KING OF THE MOUNTAINS
The traffic gradually petered out as paved roads gave way to dusty gravel-lined ones riddled with potholes. We were travelling from New Delhi to ITC Grand Bharat, the newest addition to ITC Hotels’ Luxury Collection. After 45 minutes, we arrived at the regal structure, which is modelled after the architectural styles of four Indian empires – Maurya, Maratha, Mughal and Chola. Built in the foothills of the Aravalli range, it houses 104 suites and South Asia’s first 27-hole golf course designed by golf champion Jack Nicklaus.
Three nine-hole courses take advantage of the hotel’s dramatic setting to provide distinctively different playing experiences. The Ridge Course brings guests around gently undulating manicured greens, the Valley Course traces a route around picturesque ponds, while the Canyon Course has holes positioned at all the best scenic spots for taking in the view of the Aravalli’s craggy canyon.
Those new to the sport are not forgotten. ITC Grand Bharat runs a Golf Academy equipped with a driving range, putting green and chipping area for budding golfers. An hour-long session with an in-house AimPoint-certified instructor costs 2,000 rupees (S$42).
The rural location not only makes for a great golf course but is also a reflection of ITC Grand Bharat’s philosophy. The retreat expounds slow tourism, which encourages the enjoyment of activities at a leisurely pace.
The rooms were designed to inspire guests to live this philosophy. The hotel’s 100 deluxe suites, each measuring 70sqm, are showrooms for Indian craftsmanship in woodwork and fabric weaving. For a more luxurious experience, upgrade to one of the four Presidential Villas. All rooms come with a personal butler service.