The monsoon is the new getaway season. And why should you be denied because you live in the northern half of the country? Head to the once-upon-a-time Queen of the Hills, but 13km short of Shimla, turn off to Shoghi.
Away from the temple town, a number of resorts have cropped up at Queen of the Hills in recent years. Among them, Aamod at Shoghi, run by three-year-old Tarangan Leisure, claims to be redefining ecotourism in the hills—the 16-cottage property is built in a natural clearing that required no felling of oak and pine trees that crowd the slopes here.
Eco-friendly: No trees were felled to build Shoghi’s cottages.
Besides multiple activities for your city-weary mind—from rappelling and mountain biking to no-sweat options such as the Burma Bridge and Monkey Crawl—there’s also the Sublime spa for tired bodies.
None of these, however, are the star attractions this season. Instead, go for Monsoon Mystique, their seasonal package that includes welcome drinks, a deluxe cottage, breakfast, hour-long guided access to the adventure package and discounts on their regular services. Valid from 15 July-15 September, the two-night/three-day package costs Rs10,500 for two, including accommodation for two children below the age of 6. To book, call 09213022540/41/42 or log on to www.aamod.in
Gender-specific travel isn’t exactly new, but international travel experts Abercrombie and Kent now have a completely women-oriented itinerary for Jordan and Egypt that should please your inner feminist to the core. In the first half, which covers biblical country and the rose-red city of Petra, it allows you to work with a local chef in cooking up a special dinner and gives you entry to a lecture by a woman minister of the Jordanian government. In Egypt, it takes you to the Valley of Queens and the Temple of Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh, as well as a perfumery and a lecture on women by an Egyptologist. All this, of course, in addition to the usual elements of a tour of this region: Jerash, a third century city of Roman ruins; Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt; the necropolis of Sakkara; the great temple of Abu Simbel; a Nile cruise on Sun Boat IV, et al. The Sands of Time trip (15 October-26 October) costs from $6,890, or around Rs3.18 lakh, per person on double occupancy, exclusive of internal airfares, and can be customized as well. For more details or to chat with an agent, log on to www.abercrombiekent.com
Historic: The temple of Hatshepsut near Thebes. Roger Green/Flickr
Out of the box
Everyone’s travelling these days, but not everyone has the patience to put together itineraries. Some of us just aren’t fortunate enough to know in advance when we can take time off. It’s for such people that SOTC has come up with the idea of Box Holidays: a one-of-a-kind packaged holiday available at a day’s notice. Currently available only in Mumbai, these include freebies and discounts too. On offer right now are destinations in and around Maharashtra: Jadhavgarh (Rs12,100 for a couple, for two nights/three days), Aronda (Rs10,999, two nights/three days), Chiplun (Rs13,700, two nights/three days), Goa (Rs13,499, three nights/four days), Mahabaleshwar (Rs12,000, two nights/three days), Lonavala (Rs4,300, two nights/three days) and Nashik (Rs14,000, two nights/three days). Also available are “boxes” for Mauritius (Rs79,999, three nights/four days), Bangkok (Rs39,990, three nights/four days) and Hong Kong (Rs59,999,three-night/four days). The way it works is simpler than making up your mind on the choice of destinations: Once you’ve paid for your holiday at any Globus store, log on to www.sotcboxholidays.com and fill up a reservation form with your travel details.
While the fares are built in with the foreign destinations, SOTC will help you book local travel at an additional cost.?You’ll receive a confirmation from SOTC and you’re on your way. Getting away from Mumbai really couldn’t be simpler—but residents elsewhere in India needn’t worry. There are plans to launch in other cities as well.
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