There are ‘ecotels’ and ’boutique’ hotels, but ever heard of the ‘activotel’? For those seeking an active, adventurous vacation – and not wanting to wake up late or sip a cocktail with lunch – this is it. “We are not looking at those who want to just chill out. We are looking at families who want to share an outdoor adventure together. Thus, parents can happily go kayaking, secure in the knowledge that their kids are being put through a range of activities under expert supervision,” said Sachin Bhatia, co-promoter of Latitude 30*N Ganga, located just above this pilgrim town. “I’ve always been an outdoor type and wanted to explore the options of marrying a business venture with something that is my passion,” Bhatia, who was co-promoter of travel portal MakeMyTrip.com before he decided to move on, said. “We aim to introduce city folk to the outdoors; to combine adventure with comfort. There are, no doubt, quite a few companies that offer river rafting in Rishikesh but then, many people would rather not stay in tents. We want our guests to experience the great Indian outdoors within the comfort of a resort-like setting,” he explained. To this end, the resort, which is spread over a five-acre plot, offers an array of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts of all ages. These range from rafting, wall climbing, mountain biking, hiking, astronomy, yoga, kayaking and a world-class high-ropes course, or even camping out for a night within the property. “The activities are conducted by certified ‘active officers’ with a separate outdoor schedule for kids while using world-class equipment,” said Bhatia, who has co-promoted the resort with his wife Sharmila and Vaibhav Kalra of Active Vacations and Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, a pioneer in India’s adventure and outdoor space. Surrounded by reserved forest and with over 200 trees spread over the location, the resort also boasts of an al fresco swimming pool overlooking the Ganges valley and indoor play area for children with a collection of board games and books. But then, it’s not just families that the resort is targeting. “We are also eyeing individuals, couples, corporates and even groups of schoolchildren. In fact, we are fully booked by a corporate group on March 3,” Bhatia said. “Our ideal mix would be corporates on weekdays and families on weekends but it all depends on our guests,” he added. The resort has 22 well-appointed air-conditioned cottages with a breathtaking view of the Ganges valley and the mighty Himalayas. All cottages offer ample room for privacy with a personal deck and are equipped with state-of-the-art amenities. The resort offers Indian and Continental cuisine at its 60-seater White Water Cafe, with options of both indoor and outdoor dining. Conferencing facilities are also available. “Great care has been taken in drawing up the menu. For instance, the lunch is kept deliberately light, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to participate in the afternoon activities,” Bhatia said. A two-night/three-day stay for two adults and two children aged between six and 12 costs Rs.35,000. This includes three meals, a snack and soft drink in the evening and five activities spread over two-and-a-half days. Tailormade packages are also available at Rs.6,500 per person per day. Rates for children vary according to their age.
Where: 30 km from Rishikesh, 285 km from New Delhi. How to reach: By bus/car from New Delhi; by train to Haridwar and another 60 km by bus/car. Cost: Rs.6,500 per person, per night. Children: under 6 – free, 6-12 – Rs.2,500 per night, 12-16 – Rs.3,500 per night.