MY TRIP TO Mukteshwar is a story of many firsts: my first trip in 11 months; my first experience of sub-zero temperatures; and my maiden daughter-mother holiday.
Equipped with sweaters and jackets, and countless snacks, we reach jüSTa Mukteshwar Retreat & Spa after a bumpy eight-hour-long road journey from Delhi. A face mask-clad team greets us at the reception, allaying all of our pandemic-related fears. Our eyes, however, stay transfixed at the plants and statues that dot the space. The bright yellow walls and the surrounding lush greenery give us a glimpse of the joyful weekend ahead of us.
Spread over two acres, this hilltop retreat is splattered with colours. Picture blazing yellow cottages interspersed with flowers and towering pines, a kaphal tree (box myrtle) soaring up to meet clear blue skies, garden seating including a hammock, and brick pathways.
The retreat’s 35 cottage-style accommodations come in two varieties: Valley View Rooms and Himalayan View Rooms; we pick one of the latter for our stay. A quick climb up a Buddha statue-lined staircase, past a deck, leads us to our abode. True to its name, the room gifts us a view of rolling green hills meeting three peaks of the Himalayas—Trishul, Panchachuli, and Nanda Devi. The room’s interiors are plush with wooden flooring typical of mountain homes in the area and charming wall paintings.
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