Born out of one couple’s passion for wildlife and conservation, The Sarai at Toria provides a riverside haven of peace and serenity. Owners Joanna, a wildlife photographer, writer and conservationist, and Raghu, a biologist known for his pioneering research on tigers, have made every effort to ensure the property is as environmentally and culturally responsible as possible. This is an eco-resort worthy of the title, with a handful of beautifully appointed rooms based on traditional village cottages.
From the outside the look is definitely rustic, but the interior décor is unexpectedly elegant, with high ceilings and traditional textiles. Joanna and Raghu are passionate conservationists and their passions don’t stop there - they’re true foodies at heart, just like us! The homemade dishes served at the property are inspired by their favourite local recipes, infusing the menu with interesting and delicious flavours.
Only an hour and a half’s drive from Khajuraho airport, Sarai at Toria is set on the peaceful banks of the River Ken and a mere 2 km from the Panna Tiger Reserve at Madla.
No air-con, no pool, no frills
Walking, cycling, bird-watching
Relaxing yoga on request
I have never experienced peace like it - I could have stayed a week.
Discover what to expect from staying at Sarai At Toria
Sarai at Toria offers all the comforts of a hotel with all the character and personal touches of a homestay. The cottages are crafted from mud and have thatched roofs, creating rustic charm. This clever way of building is not only traditional to the area but also eco-friendly, retaining heat in the winter and keeping the cottages cool in the summer. This is somewhere to truly connect with nature; set the high-tech gadgets aside and get your binoculars out as you won’t want to miss a moment.
If the home-made organic food, eco-friendly cottages and homely feel aren’t enough to tempt you, Sarai at Toria is dedicated to making their charming villas suitable for all travellers. The mezzanine cottages are specifically designed with an extra level to comfortably accommodate families, while extra beds can be provided on the ground floor and there are cots available for really little ones. Joanna and Raghu really have thought of everything.
The Sarai is ideally placed for visiting the nearby Panna Tiger Reserve, one of India’s most scenic parks, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Khajuraho. Closer to home, dawn and sunset boat rides and walks through the nearby village offer unique opportunities to experience rural India, while budding yogis can arrange to further their practice with a local expert.
Owners Joanna and Raghu put sustainability and conservation at the heart of everything they do. Their dedication to minimising the impact on the surroundings is remarkable. Their use of natural building materials, the home grown food and the lack of energy-hungry mod cons is admirable, and combined with their friendly approach and attentive service, the overall experience they offer their guests is outstanding.
Take your best shot at spotting wildlife with an itinerary that includes not one but three different parks, all located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. This allows you to explore some surprisingly diverse scenery, see myriad bird and animal species, and hugely increase your chances of spotting one of these elusive big cats.