It's only an 8,250-foot trek up the Himalayas to Wildflower Hall. And, no, the breathtaking aesthetics and seeming surreality of the fairytale resort and spa won't be a result of altitude sickness. Set amidst 22 acres of virgin pine and cedar woods, every bit of Wildflower Hall splendor is real. The former residence of Lord Kitchener is a 45-minute drive from Shimla, and one of the most luxurious places in India from which to explore the pristine flora and fauna of the Himalayan Mountains.
Highlighting the tranquil mountain sanctuary are Wildflower Hall's guest rooms and suites. All begin with teak floors, hand-knotted rugs, and rich, colonial-inspired furnishings reflecting the traditional skills of Himalayan craftspeople. They boast views over either the cedar forests, mountain ranges, or the resort's lavish gardens, and each has a roomy marble bathroom with both a bathtub and separate shower cubicle. Room and suite amenities include an LCD TV, satellite television with DVD player, Wi-Fi connectivity, separate walk-in closet with electronic safe, personal bar, and 24-hour butler service.
Go to Wildflower Hall if You're Looking for...
Polar opposites. A combination of adrenaline-surging adventure and (or) an easy-paced vacation in both majestic green summer and enchanted white winter seasons. Wildflower Hall leaves no one out. While half the family ploughs up mountain trails and rafts through the River Sutlej, the other half can kick back at the indoor and outdoor heated pools, play a round of croquet, and decompress from all the decompressing with an Earth, Water, Air, or Fire massage at the resort's spa.
Wildflower Hall Highlights
- The Heated Pools. Detailed mosaic floors and chandeliers grace the full-size indoor pool overlooking the Himalayas. Attached to it is an outdoor deck fitted with an infinity whirlpool.
- River Rafting. Originating from the Mansarovar Lake on the western highlands of Tibet, the River Sutlej pours through multiple Himalayan ranges to create some of the deepest gorges in the world. Take one of Wildflower Hall's guided rafting tours and absorb views of canyons, fields, hamlets, and pristine sandy beaches. The season runs from mid-September to the end of June.
- Scenic Walks. Covering miles of raw countryside filled with apple orchards and spring wildflowers, guests hiking the resort's trails will experience firsthand how it got its name. Mapped trails suitable for all levels of fitness are available, ranging from Easy to Challenging, and taking 1 to 6 hours to complete.
- Mountain Biking. As with Wildflower's scenic walks, mountain biking trails lead riders through the pinnacle of the resort's environs. Varying intensity levels and distances have been mapped out.
- The Spa. Treatments and rituals are inspired by Indian health traditions rooted in over 5000 years of history, as well as incorporate international influences. Private spa pavilions and spa suites offer the serenity of soothing cedar forest and Himalaya views.
- The Restaurants. Wildflower Hall's main restaurant unfurls into an open-air terrace with panoramic views over the mountains. The menu includes a varied range of Pan-Asian and Continental dishes. In addition, the Lutyens specialty restaurant offers authentic Indian cuisine amidst old world interiors with views of the resort's gardens.
Best Time to Go to Wildflower Hall
The resort thrives year-round, so it really depends on your activity preference. While the summer months lend themselves better to outdoor activities (less the ice skating visitors can partake in during the winter), winter scenery is equally lovely, and the chill provides a persuasive excuse to kick back, relax, and savor Wildflower's nationally-renowned ability to make its guests feel like they are on top of the world. Or at least 8,250 feet closer to it.
- Wildflower Hall Resort: http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_wildflowerhall/index.asp
- Wildflower Hall Rooms & Suites: http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_wildflowerhall/rooms_suites.asp
- Wildflower Hall Spa: http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_wildflowerhall/spa_fitness/spa.asp
- Wildflower Hall Recreational Activities: http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_wildflowerhall/recreation/other_activities.asp
- Wildflower Hall On-Site Dining: http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_wildflowerhall/dining.asp
- Shimla, India Traveler's Information: http://www.shimlaindia.net/
- Shimla, India Weather: http://www.worldweatheronline.com/Shimla-weather/Himachal-Pradesh/IN.aspx