|Situated in the heart of the game reserve is the Aranya Nivas which means jungle retreat. No where else in India will you find a three-star resort like this one, right in the middle of a forest.
Construction and ambience
The stone lodge with its typical colonial style architecture is situated at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. The quaint granite structure of the lodge is alluring and it is a favourite haunt of Nature and wildlife lovers.
There are 30 rooms spread over two floors and the French windows of each room open to the wild and thick greenery around. The calm and serene atmosphere here is interrupted only by the calls of birds in the wild. Through the windows, one can often spot animals moving in the forest.
As dusk falls, you will be treated to a nocturnal wildlife orchestra. An early morning walk from the hotel to the nearby forest will help you enjoy the sounds of the awakening jungle like the first hootings of the Nilgiri Langurs, the calls of the jungle fowls and the like. The hotel authorities take every measure required to ensure the safety of their guest. Guests are not permitted to wander outside the building after 6 pm.
Aranya Nivas is located at the head of the lake, just above the boat jetty. It is believed that when the king of Travancore constructed his summer retreat, Lake Palace, for himself and his family, he built the Aranya Nivas for his officials. However, it was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, who named it when he opened it up for tourism in 1963. The retreat is now the property of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
The sylvan abode provides modern facilities like a swimming pool, a library with a good collection of books on environment, a beer parlour, a recreation room, an Ayurvedic spa and so on. The multi-cuisine restaurant here serves Keralite, North Indian and Continental delicacies. Apart from these facilities, there is also a handicraft emporium at the retreat.
Visits to plantations of tea, spices and other crops, treks through dense woods, boat cruises, elephant rides and other Nature-based activities are arranged by the hotel staff on request.