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“Orchard retreat”

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Banjara Camp & Retreat - Sangla Valley Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
1 review
“Orchard retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

Having heard about Sangla valley we decided to take a detour during our Kaza sojourn and landed at Banjara Camp after more than half an hour hair raising drive through washed away and almost missing road. Resort is further 5-6 kilometres from Sangla Bus Stand. Resort should install more signages. Had it not been for constant connect with resort manager Mr. Pandey, it would have been almost impossible to reach there. So much for the approach, once you are at resort one can't help but soak the wonderful surrounding and overall beauty of the place. Set amidst the apple orchard in full bloom and offering amazing food prepared using largely locally grown ingredients served by most friendly staff......what more could one ask for. And to top it up, both Mr. Pandey and Capt Sood ( co owner) ensured that one of them was always personally available to give us company and share many experiences and valuable suggestions for our further trip. I would undoubetdly rate this as "Gold Standard " in hospitality. Most memorable 20 hours spent at the resort.....

Room Tip: Try log hut or room in the new wing. Even though tents are also very good. And bear in mind that the...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank HKARORA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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178 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
Date | Rating
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English first
Gurgaon, India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

They say that mountains bring out the true character in a person, especially when the mountains test your mettle and remind you of one’s mere mortality.
I also had a unique experience this summer when I and my wife upon returning from an exploratory expedition joined our children, my mother and my mother in law at the Banjara Sangla Retreat on June 15, 2013.
The deluge and resulting landslide fury across the valley was quite intense and cut of the road at 13 places between the retreat and Sangla town and washed away major chunks of the road between Karcham and Sangla. I was not worried as having stayed with Banjara many times before, I knew I was in the best place possible, with the best team in Sangla valley. However, nothing had prepared me for the way the Banjara team went way beyond the standards of service in such adverse conditions and made our stay one of the most memorable. They turned misery into joy, literally.
While electricity across the valley was cut, they ensured hot water in buckets, fresh linen and towels when possible due to the rains. Even though the valley was cut off, we got full course meals three times a day, no rationing at any time. Not just normal food but fresh trout grilled to your choice at the campfire, scrumptious fresh mutton, kher, etc. I could go on and on.
We had stayed put as my mother in law was not in any shape to trek out to the helipad 12 kms down the valley, hoping the roads would open. However, as we realized how severely damaged the roads were, we decided to avail the IAF rescue service. And what did Banjara team do? Not only did they get us on the flight manifest but they organized porters and made a carry chair with two poles, then they physically carried my mother in law all those 12 Kms to Sangla town, where they had organized taxis to take us right up to the helipad. I have never experienced such care and while I speak for myself, there were other families with us who were similarly cared for.
All in all, a very adventurous trip and thanks to team Banjara that they made it so joyful and memorable. You guys are ROCKSTARS.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank SanjitBal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

My experience with Banjara Camps exceeded my expectations in all regards - service, accommodations and experience. From the beginning the staff, managers and the owners were so welcoming and gracious. As we were traveling during monsoon season I knew that we needed to be prepared for all sorts of weather, especially the potential of the cold and rain, so I was happy to see how warm and inviting the accommodations were, especially the room. The surroundings are breathtaking and they have utilized them in a way that they can be thoroughly enjoyed. My favorite time was early morning and late afternoon when they served chai and biscuits, while se sat and enjoyed the beautiful nature all around. The sunsets were amazing! The food was incredible; always a wonderful selection of options from Indian to Western. Thankfully I was taking longs walks on most days, otherwise you would definitely gain weight while staying at Banjara Camps. Weather permitting, they had bonfires before dinner. This was also very nice, as it was a great way to unwind and relax with the other guests. We would sit around the bonfire and share stories while being served pre-dinner nibbles and drinks... So nice! While we were there we were able to experience a full range of weather, clouds, fog and rain and also sun and clear skies. So there were a few nights of star gazing! The staff was also really wonderful about arranging for hikes and walks in gorgeous locations... the area is really a nature lover's paradise! They would pack lunches for us that included their apple juice made from their harvest and my favorite, stuffed parathas! I really cannot say enough about how wonderful our stay was! Thanks to Banjara Camps I will will have fond memories of memories of my first introduction to the amazingly beautiful Himachal Pradesh. We definitely will be back!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank liberty h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karnal, India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2013

Though I came back from a disappointing trip to Sangla Valley 2 months back, I could not give vent to my feeling because our cars were stranded there because of Landslides.Our trip was a long one -we stayed at Narkanda,Sarahan and finally Banjara Camps and Retreat at sangla Valley. Stay at Banjara Camps was most Expensive and disappointing. Though I was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Sangla Valley , Our stay at Banjara Camps and poor way of dealing with with their customers spoiled the entire vacations.
I am surprised at some of the reviews I read. Are We So Coward that that we can't speak the truth? Statements by some reviewers like Generator used to kick in are completely false as we stayed there without electricity for 3 days and what to talk of generator even candles were insufficient.
You have to order Bar-Be-Que 5-6 hours before and if it starts raining in the evening you have to collect it yourself to your Rooms(even though it is expensive they didn't provide Room Service)
Best Part is that Banjara Camp is like hostel Mess. Breakfast and Dinner are served in separate building from the Residential one.If Your small child sleeps off after trekking or it rains u go all the way carrying umbrella in cold for dinner(all the enjoyment of holiday gone). Inspite of paying so much we like waiters carried food for our children on our own in rain to our rooms.
Crisp Linen as written by someone was non existent, I had to bribe staff to get a fresh towel after 3 days.
Dripping Rooms , Cold Food, absence of hot water and electricity and poor amenities spoiled the entire vacation.
In contrast we trek to Kuppa (near helipad-for rescue by helicopter) we stayed at Negi Cottage (stay Home) The owner Mr. Ajit Negi Provided Hot water for Bath (took a bath on 4th of our stay in sangla), Hot very delicious meals (Room Rent Rs 700/- only) and ajit was kind enough to deliver our vehicles till chandigarh after 2 months (when Roads reopened) I am really thankfull to Mr Ajit Negi for his hospitality and really admire his gratitude.
I am also thankful to Miss. Bene of Banjara camps our energetic, enthusiastic guide and trekker.

Room Tip: super deluxe rooms or River cottage. I will stay at some other hotel
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank mongaakash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karnal, India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2013

Would sure like to share my experience for our stay in Banjara camps, Sangla so that no one else gets fleeced by them. We were three families and got ourselves booked the most expensive rooms they had to offer that included two super deluxe rooms (Rs. 9200/-) and one riverside cottage (9900/-). We reached Banjara camps in the afternoon on the 14th June, 2013 and were greeted by a indifferent looking guy ( Capt. Ajay). We decided to straight away proceed for lunch as we were famished. Got our first shock when we found the dishes that were served to be cold and stale. The mouth watering idea of having a hot sumptuous meal ( as mentioned in the brochure) soon faded away and we had to make do with whatever there was on offer. We informed our esteemed host (Capt. Ajay) about the food quality who responded that we should have asked the staff (couldn't see any) to get it reheated. We all realized that our excitement and energy level had gone down a notch. We proceeded to our rooms to rest. We were very surprised to read in the provided brochure " please tip the staff to keep them motivated". We later realized what it meant was if you don't tip them they'll simply ignore you. It was also mentioned that if wanted to order snacks during the day the order has to be placed four - five hours in advance. Wow! Next day evening it started raining and that's when our real misery started. For dinner we had to trudge in the rain from our room to the dining hall sharing three broken umbrellas amongst the eight of us. Our shoes and clothes all got wet in the biting cold.The dining hall was jam packed and there was no place to sit or stand. Next day we woke up to find that there is no power and no hot water. We got the shock of our lives when we were informed that the famous "Banjara Camps" had no gen sets and thus no power back up. We asked for hot water and were greeted by blank faces as if we had asked for the Kohinoor diamond. O.k so no power and no hot water. Things were really not looking good. Never knew it was just the start. Asked for a jug of hot water (scaling down our request from a bucket to a jug) but were refused again. Lunch was sumptuous as usual with baingan ka bartha and lobiye ki daal (just lost my apetite again, yucks). For dinner found only leftovers of the non-veg dishes (only gravy) as all the pieces had vanished without a trace. Next day was woken up very early and advised by one of the staff to move my car from the camp's parking lot as there was danger of the parking getting flooded by slush and water. I was told to park it away 300-400 mtrs. away near a bridge and was given vague directions. That was supposed to be a safe parking area. I reached my vehicle (in the rain, all wet and miserable) and found no one from the staff there to help out. Took a wrong turn in the very start and was informed by a local guy that I was supposed to go in the opp. direction. Somehow managed to reverse my huge S.U.V and reached the bridge and the parking area. Saw many vehicles parked there and "not surprisingly" found that there was no parking space for my car. Again there was no one from the staff to help people park their vehicles. One cab driver saw my dilemma and thankfully surrendered his parking space to me while he moved and parked his car on the bridge itself. I was really grateful and exchanged mobile numbers with him. All the time it was raining and I was soaking wet. Walked back to the camp. In the evening got a call from the cab driver that two cars right next to mine had been completely damaged by falling boulders and it was dangerous for my vehicle too. Again went in the rain with my friend and had to move my vehicle again. Same thing happened the next morning with the cab driver calling me yet again. I had to move my vehicle four times and my vehicle got saved thanks to the cab driver. The most noticeable part was the Banjara camp people were totally indifferent to our woes and they did not even have the decency of posting a guy from the staff to keep a lookout for our vehicles. Finally my car got caught in the slush and we (me and my friends) had to slog with some local help to move it out. I met an elderly gentleman from the batseri village who showed me a safe place to park my vehicle. Back in the camp things were really bad with no power, no fresh towels and no hot water. They were providing just 2 candles for each room which were not at all sufficient for the long hours of pith black darkness. We had to bribe the staff for extra candles and were literally paying 100 Rs. for each extra candle. (Tip and bribe the staff to keep them motivated). On the third day after repeated requests and tips (bribes?) we were given one fresh hand towel. My wife managed to "steal" one hot cup of water (meant for tea) so that I could shave. They took down our names for chopper evacuation but the list never reached the authorities. For the troubles we faced we were given a discount of just 20% on the room rents. Imagine paying Rs. 8000/- for dripping rooms with no power, no hot water no service and no towels. But we had to pay since we had to leave our vehicles behind at their disposal. At Kupa village we stayed in a room worth Rs. 700/- and were offered fresh towels and hot water for bathing which the Banjara camps couldn't provide. The owner (Mr. Ajit Negi) of the hotel himself delivered our vehicles to Chandigarh just three days back. This is what I call real hospitality. After three days of waiting at the helipad we trekked down 26 kms. to reach Karcham.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
25 Thank 7randeep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2013

We have visited many times over the years and the organisation and professionalism of this luxury camp always make an excellent impression. Friendly knowledgeable staff. Spectacular setting in a beautiful valley full of conifers and apple orchards. Delicious food! Tents with attached baths with geysers. Great treks led by knowledgeable staff.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MNS_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Campbell, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2013

The service, food, and hospitality was excellent. There are many things to keep the kids busy (board games, table tennis tables, basketball hoop, badminton court, dart board, etc.) though there are absolutely no TVs or electronics in the room. The treks and hikes in the Sangla Valley range from a leisurely strolls to tough treks. The staff is very friendly....in the case of severe weather, they are very well prepared. This is a 5-star hotel in the middle of pristine wilderness.

Room Tip: The kids will love the top floors, which have a "loft" where they can sleep.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ashwin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Banjara Camp & Retreat - Sangla Valley Camp

Property: Banjara Camp & Retreat - Sangla Valley Camp
Address: Vill/ P.O. Batseri, District Kinnaur, Sangla 172106, India
Region: India > Himachal Pradesh > Kinnaur District > Sangla
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Sangla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A soft adventure family holiday place in the higher Himalayas. Located on the banks of Baspa river and next to the amazingly beautiful Batseri village, Banjara Camp was pioneer of tourism in this area. Kinnaur, Spiti and Upper Kullu region also have properties from this the company, Banjara Camps & Retreats Pvt Ltd., which runs the camp. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Banjara Camp & Retreat - Sangla Valley Camp India - Himachal Pradesh

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