Imagine Thomas Hardy’s countryside. Imagine strolling through astounding green pastures amidst beautiful landscape. Imagine waking up to those melodious chirpings, treating your ears with tint of hymn. Imagine a walk in close company of nature. Imagine cycling through the rugged village roads and into the jungles. Imagine skipping everything to enjoy that sunset. Imagine smoking chimneys from the scattered village homes. Imagine dipping into the pool at midnight and a full moon as your companion
Aren’t this all sounds amazing? Well I have pretty much summed up by recent stay at Corbett Wild Iris Spa & Resorts which is nestled amidst enthralling foothills and green valley of Kyari village in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand. For me it turned out to be a good break from the otherwise bawl of the city where I just adored nature in all its splendour.
It was still dark when the car came to pick me up to start my journey towards Iris. I picked up my fellow bloggers on our way to NH-24 from where we had to start our 5 hours long journey. Only that we didn’t know what should we exactly expect from this trip.
I wanted to slam my eyes and relax a bit but a look at the sky kept me awake as I could feel the hue of yellow light falling on my face, thinking that how a new ray of sunshine is always a reminder of starting afresh every day.
I was still lost in my thoughts when we halted for the breakfast; from where the remaining group of bloggers joined and we together started our drive towards our destination.
All along our way we discussed what if the property turns out to be another noisy resort, built in the busiest of the areas around Corbett such as Dhikhala. Honestly none of us wanted this and a sight of relief came when our car took a turn from Ramnagar, leaving behind those busiest streets and entered a Jungle. Sal and Teek trees were paving our way and a sight of peacock flying over our car was enough to welcome us to Kyari Village. Our bad that we couldn’t capture that beautiful moment
Here we were – A Nugget in the jungle called Corbett Wild Iris Spa & Resorts– welcomed in a traditional way with ritualistic Tikka, Garland and a welcome drink (Buttermilk, which was much needed)
While I was waiting for my room keys I couldn’t ignore to notice bundle of trees around especially the fresh plantation of mangoes. I was immediately reminded of my childhood days while I used to pluck these mangoes hiding from everyone and run away. Infact one of my fellow blogger jokingly said ‘Mann toh kar raha hai ki chori karlu’ (Feels like filching them) and I couldn’t agree more with her
So let’s talk about the property
Built in 3.5 acre of land, Iris has around 44 rooms which have been tastefully designed with a pleasing ambience to redefine the art of fine living. The cottages at Iris are set amidst the stunning forest scenery which brings comfort and luxury in a perfect balance with environment. Ensure a morning walk here to feel its real essence.
The place is rich in Flora & fauna and a natural touch of jungle feel is a bonus to enjoy its lethal combination of splendour and vivid wilderness
Every effort has been made to make this resort eco-friendly and sympathetic to its surroundings, ensuring minimal damage of the trees. Instead of cutting it to make space, they accommodated trees and plantation a part of the property, giving it a rustic look. Mobile signals won’t work at Iris owning to its remote location, which for me was a boon. So unless you really want to relax make sure to carry a BSNL sim card along. Personal suggestion- Don’t!
The rooms at Iris combine the conventional touch with all modern amenities. It offers an option to choose from varied Suite Rooms, Deluxe Cottages and Duplex Cottages. We were given the Tiger Suite, which for me was quite a huge room. It had a living room area, a bed room and a separate space to accommodate extra 2 people upwards. I liked the simple yet tastefully done interiors.
Rooms are equipped with refrigerator, LCD with satellite connection, themed lamps, and electronic safe to keep your valuables. The bathroom is equipped with all basic things with 24X7 running hot water
Honestly I am not much of a foodie and refrain from indulging much into different cuisines. A challenge I face in most of my travels. But the food at Iris impressed me and didn’t make me miss ‘home-cooked’ food much. The staff was very courteous serving us with some amazing Kumaon food. This is the first time that I tasted Aloo Gutka, which I reluctantly picked on a suggestion from fellow blogger who have her roots in Kumaon. I couldn’t help but to re-fill my plate thrice. I loved relishing on Kheera Raita with rai (Cucumber curd with mustard touch), Bhang ki Chutney, Dal Churkani, Biryani. Among the desserts I loved the way they served us ice cream with a slice of mango. The innovation worked and I miss this special touch
Evenings at IRIS
It was time for our evening meeting. After a little walk around Kyari village, we freshened up and quickly gathered around the waterfall area. The set up looked perfect to me. Open garden, dim lights, breeze of fresh air touching my face, cloudy sky, the moon playing hide & seek and retro songs playing in the background. My mood was set for the evening.
I was thoroughly enjoying the ‘recordings’ when someone pointed out that it’s actually a man live singing. A man popularly known as Mr. Rana. We all were left surprised. I actually went ahead and checked. Such powerful and melodious voice he had which gelled perfectly with our mood. So much that my fellow bloggers couldn’t help but join him too. Live Karaoke singing is resort’s USP. Here is a moment I captured
A Kumaon night was arranged for all of us to give us a glimpse insight their culture. The highlights: A village set up, food stalls and a special performance by the staff to lure us with local Kumaon songs and Chholiya dance (Kumaon Folk dance). All was done tastefully. I would admit in all my property visits so far I have never come across such multi talented staff where a housekeeper is a brilliant dancer and will make you groove too. Singers were chefs and managers of the property. It’s heartening to know that majority of the staff has been recruited locally whom they groomed and retained as permanent employees.
In & Around IRIS
At Kyari discover the naturalist in you. There are many things which can be explored in & around IRIS. During leisure time you can opt for Spa corner to soothe your spirit through therapeutic therapies and massages. In-house Gaming zone is another option where you can try out your hands on Table Tennis, Badminton, Chess, Ludo among others
It was here that that I dug myself deep into the lesser known wildlife treasures of the Jim Corbett National Park. Its for the first time that I was introduced to a Corbett which is beyond the hunting spree of tigers & elephants. I learned about its deep rooted culture and heritage. I will be writing a detailed blog on this soon but just to give you an idea:
- Indulge in adventure sports. You have options to try out from ladder climbing, Zip lining and my personal favourite body surfing
- Cycling through Sitabani jungles
- Stroll through history at Kaladungi museum and Pawalgarh
- Safari at Sitabani Forest reserve
- Village walk and interact with locals. Indulge in their day to day activities
Road map to reach Iris:
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