Traveling has made me more receptive and open to testing new waters. As a travel blogger, I often get invited to exciting places and this way I get to learn and indulge in many forms of luxury and hospitality. My abode and my workstation keep changing but I love the fact that I get to discover some of the most exotic places which make more than perfect venues for me to relax and de-stress. One such place, Aamod at Shoghi has been on my mind ever since I stayed there. When there were too many things going in my head, it gave me lovely moments to unwind, experience nature-walking, go dining with the locals of Shoghi and rediscover the thrills of listening old time stories under the sky. And trust me, my heart fell for its spa on the ridge and the jacuzzi that overlooks the mountains. Oh yes, I am the girl too who looks for these pampering indulgences too and why not?
When Aamod at Shoghi along with EscapeRoute invited me for a 2-night stay in the mid of December, I was game for it almost instantly. While my first post exclusively talked about my soulful and sublime moments with many sunrise and sunset captures, this one will take you through the amenities of the resort and the activities that we participated in and around it.
Route Map – Delhi to Shoghi via Chandigarh. A straight drive of 7-8 hours.
We took a halt at Murthal to relish the famous paranthas, Sarso ka saag-makke ki roti. On the way we also had fresh orange juice.
Let’s check out my room from all angles!
In the mid-week of December when North India experiences winters and you have just completed a road trip of nearly 8-10 hours to be in the hills, this is the kind of room that warms your heart. The rooms of the resort are placed at different locations amidst the forest. After a long walk to the top, I was really happy to see my cozy room. The heater next to the mirror and the electric blanket on the bed were just the things that I wanted for a tight sleep that night.
BONFIRE and KARAOKE
After freshening up and relaxing for a while, I was headed to the restaurant area where a bonfire and karaoke system was put up for us to unwind over soups, drink and dinner. While my friends made the best use of the bar and sang their heart out, I happily enjoyed the music and the fire in the background.
It was warm and cozy and we had some soup and relished the trout fish and other starters. By the time, the dinner was served, the non-singer in me was also inspired to join my friends who were doing extremely well with the karaoke. We paid a tribute to lots of old songs that night. Its fun to do the things that you do not do usually.
I trust the kitchen at Aamod Resorts
After having visited 2 Aamod properties (Bhimtal and Alwarbagh) already, my expectations from the kitchen were high. In my previous blogs also I have always emphasized that good food is a very important aspect of holiday and leisure. I am a foodie and I am a sucker for great taste. Trust me, its not just about the colorful pictures below, the food tasted much better than it appealed to the eyes. I relished everything and I was thrilled to dig in the Chicken Curry, Lamb, the dish with the fish and the veggie mixture with some breads and rice.
Sunrise and the First Look of the Resort!
After a deep and warm sleep, I got up early to catch up with the first rays of the sun. While the view of the valley and the sunrise from the spa area was amazing, I was quite impressed with the natural setting of the resort and the cottages too. Away from the din and clutter, I could only hear the chirpings of the bird. In the night, I was too tired to notice the whole jungle ambiance but in the morning, it looked really special. I curiously looked around the resort which was spread across mountain slope and mountain tops. There were cute little cottages as well as cottage clusters here and there and I could see myself amidst a dense forest of oak and pine trees. The rustic and raw look made for all the brownie points.
One of the advantages of staying at any of the Aamod resorts is that one has plenty of things to do inside the premises of the resort. One such thing is adventure sports. They have the most extensive leisure rope course.
In and around Shimla, there are many small treks if you are interested. Aamod arranges for trekking too but if you are not keen on that, there is an option to enjoy over no-sweat adventures. If you have heard of Burma Bridge, Rope Bridge Walk, Commando Net, Zipling, I am sure you know how much fun it. I am a great fan of zip lines and I never end up doing just once. The property also gives you options for rock-climbing, rappelling and playing different kinds of sports too.
The Nature Trail
We started our walk from the resort and soon came to the world heritage Kalka-Shimla Train track looking through a lovely tunnel.Walking around the hills and forests is a must do whenever you are close to them. It liberates one of all the stress that we carry on our shoulders. A slow walk in the woods is very therapeutic because one gets to be up, close and personal with nature. The fresh air from the trees comes as a blessing for the lungs and it gives us time to meditate.
I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the day. The leisure walk was a great way to enjoy and notice the little things on the way. I also had my own conversations with nature. We covered a distance of nearly 2.5 kilometers before reaching the house where we were supposed to have lunch. We took a shortcut through the slopes and forests and managed to save time and dust of the roads. The meandering paths were full of dense forests and magnificent views of the mountains and valleys.
Luncheon in a Local’s House
This was a well-earned lunch for us!!!
After all the nature walk of nearly 2 kilometers, we were really hungry. The whole idea of having lunch at a local’s house was all the more appetizing. Our day was beautifully spent in experiencing eco-tourism as well as village tourism. I must applaud Aamod Resorts for coming up with this idea of helping the locals of the area to earn money this way. We all love to take back unique experiences from every travel and this was definitely one of them.
I will do a separate blog on this but for now, I must take you to the kitchen where we ate, interacted with the locals, relished authentic Himachali food and had a filling gastronomic experience.
The Story Telling and Dinner
The property arranged for a lovely evening in yet another charming section of the resort. So this is what Aamod Shoghi is famous for. They give you an opportunity to choose your spot for dinner and they arrange everything to your pleasure.
Our night was made special with the story telling session. And it was a delight to learn about Shoghi and its history from an ex-para commando, Mr. Ravindra Singh Thakur. He not only talked about the forgotten legends of Baba Bhalku Ram who is associated with the Kalka-Shimla railway line but also told us tales of Indian freedom movement and his interesting travel experiences. Each one of us thanked him for sparing time and giving a wonderful start to the evening. This was a night which straight away made us nostalgic and reminded us of the days when we visited our grand parents place and urged them to tell us bedtime stories. Gone are those days with the advent of internet and access to social media but I am glad I got to relive them in Shoghi despite the changing trends. Such is the fun of taking holidays!
The SPA and JACUZZI experience!!
Early mornings at Aamod are meant to be spent here. This is the famous spa area of the resort. It is talk of the town for two reasons. First, one gets beautiful sunrise views from the one side of it while a lovely view of the valley from the other. Second, this room is located at the highest point of the resort. The spa and the jacuzzi room overlook the mountains and you have all the time in life to get overwhelmed by nature.
On the third day, we were supposed to return in the afternoon but the morning was special. I was looking forward to the spa and jacuzzi session. This is the place where one should not miss going for the spa and having a hot water bath while gazing at the mountains. The surroundings are beautiful and they will pull you in their serenity and make you forget everything on your mind. I returned back all relaxed and rejuvenated.
Last, I would only say that this is place is meant for everyone who loves nature. Only elders who have knee pain and parents with very young kids must avoid it. There are steep steps on the way to the cottages and one really has to mind steps while climbing. Parents will have to be extra careful with their kids. I wish they had a few rooms close to the restaurant too so that those who cannot climb high could also enjoy the hospitality of the place.
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