Background and Introduction
Water Garden Resort and Spa is set in the backdrop of lush green paddy fields which gets inundated with natural flooding during the monsoon. The open space covering hundreds of acres of completely open agricultural land changes color and look with change of seasons. With changing seasons, the resort provides numerous interesting activities within and in its surrounding areas, which will certainly remain in the minds of the visiting guests for a long time.
During February-May, the field is lush green with borro paddy fields covering the whole landscape of hundreds of acres of open cropped land—providing a true picture of traditional rural Bangladesh.
June-September/October, the whole area goes under deep monsoon water and new vegetation grows giving a completely different look. In particular, all over the vast agricultural farm land– expanding over hundreds of acres–gets covered with water lilies—the national flower of Bangladesh. The water lilies bloom in millions and in different colors providing a spectacular scene and true colors of Bangladesh.
Riding a country boat, you can slide across the whole water body of hundreds of acres, observe the crystal clear water with active fresh water life (fishes, snails and other living beings), collect water-lilies which bloom every morning in millions, and enjoy the naturally grown water vegetation (including morning glories or kalmi lata and other types of naturally grown edible plants).
Most people do not realize that there is so much natural beauty in the seasonal (monsoon) water bodies in Bangladesh, unless they experience the whole phenomenon with a boat ride in the morning.
Water Garden Resort & Spa, is located in the middle of lush green tall trees, numerous water bodies with colorful and exotic plantations within and surrounding the water bodies, wooded areas with wide range of plants—indigenous and collected from abroad–planted over time, bamboos in terms of colors and shapes (yellow/golden, black, green, tall, short, creeping/climbing) not to be found in any other place, range of plants bearing fruits and flowers, the varieties of water plants collected from different corners of Bangladesh and the outside world including Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Middle-East, and the USA.
The near-by river is locally called “Jhinuk” river which in English means “oyster”. In national geography, the river is also referred to as Bangshai River. The river passes through the village Dapnajore within a few minutes’ walk from the resort. The Jhinuk River is an off-shoot of the mighty river Jamuna, cuts across a vast area of Tangail district and merges with the other branch of Jamuna called Dhalesshowry which marges with Shitta Lakhaya before Narayanganj.
The river is strong and powerful during the rainy season, but reduces to a gentle slow flowing water body during the winter/dry season. Even in the dry season the river is navigable with country boats and small engine powered boats or speed boats, providing an unique opportunity to navigate through the river all seasons and explore its beautiful rural surroundings by speed and country boats.
There will be a boating station within 7-10 minute walk from the Water Garden. Long cruises may be arranged during the rainy season going all the way up to the Jamuna river and return. Otherwise short boat or speedboat trips for different durations may also be arranged that suit the interests of the guests and corporate clients.
Water Garden Resort & Spa”, is a 5-star quality boutique resort, built in an ideal setting of rural Bangladesh. This is unique in the sense that while most resorts have been built in the greater Sylhet region and in the forest settings of Gazipur, Water Garden Resort focuses on water, water based plants, huge collection of indigenous plants and open green agricultural land. The resort is a brain child of Dr. Ahsan H. Mansur, who travelled extensively across the world over several decades, staying in and minutely observing natural contents of and services offered by numerous 5-star hotels and resorts in different parts of the world. The resort, designed and built in the backdrop of real rural Bangladesh—with access to rivers and water bodies—provides relaxing environment in the midst of tall trees with bird sanctuaries; water gardens with lotus, blue lotus, and red and other types of water lilies, and various other water-based plants collected from across Bangladesh and countries across the globe. A wide flowing river nearby and large water bodies inside the resort has boating facilities and options for angling. A large number of well-maintained gardens with different varieties of flowers and ornamental plants; roof gardens attached to most guest rooms/suites, large patios, and roof gardens are unique characteristics of Water garden Resort.
The resort, with its tall tree lines—colored by the bright shimul, palash, Krisna Chura, Ashok, Arjun, Tamal and many indigenous medicinal trees. Dr. Mansur’s passion for collecting and planting trees and plants representing our national heritage has been captured in this resort. Specimens were also collected from outside Bangladesh to add more diversity to the collection of plants at the resort. The uninterrupted view of hundreds of acres of arable/agricultural land—changing colors and beauty over the six seasons of the year and with the cropping cycles–provides a rare opportunity to experience rural Bangladesh along with its unique vegetation.
Located in the village Dapnajore, in Basail Upa Zila of Tangail District, the resort is about 90 kilometers away from Dhaka, 65 kms from Ashulia, and about 55 kms from Dhaka Export Processing Zones. It is only 4 kilometers away from the six-lane Dhaka-Tangail road. It can be reached from 2 points on the Dhaka-Tangail Highway: (i) a faster route by taking the exit from Dhaka-Tangail road to Basail Road and from there to the resort which is faster in terms of time; and (ii) from Gorai taking the Gorai to the Airforce Base at Pahar Kanchanpur (at Naula)-Basail and then to resort, which is a very scenic route passing through shaal forested high lands of Pahar Kanchanpur, where an Air Force base is located. The winding road then comes down to low-lying flat lands of Basail.
Water Garden is a boutique resort with small number of rooms. But it has many unique features which one may not find in other resorts.
First, there are only 23 guest rooms in the main guest building which has total area of 31,000 square feet, implying average space per guest in the living quarters of about 1,300 square feet. Almost all guest rooms have their private patios with well-maintained gardens. The average size of the guest rooms, including the patio and garden, is about —– square feet. No hotel and resort in Bangladesh can afford to provide such specious and open rooms with exquisite private gardens and wide open views. Unlike most resorts in Bangladesh, the guest building is open on all sides, including the wide reception area, giving the experience of a real resort in its natural setting and openness.
BLOCK A–GROUND FLOOR LAYOUT OF THE BUILDING BLOCK FOR GUEST ROOMS
Block A includes the main lobby and waiting/rest area for registration of guests and it also includes 23 super-sized luxury bed rooms, and numerous specious gardens scattered across the 30,000 square feet complex.
Every room in the ground floor IS very spacious super-sized having its own private garden and private patio. The fact that there are only 23 rooms in an area in excess of 30,000 square feet, indicates how specious, open and green the Block is.
The spacious lobby with very high (22 feet) ceilings—what is called double foyers—makes the lobby unique and beautiful. The lobby is open on all sides, allowing free flow of air/breeze. The sitting area is spread out and includes a large and open sunken sitting room overlooking a water body.
At the center of the lobby, there is a spectacular circular and winding staircase, going in circles up to the second floor. The circular stair case is adorned with wrought iron railings with a wide wooden hand rail on top.
In the ground floor, there are only 10 guest rooms, leaving almost half of the available built up space. This kind of generous open space makes the Block A of Water Garden Resorts and Spa uniquely different from other resorts.
In the first floor there are 8 guest suites and bed rooms, all of them overlooking lakes either on the south side or on the eastern side. Every bed room has a large balcony and a garden with lush green foliage and flowering plants.
The second floor has only 5 bed rooms/suites, with attached balconies and personal gardens. In addition, there are 6 common gardens for the guests in Block A, which all can be accessed from the second floor. The gardens are staggered and connected one from another with four of them having sitting facilities.
Second, in the spirit of its name the resort has a large Water Garden, with several small islands and three sitting places for the guests to enjoy the garden and its unique eco-system and water plants. The water lilies and unique water plants in the Water Garden, collected from different countries of tropical East Asia (Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore) and also different parts of Bangladesh. The small disconnected set of islands with no access are planted with creepers, trees and shrubs collected from various countries and cities of the world including California, Washington DC, Chicago, Italy, India, South Africa, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Singapore. Some native Bangladeshi indigenous water plants can also be found in the midst of these wide ranging collection of plants. The whole collection and the setting is a unique creation and a must see and enjoy for everyone.
Third, the resort has two magnificent Amphitheaters. One of them is large and specious with a huge stage room for all kinds of outdoor events and performances. It is also a central place to sit and meet among friends. It is surrounded by Hong Kong tree orchids, which are in full bloom during October –February every year. Surrounded by water—with reflection of lights on the water body at night—create an unforgettable scenery. The specious green lawn in the middle along with the surrounding lake and high thick tree lines in the back create a special feeling in the mind of any visitor.
The second amphitheater is surrounding a large Banyan type tree providing cover to the whole area including the large open air stage and the sitting gallery. This is an ideal place for a small event or stage performance with up to 50-60 persons seating capacity in a circular multi-stage seating area. The open air stage surrounding the banyan tree –covered with small and large shoots hanging from the top branches provides a stimulating natural setting that is uniquely unmatched. This is an ideal place for Loko-Shangit (folk music) like Baus, Lalan, and other types musical and dance festivals/functions.
Fourth, great feature of the resort is its main water activity area comprising a large size infinite swimming pool, a good-size kids’ infinite swimming pool and a kids’ water play land. The 85-feet long and 35 feet wide main infinite swimming pool has been constructed in a garden setting along with poolside coffee bar and changing and locker rooms. The pool area is ideal for swimming and relaxing in the midst of a sunken land mass surrounded by palm and coconut trees, Debdaru and other flowering tree lines. The whole area is also established as an ideal setting for evening poolside party with its beautifully laid subtle garden lighting system. The three water springs coming out of three 3-column Roman structure and falling on the swimming pool water provide a unique mix of light, sound of water fall in deep blue setting of the swimming pool. Combined with the 10,000 square feet tiled garden with surrounding seating arrangements provide a heavenly atmosphere.
Sixth, is a unique mini Golf Course, professionally designed to provide basic features of a normal golf course within a limited space of about one acre of land. The general golf course area has been covered with tall fescue grass with seeds imported from the USA.
It has three putting holes. The putting areas are covered with special putting golf grass imported from the USA. The main actions are concentrated around the putting zones, since this is basically a larger version of putting golf course.
In line with the characteristics of a standard golf course, there are sand dunes close to the putting zones/holes. There is also a narrow and winding water body providing some challenging environment for the players and onlookers.
The golf course is surrounded by tall Royal Palm trees and other flowering vegetation, giving it a uniquely serine look, which attracts numerous butterflies creating a natural butterfly zone along the golf course. The whole combination will certainly attract the minds of guests who may not be interested in golf but admire the beauty of the golf course.
DEER GARDEN AND THE RABBIT CORNER
Seventh, the deer garden area is an unique spot for the guests and particularly for the children to relax and watch the movement of deer across the landscape. Large sized male deers with spectacularly beautiful long horns roam across the landscape showing their dominance and artistic movement.
Along with mother deers, the newborn and toddler deers (one year or younger) are sights worth seeing. The young calves are always following the mother or hiding in small bushes taking rest. The movements of baby fawns, jumping and running fearfully after their parents, are sights to remember.
There is a rabbit corner within the deer garden. In the north-eastern part of the deer garden, there is a small enclosed area for the rabbits to play, live and give birth to babies. Rabbits are housed in specially purpose built clay caves but come out to play outside. Rabbits also dig their own wholes across their own landscape, and rest in those self-made homes.
Covered with large number of tall trees, the deer garden also serves as a serene and peaceful place for numerous types of birds to chirp and sing. Many birds including gorgeous green tias (parrots), golden yellow birds (haludia pakhi), bulbuli, doel, storks (in the evening), kingfishers, etc. are common sights.
Eighth, there is a large 18-feet high waterfall leading to another shorter water fall which feeds to the wide and long manmade lake with water pants and lilies and surrounded by walk ways. The 18-feet high waterfall cascades down into a water reservoir above which there is a glass bridge. The second waterfall starts at the side of the glass bridge and discharges the water of the reservoir into the lake. The 25 feet wide and 18 feet high waterfall, provides a unique sound and sight for the visiting guests. The lighting and the glass bridge together forms sound and light effect in the evening creating an unmatched beautiful sight.
Ninth, is a 2500 square feet roof-top Bar-B-Que place. It is also a place to visit for its natural beauties. On the one side is the 18-feet high and 25 feet wide water fall and the accompanying 20 feet wide small water fall and the lake view from the Bar-B-Que Terrace. On the other side, is the open wide agricultural land mass of thousands of acres which changes its characters with change of cropping season and especially during the rainy season. This place is perfect for mid-size special parties. .
Finally, Water garden resort offers the most spacious guest rooms in comparison to any resort and hotels in Bangladesh. The total constructed covered areas under the two buildings amounts to more than 60,000 square feet of usable space. There will be 23 guest rooms with room sizes including balconies or terraces ranging between 500-660 square feet. The main guest building with 23 guest rooms covers 31,000 square feet of built up area—implying that the guests will have access to additional 16,500 square feet of open lobby space only in the main residential block for the guests to enjoy/share, including one guest waiting lounge/room. Out of the 23 rooms in the main residential block 15 guest rooms will have large size private gardens attached to the rooms, including spacious balconies with sitting space for 4 or more persons. In the residential block there are also 5 specious roof-top common gardens which are facing waterbodies, lakes, amphitheater, and specious gardens at the ground level. These 5 large-size roof-top gardens will be open to all guests for congregating in larger groups of family and friends. No other hotel/resort in Bangladesh provides such large size rooms, private balconies with roof-top gardens, and numerous public/common roof-top gardens for guests—these three features will make Water Garden Resort & Spa unique among many.
The other distinguishing feature of the Water Garden Resort & Spa is that both the residential block and the service block are surrounded by waterbodies, giving special effects. All rooms in the residential block are directly facing water bodies. Sitting in the private balconies guests will get the impression that they are on top of or just beside the water bodies and a dense and high tree line behind the water bodies.