Perched on a hill top, Ivy Green is an idyllic resort at Deriakhal, close to the cantonment town of Lansdowne. A salutary reminder of the once verdant hills of Garhwal, the resort stands apart from the others in the vicinity, thanks to its unique location. Cocooned amidst a thick pine forest, it is a cluster of cottages, log cabins and tree houses with angled red rooflines, built on multiple levels and stilts.
A trek along a 300 metre stretch of kutcha road leads to the resort, and as one ambles up the rough path to the hilltop, Ivy Green springs up like a lovely surprise. It’s an image straight out of Enid Blyton’s Toy Town Tales.
Ivy Green formally opened its doors for guests in May 2018 and we were there for the opening night. It has 14 rooms that are singularly conceptualised and designed to offer the much-needed escape into the wilderness. All the rooms and cottages are located at different levels offering utmost privacy and a valley facing view. Two tree cottages at the highest point of the resort are amongst the prettiest. Built on stilts with sap dripping pines running through the log cabin, they offer access to a vantage point that gives a panoramic view of the valley behind. On a clear day, early risers can get a glimpse of the snow clad Shivalik range of the mighty Himalayas, as the sun breaks through the morning. The cottages come with their own private sit out areas, offering a very personalised experience. You could spend days in solitude here amidst the whistling woods, chasing creative pursuits in a serene, un-intrusive setting.
Around Lansdowne, resorts mostly offer basic luxuries in a simple and charming sort of way, without any reason to be loud or opulent. Ivy Green too makes a pertinent point through simplified luxury. It offers the warmth of the woods with well equipped rooms and cottages that have running hot & cold water, coffee/ tea maker and toiletries, with detailed teak wood panelling and large bay windows for a modern yet comfortable guest experience. It instantly engulfs you with its warmth and makes you feel at home.
Meals are served at ‘Captain Four’, the restaurant at the lower level with a mezzanine deck. The menu is well-planned and the food as they say, is mountain fresh. The resort staff is courteous, well trained and eager to serve. There is an open amphitheatre venue for music, book reading, poetry and theatre acts, which is a thoughtful addition for community events & conferences. Barbecue dinners, bonfire in the lawns, meditation & yoga, camping and night treks are organised on request. And a spa facility is coming up shortly.
While at Ivy Green, a day trip to the Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple nestled amidst thick pine and cedar forests, is a must. The resort also organises jungle safari trips to Kalagarh Tiger Reserve and has taken the initiative to encourage educational tours and nature trails for students during the summer break.
The raison d’etre for Ivy Green is to offer a peaceful residence for those who seek to have a one-on-one with nature. There is no rush to follow the herd and attract regular city revellers by packing in a variety of experiences. Here less is more. The most beautiful experience perhaps is to just sit back and soak in the fragrant freshness and beauty around. And master the art of nothingness, as you breathe in clean mountain air laden with the hint of pine resin at an altitude of 6000 ft.
Ivy Green is mountain manna. Where you rekindle your relationship with nature and find little joys in small moments that leave a lasting impression.