Not many people know that the origins of RARE began by promoting offbeat hotels and home stays on classic road journeys from Delhi to discerning Indian travellers and expats. The result of organising accommodation for Bunny and Jugs Suraiya was a middle piece in the TOI in 1999, "Jilling with Steve" effectively changing the course of our journey.
1. Aesthetics : You love beauty. Looking out to pristine landscapes, mountains, beaches and forests; and the sepia tinted beauty of India's timeless heritage. The joy of rolling hills, crowned with plantations and fragrant with tea, coffee and spices. Your mood lifts walking into generous spaces of curious collections, handwoven linen, royal memorabilia, cutting edge or nature inspired design, antique furniture resplendent with years of touch and the mysterious spaces in old forts and palaces repurposed for your stay. Creative and aesthetic each RARE hotel is an individual canvas reflective of the owners personal style and interests.
2. Connect with People : Often you come back from your vacation wanting to return not to any hotel but to Marcus' lodge, Ransher's place, to Nakul's hotel, Jai Singh's home , Husna's tea estate, Raghu and Joanna's Retreat. The owner connect is an essential part of your journey, memories of sharing wildlife stories, personal journeys, swapping recipes and may be singing together. Travel memories also include a community team member you walked with, a boatman who took you birding on the river, learning a skill and making friends. You are in a space and with people who value the same or similar things you value.
3. The Journey : You are the contender for the classic Indian road journey often on a whim but most definitely planned within the week for the weekend coming up. Stepping away from the urban chaos and routine and driving out through beautiful rural country many of them now on fabulous expressways. The journey is as important as the destination and stopping by to savour a meal or a photo-op to check on small hamlets along the way, some curious art or a landscape alive with action.
4. Cuisine : It is the top attribute of the RARE hotel - dining experiences and their repertoire of recipes. Traditional recipes often passed down through generations and unique to the hotel or locality. Live kitchens to participate in, pit- cooking in camps, get down to the basics and get your feet muddy and hands working in the organic farm at Shreyas Yoga Retreat or in the family's farm in Ramathra Fort. World cuisine and regional recipes served farm fresh, options for vegans and vegetarians and cooking with the hosts like in Sarai at Toria bring cuisine into focus. Bhainsrorgarh Fort and Castle Kanota are connoisseurs in regional cooking while Svatma breaks down Tamil cuisine into its finer details, flavours and textures.
5. Fun for the Family : For the Indian traveller, an important reason to travel is to head out with friends and family and spend time together. With activities and warm large spaces under the sun and stars like in Ramathra Fort and intimate lounge spaces as in Surya Garh, you have perfect places for celebrations and down time, pool side parties and camp fire nights, small and intimate enough to call your own.
6. Action and Rejuvenation : What is your travel choice ? What kind of traveller are you ? Do you travel for action or Rejuvenation ? there is plenty to choose from the RARE Collection. Walk, hike, raft, ride or cycle and just give in to the luxury of a rejuvenating Spa and sanctuaries of silence at Purity, Niraamaya Surya Samudra, Shreyas Yoga Retreat, Raas Devigarh so that you can glide back into the routine of daily life, till next time !
7. Sustainability : Some lessons that went 'viral', those on climate change your children brought home and some that your are increasingly becoming sensitive about. It is no laughing matter that statistics by Conde Nast Traveller point to the fact that over 65% of Indian Travellers are willing to pay a premium for hotels and services that practise sustainability and have eco-friendly practises in place. So 'explore differently' and choose places that also offer you the joy of participating in being a conscious traveller besides luxury and experiences. Head out to Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge in Nepal, camp out at Ramathra Fort, Bera Safari Lodge, Jamtara Wilderness or Chanoudgarh to choose your personal favourite for preservation and positive impact. We promise you one thing, life will never be the same again.
8. Nature and Wildlife : Every where on the RARE map you headout to, you will find a great reverence and celebration for nature and wildlife, a perfect place for children to begin their life journey understanding nature and how a life can be lived in harmony with and not against the elements. Most lodges on the RARE list are small forests re-wilded as wild gardens for personal nature immersions from the privacy of your deck or through the picture window of your cottages. Small experiences and Ranger programs like Termite walk in Jim's Jungle Retreat in Corbett, Walking with Tara to the Banjar at Kipling Camp in Kanha, forest walks with Reni Pani in Satpura, conservation stories with our lodge naturalists add to view and knowledge of wildlife and nature.
9. Celebrations : Intimate and infinitely enjoyable RARE small key hotels in generous estates are perfect celebration spaces. Choose your theme - heritage, dunes, forests, river retreats, spa indulgence, party-party, food binge or just have a chilled out day. For a festival celebration away from home, Holi in Jaipur, Dussehra in Manali, Navaratri in Tanjavur, Durga Puja in Rajbari, Diwali in Chanoudgarh.... the options are endless.
10. Value for Vacation : Indian traveller as with many travellers around the world love a deal, so how about this ? Well, we have irresistible offers....and then some. Most RARE hotels give you the option of a full cashless experience. And there are no hidden costs, only surprise value-adds you may not be expecting. They may come to you as fresh healthy farm to table menus, silence and tranquility that calm and rejuvenate, great outdoors, safe havens, impromptu and interesting conversations with hosts and guests you have just made friends with, exclusivity and very personal service where you are not just a room number.
Here is your chance to explore differently and participate in a gentle and inclusive conservation philosophy to positively impact every destination you love, participate in addressing issues and know that your luxury vacation is a force-multiplier.