Sometimes a hotel is just a place to sleep. Other times, it's a destination. Wishing to escape the frenetic pace of life with a short getaway, I had chosen the perfect resort where all I had to do… is nothing. Anupama Mangar by fashion designer Anupama Dayal — situated in Mangar village, Faridabad pampers guests with stylish accommodation and the most hospitable management. Its location off the beaten track, amid dense foliage of the Mangar forest, makes it ideal for both tourists and Delhi NCR dwellers who wish to embrace Slow Living and soak in the sheer beauty of lush greenery, indulge in sumptuous cuisine and unwind with long walks, books or bond with friends and family. Yet, you are not disconnected unless you wish to be. After all, the resort has Internet connectivity!
Coming to my visit to check out what promises to be the most sought-after resort, I drove to Mangar nestled in Aravali Hills, Faridabad. The region exudes an off-the-beaten-path feel of a place that time is in the process of forgetting. Large swaths of the forested region has paths where you can walk on seemingly endless trails under a dense canopy of ancient trees — legend has it that centuries ago, hermit Gudariya Baba impressed on villagers that they must preserve the forest which they have continued to do so. In both ruggedness and splendor, it compares favourably to the world's most beautiful, remote wilderness regions. I was in awe of the drive through dirt roads until whoa… I came across a narrow path as per the directions, drove through the imposing gate, parked the car and walked up to a stunning white resort with its walls hand painted with designer and proud resort proprietor Anupama Dayal's signature floral motifs!
Eager to explore while waiting for Anupama to arrive from a fashion shoot, what impressed me was the large themed rooms [the interiors of each room is inspired by Anupama Dayal's collections; loved 'Ishq-e-Dilli' and Naga-themed 'Fight And Feast'], the huge windows overlooking natural topography, the rugged walls with beautifully framed photographs of Anupama's iconic Fashion milestones and the rugged bed with crisp sheets and soft pillows. The first thought that came to mind was when someone puts her heart and soul into the creation of a property, it's bound to be spectacular. Each nook and corner has a personal touch — the book-holder, the lounge chaise in the garden, the swing, the terrace under a starlit sky.
What really impressed me was the well-thought activities tailored for guests. There is no place for blaring music or televisions here; it's the perfect place to disconnect. As Anupama, her friends and I walked deep into the forest — I was in awe of the ancient tree in which nestled a temple, the sheer variety of exotic birds, the grazing animals and the villagers waving to us as they walked by. Nature was not a thing that grew at the edge of civilisation but a world unto itself in which we were guests. An hour later, we were ravenous for lunch — rice, roti, dal, vegetables and gaajar ka halwa made with ingredients sourced locally and laid out on a beautifully plated table. The day passed by too fast with much conversation and camaraderie… until it was time to check out of Paradise! I could not resist photobombing the resort before leaving, which brings me to the last thoughts of my visit — the warm hospitality, the knowledgeable staff, the chic interiors and exteriors in signature Anupamaa style and the sheer beauty of the region will ensure guests will not want to leave Anupama Mangar—and will return time and again! I know I will be back soon armed with books and running shoes as my experience was delightful, to put it mildly. [24.1.2017]
— JASMEEN DUGAL