I’ve been on a ton of safaris last year, all to Pench and Kanha and centred around Madhya Pradesh. Going to another jungle, another state was super exciting. I was packed four days before we had to leave, my camera was charged, the binoculars cleaned and my jungle books packed. We were off to Corbett National Park to discover the wonders within!
We stayed at Corbett Riverside Resort, which is a charmingly beautiful place nestled on the banks of the Kosi River. The resort is spread over 23 acres and has about 45 rooms, each with its own stunning view of the river and part of the Kosi Hills. It’s a great place to visit as a new couple or even with family - there’s lots to do at the resort other than going on safari.
Most hotels I’ve stayed at are quite geared towards going on safari only. There’s very little else to do on the property if you decide to sleep in or skip the afternoon jaunt. There’s a lovely space set up for kids complete with a climbing rope, jungle gym, swings and an obstacle course.
We stayed in a villa on the property that had 6 rooms and its very own pool. The water was beautiful and looked so inviting, unfortunately it was so cold that the most I could do was dip my feet in there after every safari.
I’m not really fond of wearing closed shoes all the time, so the chilled water was heaven sent. It was cold enough that we needed light jackets on once the sun went down and spent our evenings around a gorgeous bonfire drinking whisky, eating dosa khakra and some yummy tikkas the hotel sent down for us. It’s magical sitting and watching a fire burn, spitting brilliant colours out into the night.
The best part of being out of town in a beautiful resort is the presence of a spa. This one was a tiny little cottage at the bottom of the stairs where a girl with magic fingers lives. Its amazing having the kinks worked out of your legs after a long day of being bounced around in a jeep. The massages are decently priced and you’ll walk out of there with a dreamy relaxed smile on your face.
The villa has its own little kitchenette complete with a dining table, stove, fridge and a sink to wash up. You can pretty much cook your own meals here if you'd like. The view out of the kitchen window is to die for - it's my dream view!
I had the distinct pleasure of going horse riding for the first time since I was 8 years old. I remember the basics in my head, but actually swinging myself into the saddle was extremely daunting given how uncoordinated I have become over the years!
It was a great half an hour, where my friend and I were led across the property by the mahouts. There was a fantastic Lord of the Rings-esque moment where they led us into the river to go to the other bank. We clip clopped over beautiful stones and stopped in the middle of the water, with the resort on one side, the hills on the other and the river Kosi spreading endlessly on both sides. From there, we took a walk along the river bank, and I swear if you listen close enough you’ll hear faint horns from the approaching Uruk-hai and Orcs.
Corbett Riverside Resort boasts their own organic farm, which i think is wonderful. It means that the onions, the radish, the potatoes and the cabbage in our parathas were grown at the hotel. They have beds and beds of red and white onion growing, coriander in bloom, spinach, methi, potatoes, radish, mustard, cabbage and lots of other herbs. I was chatting with the women who tend the fields asking questions about what vegetable this was, and what herb that was, and ended up picking spinach fresh from the plant and having myself a little snack after breakfast. None of that yucky iron taste when its fresh! Our hosts were so amused with our excitement over simple vegetables that they insisted on sending us back home with bags of cabbage, onion and coriander. That one was funny plane ride.
The food at the resort is wonderful, heart warming and homely food. It’s made fresh every day, and you get a whole range of options from their buffet. You can ask for breakfast to be packed to go on safari, or come back in the morning and gorge on upma, parathas, idli, puri bhaji and freshly made omelettes and fried eggs.
Corbett Riverside Resort is the kind of place I would come back to again and again, and I’m going to! Three nights is just not enough - if you're going to travel from Mumbai like we did, then you need to get the most out of it! I'd love to go back and stay for at least 5 days, so I can explore the area properly.
You can find them online at http://www.corbettriverside.com/ and on Facebook here and Instagram here.