Take a look why the boutique luxury hotel, Te Aroha in the quaint little town of Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand is an ideal summer escape that’s worth exploring. By Vibha Kumar
Te aroha translates into “place of love” in the Maori language, and it is such an apt name. Brainchild of a man who wears many hats—lawyer by profession, writer, poet, traveller and photographer by passion, Sumant Batra took on something very few attempt. To create a dreamy escape, high on standards and luxury, in the middle of nowhere. As a young traveller, Batra trekked a lot and when he encountered Dhanachuli, his heart was stolen. Years later he made a summer home here, and now, he has transformed it into Te Aroha.
The boutique property is a perfect mélange of traditional architecture and modern comforts. The lobby (previously the living room) is huge, with a piano, antique furniture and a fireplace. Outside, a large terrace gives you the chance to soak in the sun with breathtaking views of the landscape. “The entire property has been done without the help of any architect, designer or industry expert,” says Batra. Impressive indeed, and the tasteful interiors lend the whole space, including the rooms, a very elegant feel. The massive glass windows in the rooms were a great idea, what with the stunning peaks and the expansive skyline in your face.
As for the food, one can look forward to a fine selection of Indian, continental and Kumaoni cuisine, which is the winner. The vegetables and poultry are fresh and sourced right from the farms in Dhanachuli itself. But the most interesting feature at Te Aroha is Café Flashback. I felt like I’d entered a period Bollywood movie set! Batra’s amazing collection of antiques adorns the space—old gramophones, tin canisters, vintage scooter, books, assorted matchboxes, old telephones and lanterns. Along with unusual Bollywood posters that include old Doordarshan TV ads. The inviting Café Flashback is a great place to just sit, have coffee, and relax while reminiscing. For a completely immersive vacation, indulge in the pampering treatments at their brand new Bespoke Spa.