Rain Check! Off-Season Hotel Deals

Nine monsoon packages worth travelling for.  
Coorg valley
Hang loose at Amanvana Spa Resort. Photo courtesy Amanvana Spa Resort

The relentless Indian monsoon can put a dampener on travel plans, but it also signals the start of off-season deals. Here’s our list of resorts that offer worthy rainy-day packages that are ideal for a quick getaway.

Amanvana Spa Resort, Coorg, Karnataka

Coorg is moody and breathtakingly beautiful in July. The coffee plantations are swathed in mist, rivers and waterfalls swell, and the call of cicadas resound. Soak in the stormy views from a room at the luxurious Amanvana Resort by the River Cauvery, or better still, while getting a massage at the resort’s well-equipped spa.

Post Box No. 21, Guddehosur, Kushalnagar, Coorg; 8276279353; www.amanvanaspa.com. Rates in high season 13,280-15,030. Monsoon deal: doubles ₹11,120-13,120, inclusive of all meals and taxes. Offer available from July 1 to September 30, 2016.

Divar Island Retreat Guest House, Goa

divar island

Make the most of the Goan monsoon romance at Divar Island Retreat Guest House. Photo courtesy Divar Island Retreat Guest House

Hop across the Mandovi River from Old Goa to Divar Island, where this charming bed-and-breakfast awaits. Explore the villages on the island and have beers by the pool, while you watch Goa erupt into a thousand shades of green. The stay is also a great base to soak in the fun-filled festival of Sao Joao, pegged to the Feast of St. John the Baptist on June 24. Among the rituals is one where men jump into wells to retrieve bottles of feni amid much cheer.

9823993155; www.divarretreatgoa.com. Rate during high season ₹3,500-10,000. Monsoon deal: doubles ₹2,750 plus taxes, inclusive of breakfast.

Shahpura Bagh, Bhilwara, Rajasthan

royal welcome

A royal welcome awaits at Shahpura Bagh. Photo courtesy RARE India

Treat yourself to a weekend of royal living at Shahpura Bagh. The 140-year-old garden estate is the former residence of the rulers of Shahpura, and once housed state guests like British regents. Its ten fully restored rooms blend Rajasthani and colonial aesthetics and offer views of the lakes and gardens around the boutique homestay. The best spot to soak in the rains however, is a 17th-century fort nearby.

9587004999; www.shahpurabagh.com/. Rate in high season 20,500-22,000. Monsoon deal: doubles 12,700-14,000 plus taxes, inclusive of breakfast.

Punjabiyat, Amritsar, Punjab

punjab dine

Watch the monsoon descend on fields of mustard at Punjabiyat. Photo courtesy Punjabiyat

The Punjabiyat Lodge, near Amritsar, has four well-appointed cottages set amidst mustard fields. Watch the rain rejuvenate the kheti from the comfort of your cottage’s patio, or cycle around the countryside for a bracing taste of the monsoon. Meals are a highlight at the farm stay, which uses much of their own produce.

9818705508; itmenaanlodges.com. Rate in high season ₹7,359. Monsoon deal: doubles 5,859 inclusive of breakfast and taxes. Offer available until September 15, 2016.

Citrus Hotel, Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra

hill station

A mosaic of green at Citrus Hotel. Photo courtesy Citrus Hotel

The Citrus Hotel occupies an old colonial-style villa set amidst a five-acre property. The gardens, like the rest of Mahableshwar, are at their emerald best at this time of year. The hotel has a swimming pool, spa and fitness centre to keep guests engaged, and there also a few nature trails nearby. Most visitors however, spend their break lazing in their balconies.

L.C. DSouza Road, Mahabaleshwar; 2168-260432; www.citrushotels.com/Mahabaleshwar.htm. Rate in high season for two nights between Sunday and Thursday 18,999-22,999. Monsoon deal: doubles 14,499-18,499 plus taxes, inclusive of breakfast. Offer available until September 30, 2016.

Tea Bungalow, Fort Kochi, Kerala

kochi fort

Laze over a steaming cuppa at Tea Bungalow. Photo: Challiyil Eswaramangalath Pavithran Vipin/ Flickr/ Creative Commons (bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

The monsoon might seem like an unlikely time to visit Kochi, considering its always raining. But it’s also when Kerala’s ocean and backwaters are most beautiful. Use the Tea Bungalow as a base to explore the city, free of the tourist crowds that otherwise fill the streets. When you’re done shopping at the Fort Kochi’s design stores, settle in with a good book and a pot of tea, or stroll over to the beach to watch the Chinese fishing net.

0484-3019200; www.teabungalow.in. Rate in high season ₹16,000-17,000. Monsoon deal: doubles ₹7,000-8,000, inclusive of breakfast and taxes. Offer available until September 30, 2016.

Taj Palace Properties

Luxuriate in the glorious view from Gol Bungalow at Taj Falakuma. Photo courtesy Taj Hotels

Luxuriate in the glorious view from Gol Bungalow at Taj Falakuma. Photo courtesy Taj Hotels

Embrace the rains like royalty at the Taj Hotels’ gorgeous, restored palaces in Udaipur, Jaipur and Hyderabad, complete with vintage car rides and heritage walks. The Taj Lake Palace on Lake Pichola in Udaipur amps its romantic setting against the Aravalli Mountains and the city’s palaces, with discounted spa treatments at the Taj spa. At the opulent Taj Falaknuma, you can soak in the rain-drenched cityscape over cocktails under the beautiful glass dome of Gol Bungalow, 2000ft above Hyderabad. The monsoon offer includes half a day of sightseeing, Wi-Fi, a historical walk through the palace, and airport transfers.

1800111825, www.tajhotels.com; Monsoon deal has doubles from ₹65,000 for two nights, with a complimentary third night on a room-only basis, complimentary breakfast, and one complimentary dinner. Offer available until September 30, 2016.

Red Earth Kabini, Nagarhole, Karnataka

kabini forest

Get back to Nature at Red Earth. Photo courtesy Red Earth

Visiting the Kabini reserve in the rains offers a new perspective on the protected forest area. It shifts the focus from big game to smaller creatures, like frogs, birds, and colourful insects that inhabit this biodiversity hotspot. Learn about these fascinating species from Red Earth’s naturalist. The resort, run by Ravi and Rachel, a plantation-filmmaker couple, is situated near the Kabini Dam and has homely hospitality, a swimming pool, and cycling tours.

Badane Kuppe, HD Kote; 8880404422; www.redearthkabini.in. Rate in high season ₹9,999 plus tax. Monsoon deal: doubles ₹9,000 plus taxes, inclusive of all meals.

Himalayan Eco Lodge, Kund, Uttarakhand

eco lodge

Wake up to the gush of River Mandakini and birdcall at Himalayan Eco Lodge. Photo: Supriya Sehgal

Every monsoon, the River Mandakini transforms from a narrow, white water body to a swollen, frothy force of nature tumbling down Kedar Valley. Wake up to its roar at the Himalayan Eco Lodge’s luxury campsite in Kund. The camp is close to trails including Deoriatal, Chopta and Tungnath, which remain safe even during the rains.

0135-2760080; www.himalayanecolodges.com/kund. Rate during high season ₹6,700. Monsoon deal: doubles ₹5,695. Prices include taxes, breakfast, dinner and a guided trek.

Updated in June 2016.

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    Supriya Sehgal keeps her travel spirit alive by sipping hot tea with strangers, swapping anecdotes from locals and peeping down from hot-air balloons.

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