The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Finalist: Best for Communing with Nature
- Proximity to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
- Luxe tents so spacious they feel like mini villas
- Staff will spoil you with sorbet, fresh juice and fruit around the pool
- Only 25 tents, so the resort never feels crowded
- These aren’t typical tents: four-poster beds, hardwood floors, TVs and more
What To Know
- Reserve your jungle drive well in advance; visitor numbers are restricted
- The restaurant serves a mix of Indian and Western fare
- Due to monsoons, the resort is closed from July to September each year
- Tiger sightings are not guaranteed; the best months are May and June
- The nearest city is Jaipur, more than three hours away
- WiFi costs about $20 a day
- Parking On Site
On the edge of Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve, the Oberoi Vanyavilas is an upscale escape in wild Rajasthan. Although the accommodations are called tents, there is no such thing as roughing it here; each of the 25 spacious units features hardwood floors, a four-poster bed and air conditioning. Amenities aside, the real draw is the proximity to the magnificent Indian tigers — an increasingly rare treat.
Bed and Bath
“Tent” is a bit of a misnomer: The accommodations are pure luxury, with four-poster beds, clawfoot tubs and hardwood floors — even the canopy is embroidered with tiny tigers. Lounge in your private garden or on your sundeck with a drink from the minibar in hand. After a few hours here, it’s easy to see why the Vanyavilas was named the best hotel in the world by Travel & Leisure in 2010.
An even bigger draw than the unique accommodations are the elusive tigers living in the reserve. Resort guests can sign up for a safari that offers the chance to see these magnificent animals up close. Ranthambore is a particularly good viewing point because of its low rainfall: The grass is slow to grow, leaving open patches where animals congregate. If you don’t see any stripes, the park is also teeming with monkeys, birds, sambar deer and ancient banyan trees. And after days spent bouncing around in a Jeep (or riding one of the resort’s two resident elephants), relax with an indulgent treatment at the spa or a swim in the palatial pool. A stroll through the grounds of the resort before dinner is also highly recommended, as you can find peacocks strutting among the manicured lawns.
In the Area
For an extra charge, the resort arranges shared jungle rides in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve daily. But be warned: Visitor access is restricted to a few people per day, so it’s best to call the resort in advance of your stay and reserve a time. About seven miles from the resort sits the ancient Ranthambore Fort. Hike up the stone steps for a great view of the area. The Jogi Mahal, a forest home once owned by the maharajas of Jaipur, is worth a visit. One of India’s largest banyan trees stands on the property.
How to Get There
The General Manager is an extraordinary person and runs an extraordinary destination hotel. The accommodations are spectacular. The staff is so kind and attentive. The food is cooked to ones tastes. The property is a little bit of paradise. The staff naturlists are available to answer detailed questions about the flora, fauna and wildlife.
Of course there are the tigers and all the other incredible animals in the Ranthambhore Park. This is my second trip to Vanyavilas. My first trip last year was so great I organized a group of 27 my students to come with me for 5 days. We all had a much needed real vacation!!!!!
Thanku Ratna for taking the time to PERSONALLY read our review n comments n consider my recommendation. U are very busy as well, so I appreciate u taking the time to respond with so much thought n courtesy. U n ur staff are SOOO efficient, Sooo humble n serving.... NOTHING too big or too small!!! It's AMAZING! I THINK THE BEST IN THE WORLD, definitely in Australia, haha!! The effort n thought to the finest details is awesome. I've NEVER experienced that in all my 58 yrs of life!! Loved the little messages left on plates, the cute elephant n dog created from towels... So creative, unique n just Amazing!! And even the staff tidying our room n turning down ur bed in evening including a hot water bottle!! Wow wow!! U will never experience that in Australian motels!! We felt we were treated like queens! From the moment we stepped out of our vehicle, ur staff welcoming us with petals n a pretty wreath was surprising n exceptional! We will never elsewhere b greeted with such honor! We felt like royalty! 👏👏😍😍
And I'm glad n pleased to say ur advertisement video does NOT LIE! 😃You personally Ratna are so professional, gracious n humble, ensuring we were good n comfortable n catered for! U are a very beautiful person to treat ALL new visitors with friendliness, pleasantness, n serving heart WITH a BEAUTIFUL SMILE n very good English, EVERY DAY for EVERYONE!! The building is GORGEOUS n ur staff beautifully presented!! Dining outside was delightful sitting around a big bonfire n lovely traditional music. Would loved to have seen some Indian dancers. 😊
As Helen n I said to u, we would give u a ten star rating if we could. The safaris n guides were amazing, exciting n lots of fun! What an adventure! We saw lots of native animals in the jungle, including deers n monkeys, but especially, we were sooo blessed to see tigers at both the morning n afternoon safaris, including a leopard in the morning safari!! We saw the two tigers who are brothers up fairly close. We were below the big gate n they looked down on us from the top! How Exciting👏👏👏
Helen thoroughly enjoyed the massage n spa experience too! The surrounding gardens n layout of the tents with pavement roads n pretty lights at night were truly beautiful. Staff picking us up with buggy was ONLY at the touch of a phone call n NEVER too much trouble. ALWAYS pleasant n willing to serve! The plunge bath n shower was out of this world! I've never seen or felt such an invigorating shower!. Was like a waterfall experience haha!! ABSOLUTELY LOVED it!! Each having our own personal wash basin n aircon temperatures was unique n super cool!! haha!! Golden tigers on the tent roof was also a unique beautiful touch! There's SOOO MUCH to appreciate n enjoy here, I can't say enough!
We will definitely recommend EVERYONE to visit ur resort!! Was TRULY an AWESOME EXPERIENCE we'll NEVER FORGET! we have RAVED about u to everyone we talk to as our HIGHLIGHT of our trip!! Wish we could've stayed MUCH LONGER!! When u have good specials going plzzz forward to us n we will share with our friends n family. We would LOVE to come again!!
We only spent one night here but is was such a memorable experience. Everything about the property is beautiful, the food is outstanding and the service is unsurpassed. I have never felt so pampered. It was cold for the early morning safari and they provided blankets and hot water bottles which was so nice. Highly recommend.
We have stayed in some amazing places around the world, but this one wins hands down for EVERYTHING! Two nights was not long enough - we came with our two adult daughter primarily to see tigers (and we did!), so were away from the resort for long periods. We had completely underestimated the need to just relax at this beautiful place and enjoy the best of service and comfort without dashing off into the jungle as well. It exceeded all expectation and delighted us at every turn. The Oberoi must have the best training programme in the world because the staff are faultless - efficient, courteous, skilled, knowledgable and charming. The food is outstanding the the luxury tents exude class and comfort. We would go back to India just to spend time here. If there's one place you should treat yourself, it's here!
World class service with the best of everything. An amazing location catered by the best staff in the world, with an amazing dining experience, you will forever compare everything else to this. Do take note to speak to the staff to find out about the local as well as international cuisine and try everything!