Smack-dab in the middle of magnificent deodar cedar forests, atop its own hill a thousand feet above Shimla, surrounded by swirling mist and snowy peaks, this inspired remake of the fire-gutted mountain retreat of Lord Kitchener is the ideal setting for a beautifully eerie alpine fantasy. Affording showstopping views of some of the most spectacularly scenic mountains and valleys in India, this opulent yet surprisingly unpretentious Himalayan resort has all the seductive charms of a luxury hotel in a heritage property, with top-notch facilities and fine service. It's also dressed to perfection: Stately architecture is matched with tasteful reproduction furniture and carefully selected artworks and objets d'art. Guest rooms are well-appointed and spacious, with wood paneling, walk-in closets, and exquisite bathrooms. Burmese teak wood and Italian marble have been used lavishly. Valley-view premium rooms are excellent (nos. 101, 201, 301, and 327 are most prized). Deluxe rooms have the added benefit of private balconies. The billiards room is almost in the exact spot as Lord Kitchener's was, with classic lifted benches, high stools and chairs, and lights from England dating back to 1911. Besides the outstanding restaurant (don't miss the traditional Himachali thali), a spa menu serves healthy meals; each dish comes with a card indicating the calories and food value. But the hotel's pièce de résistance is the spa itself, which offers an impressive range of services and massage treatments (including private spa suites for couples). If you're fortunate to be at Wildflower during a full moon, spend an evening in the outdoor Jacuzzi surrounded by nothing but snowcapped mountain peaks.
Facilities: Restaurant; spa restaurant; bar; tennis court; heated indoor pool; spa w/gym, sauna, steam, Jacuzzi, and massage facilities, separate spa pavilion, and 2 private spa suites; outdoor Jacuzzi; travel arrangements; car hire; currency exchange; Wi-Fi enabled; horses and horse trail; hiking and picnicking; trekking; bird-watching; archery; mountain biking; ice skating (winter); river-rafting; card room; billiards; library.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Very Highly Recommended 2010