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Reviewed 8 December 2017

Like some other reviewer's, I wish I had stayed for longer.
I have just returned to New Delhi from Chambal Safari Lodge & feel inclined to submit a review whilst the experience is fresh in my mind & also as a palliative to my surrounding " delights " of Paharganj.
My visit was for a period of 2 nights . I arrived about mid day, having journeyed by car from Agra.
The Lodge lies about 800 m back from the road leading to Bah & is not that far from the very new Agra to Lucknow Expressway. In fact, we returned to New Delhi via this road as it connects directly with the Yamuna Expressway, consequently avoiding Agra City entirely. The journey was done in 4 hrs including a stop for tea.
My first impressions were very favourable; a large lawn surrounded on 3 sides by trees & on the 4 th side by the low, refurbished old stables which house the restaurant, kitchens, offices, toilets etc. A covered area furnished with comfy chairs, tables & games sits nearby. One can borrow a brolly here in case of rain. Nearby is a fire pit where wood is burnt in the evening & guests can sit around.
The lawn is sprinkled with charpoys, tables, chairs & hammocks & lunch is served out here if the weather is kind.
After a cup of tea & a chat to ascertain my schedule, I was taken to my room. The accommodation consists of single storey buildings scattered though the grounds, some with private gardens. All have covered outdoor seating.
My building was quite isolated ( good! ) with just one other room joined.
Beautifully appointed inside with high ceilings, quality wooden furniture, easy chairs, very comfy twin beds, scatter rugs on a marble floor. Tea & coffee facilities restocked daily, tasteful lighting, quality fabrics. Many little thoughtful extras such as mozzie cream, detachable solar lights that can be used to negotiate the pathways at night, mozzie coil, joss sticks & a folder containing information, a bird & animal check list ( very comprehensive ). Choice of tours described & priced.
I had pre booked a river tour & a jeep safari. My guide suggested we take the former that afternoon. With my driver's car we drove to the Chambal River & then boarded our boat & gently cruised up stream scanning the banks. Much to be seen, marsh crocodiles, gharials ( one huge specimen ), turtles & , of course, birds.
Under patient guidance we were lucky to see 2 River Dolphins.
Next morning, having chosen the Sarus Crane jeep safari over the Blackbuck one, we drove for some distance, stopping on different occasions to look at birds. My guide was absolutely excellent, spotting & hearing birds I would have missed.
The Sarus Cranes are so impressive & it was a thrill to see them scattered around the fields, some pairs with their offspring.
Returning to the Lodge for lunchtime, we had a break until about 3 pm before embarking on a walk around the grounds & surrounding farmland, spotting yet more birds until nearly dusk.
After dinner we had a short prowl around the grounds with a flashlight to see what was about. Just a flashing glimpse of a civet.
Not only did we tot up a massive 146 different birds but also, Indian Hares, Grey Mongoose, Little Mongoose, dozens of Nilgai & the aforementioned river life.
Food was excellent, served as buffets, choice of Indian or European cooked from locally sourced produce.
Hard & soft drinks available.
I must also mention the wonderful photographs of wildlife & local scenery adorning the walls of accommodation , office & restaurant alike.
There is a wi/fi hub outside but internet is not reliable, indeed not available during my visit but not too worried about that- make your plans around that. No T. V. 's, either which is no loss.
2 best nights sleep on my visit to India were here. All I heard were the owls & jackals.
Re reading my review, I see that I have forgotten to mention the bathrooms : very clean, quality ware, hot water provided by boiler- 15 to 20 minutes & water is very hot..
Top class shampoo, bath gel etc provided.
This is not a cheap venue but you get a quality experience in beautiful surroundings & delivered by professionals. My guide was top notch. Imagine that I will return for a longer visit.

Room Tip: They all look good.
  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank keith h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RPSJ, Owner at Mela Kothi - The Chambal Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2018

Thank you Keith h for your detailed, extensive and glowing review, covering every aspect of your experience with us. We are so glad we were able to deliver a memorable holiday for you, and very much look forward to seeing you again.

With all good wishes for 2018, and your future travel plans.
Team Chambal Safari

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2017

Not pretentious just wonderful at what it did. Cottages in the grounds - and what great grounds they were. The rooms were big and the en-suite shower rooms also had plenty of space. The hotel offered a free laundry service and provided great food on both of our nights there. Wine was also made available at not too horrendous a price. This was a lovely place to stay - my only gripe was the absence of a swimming pool - they have the room. Otherwise a place with real charm and atmosphere.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RPSJ, Owner at Mela Kothi - The Chambal Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2018

Thank you Jeff B for the glowing review. So glad you enjoyed the relaxed friendly atmosphere, and the food and wine! We are planning on a swimming pool, especially now that our rain-water harvesting and ground-water recharging projects are in place and functional. Being a water-scarce region we do not want to draw more than our fair share, and use water for leisure purposes until and unless we can help replenish the source. Hopefully we'll have a pool ready in time for your next visit!

Wishing you all the very best for 2018 and your future travel plans.
Team Chambal Safari

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2017

It's an extraordinary place, full of wildlife. Very knowledgeable guides, amazing birds, fantastic food, wonderful excursions including on the River Chambal. The lodges are just beautiful. Can't recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RPSJ, Owner at Mela Kothi - The Chambal Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2018

Thank you Mark W for your review and recommending us so highly. Always a joy to share the wonders of Chambal with discerning traveller.

Wishing you all the very best for 2018 and your future travel plans.
Team Chambal Safari

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Reviewed 2 December 2017 via mobile

We were on a 6 week birding tour of northern India and stayed one night at Chambal Safari Lodge. That was our mistake. We should have stayed two or three, but we didn’t know how wonderful a place it would be. Our room was palatial, with a large sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom. The shower area was bigger than many hotel bathrooms. We met one of the owners, who was welcoming and gracious. The food here was the best we had in India: varied and delicious, and not too spicy for our American palates.
Our guide was good, and we did the traditional river boat trip as well as a longish walk to see Indian Skimmer. We could have spent more time exploring the grounds and more time on the river if we had stayed longer. We very highly recommend this lodge!

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank JamaicaBirder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RPSJ, Owner at Mela Kothi - The Chambal Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2018

Thank you JamaicaBirder for your glorious review! It was a pleasure meeting you and we wish you had stayed longer too!!
Every good wish for 2018 and your future travel plans.
Team Chambal Safari

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Reviewed 19 November 2017

We had a huge cottage with its own private garden set in the woods. It was beautifully furnished and very comfortable. The staff were fantastic and our Naturalist who was with us for our entire time there was both interesting and accommodating to our interests. The food was excellent. The setting beautiful and peaceful, a real oasis.

Room Tip: all rooms quiet
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Pringl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RPSJ, Owner at Mela Kothi - The Chambal Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2017

Thank you Pringl for your fabulous review of our little oasis! Always a pleasure having guests who enjoy the peace that we cherish and appreciate the hospitality we take pride in. Wishing you all the very best for your future travels.

Team Chambal Safari

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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