The Serene Getaway
With a name that literally means “Serenity by the Lake” in Khasi, Ri Kynjai – Serenity By The Lake offers you the perfect getaway from the urban hubbub. Nature lovers can choose to luxuriate in perfectly appointed cottages, undergo traditional Khasi spa treatments and dine on local delicacies… the more adventurous may prefer the beautiful hill treks, boat rides and island picnics, and of course, a day at the Shillong Golf Course, dating back to 1889, and still referred to as the ‘Gleneagles of the East’.
This boutique resort is as perfect for families seeking the ultimate all-round getaway as it is for corporates requiring discreet and luxurious convention spaces. Lovers of authentic experiences will be particularly pleased with the architecture – inspired by the building ‘language’ of traditional Khasi cottages while incorporating the best of modern practices.
About The Architecture
Ri Kynjai translates from Khasi as ‘land of serene environs’. This resort presiding over the picturesque Umiam Lake, 18kms from Shillong, is aptly named ‘Ri Kynjai – Serenity by the Lake’.
The architecture is inspired and derived from the original Khasi thatch huts. Legend has it that millennia ago the sea caressed the southern slopes of the Himalayas and the Ancient Khasis may have been a sea faring community. They readily adopted the upturned boat roof from which is inherently capable of withstanding the harsh monsoon winds and incessant rainfall. The Cherrapunjee – Mawsynram belt, the world’s rainiest area, lies on these slopes. Being aerodynamics friendly, these upturned boat roofs were best suited to withstand the squalls and storms of the region.
Ethnicity is at the core of Ri Kynjai. The resort reflects the warmth of Khasi hospitality, their eco-centric culture and captivating architecture combined with modern convenience and luxury. Set against the backdrop of the enchanting Khasi Hills, Ri Kynjai is spread over 45 acres and weaves three architectural styles into a harmonious whole that synergises perfectly with the idyllic natural surroundings.
As you drive up to the resort through groves of majestic pine trees, lush paddy fields, small organic tea and vegetable gardens, your first view is of traditional thatch roof of the Porch and the distinctive hybrid cottages unique to Ri Kynjai.
The distinctive lake view cottages which are supported on tall circular stilts, are derived from vernacular Khasi architecture and portray the transition from tradition to modernity with an unusual interpretation of the upturned boat roof in metallic thatch fused to modern gables.
Designed with an eye for detail, the intricately framed ceiling is set off by red pine walls and flooring. The fireplace in the living – bedroom area, adds a cozy intimacy to cool nights. Wooden steps lead up to a loft which serves as auxiliary space.
Ingeniously built into a cliff, the main block is not visible as you approach the resort. Overlooking the azure waters of the Umiam Lake, the elegant 800 sq. ft. red pine panelled rooms are spacious and meticulously planned. Each includes a sleeping and living area, bathroom, dressing room, and opens out to a balcony where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular view.
At the garden area are the Dining Room, Bar and conference facilities – all with a panoramic view of the lake, hills and forest. The Dining Room and Bar, ‘Sao Aiom’ serves Indian, Continental, Chinese and Northeastern specialities.
Ri Kynjai offers something for everyone. For trekkers, the legendary peaks, ‘Lumsohpetbneng’ and ‘Lumdiengiei’ are few kilometers away while the resort’s forest walks to the lake provide for more relaxed exploration. The travel desk provides all travel related information and tours in and around Shillong.
The Resort Emporium showcases textiles and crafts from around the Northeast. The ‘Khem Janai Spa’ is equipped with state-of-art hydrotherapy equipment. Traditional Khasi massage and Aqua Therapy are the highlights of the spa menu.
To top it all, Ri Kynjai is designed with its orientation to the east – capturing the view of the lake and the rising sun a sublime wake up call for those who wish to revel in the ‘Spirit of the Rising Sun’.