Are you sick of the pollution and the hustle that city life demands and are craving to take some time off and escape into serenity? With the mountains calling and the festive season supplying us with some extra off days, it’s the perfect time to visit Shimla. Why, you ask? Well, it’s easily accessible by road and air, and the Himachali capital is among the country’s top holiday destinations and with good reason. Autumn in Shimla, especially, is enchanting—the pine-covered hills allure you with their enchanting aroma, the apple orchards are blooming, and the colonial architecture adds to its opulent charm. And, then there’s the natural splendour of the Himalayas that are always a sight for tired, city-bred eyes.
So, if the need for the hour is a luxury escape, then there’s only one name that comes to mind, when picking your stay— Oberoi Hotels And Resorts. After all, apart from their stunning properties, the group is widely regarded for their world-class hospitality and attention to detail. The first place that should be on your itinerary is the Wildflower Hall, Shimla In The Himalayas, An Oberoi Resort.
A scenic hour-and-a-half drive from the airport, the Wildflower Hall sits about 13 kilometres away from Shimla city. Located at an altitude of 2,515 metres above sea level, this resort not only offers panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains, but is also enveloped by the rustling of leaves from the cedar forests it is surrounded by. The resort’s vintage interiors will transport you to another time, and you’ll find yourself in the lap of luxury thanks to the cosy rooms and the floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to wake up to breathtaking views.
However, the pièce de résistance of this Oberoi resort is its swimming pool area. They not only offer an outdoor infinity pool that looks out to the mountains, there’s also a heated indoor pool. And if that doesn’t impress you, this indoor pool also has floor-to-ceiling arched windows so that you can continue to admire the view, while enjoying a relaxing swim.
After working up an appetite, guests can indulge themselves at the resort’s terrace multi-cuisine restaurant that serves not only local Himalichali food but also Indian, Pan Asian and European delights. What’s more, it uses only locally-sourced ingredients to take you on a fulfilling culinary journey.
Like most Oberoi Resorts, the Wildflower Hall too offers an array of recreational activities, a fitness centre, expertly-guided excursions, as well as customised wellness experiences at The Oberoi Spa. They have a wide variety of treatments that merge ancient healing traditions with modern therapies, so you can spend the day being pampered, something we all need once in a while.
Now that you’ve had some moments of peace and serenity, we’d urge you to not leave without spending some time in the charming Shimla city. And The Oberoi Cecil is where you need to stay for this leg of your trip.
Dating back to 1884, this heritage hotel was known as one of the most exclusive 5 star hotels in Shimla, renowned for its fabulous ballroom dances and high-profile clientele. The interiors have stood the test of time and are a reflection of old-world grace, as is evident throughout the property, but especially in the lobby, Tea Lounge and Bar, as well as the Billiards Room.
However, don’t let the vintage vibes fool you; the Oberoi Cecil offers state-of-the-art amenities including an indoor heated swimming pool, a spa, and a fitness centre. But that’s not all, you can trust the Oberoi Group’s hospitality to keep all their guests’ needs in mind, given that this historic hotel also houses a very cute children’s activity centre that hosts several family-friendly activities ranging from storytelling sessions, treasure hunts and craft workshops.
With spacious yet cosy rooms that are in sync with the colonial interior of the Oberoi Cecil, complete with Burmese teakwood flooring and views of the city, your stay is bound to be luxurious. Make sure to pay a visit to the hotel’s restaurant, which still imbibes the vibe of the infamous fashionable ballroom it once was. With views of the Shimla valley, it serves a multi-cuisine menu comprising a variety of local Himachali, pan-Indian as well as international dishes.
You can even indulge in a day of exploring, thanks to the Oberoi Cecil’s convenient location. Don’t miss out on paying a visit to the Viceregal Lodge nearby, which was the former summer residence of the Viceroy of India. And finally, wrap up your day with a nightcap at the Oberoi Cecil’s Tea Lounge And Bar, which will make you feel like you’re in a mystery novel set in the 1800s and raise a toast to an unforgettable trip!
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This article has been written in association with The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts.