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
What is not to love about a 5 start tent hotel with marble floors and all the refinement of 4 Seasons or Ritz Carlton, but this one is in the middle of India near the Bangle Tiger reserve. There is nothing that is second rate about this property. Regardless of where you've stayed before, this will be your new favorite hotel.
What an experience, this hotel is amazing as are the staff who cannot do enough for you. Accommodation is outstanding, and the food was excellent, knowing we had a long journey they provided a delicious picnic FOC.
Such a tranquil feel after the traffic and noise on the roads.
Lovely to return from safari and be greeted by the elephant.
Only downside was we didn’t stay long enough!
We spent two nights in this hotel. The accommodation may be tented, but do not think camping. We were there during a storm and the roof gently swayed in the wind and we could hear the rain on the roof - and promptly fell asleep.
The food was outstanding along with the service in the restaurant.
This hotel may not be the cheapest we have stayed in, but it has to be one of the best
We stayed 2 nights at this location during our recent trip to India. The accommodation in the tents is luxurious. The tents are large and beautifully furnished and are set in a large individual private yard where you can relax in peace and quiet and get away from the constant noise that is so much a part of India. The grounds are gorgeous. What really sets this place apart however is the exceptional service of every member of its staff-front desk, restaurant, housekeeping and grounds maintenance. Everyone was friendly and service was always prompt. Things like extra outlets by the bed side, frequent "refresh" of the room and nightly turn down service, daily fruit and nightly treats are all little extra touches that you may not notice or which you take for granted but they all add up to an exceptional stay. Breakfast and dinners were superb and the food was very good. The ambiance of the restaurant was great, particularly if you were outdoors for evening dinner by the fire. We simply can't say enough wonderful things about this resort. It may be a bit pricey, but well worth the extra cost..
During our stay in India we have stayed in many Hotels that are 10/10 but this one cannot be compared in that way it is clearly better than 10/10. As an experience it is a must the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts. The attention to detail is exceptional and personal. They know your schedule and have prepared everything before you ask. The service is totally genuine and discreet from everyone. Their priority is your happy memories and they go out of their way to deliver just that. It’s magical and will make your holiday a forever experience!