Editors' Picks

The Oberoi Vanyavilas

Serious spoiling under canvas

Ranthambhore Road, Sawaimadhopur, Rajasthan 322021, India


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At a Glance

The most complete resort experience in Ranthambore boasts palatial tents set in a lush garden of mango trees and bougainvillea as well as amenities like a fitness tent, billiards room and daily naturalist presentations. Families will be impressed by the number of kid-friendly activities, too.


The Oberoi’s five-star philosophy has been to build contemporary palaces and royal retreats as a modern Maharajah would. The Vanyavilas employed top Indian craftsmen, who used traditional techniques to create a 21st-century luxurious aesthetic. Vanyavilas serves up the most spoiling stay that one can find while on a tiger safari.

The main lodge area features a grand but cozy library, where a fire is lit at night and the mahogany bookshelves are stocked with wildlife books. Paintings of Indian landscapes and wildlife decorate the main dining room, and in warm weather, tables are set in a lovely inner courtyard for outdoor dining. The 25 guest tents are scattered over 20 acres of landscaped gardens of mango and lemon trees and billowing bougainvillea.

From the outside, the tents appear simple, but step inside and you find polished teak floors, wood and brass furniture, canopy beds and a full bathroom with a claw-foot bathtub and his and her sinks. The accommodations have all of the comforts of a five-star hotel (including wifi), and yet the real luxury lies in the details: soft wool, tiger-print rugs, canvas ceilings embroidered with tigers on the prowl, cut crystal bedside lamps, comfortable club chairs and an outdoor patio with loungers. With tents this plush, guests may find it hard to go outside.

When not out on safari or tucked in the gorgeous tents, guests can enjoy the small spa, gym or the picturesque pool area. Every evening naturalists give presentations on the famous Ranthambore tigers or conservation topics in the study, which is next to the billiards room. Daily yoga classes and other activities like an organic garden session for kids and elephant experiences with the camp’s resident elephant, Lakshmi, make it easy to understand why seeing a tiger on safari here is only a small piece of the resort’s attraction. Especially great for families, the Oberoi Vanyavilas offers a plethora of activities, in addition to safari.

Who Should Stay

This is the place for people who want the most cosseting experience possible while on tiger safari or for those traveling with kids or companions who may prefer to enjoy a resort experience and skip safari rides altogether.

Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley

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