Looking over Pakistan’s bustling capital, Islamabad, are the lush Margalla Hills: its thick trees tightly cluster together in abundance, painted in a shade of lush green that makes its soft peaks stand boldly against the sky, which serves as its warm, colourful canvas.
Seated on the throne of this mountainous landscape is the prodigious Highland Country Club Resort.
The winding roads of Margalla Hills stir feelings of excitement as you drive higher and higher, becoming ever so close to its steep peaks dotted with greenery. Hidden treasures lie within the heart of the hills, with Daman-E-Koh, a hilltop garden, offering you a tranquil viewing point with friendly monkeys swinging from its trees, and a renowned restaurant, The Monal, sitting at almost 3800 feet elevation, providing you with stunning views of the hilltops and delicious cuisines. Signs of daily life can also be found within the hills, with civilians riding speedily up the roads with motorcycles to reach certain destinations, and open stores sitting on the edges of the cliffs selling small souvenirs or cups of refreshing chai.
As I ascended further up the Margalla Hills, I made sure to stop at the renowned tourist sights, indulging in the magnificent views of the Daman-E-Koh garden where the four marble pillars of the prism-shaped Shah Faisal Masjid pierced through, and also stopping to walk through the authentic little villages embedded within the hills.
We drove further and further upwards until we reached the gateway to the country club. From its grand, pristine exterior, and its large glass windows peeking through the thick leaves of trees and bushes, it became instantly evident that the Highland Country Club is a hotel that promises its guests a memorable stay.
Guests lounged comfortably in stylish chairs, enjoying lunch and soaking in the hot summer sun. Passersby, like us, indulged in the stunning view and dined in their restaurant which served a diverse set of cuisines. Others made their way to their grand hotel rooms that offered different beautiful angles of the mountains from their balconies.
Strolling alongside the hotel’s path beside its marvellous view, I took photos of the city of Islamabad, which appeared as a miniature cluster of buildings, homes, and intertwining roads and highways in the centre of the sheer green hills. The view that the hotel offered was simply exquisite and picturesque, fused with nature and greenery, and provided a wider lens of the Himalayan mountains from its balconies.
We enjoyed a meal in the country club’s Pinetree Restaurant which offered a beautiful view of the hills. The menu offers a variety of Pakistani and Continental cuisines, of which we ordered a portion of Chicken Karahi (chicken curry), Palak Paneer (spinach curry mixed with small blocks of cheese) with fluffy buttered roti, along with a Chicken Chow-Mein. Service was excellent, caring and welcoming, whilst the food was incredibly tasty and full of spice and flavour.
The Highland Country Club and Resort invite you to stay in a unique location nestled in nature and serenity, to breathe in its refreshing mountainous air, and to bask in the gorgeous rays of the sun as you enjoy a meal outside amidst the trees and beside a magnificent view that is simply unmatchable. Surrounding you with the sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling and blowing against the gentle breeze, the resort promises opulence and eccentricity in its rooms and mountainous landscape. It is a gem veiled within the Margalla Hills of Islamabad.