Royal Retreat, Kapilvastu is an amazingly beautiful hotel located about 20 mins away from the main town of Kapilvastu. This 19th century, summer retreat tucked away in idyllic settings is a perfect place to rest and reflect during the journey tracing the Lotus Steps of the Buddha through Northern India. I spent 2 days here while visiting Lumbini and Kapilvastu and thoroughly enjoyed the natural setting, food and hospitality.
There is something in it for everyone, from plush royal suites, to bright orange marigold laden tree lined tet-e-tete corners, to flower decked pathways, lush green lawns that offered nature’s massage to tired feet. The rooms in the lower level are a royal treat with plush 4 post beds and soft carpets and small sit outs overlooking the garden. However, I am bowled over by the bath which had an olden style sunken enclosure that could be accessed after climbing down a few steps was perfect for a queen like warm water soak on a chilly evening. The entrance, dining area and the reception have quite a few heritage pieces and photographs of earlier hunting expeditions on display. A leisurely walk around the property revealed beautiful spots, where all the elements of nature seem to have merged in complete harmony, urging the mind to slip effortlessly into deep meditation. My favorite spot is the bench next to the pond and the small tree house near the flower garden where I could disconnect with the world around and simply connect with myself.
If you are expecting sparkling marble, hi tech comfort, this may not be the place for you. This is a place to experience rustic natural beauty, walking meditation and reflect on the Buddha.
Related Read: Planning a Buddhist Pilgrimage in India