The Tree of Life Resort & Spa, set in the Aravalli Hills, can be an almost perfect weekend getaway from Delhi, if you are the sort of traveler who might appreciate doing nothing much once in a while, and wouldn’t mind spending an extra buck on a luxurious room. I stayed at this property just for a day, in between my Rajasthan travels and below is my take on the overall experience –
“The good” stuff
The villas are gorgeous to say the least – with a separate living room, a beautiful bedroom overlooking a private garden and a huge bathroom. The private garden (believe it or not!) comes with a Jacuzzi and 2 spa tables (some rooms have a private pool as well). The average size of each of the 14 villas is around 2500 sq. feet (am sure that can put an average Mumbai or Manhattan flat to shame 😉 ). Every piece of furniture and decorative is spectacular, you get loads of sunshine and air in all corners and it is fairly private(I hope the gallery below does justice to it !)
2. The staff
The staff is very friendly and courteous and is eager to assist you in any way possible. From inquiring on how you like your meals, to arranging bicycles for a ride around the neighboring village, the staff will go that extra mile and make you feel looked after.
3. A customized dinner menu
Be prepared to feel special when you receive a personalized layout of the night’s menu, delivered to your villa, for you to pick and choose from.
The resort has a bar, a library, a pool, and a gym. A visit can be arranged to the neighboring village and you can even teach for a few hours at the local school. Some of the other activities include cooking in the kitchen with the chef, yoga classes, a private spa in your villa, or a bicycle ride around. You can also trek to the Nahargarh Bio Reserve which houses the Rescue and Rehabilitation center for tigers and lions. Most of the mentioned activities are paid for and don’t come cheap.
The only thing I tried was cycling around the local village, which let me say sounds far more fun than it actually was, because the area is very sandy and it is tough to maneuver the bicycle 🙂 but I have to admit that it is a good workout. In case you are in the mood for a movie in the privacy of your villa, you can call for a DVD (complimentary), which I did.
“The not so good” stuff –
1.The property does not live up to the hype – though the villas are beautiful, the property is not much to write home about.
2. Price – We paid about 13600 INR for a night’s stay in Dec end so this will be an expensive weekend. If you go off season, it should be about half the price.
3.Food – The one thing that I think is probably the biggest let down is just how expensive the food is. To give you an approximate idea, we spent over 5000 INR on the meals which included the 3 course dinner for 2 people and a risotto for lunch so we ended up spending almost 50% of the stay’s tariff on the meals. Added to that is the fact that there is no option in the near vicinity for eating out, the closest being Jaipur city which is at least a 40 min drive away and since the location isn’t the most convenient, it is an impractical option to venture out for a meal, especially after sunset.
The tariff includes a complimentary breakfast, which is not 5 start quality either. It isn’t a buffet really – just a collection of cold cuts, fruits and cereal. And you can order savories from the menu which isn’t great variety.
Final take: The villa is spectacular, but this is going to be an expensive weekend so if you are the type of traveler who looks for value for money, this won’t cut it for you. If you are looking for a true Rajasthan experience, there are better properties and locations. I would recommend this to those, who never ever look at the right side of the menu 😉 , and would like a pretty room and quiet for 2 days.
Distance from Delhi: 270 kms
Driving time from Jaipur: 40 mins from the city center