I’ve often heard people complain about Nainital and how it has become a beaten up old destination where people end up on long weekends. The same old wooden artifacts and clock work on the mall road, the same boating routine… it’s all a big bunch of been there done that, right? But here’s the bigger picture or rather the bigger question: have we totally given up on seeing the up-side of things? Is the glass always half-empty? Have we totally given up on the natural wonders the world has to offer? When was the last time you tried singling out the chirping sound of one bird among five? My guess is a long… long time ago. Well, I went to Nainital recently and got to do all this and much more at the Manu Maharani.
The drive to Nainital is a good one for most of the way except for a horrifying five to seven kilometers right before the hills. I would recommend the Suar-Baazpur route as the drive on the mountain is simply breathtaking. The road is more isolated than the climb from the Rudrapur side and is more pleasurable. And as soon as you reach Nainital you’re greeted by The Manu Maharani Hotel & Spa.
The white hotel building looks very grand and promises to offer a memorable stay. Now don’t get fooled by the concrete dominated entry area of the hotel. As you enter you’re quickly greeted by a wide expanse of greenery. The hotel lobby has warmth in its architecture that’s synonymous with luxurious properties especially in the hills. As one follows the unique arched lobby due to the shape of the hotel, one’s tempted to sprint just like one would have in the childhood days. The rooms are big, airy and pleasant. The premium rooms have spacious balconies offering a delightful view of the mountains and even the lake. Rooms on the ground floor cute little balconies decked up with fresh flowers.
The climate control is effective and makes the stay truly comforting during the cold winter season. Our room came with a balcony and a rather unique four-seater swing. The beautiful pine trees and the fresh mountain air made for the perfect backdrop.
We had the privilege of feasting ourselves to a delightful breakfast at the Gardenia and lunch at Panorama. Gardenia has a unique glasshouse like feel and on a sunny morning, the feel of the restaurant is rather spectacular. The aloo parathas are a must try. The Panorama is perhaps the only restaurant in Nainital that gets its sea food right. A meal for two would work up between Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 approximately.
What I loved most about Manu Maharani is the location. It’s far enough from the main mall road thus it’s quiet and peaceful and at the same time it offers a great view of the lake, a spectacle unavailable from the other resorts perched high up in Mallital.
What surprised me most was how the same place offered a different atmosphere during the day and during the night. While mornings were best suited for meditation and relaxation, evenings offered opportunities for the party animals in us. All said, The Manu Maharani has something for everyone and is an ideal getaway from Delhi.
What to do at the hotel?
The hotel has a spa and small gym. There’s a room for table tennis and card games. You can play badminton. There’s a small area with swings for kids, making it a children-friendly hotel.
Festive Season Offers at the Hotel:
And if you’re looking out for a weekend getaway from Delhi around the Christmas and New Year time, well then look no further. Manu Maharani has announced the Festivity Week Celebration, which is a week-long celebration that offers fun and games for the entire family. With events such as Christmas fun, Christmas gala dinner, adventure day with Santa, day out in the jungle, sports day, day of tradition, village tour, Bollywood day and the New Year Eve celebration, the hotel promises to offer festivities and fun for all ages.
The hotel also offers a special New Year package called the Cow-Boy Theme party starting at Rs. 27,999 plus tax per couple. It’s a two nights three days package along with a free entry to the cow-boy themed party on New Year’s Eve at no extra cost including unlimited liquor with a few conditions.
Drive to Nainital from Delhi: Took us more than 8 hours
Rooms starting at Rs 9500 per night