Khem Villas

Sophisticrats, Wanderlusters and Naturalists

PRICE: Affordable

RATING: Big thumbs up

Khem Villas in India is a family-run bundle of precious perfection. There’s an immediate sense of being enveloped in something special. No glitz or pomp, but rather a refreshingly authentic approach to exquisite Rajasthani hospitality.

The lodge is situated within striking distance of the Ranthambore National Park wall and within its own boundary you’ll find indigenous trees and small bodies of water offering a natural habitat for wildlife. Sightings of jungle cats, desert foxes and jackals are common and for budding ornithologists it’s a mecca.

This, coupled with an ethical approach which saw the site created using locally sourced materials and artisans, makes it perfect for those looking for tranquil accommodation with bucketloads of charm.

Khem Villas is brilliantly set up with a range of accommodation from simple but elegant tents to spacious cottages. In line with the range of accommodation, there is also a selection box from which to choose for the level of comfort you require between those with and without AC..  All are thoughtfully created with natural materials, colourful soft furnishings made by local women’s cooperatives and rustic design flair that brings out the unique character of this jungle lodge. You’ll want to spend hours with your binoculars gazing out over the magnificent countryside beyond.

One interesting aspect to staying in this glorious wilderness retreat is that out of respect to Mother Nature’s creatures, only vegetarian food is served. Don’t let the carnivore or pescatorian inside you be put off. The food is so out of this world we’ve even taken a recipe or two home. Indian, Western and Oriental dishes are creatively prepared to tantalise the taste buds – all the more impressive when you discover that most of the vegetables and herbs come from the organic garden and that even the organic milk comes from local cows.

Yonder Insight

The thatched cottages are spacious, have air-conditioning and an enchanting terrace on which you’ll hear only the sounds of the jungle.

On your doorstep

The Daskar Women’s cooperative is within walking distance of the lodge. The workshop is a fascinating place to visit to see the handicrafts and if you decide to part with some cash in the small shop, you’ll be sure of supporting a truly worthy cause.

Thoughts on a postcard

Sitting around the camp fire with Usha, our host, regaling us with stories, was like being part of her family. We were treated like royalty at our home from home.

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ITINERARIES FEATURING THIS HOTEL

Khem Villas: The Map

ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION IN Ranthambore National Park

Aman-i-Khas

Aman-i-Khas is sublime. It is tented accommodation, yet it would get a podium finish compared amongst all hotels in India. On the very edge of Ranthambore national park (the park wall is literally within throwing distance) you’ll get the feeling you are on someone else’s turf. This is tiger territory.

Sher Bagh

Sher Bagh is a spellbinding tented camp on the edge of Ranthambore national park in India where there is magic in the air. Arriving at the camp, the red mud walls complement the amber dust on the ground. A khaki-clad butler is waiting with a perfectly rolled, crisp, cool towel and a crystal cut glass of pink bubbles, served on a silver tray. Ah, bliss!