First Look

Aman comes to India

Considering that Adrian Zecha, the mind behind Amanresorts, has been waiting for 30 years for the perfect swath of land in India, you begin to understand why his newest camp-style resort in Rajasthan is such big news—and why it's so spectacular. Aman-i-Khàs (the name means "privileged peace") sits on ten acres that have been gloriously transformed from unpromising scrubland into lush, grassy wilderness on the edge of Ranthambhore National Park. There are nine huge white tents—six for individual guest quarters, three for dining, lounging, and pampering—placed around a central terraced space whose focus is a gigantic metal bowl that architect and designer Jean-Michel Gathy had made in Delhi. Lit at sunset, it functions as the campfire, the meeting place for cocktails and dinner. Gathy has designed the guest tents in the British camping tradition—about as far from roughing it as you can go without erecting walls. Each is breezy and open, with sitting, sleeping, dressing, and bathing areas. Furnishings such as trunks and folding tables and chairs blend deftly with modern amenities like a proper bed and good lighting. Perhaps best of all, every tent is air-conditioned and, thank heaven, bug-free. Beyond the camp, which is a three-hour drive from Jaipur or four hours by train from Delhi, are the Ranthambhore hills, the best place in the country to see tigers, leopards, antelope, and exotic birds. The terrific camp host, Jonathan Blitz, a charismatic young South African, will arrange game drives, Indian-style spa treatments, as well as relaxed meals cooked with locally grown vegetables. For those who want it, exercise consists of a hike up to Ranthambhore Fort. But most guests prefer to stay put and enjoy the privileged peace. Rates, $2,300 for three nights at the camp, one night at The Manor in Delhi, and all meals and drinks; 800-477-9180;65-6887-3337;

Hotel prices show high-season rates from the least expensive double to the most expensive suite.