Most luxury resorts do not make you get out of your vehicle and walk 1.5 hours to reach their doorstep. But, most luxury resorts do not embrace nature as much as 360° Leti does. The name derives from the 360-degree views of the Himalayas surrounding the remote resort set in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, a place accessible only by foot, where cellphone and Internet connections are blissfully non-existent.
And that is exactly how parent company Shakti Himalaya intends to keep it. Its goal is to “provide privileged access to places far removed from the noise and clutter of the modern world, where space, peace and epic landscapes provoke the imagination and nourish the soul”.
Vertical horizon: Views are clearest from October to March
Started by Mumbai-born Jamshyd Sethna in 2004, Shakti Himalaya was his way of exposing curious travellers to the mountains and villages he fell in love with as a student in Darjeeling. Sethna has the chops to lead people into the mountains: He learned to climb with Tenzing Norgay, the sherpa who scaled Mt Everest with Edmund Hillary.
The company first began Kumaon Village Walks, which leads guests around mountain trails. The desire to create something more permanent and further removed from civilization led Sethna to build 360° Leti. The four cottages and communal living and dining rooms are meant to blend in with the environment. Indeed, so seamless is the design that it won architect Bijoy Jain the 2007 Design for Asia Award from the Hong Kong Design Centre. And restless guests take heart: yoga, meditation, walks and tours to local temples are available on request.
Packages start from $1,228 (approx. Rs50,000) for a three-night minimum stay per person for a twin cottage, all inclusive. Visit shaktihimalaya.com or call 011 41734788.