Hotel Review: Rakkh Resort of Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh in India | Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

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A mountainous land in the north-western part of India, the state of Himachal Pradesh has long been a paradise for travellers. Colonial-era hill stations, idyllic rural hamlets and lush green valleys dot the expanse of this Himalayan state that was once a part of undivided Punjab. However, Kangra Valley, in the foothills of the Shivalik mountains, has always remained a bit off the tourist radar. But the upside has been that the lush green valley in the shadows of the mighty Dhauladhar Range has retained its pristine charm seldom found in destinations thronged by tourists.


rakkh hiking and dog
Rakkh Resort is ideally located to explore the local Kangra Valley. Image credit: Rakkh Resort

A half an hour drive from the north-western Himachal town of Palampur, the luxury resort is perched on a hilltop with a number of rustic rural settlements in a radius of a few kilometres. Rakkh Resort is an experiential enclave perfectly poised to explore the myriad splendour of Kangra valley, while experiencing the authentic flavours of Himachali tradition and culture.

The cottages of the six-acre property are spread out on the entire slope of a hill such that they meld into the landscape, hemmed by the serried mounds of the Shivalik Range with the snow-capped Dhauladhar towering behind them.

With its ethos entrenched in responsible tourism, Rakkh Resort undertakes sustainable practices that includes sourcing seasonal produce from their own organic garden and local growers and employing members of local community to run the retreat, which is also a wellness spot with its range of spa treatments and yoga training sessions. But what I found most fascinating about Rakkh is the way this mountain resort helps you to de-stress and reconnect with your family and friends.

Swati Makkar, general manager of Rakkh, said: “Connecting with friends, family and oneself is the core theme we go by, especially in a digital-driven world, which is increasingly reliant on technology.” The activities and experiences are curated so as to promote family bonding and making new connections through nature hikes, village excursions and picnics by a gurgling stream. A number of DIY stations dot the property where kids have a fun time rustling up bowls of noodles, while you can hone your barbecue cooking skills.


rakkh cottage
The cottages are designed to reflect the peace and tranquillity of their surroundings. Image credit: Rakkh Resort

The moment I checked into my cottage, it felt like a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity. The appointments resonated with the spirit of sustainability and conservation of this Himalayan resort. Refillable dispensers, copper and earthen utensils and the water is always sourced from the natural water spring that flows inside the resort campus with its dissolved minerals. The 25 cottages brim with a refined, understated luxury with a muted colour scheme, mellow lighting arrangements and lovely views of the pristine valley and snow-capped mountains.

The elegant bath spaces come with luxury bath amenities and house rain showers. The forest cottages nestled on the upper reaches of the property have two balconies, boasting stunning views of sunrise and sunset over the mountains and the valley and the mountains. The private sit-out that come with all the cottages is the perfect place to soak in the peace and serenity over a cup of fine Kangra tea, which is quite at par with the best Darjeeling tea.


rakkh food
The resort has a strong emphasis on local flavours and cuisine. Image credit: Rakkh Resort

Dhaam (which means feast in the local language) is the in-house multi-cuisine restaurant that offers the best of both worlds – succulent North Indian kababs and curries are impeccably juxtaposed with crispy South Indian dosas and idlis. The elaborate buffet spreads also to include Southeast Asian and Mediterranean delicacies. But the highlight of the gastronomic canvas of Rakkh is the Himachali Rasoi – a lavish feast in an open kitchen where the focus is on local mountain food prepared on woodfire.

I had really tucked into the celebratory course-based meal of locally grown rice, variety of pulses and vegetable curries, topped with a delectable khatta mutton stew (slow-cooked meat in a thick, tangy gravy) artfully plated in traditional utensils. Dollops of creamy, decadent kheer (milk-based wet pudding) completed the spectacle.

To do

rakkh weaving
Guests can immerse themselves in activities such as pottery or weaving. Image credit: Rakkh Resort

A plethora of immersive, interactive activities such as pottery, weaving, archery, darts and soft adventures like wall climbing have been curated at Rakkh Resort. It is also one of the pioneering resorts in the country to feature in-house sky-cycling where you can pedal on an iron rope, fixed high on the air and glide from one ridge to another with the cool mountain breeze blowing around you.

McLeodganj, the small Himachali town where His Holiness Dalai Lama resides, is 35 km/1.5 hour away from Rakkh and makes a perfect day trip with its monasteries, cool cafes and of course the world-renowned Dalai Lama Palace.

A trip to the Himalayan Brew Tea Estate and its factory can be a wonderful way to learn about the tea culture in Himachal. We found the flavour profiles of the orthodox Kangra variants surprisingly different from Darjeeling Tea, with fresh floral notes and vegetal twists, available at a very reasonable price point.

rakkh sky cycling
Sky Cycling is one of the many activities on offer at the resort. Image credit: Rakkh Resort

The resort organises nature hikes, village excursions and picnics and we especially enjoyed the gentle downhill walk to the village of gaddis – a shepherding tribe – who spend the summers in the higher Himalayas with their flock of sheep.

If you are just looking for a quiet, reticent holiday there is always the option of lazing on the outdoor terrace or the infinity pool and wonder at the interplay of light and shadows over the mountains, and clouds scudding across the sky, creating myriad patterns on the emerald valley below.


Address: Rakkh Resort, Ghamrota Village, Palampur 176061, Himachal Pradesh, India

Phone: +91 8448341200 /+91 6230946961


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