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Back to Nature With India’s Aman-i-KhásApril 15, 2010 By: David Eisen Travel Agent
The luxury tents of Aman-i-Khás rest on the edge of Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park
Of all three Amanresorts properties in India, Aman-i-Khás is the most rustic and in tune with nature. Upon arrival, your clients will immediately understand why. The encampment, composed of just 10 canopied tents on the edge of Rajasthan’s Ranthambore National Park, is smack in the middle of wildlife.
Each tent is designed beneath a soaring 20-foot canopy, while cotton partitions separate the bathroom, bedroom, sitting and dining areas. Furniture is sparse, mimicking the traveling camps of times past. Wooden ceiling fans churn overhead. Entry to each tent is through a screened area that contains an armchair and a dining table with chairs. The bedroom area has a king-size bed flanked by twin writing desks. The bathing area includes a shower, soaking tub and separate toilet. Each tent is air-conditioned and also boasts a cooler chest for drinks.
Into the Wild
Aman-i-Khás offers twice-daily, three-hour guided excursions into the core of Ranthambore National Park. Be ready for glimpses of tigers, leopards, smaller jungle cats, hyenas and sloth bears. Chital deer, antelopes and gazelles can also be seen roaming the savannah; the lakes and waterholes are home to the Indian marsh crocodile. There are also more than 350 species of birds.
After a day in the bush, you deserve a treatment in the Spa Tent—and don’t leave without having an arm tattooed with henna art. Meals are taken in the Dining Tent where the cuisine, whether Indian or Western, always uses the freshest of ingredients. In fact, Aman-i-Khás boasts its own organic garden, where vegetables and herbs are picked daily.
“Fortunately for us, we have ample land and the soil at Aman-i-Khás is of a very high quality,” says Richard Genn, Aman Resorts’ corporate chef. “The whole immediate area, in fact, used to be a lake, so the soil has quite a high clay content and, therefore, has great water retention.” The range of organic products is impressive: carrots, aubergines, zucchinis, pumpkins, fennel leeks, beets, potatoes, red radishes, daikon radishes, kol rabi, Chinese cabbage, spinach, onions, garlic, mushrooms, Thai basil, lemongrass, coriander, fenugreek and asparagus still don’t exhaust the list.
Dinner often concludes around the outdoor fireplace, which overlooks the brushwood Aravalli Hills. Travel agents can contact Global Sales Manager for Amanresorts India Puneeta Khanna (011-911-143-633-333, [email protected]).
Getting there: New Delhi is the main gateway for stays at the two Aman resorts in Rajasthan. From there, guests can travel to Aman-i-Khás by train, plane, helicopter or hired vehicle.
The most efficient, enjoyable and environmentally friendly method is by train: guests are accompanied by an Aman-i-Khás guide in a first-class compartment. On arrival in Sawai Madhopur, they are taken to the resort in an open-air Jeep. Total trip time is three-and-a-half hours.