors are an extension of nature. It is also a clear reflection of Neemrana group’s emphasis on preserving the natural habitat of the location they are in. The 10 rooms are also spread out across the property offering privacy to each guest.
As this was a working holiday for me, one of the prime concerns was the network connection, and the Wi-Fi coverage. Thankfully, the Wi-Fi is on the house and works smoothly enough with an average 20 Mbps bandwidth. The charging points are well placed across the room and are available aplenty, making it easy to plug-in multiple gadgets and change your room into a makeshift office. The study table with a lamp and a coffeemaker offer an ergonomic set-up, and so is the firm, high-backed wooden chair that helps you maintain proper posture. What makes this workcation an ideal option is the balcony that literally opens in to the surrounding nature with serene views.
To be frank, the food served at the property is not exceptional, but neither is it bad. I had to request the chefs for the local cuisine since what was on offer on my arrival was standard restaurant fare you would find anywhere. It is not something you want when it is a getaway from your clockwork city life. I was also informed that the chefs are working on a Himalayan menu and was given a taste of a dish called momo-jhol, native to Nepal, which is quite recommendable. Also do try out the cold coffee here (pro tip: ask them to make it extra-strong) -- it is worth it. If you don’t want to experiment with a lesser-known cuisine, you will be well catered for.
The Neemrana’s Himalayan Hideaway also has a private beach by the river below, which is about a 250m trek downhill. If you want to trek down and spend some time by the stream, the courteous staff will happily arrange it for you. The team also organises treks and white water rafting for those interested in adventure sports. Finally, for all those driving down, parking is safely covered as well.
The Himalayan Hideaway is a quaint and compact resort, under the Neemrana umbrella, at an enviable location, perfect to take time off from the busy city life. Be sure that you are not easily bored, though, for this is literally meant to be a digital detox, while also giving you all the options to work remotely.