Endless pines and cedars dotting the mountains, wisps of mist and views of magnificent snow peaks... no wonder the British chose Shimla for their summer capital. The crowning glory of Shimla, at 8,250 feet precisely, is the astounding Wildflower Hall, an Oberoi resort. Words can't justify the immense charm and beauty of the resort – picturise yourself sitting by the fire, smoking your pipe, savouring a drink or reading as the world goes by. If history and class make up your cup of tea, Wildflower Hall is just the place for you.
The site where the hotel is located was once the residence of Lord Kitchener who was the commander-in-chief of India's armed forces in the early 20th century. The property was rebuilt to reflect grandeur reminiscent of those times. So there are teak wood floors everywhere, hand-knotted rugs and furnishings complete the picture. You could explore the rich flora and fauna of the Himalayas based at the resort, taking long walks and enjoying the fresh mountain air. For the adventurous type, the resort provides opportunities galore – river rafting, trekking and mountain biking among others.
If you love to laze at the spa, the Wildflower Hall is just the place for you. This fairy tale luxury resort offers an outdoor Jacuzzi apart from a heated swimming pool. Having got an opportunity to stay at the resort for a couple of days, I decided to explore the options at the spa. I opted for the signature indigenous rituals where I got a rejuvenating head massage which was combined with inhalation of essential oils. Then there is a steam therapy as well, and I came out relaxed and rejuvenated after a session at the spa.
The rooms are yet another story altogether. Each room offers views of the gardens, the mountains and the forests around. There are marble bathrooms, LCD TV, satellite television and DVD player, Wi-Fi and all the modern amenities that are expected of a luxury resort. There are Deluxe Garden View Rooms, Premier Garden View Rooms, Premier Mountain View Rooms, Deluxe Suites and the Lord Kitchener Suite. The mountain-view rooms are highly recommended, as most guests would feel.
When it comes to dining, The Restaurant has on its menu Indian, Asian and continental dishes to please the palate of international travellers. Lutyens caters to traditional Indian cooking, and you can enjoy a traditional dinner here as I did. It opens only during the peak season, though, and only for dinner. The Cavalry bar is idea for relaxing with a drink of which there is wide variety.
The best time to visit Shimla is during summer. If you want to experience snowfall, you should visit in winter, but if you are not used to extreme winters, it may not be a great idea. There are many hotels in shimla to suit your budget, but if you can enjoy a stay at The Wildflower Hall, nothing like it! It is the place to head to among all the resorts in Shimla.