Away from the maddening chaos of Shimla is Chail, a popular yet sleepy little hill station in Himachal Pradesh. The erstwhile summer capital of the princely state of Patiala, Chail was built by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh when he was exiled from Shimla by British Lord Kitchener. The alluring hill station is a 3.5-hour drive from Chandigarh airport and well connected by smooth roads. It’s a longer eight-hour drive from New Delhi airport and that’s where I was travelling from to visit ITC Hotels-owned hospitality brand Welcomhotel’s latest Welcomhotel Tavleen Chail, away from the scorching Calcutta summers.
Welcomhotel Tavleen Chail — set amidst 6.5 acres of oak and pine forests — embraces the region’s culture and the spirit of the mountains to offer guests the ultimate getaway. There are 65 guest rooms, including 18 quaint cottages nestled amidst the lush greens, and one luxury suite. Every room offers a private balcony with refreshing mountain breeze, enchanting views of the mighty mountains and lush green valley of pine and cedar trees. Each room has a chic feel and is designed to offer the best of modern-day amenities to both the business and leisure traveller.
“Clearly, the demand for enriching experiences is on the rise in different cities of India. Welcomhotel Chail continues to be one of the favourites travel spots this summer. Since its launch in May 2021, the hotel has seen a high influx of domestic tourism and destination weddings. Welcomhotels continues to be one of India’s fastest growing hospitality brands spreading its footprint far and wide. Moreover, ITC Hotel’s ‘WeAssure’ program has allowed us to instil a sense of faith and trust among our valued guests,” said Amaan Kidwai (inset), area manager, Welcomhotels North, & general manager, Welcomhotel Sheraton New Delhi.
Each experience at the hotel touches upon the peace and tranquillity of mountain living, where you can start your mornings with a meditation or yoga session, along with a stroll in the oak and pine trails within the property. Follow it up with a peaceful dip in the temperature-controlled pool that also works as a jacuzzi or de-stress at the in-house spa — K by Kaya Kalp. As the sun sets in you can also go for a picnic with your loved ones to a nearby meadow, a short drive away among the pine trees. For those travelling with toddlers there’s Ollie’s Corner, a play area to keep the lil’ ones entertained.
The two F&B outlets — Welcomcafe Monal (all-day dining) and Swizzle (bar) make sure you are spoilt for choice with local and international fare. Both outlets offer indoor and outdoor sitting area, letting you choose based on your mood. Ask for the WelcomSthalika at Monal, the Himachali platter (both veg and non-veg options available) to get a taste of local flavours. WelcomSthalika draws its inspiration from The Himachali Dham, a feast originally reserved for royalty. It includes Madra (white peas cooked with yoghurt), Saag Chana (red chana cooked with local greens), Himachali Rajma (high altitude Kinnouri kidney beans with local spices), Dham ka Meetha (nuts soaked in local honey and saffron) and many more. The a la carte menu has special sections of devoted to local Himachali and Patiala cuisine along with British-influenced ones. There’s ‘Himachali Inspired’ — Tali Machli (fried Kullu trout), Seppu Wadi (lentil dumplings), Dadu Chicken (pomegranate and Pahadi spiced slow-cooked chicken). ‘The Patiala Connection’ has dishes like Rarrah Meat (lamb cubes cooked lamb mince), Patiala Moorugh and more. ‘Burrah Sahib’s Table’ offers dishes such as Gilbert’s Trout Meunier, Cheese Rissoles, Viceroy House Crevette Cocktail to choose from.
Welcomhotel Tavleen is the perfect getaway amidst nature that offers all the trappings of a hill station yet all the luxury that a modern traveller looks for. It embraces the essence of nature, healing and harmony and is the perfect destination across all season.
Pictures by the author and the hotel
Mayfair Suite at Welcomhotel Tavleen Chail
Swizzle, the cosy bar at the property
WelcomCafe Monal, the all-day-dining restaurant
A picnic on the meadow nearby, organised by the hotel, a must staying at the property
Gilbert’s Trout gives you a taste of the fresh local catch
WelcomSthalika offers the taste of traditional Himachali cuisine
At a glance
Swizzle, the cosy bar at the property
Where: Bhalawag Forest, Kandaghat, Chail-Kufri Road
Keys: 65, including 18 cottages and one luxury suite
Amenities: Two F&B outlets, spa, temperature-controlled pool, gym, meditation centre, kids’ play area, gaming arena, oak and pine trail
For reservations: +91 177 3501111 / firstname.lastname@example.org