Is it really possible to experience true luxury in a tent?
After all, how can a flimsy, canvas shelter compare favourably with a legit, brick and mortar structure that can hold all your creature comforts, including air-conditioning and the all-important flushable toilet and power shower – basic necessities for any frequent flyer worth his lounge access.
But after experiencing the wonders of The Ultimate Travelling Camp’s (TUTC) Thiksey and Diskit properties, our disbelieving inner voices were shut down for good! If a five-star rating could be applied to a campsite, they would surely qualify. In fact, come to think of it, it’s actually kind of offensive to even mention glamping and camping in the same breath, given the kind of pampering and top-notch services your encounter there.
Known collectively as Chamba Camp, both properties are located in Ladakh in Northern India – otherwise known as “Land of the Lamas”. The great Himalayan mountain range surrounds the campsite in Diskit, while the Thiksey monastery casts a comforting shadow on its namesake glampsite.
The in-room facilities seem determined to make royalty out of you, from actual four-poster beds and steamer trunks to strong air-conditioning and the best rain shower experience you’ve ever had. Make sure to spend sometime on the wooden deck just outside your tent – it’s purpose built for gazing out at the scenery, sunrise/sunset or both.
Dramatic mountainside and valley landscapes where the TUTC camps are located easily form part of the premium that you pay for. But so are some of the other bits that make the properties so special. The butler service is one and it’s a brilliant concept. Instead of relying on different staff for different things you might need, say Housekeeping for extra towels or the Bell Captain to help with luggage, your personal butler sees to all of these needs and more (like say, if you need a chicken sandwich the minute you check in).
While there are no typical facilities that usually come with five-star dwellings at TUTC – such as a swimming pool and spa – other more unique propositions might capture your fancy. Watch the locals play polo onsite, get coaching for archery or you can even get dressed in local ceremonial garb for fun (and pictures!)
Finally, the meal service at both camps has to be experienced to be believed. There are no brick and mortar buildings on the property so even the kitchens are tented structures. That some of the best pastries you can have come out from there is a miracle. Perhaps the best way to enjoy the food at TUTC is to request for a picnic lunch to be organised for you as part of an excursion you’re having or just on a comfy spot somewhere on the site.
Then your role-play at being a character in a Bollywood film about the royal Mughals will really be complete.