The Wildflower Hall Shimla
Going back in time, this
fascinating resort is wrapped in the history of Shimla for more than a
hundred years. It was for many years the property of Mr. G H M Batten,
C S who officiated as the one time Private Secretary of the Earl of Lytton.
It was also the favourite
retreat of Lord Ripon. Later, it also served as a charming country villa
of Lord and Lady Dufferin. However, it is best remembered as the former
residence of Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, the Commander in Chief of the
British Army, who secured the lease for the house almost as soon as he
arrived in Shimla. Immediately after he left India, the Goldstein family
sold Wildflower Hall to Mrs. Hotz who converted it into a hotel.
The place became a popular
residence for visitors and weekend resort for the Shimla public. Before
the formation of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation in
1972, the Wildflower Hall was being run as a hotel by the Department of
Tourism. In 1972, the property, along with several others, was transferred
to the HPTDC. Unfortunately, the building was gutted in a devastating fire
in the year 1993.
The Oberoi group took
over and began construction the year 1995 and a majestic new building was
erected among the sylvan surroundings and sweet smelling pines. The hotel
is a perfect base from which to explore the fascinating Himalayas. Out
door activities include trekking, mountain biking, picnics, nature walks
and riding. The building occupies only five percent of the twenty-two acres
of property, allowing guests ample space for privacy and tranquility.