My husband and I, along with our 2 year old son visited Meghalaya from 12th to 15th October 2017. After weighing in on the options available in Shillong for stay, we decided to give Ri Kynjai a shot. The reservation process was smooth through frequent mail exchange between the reservation manager Ms. Dariti and me. The three room options available are forest view rooms, lake view rooms and cottages. While cottages are supremely luxurious spacious and beautiful, the view is same as that of lake view rooms. Unless one decides to spend considerable time inside the rooms, considering the pricing and almost similar facilities, it is advisable to book lake view rooms.
After getting down at Guwahati Airport, we had a car waiting from the resort (we had asked for a car for the entire period of stay) that took us to the resort in 3 hours almost. The road is good except for a 5km stretch in Ri Bhoi that’s almost non existent. But the four lane work is going on fast and smooth for that stretch and thus this small hurdle should also be soon taken care of. The location of the resort is their biggest asset. It is just opposite to Lake Umiam also known as Barapani-one of the main tourist attractions in the state. The property is a good 20kms outside Shillong and one has easy access to the city through car/cab. Away from the hustle and bustle of Shillong, the serenity of the location is something to die for. The resort sprawling across acres of land houses a cricket and badminton ground. Just walking around the entire stretch will consume half a day. The architecture and interiors are tastefully done.
Coming to the rooms, they are very spacious with all amenities except air conditioner which is really not needed here. The bathroom is huge and well thought of. But one would easily tend to spend maximum time in the attached balcony due to the picturesque view. The only issue that I felt with the balcony was the lack of privacy. However much one ignores, conversations from adjacent rooms are highly audible. Come evening, it is advisable to keep the balcony door locked since the area has a lot of insects and mosquitoes.
The service of the resort is comparable to that of any five star hotel. Staffs are ever helpful, ready to listen to your requirements and cater to it happily. We celebrated my husband’s birthday there and the reception team helped me arrange a surprise for him by getting the room decorated and a yummylicious cake arranged. A big thank you to everyone there. For sightseeing, the resort can arrange a car and normally it is the same driver who takes care of your trips until they see you off at the airport. We had a guy called Kordor and I must say that our trips were made smooth and stress free because he was extremely accommodating and understanding of our requirements with a small kid.
Coming to the restaurant, they have an in house restaurant called Sao Aiom. The food options are limited but they are tasty and the portions served are decent. The breakfast spread gets a little repetitive after a couple of days and I wish they introduce more variety. Since we were out every afternoon, we lunched outside. For dinner, we availed room service and I must say that they were prompt. We also had requested for customization of the food for the toddler and they did it perfect each time. Special mention to Kamal from room service who ensured that the toddler’s food is well taken care of. We tried their Murgh bharta, Prawn malai curry, fish and chips, grilled fish among other items. While no dish stood out for being extraordinary, each one was tasty, hygienic and maintained the right quality. Saturday evenings were acoustic evenings and the live music was brilliant.
My husband also tried the spa there-Khem janai. Since we have had great experiences with spa therapy in Kerala, comparison was inevitable and so we found it to be just ok. This one can be given a miss.
Overall, I would say that Ri Kynjai is a hidden gem of Meghalaya. The property, view is beautiful , service is excellent, food is good and hygienic. Only the variation in menu needs a revision. The pricing is on the higher side specially compared to multiple options available in Shillong but once you stay in the resort, the experience makes every penny count. We would definitely want to come back to this place again and again.
Room tips – All lake view rooms are good. Take a lake view room if you are planning to do a lot of sightseeing. Take a cottage if you are planning to stay indoors mostly and okay with the higher pricing.
Rating – Excellent
Visited – Oct, 2017 with family.
Link to the video of view from the balcony of Ri kynjai resort
P. S.- Please find the link to the review on trip advisor