Sher Bagh

Imperialists, Romantics and Well-heeled Globetrotters

PRICE: Worth maxing out for

RATING: Wow factor

Sher Bagh is a spellbinding tented camp on the edge of Ranthambore 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!

You’ll be walked through the entrance, past classic safari jeeps and brilliantly clever modern art installations to a 1920s campaign tent. Inside, you’ll find cane furniture, safari pith helmets and plenty of reminders about the feline celebrities who roam the jungle just beyond the camp boundary.

The 1920s style runs throughout this luxury camp and its 12 tents. Arranged in a semi circle, each tent is meticulously well designed, with jute flooring, antique writing desks, huge double beds decorated with tiger-festooned scatter cushions, air conditioning and sizable bathrooms with sandstone flooring and brass fittings.

Outside, you’ll have your own little verandah which makes the perfect place for reading or watching the monkeys play between safaris. And it’s on this verandah that your tea or coffee is left at your chosen time in the morning to ensure the perfect start to the day.

It’s the attention to detail that makes Sher Bagh so special. Be it the fleece ponchos in the tents for those early morning game drives, the hot water bottles that are tucked between the sheets whilst you are at dinner, the aprons to help you stay clean during dinners sitting in campaign chairs around the camp fire, or the ability of the naturalists whilst out on safari to remember whether you prefer cake or homemade biscuits with your chai tea whilst in the bush.

A big part of the Sher Bagh experience is dining. With its own organic vegetable and herb garden, the food produced is top notch. Inevitably, indian, and especially Rajasthani, dishes are superb, but there is a fantastic Western selection too. Breakfast and lunches are taken in the dining tent, whilst most dinners move around the camp to provide different experiences, from eating around the communal campfire to individual settings in the courtyard, dining beneath the stars with a galaxy of oil lamps twinklings. Every evening more than 300 oil lamps are lit around the camp.

Yonder Insight

Tent No 2 is located on the edge of the semi-circular camp, next to one of the suites. It is perfect for those who want to get as close to nature as possible.

On your doorstep

The park wall is no more than 150m from the entrance to Sher Bagh. You’ll venture out in your Gypsy (safari jeep) taking about 20 minutes to reach the main entrance gate for zones 1-4.

Thoughts on a postcard

Dragging ourselves out of our deliciously cozy bed for our 6.45am game drive was eased by the knowledge that we had porridge mixed with honey and a splash of warm brandy waiting to fortify us for our meeting with Sher Khan.

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ITINERARIES FEATURING THIS HOTEL

Sher Bagh: 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.

Khem Villas

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 close to the Ranthambore national park.