Home / Features / Hyundai Alcazar 1.5 Diesel AT Goes Glamping

 

Revenge travel has been one of the buzz words of the year after travel buffs were restricted indoors for almost a year and a half. We follow the trend at a glamorous camping site amidst nature in the comfort of the Hyundai Alcazar.


Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Road trips are, perhaps, the best way to create some beautiful memories. You foster a unique bond with people you travel with and meet and get to learn so much about different cultures and life skills. Thanks to our adventure-travel series with Hyundai cars, I’ve been lucky enough to go out there and create some wonderful moments that will remain with me all my life.

Since the time I’ve had the key to the Hyundai Alcazar, I’ve been itching to set out yet again. The efficient 1.5-litre diesel engine and a smooth automatic transmission promise to make the Hyundai an ideal road trip partner. Moreover, with comfy seating for six or seven people and good enough luggage space provided the opportunity to take my family along on this quick getaway. This would also help declutter our minds and get a break from the usual urban chaos.

This time the adventure had to be a little more glamorous to suit the Hyundai Alcazar. It’s not only all about practicality and utility, but plenty of style, new-age features, and convenience. So, after mulling over, we decided to spend the night amidst nature — living in a tent, but with a modern twist. We zeroed in on Glamping which is as feature-rich and comfortable as our trusted Alcazar.

The word Glamping is a mix of glamorous star resort-like service and comfort and conventional camping. Post the lockdown, this new-age adventure travel is becoming quite a rage in India. You get to stay in fancy tents, away from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to miss out on modern amenities like a comfy bed, three-course meal, a hygienic loo, and even a shower. Luxurious camping in the lap of nature sounded perfect!

Our luggage included a full-sized suitcase, a couple of small fishing nets on poles, laptops, and several small bags filled with a variety of food. Yes, we clearly believe in travelling light. Thankfully, the Alcazar’s boot could accommodate the smaller bags even with the third row in place. Topple down one of the back-rests and you can stow the remaining larger pieces of luggage.
Glamping camp tents at Pavna lake site

After seeing all the rating online, we pointed our car towards Pawna lake and headed to the popular Glamp Everest facility. The site is run by Anju Mishra and Ashutosh Singh, who promised to make this glamping trip special without burning a hole in our pockets. The camping site is centrally located, whether you’re driving down from Mumbai or Pune.

With the Bose sound system playing some family favourites, we were on our way. After crossing the city and cruising comfortably on the highway, our phone navigation system guided us through some narrow village paths, probably to avoid tolls. The Alcazar, with its well-balanced suspension set-up and good ground clearance, bulldozed through it all, leaving a dust trail behind.

Even with my over-prepped family and all the luggage we were carrying, the 1.5-litre diesel with its 115 hp and a healthy 250 Nm of torque ensured we powered ahead briskly. A quick pit-stop for some sumptuous dhaba lunch and we were back on the road. As expected, my co-occupants were nodding off soon, cocooned in the comfort of the cabin. Seeing a good patch of road ahead, I got the chance to select the Sport mode and make up for lost time. Soon we were turning on the last section of patchy roads that led to our destination.
Hyundai Alcazar Goes Glamping in Pavna Lake family road trip

As we pulled up, the courteous staff rushed to help unload the luggage, while our hosts for the evening, Anju and Ashutosh, welcomed and showed us around. Since the sun was about to set in the scenic Pawna lake, we quickly freshened up and rushed out to capture Mother Earth’s art on canvas first hand. The cool breeze, rhythmic sounds of birds and insects, and nature all around is an incredible way to spend an evening with your loved ones. We stood there soaking in the picture-perfect moment as the sun disappeared behind the hills.

As the natural light faded away, we headed back to the camp and started chatting with the hosts. Talking about the concept behind Glamping, Anju, a young IT professional-turned-entrepreneur explained, ‘This concept originated centuries ago when royalties travelled with the entourage. The accompanying soldiers prepared temporary but luxurious set up for the king and queen for their night halt.’ Ashutosh, who left a successful career in business development to pursue their dream project of expanding Glamp Everest, elaborated enthusiastically, ‘Years later, in modern time, this concept was rediscovered in the UK which gave birth to Glamping. There are many people who still have not explored camping because of issues like unhygienic washrooms, poor service, uncomfortable beds, and absence of basic amenities. A set-up like ours offers a nice atmosphere, good food, safety, a decent crowd, and privacy. This encourages a whole new segment of audience to explore the outdoors and spend time within nature.’

Glamp Everest Ashutosh and Anju Glamping camping Pavna lake

In fact, almost 80 per cent people who check in at Glamping sites are experiencing camping for the very first time. And my family was among them. The other highlight of this destination is the beautiful ambience with tastefully done-up camps, brilliantly lit up picnic tables, cosy corners for a campfire, and rustic dining areas where you lounge the entire night, gazing at the starry sky.

To encourage young women travelling solo, most Glamping sites only allow families, couples or women travellers to filter out the unwanted crowd. This really is very different from some of the commercial camp sites I’ve encountered before. The deafening music, dreadful loos, and men revelling through the night still haunt me today.

Nikhil, the extremely polite site manager, led us to the dining area where we gorged on some simple but very sumptuous meals. During dinner, Ashutosh and Anju revealed that both of them are avid travellers and they decided to start a chain of Glamping retreats across India so they could drive from one site to another. As luck would have it, their vehicle of choice is a Hyundai Creta. Upon probing, he said, ‘My experience with the Creta has been amazing. I bought it in April 2021 and have clocked 20,000 kilometres in just six months. I’ve taken it across India from Maharashtra to Himachal and down south to Kerala and Puducherry.’

It was lovely sharing stories of Hyundai and adventure trips with this enthusiastic couple and it seemed like their lived experience summed up what Hyundai Alcazar stood for — conquer every landscape effortlessly.

Also Read: Hyundai Creta Goes to Auroville

Hyundai Alcazar 1.5 Diesel AT
Price: Rs 19.99 lakh (ex-showroom)
Engine: 1,493 cc, in-line four, diesel
Max Power: 115 hp at 4,000 rpm
Max Torque: 250 Nm at 1,500-2,750 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed, automatic, front-wheel drive

Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear
Weight: 1,425 kg

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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