Is located in the cantonment hill station town of Ranikhet, in Almora district of Uttarakhand. It was built as a charming colonial style hunting lodge, in 1909, due to the thick forests which abounded with wild life. It resembles a typical double story wood and stone English country house .Perched on a hillock, with forests of oak and pine, and, of spectacular views, of the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, such as the Nanda Devi and Trishul, amongst the more popular ones. The heaven touching apex peaks were sprinkled and swaddled with necklaces of the omnipresent powdery snow.
How ever, a devastating fire destroyed it in 1948, and it remained as a neglected ruin, for about 50 years. Restoration work started in 1999, with great care to retain its original colonial architecture.
Built using local material, such as timber and rough hewed stone, sourced from the surrounding area, on various levels, the lodge, is set within 10 acres .It was beautifully landscaped with fruit trees, including apple ,apricot, peach, pear and plum.
The 30 luxurious rooms are located in the various buildings. The Moti Mahal Block, built in the 1920s has rooms consisting of Deluxe, Superior Deluxe and Deluxe Suites. The Pine Valley Block has 12 rooms, all of which fall in the Superior Deluxe Category. Large, with wooden floor boards, wooden rafters, a fire place, period furniture, en- suite bathrooms, tea and coffee makers and the modern aberration of a television set. But, best of all! All balconies, overlook the woods .As we stood there, we watched, as the mist wrapped nature, by using its spineless tenticles to trail around everything. It clung to and enrobed everything it could. Nothing was spared. The wind tore through the woods, hills and valleys, sounding like a waterfall in full spate. This was followed by rainfall, which reduced the temperature further. The sound of the wind now changed. It seemed to be whistling and whining through the dangerously swaying coniferous trees. Only the wind in the hills can produce such awesome sounds! What the rain did, how ever, was, to clear the atmosphere. The twinkling lights of the hamlets, dotting the hillside, which had not been visible the night before, now pierced through the velvety darkness of the silent night.
Also included in the estate, are 4 fully furnished and equipped self catering apartments, comprising Rose Cottage. The plush Windsor Suite, has a semi circular balcony running around it, giving one uninterrupted views of the grandiose Himalayas. Similarly, the Robinson Suite, can boast of the same spell binding views.
The Kumaon Room, is the all purpose restaurant , offering tasty and well prepared Indian and Continental cuisines for all the meals. The Conservatory, has a healthy vine, growing across the inside of the glass roof, supporting numerous bunches of unripe green grapes, waiting to turn a luscious black, in a month or two.
Kafal Bagh, with its wrought iron furniture with garden umbrellas, is your place for wiling away time as you listen to the call of birds, finish that half read long forgotten book, or revel in the novelty of basking in the sun.
Raja of Sheikhupura, so named after the very same person, is a cozy and charming room, to sit back in its comfortable chairs ,enjoy a selection of snacks and beverages, while listening to music from a selection of CDs. However, its ambience suggests, that it must have been a bar in days of yore, where hunters gathered after a hard of hunting to take about their kill and the adventures associated with it. Now, liquor is hard to get in the heritage town of Ranikhet.
Banquets and conferences can be held in the Harkinson Hall. Billiards or snooker, can be played in the designated room housed in the Philips Block.
Fitness freaks can use the gymnasium.
The helpful staff, will organize taxis, to have you picked up, or dropped off, at any railway station, or at Pantnagar Airport. As also for local sight-seeing.
It really does make sense to stay at Windsor Lodge, in Ranikhet, as it is a Welcome Heritage Property, with a comfortable choice of rooms with breath taking views, tasty food, its location in a secluded and quite part of the cantonment and its USP? It lies adjacent to the golf course, where, apart from playing the game, you can use the area around as a picnic spot, or to go for long walks in, without the noise pollution of vehicles with their honking horns! Utter bliss!
"Travelling - it leaves you speechless,then turns you into a storyteller".