Perched on the edge of Rajasthan's prime tiger-spotting territory in Ranthambore National Park, Aman-i-Khás takes luxury camping to a new level, with 10 opulent, Mughal-inspired tents, butler service and the chance to spot a Bengal beast in the wild. Safari has never been so chic…
Noon, but flexible subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £1203.55 ($1,557), including tax at 29.79 per cent.
Rates include all meals and non-alcoholic drinks, plus laundry service. Room rates are subject to service charges and taxes that amount to approximately 35%.
The handsome leather chest at the end of your bed doubles as a minibar, which remains fully stocked with your tipple of choice for the duration of your stay.
Aman-i-Khás is closed from 1 June to 30 September each year.
At the hotel
Personal batman (butler), Spa Tent offering massages, scrubs, facials and traditional henna art, well-stocked Lounge Tent, central outdoor fire pit. In rooms: free WiFi, king-size bed, sitting and dining area, rain shower and separate soaking tub.
Our favourite rooms
With soaring six-metre-high canopies, elegant interiors, sunken marble bath tubs and custom-made teak furniture, these tents are seriously luxe. Creamy cotton curtains divide the enormous 'rooms' and a private entrance area where tea is served every morning. For added privacy, go for tent number one, which is set furthest away from the main camp.
The sparkling square pool echoes the region's traditional stepwells, ancient irrigation tanks with concentric steps on all sides. Take a dip and then flop onto a shaded sunlounger.
With safaris, walking tours and camel rides on the menu a suitably robust pair of shoes and trousers are a must but you'll want something a little more fashion-forward come sundowner time. Remember to add your camera to the kitbag and an extra memory card to hold all those safari snaps.
Entry and safari passes for Ranthambore National Park are an additional US$75 each, plus taxes.
Children are welcome and cots are available free of charge for infants. US$60 a night (plus taxes) will cover a bed and all meals for littles aged six to 12; for over-12s (including extra adults), US$125 (plus taxes) a night.
When the weather permits, an alfresco table overlooking the campfire, jungle and lake is our top tip.
Off-duty safari chic; channel a modern day Sarah Layton in The Jewel in the Crown. Bring a pashmina and warm clothing if you’re staying during winter.
Lit by flickering candles at night, the Dining Tent has one large communal table and several smaller settings, but dinner is just as often served outside beside the roaring fire. Traditional Rajasthani cuisine, inspired by the royal kitchens of the Mughal emperors, and continental dishes are available, and most meals are created using veggies and herbs grown in the camp's own organic garden.
Afternoon G&Ts and post-dinner whiskies are poured in the Dining Tent and served around the fireplace.
The kitchen is open 24 hours a day to cater to your every craving.
Available around the clock with breakfasts, lunch, dinners and sweet treats delivered directly to your tent.
Sawai Madhopur train station, 11 kilometres away, services regular trains from Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Jodhpur and Bangalore, or connect via Jaipur. Aman-i-Khás offers free transfers for the 25-minute drive from Sawai Madhopur to the resort.
India’s road network and traffic conditions have a deserved reputation as some of the most chaotic in the world so it’s best not to brave taking the wheel yourself. If you want to travel by road, seek out the services of TWX (+91 11 4379 9700; www.travelworldexperiences.com), who can sort out flights and drivers for jaunts throughout India.
Worth getting out of bed for
The open-top jeep safaris are the reason folk flock to Ranthambore. As well as being home to 50 or so tigers, there are crocodile-filled lakes, leopards, jungle cats, sloth bears, wild boar, sambar and spotted deer, and more than 300 species of birds among the dhok trees and bushy scrub.
Immerse yourself in local culture, history and legend with a heart-racing climb to the top of the 1000-year-old Ranthambore Fort, one of the oldest in India. This formidable fortress still houses the remains of barracks used by defending garrisons, and there's even a small armoury complete with swords, rifles and gunpowder.
Brush up on your flora and fauna with a guided walk through the low hills, or bring out your binoculars on a trip to Surwal Lake where indigenous and migratory birds fill the skies. Get ready to tick raptors, waders, kingfishers, parquets and more off your birding list.
Take a tour of the Old City and indulge in some out-of-the-ordinary retail therapy as exquisite 100-year-old silver and gold tribal jewellery is pulled from a tiny safe and displayed on the shop floor. Or stock up on the local khus (grass) perfume, packaged in a unique camel-hide bottle.
The streets of Sawai Madhopur aren't known for their gourmet restaurants or late-night watering holes, so most of your eating and drinking will take place within the luxury confines of the hotel. If you're really craving a change of scene, then the Dining Room at the Oberoi Vanyavilas (+91 (0)7462 22 3999) offers Western, Thai and Indian cuisine in an airy dining room lined with hand-painted frescoes.
Mr and Mrs Smith have just returned from a stay at this luxury tented camp and as soon as they've unpacked their safari gear and downloaded their wildlife snaps, a full account of their tiger-tracking trip will be with you. In the meantime, just to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Aman-i-Khás in Ranthambore National Park...
Aman-i-Khás casts its spell long before you've set foot in the hotel, thanks to the personal batman (valet) who escorts you from your departure point to the luxury tented camp, attending to your every whim along the way (cue upgrades to first-class on the train!).
The property itself is equally indulgent. Inspired by those used by the Mughals during hunting parties, the 10 luxury tents have been transported into the modern era with double-height ceilings, king-size beds and sunken marble bath tubs.
White cotton curtains divide the sleeping, living and dressing areas, and central to the tent is an enormous day-bed, sprawled underneath a six-metre-high canopy, that's made for languid lounging. Ranthambore may be one of the best places in India to spot tigers but truthfully, you might find it hard to leave this regal abode.
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