Theog, India

Photo: The Indian Hotels Company Limited

What’s your favorite place in India? Most people start with a city. Delhi. Udaipur. Varanasi. Others select monuments and temples. The Taj Mahal. The Golden Temple. While many concentrate on the water. Kerala. Goa. Not you. You always head straight for the mountains.

Those mountains are the Himalayas. The mighty range stretches across five countries—from Pakistan to Bhutan—in Asia and blankets India’s northern states. So your trips to Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh focus on snowcapped peaks, virgin forests, ice-carved valleys, and colonial hill stations. You’ve discovered quite a few beautiful, remote hotels along the way.

Now you can add Taj Theog Resort & Spa to the list. The new resort, which opened last winter, is 75 minutes from Shimla. You know this city well. It’s the capital of Himachal Pradesh, the former summer capital of the British Raj, and a stop along the breathtaking Hindustan-Tibet Road. Cultivated terraces and fruit orchards, gushing rivers, and snow-fed lakes lie to the east. That’s where you’ll find Theog, a picturesque town of five ghats (ridges). The resort sits on the edge of one of those ridges.

Photo: The Indian Hotels Company Limited

Taj Theog Resort & Spa feels like a luxurious home. A big, luxurious home. It sits on five peaceful acres. They’re covered with Himalayan cedars, about-to-bloom rhododendrons, and more than 100 apple trees. The resort has a 180-degree view of Churdhar, the highest peak in the outer Himalayas. Hiking trails lead to even more magnificent viewpoints.

While the surrounding mountains seem endless, the interior of the resort is warm and cozy. Slate floors and cedar furniture, made by local craftsmen, fill the building. The huge lobby, flooded with natural light during the day, is separated by floor-to-ceiling wooden design elements. Glass hallways lead to the guest rooms. Your junior suite features traditional rugs, a four-poster bed, and a freestanding bathtub. Your eyes immediately move beyond them, though. You spotted the large balcony, lined with wooden railings, on the other side of the tall French windows.

You seem to be obsessed with the view. It’s understandable. Plus it continues to get better throughout the rest of the resort. The two restaurants, Tragopan and Peony, have terrace seating. It’s so high, it appears that you’re looking down at the mountains. While the indoor pool lets you take in the view regardless of the weather. It’s the perfect spot in which to relax after having traditional Indian treatments (pada mardana or champi) at Jiva Spa. Let’s hope the millions of tourists who arrive in India each year never catch on to your serene part of the country.

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