Shakti Village Walks: the undiscovered Himalayas

Take the high road
6 HOTEL STAYS
15 DAYS, 14 NIGHTS

from

£4,950 (US$6,700)

per person, including transfers

(based on two people sharing)

here for you 24/7

Call Smith24 on 1 800 464 2040
or
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Highlights

  • Stay in the most fascinating and fabulous Mr & Mrs Smith luxury and boutique hotels
  • Have a whistlestop intro to Delhi
  • Trek along undiscovered routes in Uttarakhand’s pristine natural surrounds
  • Watch your private chef to whip up authentic mountain cuisine
  • Get to know the locals
  • Treat yourself to yoga and spa spoiling in India's sultry south

Destinations

Up

This unique trip takes the lesser-trodden path – up, up and away into North India and the Himalayas, where you'll meet mountain-dwellers, village-hop and stay on top of the world in lodges with peak views. Explore the upper echelons of India's mightiest mountain range on this fully-customisable trip. Talk to the Smith24 Team to tailor it to your tastes.
Soon after landing in Delhi, a personal driver will meet you at the airport and whisk you to glamorous New Delhi in a luxurious air-conditioned minivan.

1 Hour

Days 1–2: Delhi

New Delhi is the calm counterpart to the city's thrillingly chaotic historic quarter. Home to the Lodhi Gardens and surrounded by Lutyens' domed and dapperly dressed parliament buildings, it's Delhi's camera-baiting side too.

Hotel

The Lodhi

Style

Modern Mughal

Setting

Serene South Delhi

Room

Lodhi Room

The Lodhi's sleek stone façade looks like a modern marquetry box, with decorative screens and intricate sculpting; indoors it's equally elegant in cream-hued minimal fashion.

Smith Extra

A jet lag or foot massage each for two guests on arrival

Day 1

Arrive in Delhi with time to settle into your hotel and snooze off any jet lag. For a lo-fi adventure take a stroll through manicured Lodhi Gardens.

Day 2

Quantum leap from past to present on a just-for-two tour of Old and New Delhi.

Private city tour of Delhi

A private guide will show you the thronged backstreets and bazaars in the Old Town, passing the Red Fort, Jama Masjid mosque and historic market Chandni Chowk. New Delhi is as cool as a Hindu cow by comparison. You’ll see the President of India’s extremely des-res, the Rashtrapati Bhawan; India Gate; the 13th-century Qutab Minar; and Humayun’s Tomb, which inspired the larger, more-lavish Taj Mahal. Top off your tour with a trip to Sikh Temple Gurdwara, where you can get hands-on in the community kitchen and see India’s community spirit in action.
title
Your trip ascends to new heights as you fly to Pantnagar in India's far north. After touchdown, you'll be chauffeured in comfortable fashion to Chitai village in the Himalayan foothills.

5 Hours

Days 3-8: Shakti Village Walks

Shakti Village walks takes you high into the Himalayas, exposing you to high-altitude villages and those who make their life amid these towering mountains. You'll stay at various Shakti lodges during your tour, making the shorter journeys on foot, and being driven when the distance between them is a little lengthier.

Style

Elevated experience

Setting

Peaks of interest

Room

Village House

Shakti Kumaon Village Walk isn't a Smith hotel in the traditional sense; its a series of homey rustic lodgings set in the small villages of the Himalayan foothills. Each is cosy and charming, with original wooden beams, painted shutters and splashes of bright colour. They're simple, but home comforts are all present and correct.

Smith Extra

A book on the Himalayas

Day 3

Strap on your hiking boots and bust out the trail mix: from Chitai village (after a stop at its bell-laden temple, Golu Devata), you’ll trek for two hours to the village of Deora for a one-night stay. In the evening, a private chef will serve drinks and prepare a locally influenced meal.

Day 4

You'll village-hop through the Himalayas, starting with a 30-minute walk to Chirala. Pass through the virgin pine forest of the Shivalaya valley, then dip your trek-worn toes in Alai's natural rock pools. Then onwards past Palyu's terraced fields to Ka-Chula pool. From here, either hop in a car to be driven to Dhaulchina or take the high road on a 90-minute hike. Jwalabanj, where you'll stay overnight, is a 90-minute walk away through a colourful rhododendron forest.

Day 5

Your car will drop you off for an hour-long trek along a mountain path to your lodge, an arrival that offers quite a reveal. Little is planned for the rest of the day, so swathe yourself in a blanket and gaze wistfully out at the range, or learn how to make biryani or momos (North Indian dumplings) with the private chef – just ask our Smith24 team and they’ll arrange the latter.
From Jwalabanj, your driver will take you straight to your next retreat's doorstep (a seven-hour journey, so bring your iThings and a stack of books).

7 Hours

A little extra

While the mountainous scenes en route to your second Shakti stay are quite majestic, after a few hours you might want to stretch your legs. Fidgety guests have the option to stop in Leti to trek along a mountain trail and get an eyeful of India's lofty bits.

Style

View from the top

Setting

High in the Himalayas

Room

Shakti 360° Leti

Shakti 360° Leti will make you feel – quite literally – on top of the world. Perched 8,000 feet high in the Himalayas, this modern, rustic retreat (crafted using age-old local techniques) has just four suites, each with walls of windows overlooking a panorama of peaks.

Smith Extra

A book about the Himalayas

Day 6

Choose between gentle or strenuous hikes (or playing board games in the lodge), accompanied by a private guide. Today you can take a four-and-a-half-hour walk to charming Capri Village and down into the beautiful Ramganga river valley. Stop for a gourmet picnic lunch, to ogle the Great Himalaya Range and to chat to locals along the way.

Day 7

Today, guests can choose to walk to Gogina Village (around three hours by foot); with flat stretches and eyecatching scenery, it's a terrific trek. Guests can camp out at Lodhura Top for one night, and those as sure-footed as a sherpa can tackle the challenging pagdandi route for a view of India's highest mountain, the Nandi Devi, which soars to above 25,000 feet. Board games, books and private viewing platforms offer more sedate pastimes back at the lodge.
From Shakti 360 Leti, a driver will take you to Kana village (around a six-hour drive). Those who camped at Lodhura will trek to Rithkhola, where a car will be waiting.

6 Hours

A little extra…

Before checking into your new mountain home, you'll stop in Almora Town, to visit the Panchachuli Weavers Factory, home of the inspiring all-female cooperative, for a guided tour.

Style

Elevated experience

Setting

Peaks of interest

Room

Village House

Tonight you’ll stay in another of Shakti Kumaon Village Walk's cosy, rustic lodgings.

Smith Extra

A book on the Himalayas

Day 8

After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll travel six hours to the village of Kana; if you leave in the morning, you’ll have time for a hike at your destination, or you can simply kick back and take in the beautiful landscape once you arrive.
Today your driver will take you to Pantnagar Airport for your internal flight to Delhi. The drive's four-and-a-half hours, so you'll get plenty of mountain-eyeing in before you get back down to earth.

6 Hours

Day 9: Overnight in Delhi

You'll rest and recoup in the Lodhi for one night before heading to India's south coast.

Hotel

The Lodhi

Style

Modern Mughal

Setting

Serene South Delhi

Room

Lodhi Deluxe Room

You’ll return to the Lodhi for an overnight stay on the way to Kerala.

Smith Extra

A jet lag or foot massage each for two guests on arrival

Day 9

After you arrive at your luxury stay in Delhi, you’ll have the rest of the day at your leisure, to recuperate from your travels, or explore the city at your own pace.
Today you'll board a two-part flight to Mangalore from Delhi (with a stop-off in Bangalore, just to be confusing), around a four-and-a-half-hour journey, followed by a three-hour chauffeured drive to the south-west coast.

7.5 Hours

Days 10-15: Kerala

Covering a large swathe of India's Malabar Coast, Kerala is famous for its exotic landscape made up of a hundred shades of green. Visitors come here to ride boats up its tree-flanked inlets, hike past tea plantations carved into the sides of mountains, and lounge on its palm-fringed beaches. Little wonder, then, that it's earned the nickname 'God's Own Country'.

Style

Chakra-soothing sanctum

Setting

Between the Ghats and the deep blue sea

Room

Private Pool Cottage

Shoreside wellness retreat Neeleshwar Hermitage is cosied up to India’s south-west coast, the launching off point for exploring the Backwaters. This stay is designed according to Kerala Vastu principles, which roughly translates to sunrise-facing villas, elegant wooden interiors and a built-in sense of peace.

Smith Extra

A bottle of wine in your room on arrival and a 30-minute boat ride on the backwaters

Days 10–14

Spend the next four days, detoxing, de-stressing, getting your Circadian rhythms in sync and pumping up your prana. Or, hit the beach – we're not the boss of you… The hotel's Ayurveda Spa has a restorative range of holistic therapies. There's a free yoga class each morning from 8am to 8.45am, but you can book into a more intensive programme. Three kinds of meditation are practised here: Ashtanga, Pranic Energy and Transcendental; all will leave you feeling clear-headed and more chilled-out.

Day 15

After one last leisurely breakfast on India’s south coast, you’ll be drive to the airport for your flight home (or on to your next adventure).
Today you’ll be picked up by your private driver and transferred to Mangalore airport for your flight back to Mumbai. Then it’s back home or on to your next destination.

3.5 Hours

When to go

Shakti's cool and cosy lodges open from November to March, when warm spells thaw out icy mountain passes and greenery carpets the foothills. Spring is the most comfortable season for lengthy treks, with sun and little snowfall, but temperatures cool the higher you climb.

Getting there

Delhi's international hub, Indira Gandhi Airport, is easily reached from all corners of the globe; flights can easily be booked through the Smith24 team. From London, you can fly direct (around an eight-hour trip). Travel inland is on foot along mountain passes (which can be quite steep in parts) and in an air-conditioned, chauffeured minivan. International flights and the three connecting flights included in the itinerary (from Pantnagar to Delhi, then Delhi to Mangalore) are not included in the package rates.

Packing tips

Bring your most serious 'climb every mountain' boots, warm outer layers for high-altitude treks, and interchangeable fleeces, waterproofs and woollens.

MORE THAN A TRAVEL AGENT

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FAQs

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    A hotel or experience has to be genuinely special to make it into a Mr & Mrs Smith itinerary. The Smith team has to have ensured that any inclusions meet our high standards before they'd consider adding them to our exclusive packages.

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    Please refer to our terms and conditions page for our full cancellation policy.

  • What if I want to add on a few extra nights or arrange a special meal? Can I add on a waterskiing lesson? I've always fancied that… And can we stay in the honeymoon suite instead?

    We may have to get back to you about the waterskiing, but no problem; we can create a bespoke itinerary for you, and our travel specialists can recommend some of the area's more unique activities.

Terms and conditions

What's included
The package includes all accommodation in Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotels; and all applicable taxes.
What's not included
International flights and car hire, visa fees, airport taxes or insurance. Any items which are not mentioned as included in the itinerary. Any increase in government taxes. For the Timeless Tuscany package, car hire is included, but guests will be responsible for drop-off fees if delivered to a different end point than Florence Airport, refuelling charges, delivery and collection, extra insurance, additional driver costs, admin fees, tax and parking.
General conditions
The price for this itinerary applies for each guest. All prices are in GBP and are subject to change, depending on what time of the year you travel. All prices are subject to any revisions to taxes or tariffs.

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Price information

Best-price guarantee

Found your stay for less elsewhere? We'll match the price and give you a £50 voucher.

Free Smith Extras on arrival

From a bottle of champagne, to a spa treatment or a cookery class, you’ll get a little extra thank you with every booking

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Personal service from Smith24, our in-house travel specialists, 1 800 464 2040

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