Aramness Luxury Safari Lodge in Gir National Park cracks open the secret of hospitality in the wilderness
MAR 31, 2023 | By Tanvee Abhyankar
Exploring the wilderness is child’s play for adventurers, and now it can be for everyone! Setting a benchmark for the new Indian safari experience, the village-styled lodge entrenched in Gujarati culture is designed with authenticity and luxury in equal measure. Aramness Luxury Safari Lodge is the only boutique lodge that borders the Sasan Gir National Park. Evolving as a brand that aims to protect the Asiatic lion population, it also delivers an exceptionally crafted luxury experience.
Jimmy Patel, the Founder, along with Nicholas Plewman Architects, Fox Browne Creative and Field Works Design Group, created Aramness, a 12-acre property that encapsulates the essence of Gujarat.
Hand in hand with nature
Aramness is Jimmy Patel’s dream project, “Over the years, my frequent expeditions to Sasan Gir with my family left an indelible mark on me and inspired me to develop something that would both celebrate and highlight the plight of conservation in my home state and further afield. I aim to do this through the delivery of an exceptional resident experience,” says the founder.
This thought birthed a new Indian safari experience—the village-style lodge, entrenched in local culture. Here, the last remaining Asiatic lions in the world co-exist with the semi-nomadic Maldhari tribe.
Where architecture supports the vision
Sustainability encompasses every aspect of Aramness — from the way it is built to the way it operates. In the building of the lodge, a clever choice of organic and natural materials is put to use. Sensitive to the ethos and culture of the region, hand-cut sandstone, sun-baked clay roof tiles and reclaimed wood were ethically sourced from the surrounding villages and Gujarat.
In and around Aramness
The driveway leads to the gates of the haveli, beyond which lies the heart of the Aramness experience — a village street, modelled with the similarities seen in nearby villages or nesses. To the left of the haveli, guests can enjoy a great deal of relaxation in the swimming pool, spa, gym, craft gallery and yoga and meditation pavilion.
The lodge’s design is inspired by the characteristic local village, Haripur, which has central cobbled streets fringed with courtyard homes (kothis). Immensely luxurious and comfortable yet unpretentious and elegantly simple, the 18 kothis at the property celebrate the best of Gujarati design, with a baraza seat and planter on its street façade. Each kothi is a spacious double-storeyed building with either one or two ground floor bedrooms, a sitting room, and a luxurious and spacious bathroom with a tub and an outdoor shower.
All the kothis have a cool shaded courtyard and a first floor verandah where guests can catch the breeze under the shade of clay tiled roof that overlooks the waterways and beyond to the dense teak forest. A small swimming pool, inspired by the characteristic Indian stepwells is constructed for each kothi.
The guests come together in and around the haveli (traditionally a manor house or mansion with historical significance, that has a large central courtyard authentic to Gujarat homes) whose spacious and cool courtyard is fringed by the dining and sitting room that looks out over the beautifully landscaped, terraced gardens and a library. The key feature in this library is an original wooden lattice screen façade of the building that creates a beautiful vantage over the gardens. The library can also be booked for private dinners. There is an infinity pool, for all guests alike, which serves all-day dining accompanied by a fresh juice station, coffee bar and gola cart!
Going beyond relaxation and tranquillity, Aramness proudly hosts the guests in their spa, steam rooms, massage rooms and nail bar—the perfect respite for wellness and enjoyment. To match the need of gym regulars and yoga practitioners, the infrastructure is built accordingly to cater to them with a gym and a yoga pavilion.
Located on our grounds within the original farmland of the property is a vegetable garden terrace and a garden breakfast pergola surrounding the greenhouse.