Need to know
Four tented suites.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $329.99 (INR21,186), excluding tax at 18 per cent.
Stays here are all inclusive, so transfers, activities, food, drinks and excursions are usually covered. (Alcohol costs extra.) Breakfast is a hearty buffet spread, plus cooked options – the perfect pre-safari fodder.
Look out for the ancient chattris (memorials) that dot the woodlands around the camp.
Between 1 May and 30 September.
At the hotel
A 60-acre sprawl of protected wilderness (see if you can spot the onsite mediaeval temple). In rooms: iPod dock; desk; board games; oil heater in the tent and bathroom; minibar; Forest Essentials bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The tents are identical – and there’s no duff option here: each of the sleeping quarters is decorated with sand-coloured matting, ruby-red fabrics and furnishings, soft rugs and polished campaign furniture (designed to be packed up and carried on a march, if necessary – definitely not, in this case). The tents have power showers and electricity; you’ll also get your own shaded porch, equipped with a pair of comfy deckchairs.
No spa onsite, but the Tree of Life Resort & Spa is just 10 minutes away by car (www.treeofliferesorts.com). Try a turmeric and salt body scrub, a wild honey and vanilla wrap, or a facial featuring yoghurt and your choice of extras, tailored to your skin type.
Keen twitchers, your luck’s in: Dera Amer equips each tent with a pair of binoculars and a handy book on birds – extra points if you spot a white-naped tit or dusky eagle owl.
Take part in Pilates, yoga and fitness sessions in the grounds (INR1,000 a person, each class).
Little Smiths are extremely welcome – they can stay for free, if they’re aged seven or under. Bear in mind you’ll have to lug prams and other kit across a valley, as it’s a 15-minute walk from where you’ll be dropped off by car on arrival.
Lots of staff onsite, an absence of other guests and acres of tranquil woodland make this a dream stay for little Smiths – and it’s super safe.
Teenagers and little Smiths aged between 6 and 12 – there’s no creche or babysitters, and it’s a 15-minute walk to your accommodation from the drop-off point, so you don’t want to lug prams and other paraphernalia.
The tents share the same setup; all four are great.
Your brood will go wild for the elephants, which you can bathe, feed and play with. There are also nature walks, birdwatching trips and a stash of board games.
Just ask staff nicely if you’d like dishes adapted according to junior tastes.
No need to pack
Board games – Dera Amer has a stash.
This hotel has a huge heart: it gives domesticated elephants from Jaipur a new home in its picturesque patch of parkland, within the protected Aravalli Range. Staff are local; food is organic and farm fresh.