Far from a ‘sh*t name’, as one of the Gallaghers apparently called it, Oasis seems like a relief to ears in 2018. Fittingly enough, because an oasis is bound to bring relief. Both from the unbearable heat and like exhibited here, from the multitude of banal atrocities to instruments that’s passed as music these days. So not only have I started listening to the once hugely popular Brit band more, the look out for an oasis from the terrifyingly boring routine has come into effect, in full swing.
Among the myriad of weekend-getaway choices one has from a city like Delhi, we began to search for an oasis of our own. An ideal location would’ve been about four-five hours away (to satisfy our never-ending urge to drive), with ridiculously liberal use of greenery per square metre, and of course, the quaint and serenity of well, an oasis. A few hours thrusting the life out of my keyboard later, I eventually found one. Possibly one in a million. It’s called the Water House Resort, is located roughly 40 km off Jaipur, and fits our rather short list of criteria, too.
As the name suggests, it comprises houses made over water. Think fancy houseboats but without the ability to move — it’s an oasis, not a lagoon. Surprising to say the least, especially in a state like Rajasthan, where culture, colours, and even tasty food sort of make up for the lack of water. Thankfully that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of either culture or delicacies at the Water House Resort, but more on that soon.
It’s a part of the project which consists of the aforementioned Water House, perched-atop-trees Tree House, and a new lavish property Earth House. Not only does it offer the luxury of living surrounded by water, it also comes with equally engaging vistas. Opt for the fountain-facing room, and be amazed by a humongous fountain every single time you roll up the window blinds. A lavish twin bed takes up most of the bedroom area while the bathroom isn’t any less lush either, with a large bathtub and/or (depending on the type of room) open-air shower area effectively bringing you a tad closer to the nature. And it’s not just about the visuals either. The sound emanating from the fountain as streams of water drop under the insurmountable pull of gravity is possibly the most soothing of ‘em all. And the sight of the mild evening sun makes the experience even more enchanting.
With sights and smells sorted, the taste buds couldn’t be far off. At the adjoining Machaan restaurant, you can opt for anything from a variety of regional or international cuisine. The aroma ensures your taste buds are ready for an unlimited supply of drool, and the heavenly taste is complemented by amazing hospitality. And the never-ending eagerness of the hotel staff to let you eat more than your usual diet. A possible weight gain aside, it’s the best feeling when there’s someone out there who reaffirms your choice to eat a teeny bit more. I would exercise from tomorrow anyway…
The unmissable delight at The Water House has to be the Peacock Bar. No not because of liquor alone, but because it’s a piece of history in itself. Said to be about 400 years old, and transported straight from Jodhpur, the bar takes you to a different world with its architecture, wall engravings, and motifs. And if looking at old walls doesn’t rock your barge, there are quite a few other activities as well, including camel safari, trek across the property, cycling on a well-paved track, and even an ATV ride in the dunes. And this is just half the list of things you could do while at the resort.
It’s heartening to see that at a stone throw’s away from the ever-growing city landscape and its rather busy life is a place to relax, rejuvenate, and essentially take a break from the usual. It’s an oasis in all its right — one that we highly recommend.
Our Companion for the trip, the Hyundai Elantra
It’s always a conundrum when you’re given a choice between going the distance in a fine vehicle or opting for a shorter drive in favour of a more luxurious location. In this case, as you must’ve read above, our destination wasn’t anything but plush. And the drive couldn’t have been better, despite the harsh heat and blazing overhead sun. The Hyundai Elantra braved it all.
The 270-km Delhi-Jaipur journey is mostly on the well-paved NH48. But it’s a fairly busy route, which means open, free stretches are fewer and the chances of traffic piling up close to the exit/entry points quite huge. This is where the Hyundai Elantra first gave away its ability of being a great car to live with. The 1.6-litre diesel engine isn’t just for the endless long dashes, its versatility — the credit equally goes to the 6-speed automatic gearbox — helps us glide through the traffic with no problems whatsoever.
What impresses even more while you aren’t even on the move is the car’s cocooning cabin. With an abundance of both class and features, the Elantra’s interior proves to be a great place to be; despite being surrounded by a rather unpleasant collection of mortals in their cars, more commonly known as traffic. And the Elantra stands out even from the outside. The sporting design also benefits from the saloon proportions, the right-sized wheels, and the lovely blue paint job.
On the move it’s in a class of its own. The long wheelbase gives it additional stability while the engine keeps pulling relentlessly. Covering distances is a breeze and as long as the roads are fine, the Elantra never hesitates; neither does it misbehave.
But we were keen on finding out what happens to the predictable handling and the almost-perfect ride once the road conditions deteriorate. A few km later when we decided to take a detour, the Hyundai Elantra surprised us. Both the suspension and the tyres worked way beyond our expectations and kept it clean. The car never bottomed out and like on the well-paved tarmac, it just went on without an issue.
What I personally like the most about the Elantra is that it’s not positioned as either the most driver-orientated car or the one only for the chauffeur-driven kind. It does both equally well. Its charm lies in how it manages to be the oasis among the sea of cars and SUVs that fail to find the right balance. You can depend on it, but without needing it to be boring.