Jehan Numa Retreat, Bhopal
The air was sombre and luminous at the same time. A deep breath of the crisp air was all it took to switch up my entire sense of reality, belonging and meaning ~
Finding a quaint and satisfying experience is always a winner as opposed to the one coursing with greed and soullessness. Jehan Numa Group is a brand that blankets this feeling of satiation; creating spaces which echo their spirit and soul. Take a walk through my experience at Jehan Numa Retreat as I revisit the Nature Resort through my words!
The retreat steals you away from the busy urban life, engulfing your senses with purity and quietude ~
Our flight into Bhopal was rather early in the morning, but we could not fathom a single complaint. The morning sun played peek-a-boo through the trees, painting the streets with colours of mischief. As the road wound along Bada Talab, the Upper Lake of Bhopal, the chilly wind blew past us, singing a sweet song for the sunlight to play along to!
Approaching our destination in Madhya Pradesh’s capital city, Vikram and I were piqued by the whereabouts of the resort we were going to call home for the next few days. A painting that came to life, the resort was surrounded by the lush green landscapes of the Van Vihar National Park, with all the fauna you could imagine. The chirping birds took over our senses, which was a pleasant change from the loud city traffic we are used to.
Ascending the steps to the reception area, soothing shades of brown and beige came into view ~ a paradise embodied by the resort, the tranquil destination was a fine balance of luxury and comfort, with some of the best nature has to offer. A gem nestled in Central India, this resort is where you should plan your next holiday, to enjoy unparalleled beauty whilst resting yourselves in the hands of luxury and leisure.
Feel yourself becoming one with all that nature has to offer you, coaxing you gently on a personal voyage of discovery ~
Jehan Numa Retreat is a 12 acre landscape that is everything you want in a retreat, and more. We had the pleasure of spending 5 days at this luxury property surrounded by natural beauty, and a touch of lavishness. Welcomed with true Indian reverence, we were greeted with an aarti thaali and vermilion by the affable Vincent Marques, the General Manager and his team, as we began a blessed journey along with them.
A seamless check in, was followed with refreshing cups of lemongrass and mint tea, perfect to get us rejuvenated! We strolled through a piece of heaven as we toured the grandeur tree lined estate, in the company of many playful butterflies, making it more surreal than ever. An art piece come to life, the brainchild of landscape artist, Revati Kamath has culminated into one of the most beautiful Nature Resorts with fountain grass and banyan trees nestling themselves perfectly as dividers.
An ode to sustainability, the cottages are for those seeking nature, culture and luxury, all in one ~
The Jehan Numa Retreat has 28 premium cottages divided into 6 clusters, each named after local birds of the region, namely Kingfisher, Jacana, Heron, Hornbill, Lapwing and Francolin. Portraying the fine tune of nature and leisure, the rustic aesthetic of the cottages complements the earthy feel and look of the wooden furniture and ethnic décor. This stay embodies relaxation and rejuvenation for any traveller looking to kick back and find solace.
We were residing in one of the Premium Cottages at a quiet end of the property, ventilated with fresh air and warm sunshine, all due to the smart Mozaic design approach the architect, Dean D’Cruz had flawlessly integrated. We stepped out of our cottage only to be greeted with the picturesque view of the lush landscapes that included flora such as millingtonia, karanja, shisham, babool and baheda, to name just a few. I can describe this view as nothing short of the Eden!
The outdoor deck was without a doubt, Vikram and my favourite spot throughout our stay. Sipping on some flavoursome Sulaimani chai, whilst indulging in some deep conversations and the best breakfasts we have eaten ~ is a winner in my eyes! It was perfect to enjoy each other’s presence while spotting birds and in complete silence while we read our respective books. Light breezes grazing our skin and, the soft rustle of leaves and the beautiful fuzzy purple fountain grass, came together in harmony to really bless our senses!
A feature that was really the pièce de résistance was the outdoor shower. The resort’s successful attempt at bringing its guests closer to nature, this bathing experience creates a sense of intimacy with nature. Dusk was my favourite time to take a bath with Mother Nature, with the sun bidding farewell and the moon sneaking its way up to the sky.
Indulge in the fine culinary spread at the Retreat, where the cuisine is beaten just by the stunning settings of its eateries ~
My knowledge and experience with Bhopali cuisine was previously limited to just pohe, jalebi and chai, but was I in for a treat I would never anticipate! With a strong Mughal influence on the culture, I was aware that there were meats used in Bhopali cuisine but that was the extent of my information. The retreat and its talented chefs, have now led me through the path of unique flavours, I may never get over!
Maintaining the natural aesthetic, the signature restaurant, “Under the Jamun Tree” had a central tree adorned with hanging lights, surrounded beautifully by wooden furniture that faced an open garden. This restaurant captured perfectly, the feeling of ‘at one with nature’, with its easy breeze, soft movement of the leaves and the sunlight engulfing the property.
Jumping right into the splendid food, prepare for some stomach grumbles because the thought of it has definitely sent me into a frenzy of hunger! Meat lovers, brace yourself for one of the best Galouti Kebabs to melt in your mouth and treat your taste buds to the succulent Murg Bhopali Rizzala. The textures and flavours leave you wanting more and more with every bite!
One can also enjoy a fun Sunday brunch at the alfresco dining of “Under the Jamun Tree”, truly the best in Bhopal. Sip on a lovely drink while you take in the beautiful nature that wraps you immediately. The resort pampers your palette to all organic ingredients they source from their orchards and herb gardens, imbibing the aesthetic of the resort, in your plate!
The Coriander Leaf is an all day dining, which is a slight shift into a more grandeur dining experience. You can enjoy the greenery through the large glass windows and then you can start your day off with the breakfast spread served there. Vikram and I however preferred to start our day either in bed or in the outdoor deck of our room, sipping English tea and enjoying local delicacies, while also enjoying the view.
Allow the Retreat to reconnect the body, mind and soul with the luxurious gifts of nature ~
Other than taking in the beauty of nature, the resort offers you a spectrum of activities including yoga sessions, golf ranges, kite flying, sapling planting, and nature walks, amongst many more they like to call Special Experiences.
If you’re looking for some downtime of absolute relaxation, find your way down to the Chakra Spa to enjoy a holistic blend of therapeutic and rejuvenating treatments such as massage therapies, exfoliating scrubs, pedicure, manicure and different varieties of facials.
Verdict: Camouflaged by the touch of nature, the luxury and elegance of the Jehan Numa Retreat is an experience not to be missed. The emphasis on a natural experience balanced with the warm and courteous hospitality of the staff made our stay as unique and unforgettable as it can get. Enjoy a slice of Mother Nature, all while soaking up the luxuries life has to offer!
Vikram and I strive for a life filled with travel and experiences where we get to meet different individuals and experience different cultures. This experience was one where people and culture came our way instead, and all that we saw, felt, learned and experienced is something we cannot begin to describe. We sure hope to visit the Jehan Numa Retreat again and recommend anyone and everyone looking for a perfect place of tranquillity and comfort, to stop looking further! Visit Bhopal and experience the beauty of Central India at its finest!
Did you love Jehan Numa Retreat as much as we did? Do let me know in the comment section below.
*Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from Jehan Numa Group. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.