A Luxurious Jungle Abode

Getaway Issue 175 Jun, 2016
Text by Avash Shrestha

The blend of the local feel and plush atmosphere makes the Taj Meghauli Serai an experience guests will remember for a lifetime.

Our boat cruised on the serene Rapti River as we closely observed the grasslands on the river banks to get a sight of any wildlife. Another guest, who was looking through a pair of binoculars, spotted some movement a little ahead. We watched intently at the moving grass and waited, hoping to see the entrance of a furry big cat. or at least a lazy garihal getting in the water for a late afternoon swim. But we were all amazed when we saw two men carrying freshly cut grass walking casually into the shallow river. We met those two villagers a little ahead almost mid-way in the river. They greeted us with big smiles as they carried their baskets full of grass, obviously satisfied with their day’s work. As we took photographs of the two villagers returning home from work, the guide in our boat explained to us about the systematic grass cutting that the jungle rangers and villagers have implemented for the buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park. It was just the beginning of the Taj Meghauli Serai Jungle Lodge experience. 

The new resort, opened by CG Hospitality and managed by Taj Hotels and Resorts, promises not just to give their guests a wildlife holiday, but also a true rural life experience on the edge of a jungle. With the very knowledgeable staff and guides, guests will not just experience rural life, but also return with a ton of knowledge about it. Even though the resort has been built to let the guests immerse themselves in a Tharu village feel, the 7-star resort does not compromise on the luxurious ambiance. Each of the 13 suites and 16 independent villas has a charm of their own. Every room or villa has a unique wall painting done by a talented painter that the hotel management discovered during the construction of the resort. The suites have a beautiful elevated view of the Rapti River moving calmly, the Terai grasslands, and the thick jungle beyond. The villas, on the other hand, each have a plunge pool overlooking the same beautiful view. 

At the end of the boat ride, guests are treated to some delicious snacks by the riverside. However, the allure of this meal isn’t the food and drinks. As we settled down on the table, the sun turned a strong orange as it slowly descended in the horizon. There were a few village boys swimming in the distance and trying to get the attention of the cameras. The serenity of surroundings, and the life brought about by the river and its occupiers, is something special. 

However, our interaction with the villagers of Meghauli didn’t end there. Meghauli Serai has a beautifully built dining area at the edge of the resort, which resembles a typical village courtyard. With a small bonfire in the middle, guests are entertained with a lively Tharu stick dance by young girls and boys from the village. The guests themselves are then invited to dance along with the dancers, as the evening drinks start flowing. The cuisine in Meghauli Serai is another very unique experience in itself. The blend of the local Tharu spices and flavors in dishes from all over the world is an experiment that will surely be appreciated by all guests. And, with the vegetables all organically grown within the resort, the fresh and true taste of local food is amazing for the taste buds.

The rooms of the resort are also another perfect blend. With plush facilities in local rural décor, the rooms and suites of Meghauli Serai are one of their kinds. The bathrooms are huge and spacious that guests will enjoy using after every jungle outing. Like the boat ride, guests will also have an opportunity to go on a jungle walk on the edge of the Chitwan National Park, and for a jeep safari, deeper into the national park. However, guests who are more interested in relaxing, or when guests just want to lay back and enjoy the surroundings, the Meghauli Serai has an amazing hotel lobby and swimming pool. The state-of-the-art infinity pool, with dining decks and lounges all around—if the guests close their eyes, they might even forget they are in the middle of the jungle. But, the view of the river and jungle beyond from inside the swimming pool and the posh seating areas will be something guests hope they could take back with them. If guests want to enjoy being indoors, a fantastic library of a collection of books on Nepali culture and lifestyle is something that could make avid readers want to extend their stay.