Intro: The natural beauty of Himachal Pradesh coupled with plush accommodation and fantastic service makes Welcomhotel Tavleen Chail one of the most successful hotel openings of the year.
As we got out of Delhi, making our way to Himachal Pradesh to experience the newest hotel – Welcomhotel Tavleen Chail – we literally left the smog behind! The fresh mountain air, on a cool November evening, was something that our city-bred bodies had craved. Right from that first moment of getting off the car at the hotel’s porch, our entire experience over the next few days was that of relaxed luxury with the view of thick, forested mountains to feast our eyes on.
If I were to share the highlight of Welcomhotel Tavleen Chail, it would undoubtedly be its pristine location. Located on the outskirts of the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, this hotel is the ideal getaway in the hills – a lush haven that opens up to the majestic views of the Himalayas. In fact, the view itself is a luxury when compared to other hill stations that are concrete jungles, bursting at the seams with crowds and commercial establishments. But here, you can actually hear the sound of chirping birds; the sky is blue and the clouds that move swiftly with the crisp mountain breeze making abstract shapes are guaranteed to take you back to your blissful childhood. Of course you can get such views elsewhere, especially when you go camping higher up in the Himalayas. But the huge advantage that this hotel has over the few others on the neighbouring hills is that it oozes luxury.
Rooms with a View
Of the 65 well-appointed guestrooms, including 18 fairytale cottages and a luxury suite, each come with a private sit-out with refreshing, panoramic views of the forested mountains. The private balcony is ideal for your morning coffee, afternoon mimosa or evening high tea. And when the temperature dips, it is even perfect for a warm toddy or smoky malt. The rooms themselves are spacious, kitted with the latest fittings and make for plush, modern living.
Blissfully situated amidst the oak forests, luxurious cottages offer more privacy since they’re a short walk away from the main hotel building. Each cottage is thus like your very own cabin in the woods. And while the dreamy poster beds are highly Instagrammable with their sheer curtains, they’re super romantic and really comfortable.
Staying at Welcomhotel Tavleen Chail really gives one an opportunity to enjoy the true essence of being in the mountains through various experiences. Located in the Shivalik region of Himachal Pradesh, the hotel is set in the heart of a beautiful hill station that is 37 km from Shimla via Kufri. The closest airport is Chandigarh (120 km away), and Delhi is an eight-hour drive. Spread across three hills – Rajgarh, Sadh Tiba and Pandewa – the Chail region overlooks the stunning valley of Sultej, offering panoramic views of the countryside and Shimla. If you want to explore the nearby area there’s plenty to see – Chail Palace, Chail Cricket Ground, Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, Chail Bazaar, Sadhupul Lake, Kali Ka Tibba, Gurudwara Sahib, Sidh Baba Ka Mandir and the Himalayan Nature Park.
The experience that we enjoyed the most was a picnic at a nearby spot. With food and drinks packed from the hotel, a local driver and an in-house guest experience manager accompanied us. While driving through the winding pine-lined roads we enjoyed the conversation with our companions about the local way of life. But what was really admirable was the set-up when we reached our picnic spot. From a cute tent to a hammock to rest in, and games like carom, badminton and dart board, and a private butler to lay out our food and drinks, it made for a perfect picnic in the hills.
If you prefer to take it easy, the hotel also features an extensive array of recreational facilities, including a cozy library for you to snuggle up to your favorite book over a cup of hot cocoa, delectable dining options and versatile banqueting facilities for your comfort. The Cubs Corner offers activities such as archery and canvas painting or spend exhilarating moments indoors absorbed with a variety of arcade games and a pool table. There is also a temperature-controlled swimming pool, a hill top yoga and meditation spot as well as a star gazing pavillion. In short, plenty of options to keep yourself busy and entertained, if you so wish.
Eat & Drink
The all-day dining Welcomcafe Monal offers an extensive range of delicacies through breakfast, lunch and dinner. From piping hot chana bhatooras to the fluffiest idlis to start your day, to a range of international selections like roast chicken, grilled fish and even churros, the food on offer is fabulous. Then there’s Swizzle, an intimate bar that offers a large selection of premium beverages and inventive mixology paired with perfect snacks like tandoori chicken, paneer tikka and so on.
Must Have: All WelcomHotels, have the Welcomsthalika, an exclusive thali meal offering the finest local cuisine as it is cooked traditionally in people’s homes. Here, the Welcomsthalika is inspired by the Himachali Dham, and includes dishes like madra (white peas cooked with yoghurt), saag chana (red chana cooked with local greens), Himachali rajma (high altitude Kinnouri kidney beans with local spices), dham ka meetha (nuts soaked in local honey and saffron) and more. Finally, the Himachali trout is a real treat for fish lovers.
If the fresh mountain air is not enough to rejuvenate you, check out the signature spa K by Kaya Kalp. You can choose from a range of therapies including relaxing massages and beauty treatments. The therapists are well trained, and once again, the view – it is a treat for the eyes!
There are few hotels that work for all permutations and combinations – whether you’re on a family holiday, your honeymoon, with a bunch of friends or on a solo trip. Welcomhotel Tavleen Chail is one such. You can enjoy complete privacy in your cottage, enjoy the great outdoors sans the crowd or bond over a cozy bonfire with your friends and family. Special occasions are also celebrated in style if you give prior notice to the hotel.
It’s no wonder then that right from the time it opened it has run to its optimal occupancy levels. It makes for the perfect getaway from crowded and polluted cities during smog season, then winter makes it the ideal abode to enjoy pristine snow over undulating hills, spring is idyllic with blue skies and fresh new greens and during summer you’ll be lucky to get a booking!