Meghauli Serai, A Taj Safari Lodge
What We Love
- Rhino and crocodile sightings are practically guaranteed
- The lodge’s “anywhere, anytime” dining philosophy
- Private plunge pools in every villa
- Guests can assist a mahout bathe the resident elephant, Anjali
What To Know
- Though there is no spa, the Taj brand’s signature Jiva treatments are offered in the comfort of your room
- The park rangers here were trained by South Africa’s knowledgeable andBeyond group
- The concierge can coordinate village visits with the local Tharu community
- The lodge can arrange for chauffer-driven pick-ups from the three closest airports
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Sure, the days at this natural sanctuary begin at the crack of dawn—it’s the ideal time to explore the property’s awe-inducing backyard, the grasslands and forests of Chitwan National Park—but your exceedingly early start is sweetened with a breakfast of Grand Marnier-spiked oatmeal. (You’re in Taj territory, after all.) Combining extra-attentive service with under-the-radar settings is a matter of pride for this century-old Indian hotel chain. Here, the illustrious brand’s latest act unfolds in the lowlands of Nepal with 16 river-facing villas inspired by the local Tharu tribe (brush paintings on the walls; grass mats on the floors; outdoor Nepali showers known as dhunge dharas), all clad with contemporary creature comforts like claw-footed tubs and seamless Wi-Fi that make sure you’re adequately spoiled between your safari drives and jungle walks. Once you’ve had your fill of the area’s VIPs—one-horned rhinos, Bengal tigers, and over 500 bird species—devour an authentic Newari dinner, which might include masala-barbecued chicken and nettle soup, on the banks of the Rapti. Then sip a nightcap at the cozy library, well stocked with tomes on its enchanting subtropical backdrop.
In the Area
It’s best to fly into Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, then hop on a 30-minute flight to Bharatpur, where you’ll be picked up by a lodge-sponsored van (refreshments included) for the two-hour drive to Meghauli Serai. Though Chitwan Natinonal Park, which gained UNESCO World Heritage status over thirty years ago, remains the main attraction of the Terai region (virtually untouched by the catastrophic 2015 earthquake), as these lowlands are known, you can also venture on day trips to nearby Bhaktapur and Patan, ancient cities and once independent kingdoms of their own with carefully preserved royal palaces, temples, and art collections.
How to Get There
We got to Meghauli Serai with NatHab for a few days of safari at Chitwan National Park. We were greeted by all the staff upon arrival (and after each safari trek) with smiles, waves, a cool beverage and moist towel. The people make this resort very special. Our room was spacious with a private plunge pool and an outdoor shower. We woke every morning to the Rapti River and wildlife. Our treks into Chitwan were excellent with guides knowledgable about the area and how to track local animals. We even saw a tiger. The food at the hotel was excellent. Staff was attentive, especially Arjan in the dining room. Overall incredible.
Recently build lodge under South African management and that you will notice. High level service, personalized butler (Sanjay was terrific), welcome with hand towels and drinks and welcoming staff each time when returning from Safari. Quality of food very good, each evening in different settings. Clean Rooms, nice beds. If back in Nepal really would like to revisit. Good balance between price and quality, really value for money. The lodge charges foreigner same prices as they do to locals which is a positive surprise.
We stayed last week and did the Wildlife Escape Plan, staying in a Maghauli Room and it was such an amazing experience. The service was impeccable, the best I have experienced in all of my travels. The itinerary was busy but they made everything seem so easy with the organisation of all of the activities, the incredible meals and any change of plans were sorted with ease. We were able to swap the elephant safari for elephant bathing and a village visit which were both excellent. I think the river safari was my favourite as we saw many crocodiles within a few minutes of drifting down the river, which was followed by seeing monkeys, jackles and many different types of birds. The guide we had was very knowledgable too. At the end of the trip we were surprised to have a table set up for us to enjoy the sunset. We didn't feel comfortable doing a jungle trek as the guides only carry sticks and sometimes you may have to run and hide (I'm sure it's fine as we saw many people doing it! I just get scared easily) so we paid extra for a jeep safari and we were very lucky to see a leopard! although no rhino's, so if possible try and go on at least 2 safaris at different times of the day to increase your chances of seeing more animals.
We had a Maghauli room in the hotel blocks which was beautiful. It had a balcony overlooking a large pond which was great for spotting birds, a very large bed (although the mattress was quite firm for us but we experienced this at most hotels in Nepal), clean well kept rooms with a turn down service and the surroundings of the hotel are very well kept with a lovely pool area. I can imagine the villas are incredible.
I would definitely recommend the wildlife escape plan or a plan which includes the meals as they were delicious with excellent service from all the kitchen and front of house staff.
We recommend this hotel to anyone staying in the Chitwan Area of Nepal and we ourselves can't wait to visit this hotel again next time we go to Nepal!
One of the best luxury resorts we have been to especially taking into consideration the incredible service and attentiveness exhibited by every single staff in the resort. Everyone goes out of their way to pre-empt and make sure that all your needs are met, and the staff are all really warm and genuine in their desire to make your stay as memorable as possible.
The property itself was impeccably maintained and really beautiful, especially the villas. Make sure to get the all-inclusive meal plan, all the meals were very good, but special shout-out to the exceptional dinners served. Every dinner was a feast and truly amazing in showcasing various local Nepali cuisines.
In terms of the safari, we did the river/jeep/elephant safari. Our favourite was the elephant safari - we liked it so much we did it twice! Their elephants are treated well and have their own unique personality, and they are such a joy to interact with. Being on an elephant whilst in the jungle also allowed us to get closer to the animals (we got extremely close to many quite a few rhinos during the elephant safaris) than the river/jeep safaris.
We’ve done a lot of safaris and especially like the lodges on the rivers. This lodge is one of the most spectacular river settings we have seen. The Rapti River is quite big and beautiful. Clear with a strong current and you have to take a canoe to the other side for game drives. You also take guided canoe tours down the river and end up doing a sundowner where a second river joins it. You can see the bottom of the river and float along seeing crocidiles, rhinos and some of the most largest concentration of birds possible. We were surprised as to how tropical it is here at the Chitwan National Park which was just a 30 minute flight from Kathmandu but it’s at an elevation of just 400 feet and a latitude about the same as Palm Beach Florida. The park is pure jungle, incredible trees and again magnificent birds everywhere! Only way to get into the jungle itself is by elephant Safari.
The room we had was a villa on the river with a plunge pool. Huge bathroom with a big tub and two showers, one outdoors. There is a large infinity pool at the lodge looking over the river. Food and staff were terrific. Our butler Sanjay was always always there for anything we needed. I can’t say enough about our guide Arjun, he was awesome. Extremely knowledgeable and with an unusual but entertaining sense of humor. We had a wonderful time and adventure here!