A pool, a bar, buffet for breakfast and dinner, riverside deck seating for meals…staying at Infinity Corbett Wilderness as part of the safari experience at Corbett National Park is far from taxing. Located along the main row of mid-range to high-end properties, Infinity Resorts is one of three locations the small, independently owned group operates.
Just minutes from Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, the safari themed hotel is quietly built into surrounding riverside greenery. Guests arrive via a steep drive, exiting off the main road, down to the vehicle drop point. Immediately you are welcomed by not only the staff, but the resident elephant Lakshmi. Inside the reception building visitors can shop for postcards and small trinkets to send back home. After the formal check-in process is complete, guests are then free to walk the combination boardwalk and paved walkways meandering through the lush garden landscape.
Buildings are clumped in groups of 4 rooms on each level, two stories high. Large windows brighten the stone walls and wood floors. Fitted with darker wood furniture, in keeping with a rustic safari concept, no TV or phone can be a bit of a shock to some guests. Be warned and come prepared with reading material. Ample space for two persons with luggage makes it easy to spread out and relax, sometimes a much needed luxury after a full day of tiger hunting. A semi-private balcony and/or patio is accessed directly from the guest room. Ensuite baths offer the usual conveniences of full time running hot water, shower and western toilet. However,
When hunger strikes, make the short walk to the clubhouse restaurant located near the pool. Breakfast buffet and dinner are available with lunch ordered off menu. Indian & Continental are your choices and surprising tasty at that. Resorts typically are bland and spice-less to appeal to a wider audience, but Infinity has managed to toe the line nicely.
For an ever better experience, take your meals out on the open air deck which offers views of the Ramganga River. Tourists from all countries can be met here making for fun conversation along with tip and story swapping.
The in-ground kidney shaped pool is kept sparkling clean. Chaise lounges surround the outer rim where anything from the kitchen or bar can be had.
Lakshmi, is available with prior reservations for a two hour safari of the park. Rates are a bit steep at Rs 4500, but my travel partner and I agreed to a go-round once. To avoid paying the required park entry fee, the guide enters through a back trail amounting to a ride through the tree tops. Lakshmi was more interested in eating during our ride than taking us to see the wildlife. While we were sorry to see the Rs 4500 seemingly gone to waste, having the rare chance as a foreigner to ride an elephant does make for good memories.
As well as the elephant safari, Infinity staff will offer a jeep version for the same cost. Traveler’s would be smart to take a ride into nearby Ramnagar, where they can bargain for a reduced rate including park entry and help obtaining the compulsory park permit.
Be sure to take a stroll along the river banks in the early morning which brings views wildlife grazing, locals crossing the river as well as snooping views of competing properties.