highest golf course in the world, nestled in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, attract hordes of visitors, but the time to go is winter—Gulmarg is rated as Asia’s best ski destination. The Khyber is the latest addition to hotels ranged around the skiing area and is the highest, close to 9,000 ft above sea level. It is also an epitome of luxury, from the wood-floored lobby to the restaurant and the high-class rooms fitted with every mod con. The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, to give its full name, is spread over seven acres and the view from the rooms is spectacular, with snow-topped fir trees as far as the eye can see and a majestic view of the Affarwat Peaks. It’s a three-hour drive from Srinagar through the valley and if you like adventure, the skiing is fantastic, as is the Gondola ride up the mountain, but even otherwise, a stay at the Khyber is an experience by itself.
Fortune Resort Bay Island, Andamans
The Andamans is fast becoming one of the top winter destinations and attracting tourists and hotel chains alike. The Fortune Resort Bay Island is an ITC property designed by Charles Correa and its location and layout are quite spectacular. The Andamans is one of the world’s last outposts of virgin, natural rainforest islands and the sparkling, crystal-clear sea, pristine beaches and marine life add to its unique charm. The Fortune Resort Bay Island in the capital, Port Blair, overlooks the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal and is built on levels on the hillside, so most of the rooms overlook the sea. It has been constructed almost exclusively with the native ‘Padouk’ wood, beautiful red timber that is found only on Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The resort offers great seafood, cozy rooms, a glorious view, natural light. It also arranges glass-bottomed boats for guests to view marine life or go snorkelling.