Passing through the flagstone-paved cul-de-sac, beyond urn-topped gateposts, you have crossed the threshold into our world. The scorching and dusty Indian cities seem like a distant past. The Castle’s Gothic façade, with its battlements and buttresses, looms startlingly before you.
Stepping inside the vestibule leading to the hall, the visitor is greeted by meticulously restored antique furnishings and objets d’art complementing the Medieval arches and wood panelling. Light streams through the atrium glass onto the Pompeii inspired marble floor intensifying the drama further. The sheer splendour and superlative style is carried forward into the other public rooms exhibiting cast-iron fireplaces and hand-carved Gothic chimneypieces. The Parlour, Refectory dining room and the Conservatory on the premier étage overlooking the rambling gardens and pool are fine illustrations of good taste and workmanship. The elaborate clover trelliswork in The Parlour epitomises feminine sophistication. In contrast, a masculine sentiment is portrayed in the Refectory with its coffered wooden ceiling opening onto a magnificent vaulted veranda. The remarkable Turret on the east houses the spiral staircase leading up to the guest chambers and the subterranean Dungeon bar.
Each guest chamber is substantial and supremely comfortable, enjoying a fireplace, an antique four-poster bed and armoire with exceptional views. All have en-suite marble bathrooms with shower cubicles, bathtubs, vanity mirrors and bespoke bath amenities. Conservative Victorian scheme is integrated with contemporary design to facilitate and enhance guest comfort.
Further above the lofts at the terrace level, the Turret culminates at the Crow’s Nest. Here, the irregularity of the Castle becomes even more evident, with considerable chimneystacks soaring over the high-pitched roofs. The performance has now reached a crescendo; the Crow’s Nest allows rewarding 360° panoramas of the grounds and the spectacular Manali landscape. Perhaps the right time for a rendezvous?