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
We had a great stay - wonderful rooms (hard to believe they are tents!), staff were friendly and attentive and helped make our stay fantastic throughout, we were made to feel very special despite the hotel being busy with other guests too. the food was fabulous, lots of choice and fantastic flavours. The location was great for our trips to the National Park for wildlife viewing.
We selected Oberoi Vanya Vilas Resort on the basis of references and recommendations by Mr Sumeet Joshi of Grand Oberoi-Kolkata for our Dusshera festival holidays.
The Oberoi Vanyavilas is perfectly located for tiger spotting and a wonderful space to relax, unwind and enjoy their warm, personalised hospitality for an unforgettable holiday. This hotel is spectacular. The tent rooms are gorgeous and luxurious. The food is wonderful. The staff is truly amazing. “The services offered by staff of Oberoi Vanya Vilas are world class and they make sure that you are well comfortable as if it is “Home away from Home” for you.And team headed by Ms.Ratna Malhotra is an outstanding team. The professionalism that each member will cherish the memories and they will become an ambassador for mouth to mouth advertisement for the hotel.
Oberoi Vanya Vilas Resort offers luxuriously appointed premium accommodation with world class standard amenities in health club, Laundry, Club Lounge that you get addicted and feel like returning to the same place.
Mr Parveen-Foods & Beverages Department with Mr Saurav as Chief Chef with their team managed to satisfy each member with delicious food with iconic cuisine brands which showcase the best of Indian and international culinary traditions, distinguishable by their authentic flavours and quality ingredients.
At the end of our stay at Oberoi Vanya Vilas Resort while leaving the Hotel Ms Ratna Malhotra and her team managed to hand over food packets during our travel on road to Jaipur. They added Fragrance of hospitality and services offered by Oberoi Vanya Vilas to their elite customers which is memorable and ever- lasting even to those who just dropped into the hotel first time.
Things may be forgotten but experiences are remembered for lifetime.
Hotel stay: 10.10.19 & 13.10.19
We received a very warm welcome by Ms.Ratna herself (must say an apt name; ratna meaning gem; because she truly is a gem of a person) alongwith her team members Abhinav and Chahat. Our toddler was gifted a lovely tiger soft toy and his welcome watermelon juice was specially got at room temperature (thank you Abhinav ). Adding a traditional touch to the welcome was a pretty flower tiara which was placed on my head whilst lovely turbans were placed on both my husband and son's head which my son wore all evening too.
As my son was only 20 months old, we had requested for a tent as close as possible to the reception, and to our delight, Chahat escorted us to the very first one near the reception. Since it was my husband's birthday, the room was decorated beautifully with flowers and delicious chocolates were refilled throughout the day. Undoubtedly, the most luxurious tent we've stayed in - no doubt they've rightly earned many awards year after year.
In the evening, Neha whose been the horticulturalist for 6 years now, took us around for a very informative and beautiful nature walk around the property. One can't miss notice her motherly love as she spoke passionately about all the trees and plants which are like her babies. Also we were happy to learn that they took care of not cutting a single mango tree at the mango orchard whilst building this luxurious property around it. There was a surprise sapling plantation too for my husband. He being very fond of gardening was deeply touched with this birthday surprise gesture.
However, the best birthday surprise unfolded last when we reached the dining restaurant where the manager Praveenji had arranged for a lovely private table setting with diyas lighted and soft music playing. Special mention to Brijesh here who constantly made sure that we are comfortable. The Chefs Adit and Saurabh dished out delicious meals, most of which Brijesh suggested to us. At the end of the dinner, the entire staff walked in with the birthday cake and fooljhadi firecracker sticks in their hands !! Undoubtedly, one of the most special birthday celebration for my husband which our son enjoyed the most too. I would also like to mention here that the new baby chairs which Vanyavilas had are simply the best ones - very comfortable and there is no room for the child to come out on their own, hence very safe too. Our son looked forward to sitting on his baby chair for all his meals. Breakfast is wonderful too and Praveenji would make sure that all the guests who are late (returning from the morning safaris) have their breakfast leisurely without worrying about the clock. Here, special thanks to Jitesh who took very good care of us and got our son a wonderful coloring book and crayons to keep him joyfully occupied and help us have our meals leisurely. Also, Shoulin too who gifted him cute finger puppets and played around with him whilst we ate the delicious meals which the Chefs would personally guide us to order.
The weather being hot, afternoons were spent in the pool where Putizoungshi (Zou) promptly took care of us by providing sunscreen and coolers to sip on to beat the heat.
Kinley at the spa was an excellent therapist and the spa rooms were very good.
Sachin, the naturalist, gave a wonderful talk in the evenings and one should surely not miss it.
The entire housekeeping team were very innovative, especially with their floral decorative writings. They also left a bedtime story for our son and goodnight quotes and chocolates to ensure one sleeps in sweet dreams.
The entire front office staff who are ever smiling and helpful, with special mention to Abhinav and Parikshit, who also gave us a warm welcome as well as farewell, and would keep checking on us to ensure we're having a comfortable stay. Neha for the most touching farewell note and remembering the other baby in the family, my neice, who visited last year, for whom too she gave a cute momento gift - truly touched by her gesture.
We can definitely vouch that the hospitality of the staff at all the Oberoi vilas properties, is by far the best!!
Last but not the least, mornings at Vanyavilas are incomplete if you missed greeting Laxmi, the elephant. She's splendid!!