“Sleep for twenty minutes on the aquatic flotation bed and receive the benefits of 7 hours of sleep.”
As the Tereljmaa spa attendant explained this sleep-hack-yet-truly-relaxing experience, this tired mama had to give it a try.
It was not just the water bed that provided refreshment. Our girls getaway + baby at Terelj Hotel provided a blissful recharge. See below for why…
#1. Have you seen these rooms?
Terelj Hotel Superior Room
After a brisk yet thoughtful check-in we were led to our Superior room. You could play contact sports in here! We sat baby down on one of the two double beds–perfect for friends traveling together–and she happily drooled over the plush cashmere bedspread and raw silk pillows.
#2. A National Park setting
This is the hotel’s backyard. Yes, rock formations that make great eye candy while sipping a Tom Collins on the terrace. You can also experience the hills on a hike. We had a “because it is there” moment and decided to tackle the slope behind the hotel. This turned into a 35-minute walk. Once on top, we momentarily enjoyed the commanding view of the mountains and grasslands, then made for a stupa tucked along one of the ridges.
The hotel also arranges horseback riding, camping, off-road driving and organized nature hikes. In the winter, there is dog sledding.
#3. The Spa
I mentioned the dreamy aquatic flotation bed. Tereljmaa Spa uses Aromatherapy Associates products and has a broad range of treatments, including wraps, facials and massages.
#4. The columned pool
The Roman style columned pool, like many of the hotel’s other features, takes its guests to a more gilded age, evoking its legacy as a 19th century Russian summer retreat. Were it not for the statue of Stalin on the grounds, I could imagine ourselves at a turn-of-the-century Adirondacks lodge, or as you can see from the picture below, the baths in Budapest. I prefer the real setting: the serene grasslands of Mongolia.
Note for those with kiddos: The hotel provides child life jackets, flippers, balls and a number of other toys to save you the hassle of packing them.
#5. The Terrace
Check out this terrace. Can’t you imagine Victorian ladies in puffy white dresses sipping tea as they sitting stiffly at their chairs? When we visited in May, staff had started to set up the venue for the summer, preparing for live music, a grill and a number of weddings.
#6. The food…Mongolian dishes + lamb chops
For dinner one night I ordered the vegetarian lasagna, as I learned Terelj’s Food and Beverage manager is from Sicily. The layers of pasta, eggplant, zucchini and tomato sauce did not disappoint. The vegetables provided a refreshing break from the tasty yet filling meat-and-potato options we ate at other spots on our Mongolian tour.
My friend ordered the lamb, served in a cabernet reduction. After the entrée, we switched to a dry Prosecco, which we did not finish at the table…
#7. The general coziness
Excited to crawl under our cashmere bedspreads, we had what was left of the Prosecco delivered to the room. Fittingly, I curled up Mornings on Horseback, about Teddy Roosevelt, the luxurious life he led, and his “blessed” mornings under the wide blue skies of the Badlands.
#8. The royal treatment
This is what baby’s breakfast look like. The staff thoughtfully took away any foods she couldn’t eat–without asking–to provide her a poached egg with a parsley garnish. I am sure she took note and now wonders, “Where is the mint spring?” when I serve her daily meat and avocado mash.
#9. Local touches
Throughout the hotel one can find antiques and touches unique to the Mongolian steppe, which add to its olden day charm. On one of the stairway landings an antique green Mongolian fiddle was displayed behind a red cabinet and seemed to glow in the light. Another hallway showcased an antique Kalkh silk gown with heavy silver ornamentation.
The staff graciously provided us a tour of the private museum, which features military garb from the time of Chinggis Khan, argali and other skulls, and yes, fossils. Don’t be surprised when the producers of the Night of the Museum franchise choose to film here.
#10. The in-house ger
In the Monglian language, “ger” simply means “home.” Terelj Hotel’s traditional ger lies tucked away on the second floor next to the ballroom. The structure is made out of felt–most of today’s gers are now made of canvas or tarpaulin. Baby enjoyed her cozy hideout.
Getting there: Terelj Hotel is located 1.5 hours away by car from Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia’s capital. The hotel can arrange chauffeur services. Rooms from $150 per night in the low season.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve and ask about long-term stay and full-board options.