Kahna National Park, India
Bagh Tola enjoys an ideal location just a short drive from the Mukki Gate of Kanha National Park, one of India's premier tiger reserves. Edged by tall trees at the base of a sal-capped hill, the whitewashed jungle lodge bedecked with bougainvillea is designed to replicate the residence of the British Raj, a comfortable retreat for early forays into "inhospitable" wilderness. The colonial-styled compound welcomes guests with genteel ambience and personalized service. Eight rooms offer a serene respite after a day on safari, furnished with vintage finds scoured from old houses in Kolkata, Balaghat and Mumbai. All have four-poster double beds, comfortable rugs, an old hunter's desk and en suite bathroom with spacious tiled shower. Simple, healthy food is prepared by trained cooks from nearby villages. The dining space was designed to emulate the style of a family kitchen, an informal setting for guests to regale one another with stories of the day's events. Many evenings are spent in the company of conservation experts, species experts and wildlife writers who are also present to explore Kanha National Park.