Last month we were at Rishikesh with out office group of 40 people and we stayed at ASPEN, which is located on Neelkanth Road, with Heul river on it's back. Let's checkout this Photo Journey to know about ASPEN Adventure camp and respective things to considered while staying there.
I was not among the organizers of this trip, so can't comments how responsive Aspen folks were during initial discussions but it sounded good from conversations we got to know. One week before we had to go to the camps, many folks in our office had started talking about Aspen as it's not like other river-side camps in Rishikesh.
Above photograph was clicked from main road. This is one of the lawns in back side of the Aspen Camp in Rishikesh.
Aspen had arranged Bus for us from Delhi, which arrived on time at our office gate. Luggage and relevant stuff was loaded into the bus and journey started from Noida towards Rishikesh. We started in Night and plan was to reach at around 7am. Condition of this bus was very bad, so don't recommend to rely on Aspen for travel. Aspen is no doubt good at hospitality but probably travel arrangements is not something that they do regularly. One Aspen guy was accompanying us from Delhi and he was quite good person, who was also concerned about the bus.
Above photograph shows group members relaxing in main lawn of ASPEN Adventure Camp, Rishikesh. This is one of the main lawn that was used by the group while we were at camp.
The best part of stay at Aspen camp is their hospitality and care for guests in camp. Although room service is not available at ASPEN Adventure Camp in Rishikesh, but for all other things they were quite proactive and well-planned. All adventure activities were done very well with proper security measures and ensured full fun !!!
While at ASPEN, expect packed schedule with full of activities. If some members of the crew choose to stay at Camp, then they may not get some basic stuff like Tea :) . This happened with our group. Few members chose to stay at camp with kids and requested for tea and they were simply refused without any efforts to figure out the possibilities. So anyone who is planning to stay at Aspen, should better understand their schedule and expect least flexibility in other things.
Aspen Adventure Camps at Rishikesh has 20 tents with decent bedding and attached bathrooms. Hot water is provided outside the tents. Protocol is to put an empty bucket outside the tent and you will get hot water within 5 minutes. Tents at Aspen were good, although I would not rate them luxury tents. Those were clean and basic tents with attached bathroom, which adds some value in that area.
At Aspen, very basic food is served which is OK. don't expect fancy stuff in breakfast, lunch or dinner. In fact, I was disappointed to not find any curd item in any of the meals :), although that was not a big deal.
Finding decent accommodation at Rishikesh for family outing is quite a challenege. Either chose to stay in hotel or stay in resorts which was not exactly camps. And most of the camps don't have attached bathrooms and other small facilities which are necessary with family.
One needs to climb a steep hill to reach road from Aspen Camp which can be quite challenging for aged people, but we enjoyed those ups & downs. For every activity like Rafting, Rock Climbing, Trekking to Waterfall, Pooja at Parmarth Temple etc; we needed to climb that hill up to reach road and board into the bus. But Aspen is beautifully placed in the middle of green hills and a river. We truly felt like in the lap of nature all around us. The adventure guides at Aspen were awesome, especially Des raj and Vijender. They are quite experienced in Rafting, rappelling, rock climbing, trekking etc and took best care of our safety from the moment we arrived in the camp. We enjoyed our adventure activities under their guidance and almost everyone participated in rafting.
Aspen Adventure Camp is located at 9 kms from Laxman Jhula, which is not an issue for me but can be for folks who want to be around the main town. For camp, one needs to trek down a little from the ghat road into the valley to reach the camp which might be difficult for older people in the night.There are many other camps on this road and all of them seemed decent as compared to the camps located on river-bed of Ganges.
We stayed at Aspen Adventure camp for two nights and three days. During one of the evenings, Aspen staff arranged a tour to Parmarth Aarti on Ganges. It was beautiful and quite peaceful...
Rafting arrangements was the best part of this trip Vijender from aspen made very sure that all of us enjoy rafting from Marine Drive and with best available Raft-leaders in the town. Especially raft-leader with us was awesome. we had great fun during rafting. There were many folks in the group who had planned not to do it because of fear and almost everyone attempted it & enjoyed to the core.
During one of the days, Des raj took us to a waterfall near Golf-Course rapid.
Colorful birds keep flying around the Aspen Camp and especially during morning time. Various small birds keep moving from one tent to another and a small bush to a tree... It was motivating for me to get up early in the morning and enjoy the play of these beautiful birds in Rishikesh. I talked to Aspen staff about birding tour but it seems none of them was much aware of birds in Rishikesh region and at the same time, we had not enough time to accommodate more things. Some of the folks from our gourp also did bungy jumping & flying-fox which was fw kilometers away from Aspen Adventure Camp, Rishikesh.
Various sports stuff was available at Aspen Camp and kids were quite comfortable with staff to ask for things they needed at various moments :)
Aspen also organized Rock Climbing and rappelling near Golf-Course rapid of Ganges. These were one of the simplest rock climbings I have seen :). Somehow chauli ki jaali in Mukteshwar comes to mind when it comes to Rock Climbing.
Overall it was a good experience at Aspen and I may consider it again for stay at Rishikhesh, which majorly depends upon charges because now I am in better state to conclude the worth.