A stay at the Sattal Forest Resort is the perfect weekend break we city people crave for. For an all season holiday escape close to Delhi, what exactly do we or more specifically, I look for :
1) A hill station cool enough and free from heat and humidity of the plains
2) Full of greenery and free of concrete to soothe our eyes
3) Free from pollution, noise and hustle-bustle of city life preferably offbeat location
4) Presence of a water body – a lake or river is a bonus
5) Adventure activities and beautiful long walks to unwind oneself
6) A hotel or resort which should be clean, hygenic and have good location and service
7) Most importantly, it should be within driving distance of Delhi (6-7 hours) so as to enjoy a 2N/3D weekend.
The last point being a strong constraint for a 2N/3D holiday, I began hunting for a place. Having been to Binsar (Khali Estate) earlier, I didn’t have very high expectation of any place to be that good enough closer to Delhi. I happened to see an ad in Outlook Traveller’s last pages of Sattal Forest Resort. I remember going to Sattal twice earlier for a few hours as an excursion from Nainital. All i could remember was that it was very green but it’s altitude was not much – only about 1200-1300 metres above sea level. So the air was not expected to be as crisp as in Nainital or Mukteshwar. Reluctantly I called up for booking towards end of May. Mrs Usha Upender, the owner old me very confidently that we would have the best location and would certainly enjoy. And right she was! This trip happened to be one of the best short trips I have ever taken…..it exceeded our expectations from every aspect.
LOCATION/ HOW TO REACH : Sattal is conveniently located at a distance of about 320 kms from Delhi. The driving time is 6 hours non-stop.Add 40-45 mins for a tea break or 1 our for a breakfast or lunch break. The road through Hapur, Garh, Gajraula, Moradabad, Rudrapur, Haldwani and Bhimtal is quite good. Gajraula is the most preferred stop for breakfast. After Kathgodam, turn right towards Bhimtal. Sattal lies between Bhimtal and Bhowali. Alternatively one can board an overnight train to Kathgodam and from there its about an hours drive for which you can hire a cab.
ABOUT THE RESORT : The cottage has 10 rooms currently with one more cottage under construction. There is a 3 bedroom cottage – Taruvar in which there is 1 Bedroom, 1 Drawing room and 1 Kitchen on the ground floor and 2 bedrooms on the 1st floor. One of these bedrooms have an attached room for kids too. All the bedrooms have a verandah from where there are very nice views of the lakes below. The cottage also has a small garden. The drawing room has a TV & DVD player. There is another 2 bedroom cottage – Pine cottage. Then there are 4 independent rooms above the common dining area. The rooms are very well maintained and tastefully decorated.
The common room is next to the dining room and has a pool table, luxurious sofa, carrom, a library with coffee table books (very nice collection i must say) and a DVD library also. The resort also has a garden of decent proportions and on the side is the Table Tennis room. A gym was also about to come up. Badminton rackets are available on request but it is advisable to carry shuttles.
Another good thing about the resort was the quality of food served. Excellent, without excess oil, just like homemade. The menu was not very exhaustive as it is a small resort or i should say more like home but the choices were good. The staff was also very courteous and helpful.
THINGS TO DO : The place is an idyllic retreat and is best to lie down, relax and watch the lush green surroundings. The views and the ambience are so good that you would not like to move out of the resort. And if you do, there are plenty of things to do. You can take leisurely or strenuous walks around the lakes as you like. A boat ride is just a stone’s throw away. You can enjoy the snacks and delicious corn by the lakeside dhabas.
If you happen to visit in summers, you can also do activities like kayaking, river crossing, rappelling, burma bridge which are carried on by independent operators like Wildrift etc. While kayaking, you can also take a dip in the Hanuman tal. Paragliding is also being done in Naukuchiatal which is just 20-25 mins drive from the resort. Otherwise you can spend hours reading the coffee table books lying in a hammock or a rocking chair (I request Usha Ji to arrange for these)
BOTTOMLINE : It may seem that i am pouring heaps of praise for the place and the resort but I am confident that one would not be disappointed after visiting the place or the resort. Country Club also has a resort there at Sattal but Sattal Forest Resort beats it hands down owing to its wonderful location. My heart says not to recommend this place too much and let it be hidden from most people for as long as possible but I just can’t wait to share my experience. Go ahead and enjoy.
Website : www.sattalforestresort.com
Contact : Ms. Usha Upender
Cell : 9810107116; 9868187116
Tariff : INR 4,400 per day per couple including all meals