Aramness is an immersive experience entrenched in local culture, designed with authenticity and oozing luxury. Located within the area skirting the National Park, this luxury lodge sits within a rarely undeveloped natural paradise in a protected teak forest. Jimmy Patel, Founder & Owner, Aramness unfolds to us how they plan to deliver an exceptionally crafted, luxury experience.
Aramness is a luxury boutique Safari lodge, packed with exemplary service, situated in the only forest in the world that is home to the Asiatic lions. The brand appeal speaks for itself, right from aesthetics, design, sustainability, conservation to promoting local cuisine, culture, and people. Sasan Gir National Park is home to the last remaining Asiatic lions in the world coexisting with the semi-nomadic Maldhari tribe.
For Jimmy, wildlife safaris are the ultimate holiday destinations. He has always been intrigued and interested in conservation, sustainability as well as luxury safari lodges and how they function, which lays the foundation of his vision – Aramness. While reminiscing old times, Jimmy shares, “As a child, I visited Sasan Gir often and believed that there was an opportunity to raise awareness for the Asiatic Lions and the plethora of birdlife, flora, and fauna. It was an organic and gradual process, starting with the vision to build a luxury safari lodge at par with the best lodges from around the world.”
Aramness is the culmination of collaborative design between the Architects, Fox Browne Creative and Nicholas Plewman. There were many key elements and parameters that were taken into consideration while setting up this luxury lodge. Shedding light on such elements, Jimmy tells, “To bring my vision alive, both the firms brilliantly collaborated. The three of us were in sync to create a design that reflects the local culture, architecture, and designs. Conservation is the key element along with staying true to local culture and heritage. From the kind of materials such as the Clay roof tiles (Naliya in local language), Stone bricks such as Sandstone (Tola stone in local language) to using the Jaali inspired from dried teak leaf to build to the layout of the Kothis and the style of service all reflect the local region and way of living.”
Jimmy passionately emphasises on the significance of regional flavours; the region’s taste, preference and most importantly, its culture. The lodge houses 15 standalone single bedroom kothis and three standalone double bedroom kothis with a shared dining space that overlooks waterways and beyond the dense forest. Each kothi boasts of a private pool inspired by the Indian step wells. The thoughtfully curated experiences will be delivered by butlers assigned to each kothi. He further asserts, “When we speak about conservation and sustainability, it is only natural to lean on the regional factor. From the design and architecture elements to the food cooked and way of service – it must all reflect the local region.”
The luxurious lodge offers many well-executed activities including but not restricted to game drives into the park to get a glimpse of the Asiatic lions accompanied by an Aramness naturalist, jungle walks in the teak forest, home-visiting a Maldhari family and more. Aramness is in the process to further elevate the overall experience, as they will soon introduce Fly Safari. Sharing details on this unique initiative, Jimmy explicits, “Fly Safari is a charter flight program to bring our guests easily to our lodge in a private chartered helicopter or jet. We are in the process of fine-tuning the program and will be introducing it shortly.
India is at the cusp of a major transformation and hospitality sectors are emblematic of this journey. Jimmy perceives the hospitality sector is turning towards local factors as a substantial number of guests become appreciative of sustainable efforts taken by the sector and are even applauding for such steps. He adds, “Eco-friendly and conservation steps are being taken as well. With the global pandemic, tourism within India has increased. Those who generally only travelled abroad are now looking for luxury options and adventures within borders that are at par with international luxury destinations.”
“As we are located in the middle of the forests, we are in a bio-bubble. Our teams are regularly tested, and we also ask our guests to arrive with negative RTPCR test results or double vaccination certificates. All our lodge staff members wear masks during service. We also practice regular sanitation protocols.”