Te Aroha – Magnificence beyond Compare

If you are thriving for a well
deserved holiday, you can choose to go to the hills for a refreshing weather and
the enchanting mountains. The choices have been mind boggling so far with options
like Nainital, Mussoorie and Simla being the favorite picks of the season.

However, the mid-summer night dream becomes a crude nightmare, as these
frequently visited mountains are thronged by city dwellers each year.To the rescue comes a refreshing
take in vacationing. Dhanachuli, a quiet hillock breathes fresh air and gives
vacationers uncountable reasons to enjoy. Located approximately 7000 ft above
sea level, this quaint hill station has exactly what your summer getaway requires – a breathtaking scenery with astounding weather.

Just a kilometer beyond the main
market of Dhanachuli is perched Te Aroha – Magnificence beyond compare.
Synonymous with classic heritage and a magnificent view of the mountain ranges,
this place is a winner. The summer colonial house owned by Mr. Sumant Batra is now
converted into a boutique luxury hotel which is the perfect getaway for
families and buzy corporates who love experimenting with new destinations.
My search for an unconventional
summer getaway ended at Te Aroha. Barely 3 hours drive from the plain region of
Kathgodam, the smooth drive uphill is a totally different experience. The
swaying trees give your eyes a visual treat while the fragrance in the air
pleases your nostrils. Since Dhanachuli is not a frequented place, there is
barely any traffic to be seen.
The arrival to the resort was
rather timely and warmly welcomed by the hospitable staff. A fresh glass of
Rhodendron juice, made from Rhodendron flowers grown in the Himalayas was
offered as welcome drink. Devoid of any artificial preservatives, it was truly
fresh and energizing.
The attic – Our abode for two days
We were escorted to our room that
was way too high but offered a spectacular view of the mountain ranges. The
suite had a rather warm ambiance with a touch of British heritage that was displayed
in every corner of the room. While the antique furniture transported us to the
British colonial style, the colossal glass windows displayed the
breathtaking views of the landscape.

The luxury in the room was oozing with high
rise beds and soft mattress alluring us for deep sleep. Such beds are not to be
seen these days unfortunately.

The attic, as it was
appropriately named had another room adjoining the main room taken up by a
flight of stairs. The room above was thrown open to the most enticing view I
can ever imagine. Calm and serene, it had an interesting blue colored couch and
a coffee table book written by Mr. Sumant Batra. A few cookies with a cup of
tea while looking at the mesmerizing view of the delirious mountains satiated
Comfortable high rise beds

A warm shower relieved my
tiredness completely. Later, we were invited for lunch in the restaurant. A
touch of class with finesse is what the fine dining restaurant can be stated.

With a cover of 32 people, the restaurant is well lit up with natural light
entering from every corner. Devoid of fans or air conditioners, the temperature
was apt for a scrumptious meal. The attendants in their smart uniforms offered
us fresh Indian cuisine. The chef, a talented native from the Garhwal region was
well aware with the Indian and Chinese cuisine who ensured the meal was without
any artificial preservatives. The simple food was extremely palatable and

Mr. Batra was kind enough to take
me around the place. A lawyer by profession, he began his ardent journey when
he came to Dhanacholi 13 years back. A romance with the place and he was ready
to build a dream home away from the maddening city life of Delhi. It was with
the support of his friends and family that he later built it into a beautiful
Exquisite lanterns hanging outside the rooms

The Te Aroha resort has overall
12 rooms which are made with special attention to décor and ambiance. The
resort that was his home around 13 years back is now a magnificent abode to
tourists who come here to take back unforgettable memories.

Each room at Te Aroha has very
different names that are basic but very unique. Names like Three steps down,
the Attic, the Master’s Bedroom, the Deck seemed basic but were adorned with
different color tones and artifacts’.

Chosen with perfection, every furniture
is carefully selected and placed accordingly in every room with precision
matching the color tone. Each room has splendid views of the mountain ranges.
The Master bedroom with a large shower area and a separate sitting area had a
view of the garden, so if you would like to sit with a cup of tea before a
shower you can do that willingly. Each room has its own balcony that offers
complete privacy for the guest.

The epitome of undying love – Waheeda and Guru Dutt

Each room at Te Aroma has another
interesting concept. It follows a different theme of famous pairs from
Hollywood and Bollywood that is rarely seen anywhere. The unforgettable pair of
Waheeda and Guru Dutt was framed in the attic that spoke in volumes about the
duo’s odyssey. Similarly other pairs were also framed in other rooms that
talked about their meticulous journey while being in sync with each other.

A few stairs up further took us
towards a museum that was ardently done. A small tea room with a floral upholstery matched with the quaint surrounding of the beautiful room. Different
flavors of tea, tea jars and artifacts’ looked perfect. The tea room had
masterpieces of the most allured books of old times. Classic novels or recent
memoirs were placed neatly in the shacks that reflected a classic aura.
The magnificent Tea Room

Adjoining to the tea room is a
recreation room with all indoor activities to unwind and get occupied with. A favorite
with children, it is clubbed with every little facility to entertain them while
the parents are involved in reading their favorite books.

A large area with a volleyball
court looks magnificent. If you love outdoor sports, you can try your hand for
a good match with your friends. The open air volleyball match amidst trees and
fresh air is bound to satisfy you more than a match played in a metropolitan club.
While touring around the
property, a thunder storm breaks and a downpour is welcomed as a respite for us.
The air got chiller and the rain elevated our spirits even further. We were
then escorted to our rooms to dry ourselves. As dinner time approached, we
looked forward to another scrumptious meal prepared by the talented chef. A
Chinese meal was served that consisted of Chicken clear soup and Vegetable
clear soup followed by some rice and Chinese vegetables that were made with
Mesmerizing collection of Artifacts

A good night sleep was something
we were all looking forward to and we took leave to retire for the day. The
next morning we woke up to see the sun rise. Early morning sun at Dhanachuli is
a sight you should not miss. The Te Aroha resort offers a spectacular view of
the morning sun that can be witnessed easily. The beautiful sun rising above
the mountains looks enchanting. A cup of tea devoured while watching the sun
rising between the mountains is a sight incomparable.

We looked forward to the morning
trek that was taken by a native of Uttarakhnad, Mr. Dongar Singh. He escorted
us through the thick jungles explaining about the flora and fauna of
Dhanachuli. While we huffed and puffed through the high terrain, gasping for
breath, we stopped to absorb the scintillating view. Though it was bit late for
the bird watching, we did manage to look at few parrots here and there.
The one hour long trek ended and
we returned back to the resort. Famished as ever, we walked towards the restaurant.
The open dining area of the restaurant offers a panoramic view of the Himalayan
ranges  with a spectacular view of the
morning sun. We chose to sit outside and enjoy the continental breakfast the chef
prepared for us. Different varieties of jams on the table made fresh without
preservatives were the most delicious jams I have ever tasted. The platter of
sausage, eggs, Hash brown with fresh juice was thoroughly enjoyed with the cool
breeze and magnificent view.

Th spectacular sun rise from Te Aroha

A village trek was organized that
took us through the local farms and residents of Dhanachuli. We passed though
different kinds of trees like Rhodendron, pine, oak while on the trek. The
natives were warm and friendly who gleamed with happiness and offered us local
fruits from their orchards. A tea experience in one of the local’s house was
organized that tasted different and pleasant. The ripe plums and peaches offered
to us straight from their kitchen garden were juicy that were fresh without any
fertilizers or preservatives.

While we returned back, it was
dark and chilly. The wind was cold and the attendants were kind enough to light
up a born fire for us. Chilled beers and some snacks got us ready for a fun
filled evening with few friends staying at the resort. It was time for dinner
and although we were filled to the brim, the Himalayan cuisine specially
prepared for us ignited our appetite.
The adventurous village Trek

The main dishes that consisted of
Pahari Mutton, Besan ki sabzi, Palak ki subzi was served with rice and rotis.
Light and delicious, these dishes were totally different and enjoyed by us.

It was time to retire to bed and sadly
the stay was coming to an end. The morning after, I quietly sat and immersed
myself to the beautiful surrounding of Dhanachuli. I was truly impressed by the
waywe were looked after by the staff of Te Aroha. My stay will always be a
memorable one.
Te Aroha has completed three
years and is gearing on to become the most unconventional way to holidaying on
the hills. If you are looking for a dream vacation with good time to spare,
visit Te Aroha place for an unforgettable time.
Te Aroha Dhanachuli
Dhanachuli Bend, Near Mukteshwar
Tehsil Dhari, District Nainital

Uttrakhand – 263132

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