Baghvan, Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
A co-venture between the Taj Resorts and Palaces hotel group and CC Africa to establish a five-park "tiger circuit" in Central India aims to elevate the overall experience (and price) of game watching in India to the level of the best that Africa has to offer. The first two of the five planned lodges combine CC Africa's game-watching expertise (luxe four-by-four jeeps, English-speaking drivers trained as naturalists, and outreach to local people on whom survival of the wildlife depends) with Taj's local roots and culinary expertise. Baghvan, in Pench National Park, offers in its 12 bungalows with walled courtyards a post- and late-colonial style with outdoor showers, mosquito-netted beds, and a machan, or lookout area, to scan the darkness for tiger eyes burning bright. Its main lodge is more funkily and distinctively designed, mixing colonial-style architecture with an eclectic selection of Indian antiques. Mahua Kothi in Bandhavgarh National Park comprises 12 kutiyas, mud-walled cottages si2007 Hot List
When to go: High season is in December and January, but for less frigid early-morning game drives and lower prices, go OctoberNovember or FebruaryMarch.
Which room to book: For maximum privacy at either property (but a scarier walk at night), ask for one of the cottages on the outskirts of the cluster, away from the main lodge.
Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, PoolSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›