Desolate & Delightful: Our Pick of Hotels Unreachable by Road
What is it that pushes us to explore the off-beat and yearn to visit places that not many know about? It’s the undying adventurous spirit of human beings. It is what led to the discoveries of America by Columbus and the sea-route to India by Vasco Da Gama. It still pushes us to go to great lengths to walk the ancient pathways and fight with nature to tame the most inhospitable places on earth. Although we are encumbered by our corporate lives and our commitments we still try to sneak in a few adventures every now and then – though they may not be to the arctic, but they are satisfying nonetheless.
So, when Neha pointed out an article on Lonely Planet about “Hotels you can’t reach by road”, it got us thinking whether we have been to any such places. Dust off your vacation planners and make a mental note of your leave request as we bring to you three such favorites.
Mode of transport: Train (Flåm Railway/Flåmsbana) or foot (trekking/ hiking)
The Vatnahalsen Hoyfjellshotell stands surrounded by little green hillocks covered in a carpet of fresh green vegetation in summer and a blanket of white in winters. At the reception you will meet a cheerful man who is a real multi-tasker – he manages the reception, the bar, the room service and is a part of the waiting staff at the restaurant. All your meals and drinks will be in the hotel as it’s the only thing around for several miles.
The hotel has a library which is stocked with books, board games and a view of the Flåm Valley worth a million bucks. You can order a Witbier brewed in the local Aegir micro-brewery (located in Flåm) or curl up under a blanket on the ample couch looking out the french windows to admire the view.
Mode of transport: Foot
Ridgemoor Cottage is located at 2,250 mt above sea level over-looking the Panj-La valley which is formed between the Outer Himalayan range of Dhauladar and the Inner Himalayan range of Pir Panjal.
An overnight train from New Delhi to Pathankot (in Punjab) followed by a drive through a mountainous highway gets you to the base camp near the village of Chamba. A 6-7 hour intense trek takes you to the Ridgemoor Cottage. It is a small mud-house made on two levels with 3-4 guest rooms on the upper level. The rooms are simple and only contain a cot with a sleeping bag to sleep in during winters. After a tough day’s trek these rooms provide the warmth of homestay.
Meals are cooked homestyle and had with panoramic views of the Himalayas. There is an option to spend the evening with campfire made of wood scavenged from surrounding areas and some gritty Indian whiskey to raise your spirits.
Mode of transport: Boat
This lone resort on Silhouette Island has a stretch of 2.5 km of beautiful white-sand beach, that gradually ends with coral reefs into emerald green waters of the Indian Ocean. There is no shortage of wanderlust when you gaze out into the sea or lie on one of the several hammocks listening to the waves crash against the corals.
Shake off the island lethargy with a trek out to Jardin Marron to view the largest coconuts in the world – the Coco De Mer. A short buggy ride up to the Tortoise farm will bring you face to face with giant tortoises including Jonathan – the oldest living animal in the world!
There are several activities such as Fishing, Snorkeling and Scuba diving (complete with a PADI certification). You can unwind with a SeyBrew in the gazebos of Lo Brizan bar and chirping birds will keep you company for breakfast on the porch of Cafe Dauban.
Have you been to any hotel or resort that cannot be accessed by road or air? Do share with us in comments below!