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28.2.14

Welcome to Paradise - The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa

I forgot to mention 'in Gulmarg'. You know I raved about this place in my previous blog post? And I know it sounds cliched but it's all TRUE.

So our friends suggested this hotel (they should have mentioned 'resort' before) in Gulmarg and I was a bit hesitant in the beginning about hotels in Kashmir, in general. Let alone being worried about the security issues, I was now worried about the supply of running hot water in this quaint little hotel, that I didn't know too much about.

The thing is when your expectations are really low, that's when your experiences are THE BEST! This is exactly what happened with me & hubs.

We were completely blown away by the beauty of The Khyber Resort. Words and pictures WILL NOT do justice to this property and hopefully when you do plan a trip to Gulmarg, you will know what I mean.

This exquisite property is a gem of a resort, with outstanding service, rich Kashmiri interiors and a staff too amicable to be true.

Whilst it is a luxury resort, it has this particular warmth about it that one can find ONLY at home and that's the most charming thing about the resort. The staff and surroundings make you feel absolutely at home, just with quality service at every step.

The resort has lovely rooms (with and without  balconies) rich silk textiles and walnut wood interiors, and the view from every room is spectacular, almost out of a fairy tale. Especially if it's snowing that day and yes, it is quite romantic!

The Khyber resort also offers specialty restaurants, a cigar and sheesha lounge, a mini theatre, children's club, heated swimming pool and a lovely luxurious health club and spa.

This 85 - room resort attracts many ski and trekking enthusiasts and is very close to the world's highest ski life - The Gulmarg Gondola.

The Khyber resort can surely help you with the airport pick up and drop off from Srinagar and you can hire a chauffeur driven car for sightseeing around Srinagar, then to the Gondola and around the little hillside town of Gulmarg.

Tips:

  • Travel to Gulmarg between December and March, it is gorgeous!
  • Take the breakfast and dinner inclusive package at The Khyber.
  • Stay in Gulmarg for a good 5 to 6 nights to experience the beauty.
  • Stay only at The Khyber Himalayan Resort (You will thank me).


https://www.facebook.com/KhyberHotels
www.khyberhotels.com










10.2.14

Travel to Gulmarg in Feb - Number one location for Ski Enthusiasts

One has to travel to Gulmarg in February because of it's beautiful snow covered roads and mountains and the scenic view of white tipped Himalayas as the backdrop. We witnessed snowfall and it was absolutely heavenly.

Gulmarg takes about 90 minutes to reach from the main city of Srinagar, with the breaks in between and an exchange point for cars at Tanmarg. And the road towards Gulmarg, from Tanmarg, is nothing less than a Desert Safari, especially when it's snowing. It's bumpy but whole lots of fun and the white tall trees look like something out of a fairy tale.

The best months to visit Gulmarg is from December to February to witness snowfall and during the months of March/ April, one can see a bit of snow around but hardly any snowfall.

There's lots to do in Gulmarg, from skiing, going crazy on the snow bikes and snow mobiles or walking at the peak of Phase 1. We couldn't do Phase 2 because of the heavy fog around and snowfall but were absolutely impressed by Phase 1 with small little cafes right on top serving food and drinks. Although all you can think of, in that cold, is Kahwah or a cup of steaming hot coffee! The only way to get to Phase 1 & 2 is through the Gondola and here is the website of the Gulmarg Gondola.

"One of the main attractions in Gulmarg is the Gulmarg Gondola, the Highest Cable Car in the world. The 1st phase of the Gondola takes tourists to the height of 8530 ft to Kongdori Station and the second stage of the Gondola goes up to the height of 12293 ft".


There are skiing classes and guides if you are a newcomer to the sport and don't worry, everyone's lovely and helpful to make sure your trip back down from Phase 1 is as memorable and safe as possible. (We came back down on the snow bikes, skidding on the ice!)



After the Gondola ride, 8530 ft high at the Kongdori Statio

The restaurant at Phase 1


Vegetarian & Gain Food (LOVE IT!)

At the beginning of the Gondola ride

Tanmarg

I said it was a bumpy ride, eh?



 Get the right gears - photos taken from The North Face

The Northface is the way to go when planning a trip to Kashmir from Dec to Feb.


For those concerned on safety issues, here is an article from The Guardian on how Kashmir is back on the tourist map for travelers and is surely a number one location for professional and amateur skiers

Next Post on where to stay in Gulmarg - my favorite bit!

5.2.14

Don't be hesitant of Kashmir

The less I write the better. That's right, the valley of Kashmir is not just a region of Jammu & Kashmir but it's a beautiful paradise, an uncut diamond and a hidden gem. 

It's beautifully situated somewhere in the Himalayas with clear blue skies, tall trees and snow covered mountains. It's got picture perfect nature, deep forests, gorgeous hilltops, colorful houses with walnut wood interiors, house boats and uber rich embroidery and handicrafts. Oh yes, and don't forget the wholesome dry fruits and rich brilliant shawls and Pashminas. [You guessed it, I went overboard with my shopping!]

Kashmiri food in rich in various spices and full of color with main dishes of mutton (red meat), chicken, spinach and lotus stem. The most popular drink is Kahwah, which is their aromatic herbal green tea preparation with ingredients of green tea leaves, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and crushed almonds. It is usually served with either sugar or honey.

The people are extremely warm, helpful and friendly. The political situation in Kashmir is what makes it a hesitant travel destination for many travelers but I will surely recommend everyone to visit it once, primarily Gulmarg, to see how its beauty takes over all the past disturbances.  

Yes, skip the city, look past the armed forces and visit Srinagar only in the day but surely stay a couple of days in Gulmarg - get adventurous with snowmobiles/ skiing and let the sheer nature and it's simple beauty completely engulf you.

I have finally found my much loved destination and more coming up on where to stay, THE Khyber Resort, things to do and best months to visit.