Or combine it with the one-of-a-kind Shakti Kumaon Village Walk experience: a Himalayan hiking trail, which links remote villages and rugged beauty, with rest and relaxation at this luxury base. Whichever path you choose, the dedicated staff can plan cooking classes or sun salutations, where those in search of serenity can meditate far from life’s distractions.
Shakti 360° Leti, has a truly magical setting roosting at 7,200 feet in the Indian Himalayas, a landscape barely altered over thousands of years. But achieving this kind of isolation takes effort. Views are sublime: peaks and valleys, cliffs, and rock face, licked by sunlight and mist, with vertiginous villages squeezed into the crevices. The nearest international airport is Delhi, where most guests stop overnight before embarking on a 5.5-hour train journey to Kathgodam station, at the base of the Himalayan foothills.
From here, it's another eight hours or so by car, through an incredibly beautiful wilderness on stomach-churning mountain roads. You can choose to break up the journey with a stay in one of Shakti's converted village houses along the way, which highly recommend.
Here, the Himalayas are your playground; spend mornings watching the sun rise over frosted peaks, let expert guides lead you on hikes through ancient rhododendron forests to tiny villages, take cooking classes after foraging in the gardens for ingredients, chat with the charming local staff. In the evening, wrap up in a blanket and lie by the fire pit staring into the twinkling night sky for shooting stars. Otherwise, there aren't any facilities to speak of - there isn't even phone signal here, never mind Wi-Fi (although emergency calls can be made). It's heaven!
The solitary main lodge provides a warm meeting place, with its glass-walled living room, crackling fireplace, candle-lit dining room, aperitifs, and after-dinner board games.
Four dry-stone lodges are discreetly folded into the lawn-covered summit, each with spectacular views: either overlooking the villages of Leti and Gola, the Hiramani glacier or the Ramgangan River. Inside, teak wood, slate floors and walls of glass are combined with sheepskin rugs, thick woollen blankets, wood-burning stoves, and copper lamps giving the spaces a particularly cosy feel.
Temperatures drop sharply during the night though and unless you're stoking the fire every few hours the rooms will get chilly - pack warm socks and fleecy pyjamas.
Mealtimes are exceptional, with the Tibetan chef whipping up a wonderful array of dishes made mostly from local ingredients. For breakfast there might be bowls of papaya, pomegranate seeds, fresh yogurt, eggs any way or paneer paratha, while lunch and dinner might include the likes of cauliflower and ginger soup, mutton curry with saffron-mint rice, chili chicken, just-baked Indian breads and salads picked straight from the mountainside, all beautifully presented and washed down with an excellent selection of European and New World wines.
Over-12s are welcome. Extra beds can be added to rooms, if necessary. Those who book the property exclusively can bring children aged three and over.
Shakti’s lodgings are exceptionally green: most run on solar power, wastewater is reused, and the chef whips up organic, fair-trade food, including herbs and vegetables grown locally.
For further information, please do feel free to contact Nicola directly or at The Explorations Company for further inspiration and unforgettable safaris and holidays to Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
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