This Father’s day skip the conventional gift and treat your dad to a travel adventure based on his interest. You can keep this mini vacation simple or completely personalise it with activities of his choice. Here are our recommendations of 7 landscapes and experiences that offer you a chance to spend some quality time doing the things that you both enjoy together.
For the hills seekers & history buffs:
WelcomHeritage Elysium offers a whole new perspective on the legendary hill station of Shimla. Whereas the hill station is known for colonial architecture and influences, Elysium re-invents the quintessential Shimla experience through the lens of modern luxury and contemporary comforts. Offering a 360o panoramic view of the entirety of Shimla, the lush green valley, and the sublime temples, a stay at Elysium resort offers a whole new way to explore the beauty of the area.
Recommended activities- Besides the regular visit to the mall road and bazaar, take a guided walk to discover some quaint temples and the British influences that continues to linger in this erstwhile summer capital.
For the history aficionados who prefer tropical locales:
No place unravels the unique story of Fort Kochi better than Brunton Boatyard. Always coveted for trade, refuge, the local spices including the Black Gold, or simply chosen as ‘home’ by many travellers, Fort Kochi is an exotic amalgamation of influences – from the Arabs and east Asia to the Jews, Portuguese, Gujaratis, the Dutch, British Raj and many more. Conveniently located at the famed Fort Kochi harbour, the historic hotel is inspired by the harbour’s story. Be it the colonial architecture and local aesthetics, or the heady blend of many cuisines that is a cultural narrative in itself. Elegant and earthy sea-facing rooms and suites, even the windows next to the charming bathtubs facing the waters) don’t just reflect the city’s strong local character but are also equipped with all modern luxuries. Watching ships and fishing boats go by, Chinese nets in action or gambolling dolphins waft over the waves from the leisure of your rooms and indulging in an adventurous time-travel Kochi episode, a Brunton Boatyard experience of all things Kochi is something few men would want to miss.
Recommended activities- Discover local flavours at the hotel’s restaurants, History and Armoury, complementary guided walking tour, a visit to Mattancherry for the Palace & Synagogue and a stroll down Jew town (the hotel is happy to organise a tuk tuk or a cab for you), Pandal café at David Hall Gallery for more delicacies and a glimpse into the thriving local art culture.
For the multi-gen, slow & eco-living experience:
Located a stone’s throw away from Periyar National Park, Spice Village in Thekkady is an eco-living experience – a re-imagined tribal village set up. Exuding the raw spirit of unblemished nature, the retreat celebrates all things spice including insights into hyperlocal experiences of the local community and the environment. Blessed with the feel of the misty hills and forest, moderate temperature, an easy to walk landscape this property is perfect as a stay for multi-generational guests including the elderly. There are several experience options that one can choose for people of all ages, interest and fitness levels. An apt son-father-grandfather getaway.
Recommended activities: Introduction to spices with plantation visits, in-house interpretation centre, a nature walk within the forest, trek into the Periyar forest reserve, rafting, camping and excursions
For wilderness adventures, explore one of the hot-spot biosphere reserves in the world:
Behind the curtain of clouds lies this magical land of plains, mountains, valleys and forest land that is waiting to be discovered. Wayanad Wild is close to the edge of the forest reserve where countless shades of greens appear unbounded and is home to an ecosystem abundant with animals, birds, insects and reptilian life. Wayanad Wild has been designed to introduce you to a part of the Nilgiris Biosphere (one of the few ‘Hot Spot’ biospheres in the world) with David Raju, naturalist, author and General Manager of the lodge – an exploration that promises to leave you enchanted! Ideal for fathers & young kids who can bond over the discovery of the fascinating animal kingdom – birds, arthropods and amphibians that are indigenous to the region. Not to miss is the exciting night expedition to explore the nocturnal forest life.
Recommended activities: Nature defines the living experience here – bird hunt, an evening with the naturalist, night expeditions, walks, treks, wilderness lectures and interactions.
For unbeatable Wildlife & Safaris; ample doses of South Africa inspired luxury
This one is for a dad who enjoys a complete wildlife rejuvenation getaway but with doses of luxury. Samode Safari Lodge is a lavish wilderness and wildlife experience, cradled in luxury and not so expected sophistication for an Indian Safari Lodge. While the decor and architecture is inspired by the neighbouring village to seamlessly blend into the region’s landscape, the ambience, vibe and hospitality is unmistakably and uniquely Samode. But it is the wildlife experience that is highly rated here! The lodge has some of the best and the most passionate and professional naturalist and trackers who accompany you for your jeep safaris, walks, birding and regale you with conservation turn around stories, folklore and forest insights.
Recommended activities: Safari drives and chats with the naturalists for a dose of forest stories and adventures.
For the foodie and gourmand, culinary experiences galore:
Nature and food have always been an essential driving force for the Jehan Numa group. A short flight into Bhopal, Jehan Numa Retreat offers a quick getaway to treat your dad to a 2 day local Bhopali cuisine extravaganza! Located at the edge of the VanVihar Park, the 12.5 acre luxury retreat with its earthy cottage and lush foliage holds within its folds some celebrated culinary experience – ‘Under the Jamun Tree’ offers signature dishes that come from the kitchens of the Royal family of Bhopal. Inspired by the slow food movement, ‘The Green House Bistro’ is a farm to fork concept restaurant where one can pick your vegetables and ask the chef to cook it for you! The retreat can also give you access to ‘The General’s Table’ a pre-reserved private dining experience at the Jehan Numa Palace that curates a 7 course meal from General Obaidullah’s celebratory menu. And if all of this hasn’t lured you yet, there is the lip-smacking Bhopali street food to experience!
Recommended activities- Gastronomical experiences of The General’s Table & Bhopali cuisine at Under the Jamun Tree; a meal at the contemporary ‘The GreenHouse Bistro’, if time permits, a peek into Bhopal’s history through Jehan Numa Museum at the Palace or a guided city walk that begins at the Palace Gates.
For the cultural purists, here is a gem you wouldn’t want to miss:
Step into the ancient homeland of the Chola Dynasty with Mantra Koodam located in Kumbakonam, in the Tanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. An authentic recreation of a serene typical village found in region; Mantra Koodam is inspired by the Tamzih culture and offers an immersive opportunity to revel in Tanjore’s rich legacy of arts, crafts, architecture, music, philosophy, astronomy, religious and predictive sciences, that flourish even today. There are UNESCO world heritage Chola temples and monuments, precious bronze sculptures and castings, as well as the fascinating naadi shastra that can be explored too. An introduction to this ancient culture begins at the resort with its traditional architecture of temple-like shrines, ponds, courtyards, coconut groves and meandering old-world streets called Agramahan. The rare Chola cuisine is a highlight here with locals whipping up old recipes. In the CGH-style of understated elegance, Mantra Koodam presents that perfect dose of authentic Tanjavur cultural experiences, nostalgia and pride in our land’s ancient heritage along with all modern luxuries that make for a memorable Father-Daughter/Son getaway.
Recommended activities- visits to enthralling local markets, kalamkari communities and Kanchipuram silk weavers, explore the UNESCO protected temples and monuments, sign up for the resort’s bullock cart rides through local villages.