Ramada by Wyndham, Jaipur

I have been visiting Jaipur as a tradition every year now, for Jaipur Literature Festival, this year however the exciting festival was held digitally but that didn’t stop me from visiting my favorite city.

I was glad I had covered most of the touristy places and so this time I wanted to just enjoy the best of winter weather, food, and luxury of some time for myself.

My stay at Ramada by Wyndham Jaipur- Jaisinghpura was an absolute treat. 16 kilometres from Jaipur International Airport (JAI) in peaceful Jaisinghpura, the hotel is a short drive from the Amber Fort & Palace, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, and Jantar Mantar. The hotel is a destination in itself, with great food, spacious rooms, and all modern amenities at a dial. The hotel is a perfect example of heritage meets modernity, the beautiful arched pathways stole my heart right on arrival. The presidential suite I stayed in was every bit of luxury, so much that I didn’t step out of the hotel even once throughout my stay.


The gold and maroon color scheme of the room added a royal touch to the very well done room with long windows draped with curtains. The highlight however was my massively spacious private terrace where I spent most of my time. I was so glad I was traveling with my best friend and we made a great stay out of it watching movies, having tea over sunsets, dining under the stars with some exceptionally well-prepared food.

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Upasna

I discovered Upasna during my year in Pondicherry. Searching for local brands that was comfortable for the humid weather i was living in, stylish and worth the money.

Upasana, an Auroville based brand is a beautiful amalgamation of creativity, fashion, design, Indian culture, social responsibility and spiritual progress – woven seamlessly together.
Clothing has power, the power to change lives. The lives of farmers, spinners, weavers, printers, tailors, designers and many more who have invisibly woven their souls into what we wear. Upasana honours them all, consciously, at every stage of crafting their products. Shifting fashion to touch the soul instead of just the body, we believe life is interconnected. Beauty is beyond vanity.

Upasna Label, aims to create conscious sustainable fashion where they take care of our environmental cost and not pass it on to the future. For them, design is creative, problem-solving. Any problem, be it post-tsunami trauma, farmer suicides, garbage littering, weavers losing their job, Upasana looks at social issues as a space to exercise for change. Out of these real problems were born the following projects:

» Kapas – organic cotton project with families of Madurai

» Varanasi Weavers – a project with the weaving communities of Varanasi

» Tsunamika – a tsunami related project providing livelihood to fisherwomen

» Paruthi – India’s local organic brand to support India’s organic farming community

» Small Steps – compact bags as an alternative to plastic bags

It is great to be sharing about brand like this, investing in something that helps nuild my conscious lifestyle.

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Beleza by the Beach, Goa

 

Beach holiday in only successful for me if I am in the close proximity of the beach. When we decided to go Goa, our sole intention was to stay at a place that was walking proximity to the beach, this holiday was to just relax and not to venture out.  To feed our mind with refreshing thoughts, views that touch your soul and of course good food.  

 

We stayed at ‘Beleza by the Beach Resort Goa means ‘Beautiful’ in Portuguese, comprises of 30 rooms tastefully designed in a Villa style concept. Green, luscious hedges of foliage, groves of banana, coconut and papaya trees, and clusters of bird of paradise flowers and frangipani trees landscape the length and breadth of their resort. The clean, pristine and white sandy beaches of Colva are accessible to guests from a well-paved pathway from within the resort premises.  

 

The property is located in south Goa, and has a direct access to the beach. It is calm and away from the overcrowded side of Goa but offers a lot of activities to keep you entertained.  South Goa is greener, charming and peaceful part of Goa where you can experience the authentic tropical charm of Goa.  

 

The resort is perfect if you are looking for a leisure holiday, serene beaches and good food. The all-day dining restaurant and beach shack and bar offer a delectable choice of seafood, snacks, Goan and Indian food as well as international cuisine. Spa therapies, gym and swimming pool facilities are available to guests on appointment. 

Spa : Rejuvenate & pamper yourself with the spa available at the resort where the experienced therapists work on your tired muscles and treat you to signature Keralite treatments

 

Lavender Dream with Ni:Sh

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This label from Hyderabad is really close to my heart. A friend who followed her passion to design and started her store with some refreshing designs and silhouettes, something Hyderabad hasn’t seen before.

I have seen the work of karigars, to the last fit. The handwork the styling tips, the color combinations, everything label Ni:Sh offers niche collection for all age groups and occasion, pret and couture. From bloggers styling her outfit to Tollywood celebrities showing off her outfits, her studio in Jubliee hills showcases is open now.

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Mahabalipuram


Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its exuberant group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas-temples in the form of chariots, mandapas – cave sanctuaries, giant open-air reliefs such as the famous ‘Descent of the Ganges’, and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. It is so fascinating to see structures so old, surviving innumerable natural and man-made calamities and still have power to leave you impressed.

Calcutta Bungalow

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Kolkata, the first capital of British India is a place where you can still breathe the bygone era vividly. The architecture, people, street food and cabins (now known as cafes), museums and Bazaars clearly show how you can find beauty even amidst chaos

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Calcutta Bungalow, a 90-year-old Majumdar bari (townhouse) restored and tucked in a quiet neighborhood. It is a heritage bed & breakfast with six rooms. Every corner of this three storied building boasts a mix of colonial and local architecture.  Away from the maddening chaos of the city, this is a perfect place to stay, that offers an old-world charm along with urban amenities to make your stay a comfortable one.

The intimate property has a small open courtyard and rooms that are named after old neighborhoods like Sahibpara, Darzipara, Mochipara, Potuapara (artists’ colony), Boipara (about books and publishing), Dorjipara (tailors’ hub), Jatrapara (famous for traditional theatre). The rooms dedicate a tale about the places they are named after.  Just like the rest of the bungalow the rooms too are a perfect amalgamation of vintage and modern and equipped with modern day luxuries like air conditioning, television with Netflix, WiFi an attached bathroom and comfortable bed. The place also boasts a reception, recreation room, terrace and a dining hall.

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The dining room, called Notunbazar (named after new market), a common meal space for guests has loudspeakers as ceiling lamps and books that any intellect would like to borrow. While the breakfast is included in the stay, you will have to inform them in advance for dinner or order in, the staff is warm and helpful and lay down your meal for you if you wish to have it in common room, instead of your room.

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The statement Show ’19

The exhibit that brought best of jewellery brands and labels from all across India under one roof.

Designers and brand owners from jaipur, kolkata and of course Hyderabad participated, bringing in their best collection and some of the most exquisite pieces that definitely left me and most of the people awestruck.

Some pieces were perfect for modern souls, intricate designs and diamond’s while others included timless piece’s like jadau, emeralds and some with all new crystal collection. There was something to please every age group and taste.

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Top 10 places that serve best hot chocolate in Hyderabad

It’s always a good time to indulge in oh-so delightful hot chocolate. Some come topped with marshmallows or whipped come, others with a twist of spice or flavor of mint. While winters and the festive season make it a seasonal favorite, this decadent beverage is always welcome. So, I decided to bring you the tried and tasted list of my top favorite places in Hyderabad that serve some incredible hot chocolate, there is something to please all palettes. So, go ahead take a pick and relish your favorite hand warmer: a piping hot cup of cocoa.

Hyderabad Baking Company- Spice Mix Hot Chocolate
For a bit of added fire to your chocolatey mug, try this spicy blend at HBC in Marriott while admiring the life size ginger bread wonderland this festive season. One of the very few places in Hyderabad that serves boozy hot chocolate, that has Cointreau and Baileys as its ingredients. In its nonalcoholic counterpart, the spiced hot chocolate really stands out. Their hot chocolate is definitely the most Instagram-able cup in town. Rich in thickness, rimmed with Nutella and cookie crunch, topped with marshmallows and frozen spoon of chocolate…and like that was not enough they have also added a miniature gingerbread house as season special. The options of flavors at their special hot chocolate counter include maple syrup, caramel, peanut butter, Nutella, Choco chips, cookie and cinnamon sugar.
Sweet note on 5- 4
Price Rs 250/-
Alcoholic- Rs 1650/-

Fabelle – Milk Cocoa
The grandeur of the place doesn’t cease to amaze you, located in ITC Kohenur the brand sparks luxury in every sense. Those with a weakness for chocolate will find Fabelle hard to resist. The Milk Cocoa with Pistachio – Almond ‘torrone’ nougat chunks, is incredibly decadent. For people craving a twist, the ‘Spiced Hot Chocolate’ is yet another stellar options. The drink is filled with chocolate nibs, has a batter-like texture and infused with Indian spice, 67% single origin dark Madagascar chocolate and served with truffles French Chantilly cream.
Price- Milk Cocoa Rs 450/- Sweet not on 5- 3
Spiced Hot Chocolate Rs 450/- Sweet note on 5- 3

Churrolto – Irish hot Chocolate
They have a scrumptious seasonal menu, but what we are totally loving the creamy cup of Irish hot chocolate. Two types of chocolate and baileys topped with Irish cream, this is purely soul satisfying. They also serve Spanish hot chocolate, Nutella and something I am looking forward to try on my next visit-Brownie hot chocolate.
Sweet note on 5- 4
Price Rs 215/-

Feu – Dessert Bar – Mint Hot Chocolate
The new place in town whips up a silky, smooth, creamy hot chocolate. Go off beat and try the one infused with mint, that gives you tasty and entirely luxurious experience. Make sure to accompany your warm drink with something delicious—tarts, cakes, pastries, I choose the madeleines in flavor of lavender and lemon!
Sweet note on 5 – 4

Sante Spa Cuisine- Tall Dark Hot chocolate
Known for its healthy offerings Sante Spa, I love this place for their beetroot hummus, and visited the places on occasions where I was just particularly for this specific one. Sante’s version of hot chocolate is a no-frills, whipped-cream-free cup. It has soy milk in it and is slightly thick which makes you enjoy the flavor with every sip. I really like the consistency of it, it is just about right.
Sweet note on 5 – 4
Price- Rs 220/-

Papa Roti- Classic Hot Chocolate
Can it get better when a hot chocolate is served with the softest and freshest bun in town? I guess not. The hot chocolate here is foamy and great in taste, the bun that comes in combo is delightful.
Sweet note on 5- 4
Price- Rs 345/-

Concu– Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow
Concu has been always been a treasure of delicious treats! From their tiramisu to strawberries dipped in chocolate, eclairs to Tres leches every dessert lover is loyalist here. But did you know they also serve hot chocolate with a mountain of tiny marshmallow just as good? Rich, thick, and chocolaty, this tiny cup of happiness brings great joy.
Sweet note on 5- 4
Price Rs 200/-

Kaficko– Belgian Hot Chocolate
Some people prefer variety in life, but sometimes you just gotta stick to the simple stuff. Kaficko crafts coziness in a cup with their Belgian hot chocolate—perfect for when you want something that’s juuuust right. The Peanut butter, Salted caramel and Nutella hot chocolate are also something you can indulge irrespective of what season it is.
Sweet note on 5- 3.5
Price Rs 250/-

Starbucks- Signature Hot Chocolate
The commercial chain is favorite for a lot of coffee lovers. Starbucks offer a mug (not a cup) that is light, frothy, creamy blend topped with whipped cream. Pair it with a muffin and have a chatty time.
Sweet note on 5- 3.5
Price- Short 190/- Tall 215/-

The Gallery Cafe – Nutella Hot chocolate
You didn’t think I would close out this list without including something Nutella-related, did you? Just like the name suggest, art is everywhere at this place, including the table my hot chocolate was served and the chair I sat in. By the time I took my first sip, the tip of marshmallow melted and formed a fascinating flower like design, after having two of those I took my first sip. This particular one proves that sometimes the simplest things are the best. They also offer flavors like Nutella, cinnamon, hazelnut and mint.
Sweet note on 5 – 4.5
Price – Rs 200/-

Additional Surprise: Iced Chocolate
Well for those who like to try something more, here is a bonus option. Try the ‘Iced Chocolaye’ at Fabelle, ITC Kohenur, a beverage topped with a scoop of ice cream. The drink has single origin 67% dark Madagascar chocolate with citrus, berry notes juxtaposed with creamy coconut, served chilled topped with ice-cream is absolutely rich and delicious.
Price Rs 450/-
Sweet note on 5 – 3

***All prices are excluding taxes

Let me know which one of these you have tried and if I missed out on something in comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe so you get all updates right in your mailbox. Also follow me on Instagram @ssatpreetkaur , Facebook –FashionEatista, for more instant updates on all things fun, food, fashion and travel.

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Villa Shanti, Pondicherry

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Entrance of  Villa Shanti, Pondicherry

2018 has been a really special year so far, and most important part of it was me braving up to take my first solo trip ever. Being born and raised in south, I wanted to pick a place in south (i think its more of a mental satisfaction for me) and a place that had a lot to do, gave me an opportunity to interact with some interesting people and also enjoy a bit of solace; and so i ended up in Pondicherry (which by the way has a direct flight from Hyderabad)

Corridor that leads to room and courtyard at Villa Shanti

I stayed at the French quarters where bougainvillea adore the walls, streets are filled with colored buildings and excited tourists. Right amidst all this beauty stands a beautiful boutique property ‘Villa Shanti’. A wooden door that is hard to miss leads you into this 100-year-old property turned into a boutique hotel with new additions to its architecture, tastefully done. Right from the entrance of sturdy wooden doors, that will want any passerby intrigued to step inside; the property is a beautiful amalgamation of urban luxuries and heritage influence.

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The property is minimalist, yet rich in details. From door knobs to tile work, murals to crockery that intricately blend in and make  Villa Shanti unique. Apart from being a welcoming spot for tourists, the place also promotes local artisans and try sourcing most of the products locally. Staying or not, there restaurant always has a waiting that pretty much speaks about the food and service.

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The four poster bed in my room at Villa Shanti

My room at Villa Shanti

Rooms: Villa Shanti has 15 aesthetically designed rooms that are built around the inner courtyard. I stayed in one of their ‘Junior Suits’ that is generously sized and comes with a four-poster king-size bed. The room also has an extended and spacious wash and change area that include his and hers sinks, shower area and toilet. The room in addition has a study table, cupboard to store your essentials and windows that lead ample of sunlight and some that open up into a balcony. The furniture is all made of locally sourced wood, antique door handles, handmade amenities from Auroville and structural lamps added up as magnificent details, one can’t fail but adore.

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Working on a holiday never felt better

The indoor and outdoor living spaces harmoniously balance comfort and simplicity, a broad veranda runs alongside the bedroom around the verandah below, providing ample space for outdoor lounging, I however loved spending time here working, having my evening tea and overlooking all the buzz taking place in the courtyard, which helped with fact that even though I was working, the vibe was of a vacation.

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For breakfast the spread includes freshly baked breads and croissants, fresh juice, eggs of your choice and fruits of the season.

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My first attempt at the Betel leaf salad, and totally loved it

Villa Shanti serves up some amazing meals, with a selection of sea food, continental bakes, grills and a choice of regional and Indian dishes. Breakfasts to Dinner everything is served out in the courtyard, yet ambiance during the day is completely different than what it is at night. While during the day it has more tropical vibe, at night its lively, candle lit and romantic making it perfect place to dine, be it with family or friends.

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Cafe Bar at Villa Shanti

The Café bar- It is my favorite place to chill adjoining the courtyard offers some amazing alcoholic concoctions you would love to sip on, even if you are sitting by yourself in the softly lit courtyard. Located opposite to the patio and the vertical garden, it offers snacks inspired by Indian street food, as well as various sandwiches and salads. Here you can also choose to enjoy a meal, sip a cocktail made from fresh juices, listen to music, or just relax and read one of the books from their library.

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Courtyard lit up for dinner at Villa Shanti

The Restaurant: Staying or not the resto is highly recommended to anyone visiting Pondicherry. Weekday or weekend you are bound to see the restaurant full house most of the times. The restaurant is divided into two distinct spaces; one opens onto the patio and the vertical garden; the other is air-conditioned and located in the older part of the building. All the dishes focus on quality, freshness and seasonal ingredients, which they source from the local suppliers.

Vacation isn’t ever complete without a spa for me, it’s like a ritual. So, when they told me I could have mine in the room, I just took up the opportunity and got myself a well-deserved massage, that it felt so good after a long day at Auroville. Also move on to my next blog to read all about ‘La Villa’ the sister property of Villa Shanti where i stayed for next two days in Pondicherry. 

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La Villa, Pondicherry

La Villa, Pondicherry

La Villa, the sister property of Villa Shanti was my second stay on the trip to Puducherry. A beautiful street in French quarter leads to this 19th century French house, turned into a luxury boutique hotel.

Lobby at La Villa, Pondicherry

La Villa is much calmer, intimate and offers six tastefully done suits, each offering a completely unique experience. The property houses a restaurant, swimming pool, bicycles for rent, Wi-Fi and staff that is available throughout your stay to assist and guide you on anything.

Staircase to (bridge to) heaven- my room at La Villa

A cobbled way leads to it an open lounge area, connected to lobby that is my most favorite part of the property. The seating area is comfortable with walls adorning map of the city and shelves with well stacked books you can borrow throughout your stay.

The suite at La Villa, Pondicherry

Spacious and relaxed outdoors that comes with the penthouse suite at La Villa

I was offered one of their best rooms, pent house suite indeed ‘Bridge to Heaven’. The room surprisingly had no walls and only wooden sliding doors. So private, so close to being in an open-air environment, easy view of sunsets and sunrise. The staff informs you before they visit the floor, keeping your privacy intact, every evening they spray for mosquito (to avoid any, not that I encountered any) and light up candles for you to enjoy outdoors as much as indoors during evenings. The room has contemporary furniture designed in reclaimed old wood, a signature style bed, lounging areas, private bar, study table and a dining option and a fancy bathroom. All of it come together to offer you luxury through minimalism.

Everything about the room stands out, including the bed at La Villa 

You have the luxury to order in, just like I did as most of my time was spent exploring the city, I preferred to have a hot shower followed by dinner in room. Or enjoy a relaxing and cozy early dinner in the garden, order while you breathe in the pleasant air and notice the freshly bloomed flowers and wide spread branches.

In room breakfast in calm with only chirping birds around

Both the properties, Villa Shanti and La Villa have a very elegant amalgamation of tropical vibe and influence of bygone era in terms of architecture and surroundings. Even in term of food, they give importance to best quality of fresh and local products, the menu is limited though rich in flavor’s, colors and textures that will change with the seasons. The choice of fine porcelain, period silver cutlery, crystal and other natural materials will enhance your experience of sharing and relaxing around a delicious meal.

Long touristy day that ends with a delicious meal in comfort of my room 

The open air restaurant at La Villa, Pondicherry

My visit to Pondicherry will always be special, as it was my first ever solo trip and Villa Shanti and La Villa played perfect hosts, welcoming me with warmest of hospitality, finest food and memories I will cherish forever.

Its luxury when spa comes to your room

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Brunch at The Square, Novotel

 

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The Square at Novotel Hyderabad Convention Center, is especially popular for its Sunday Brunch but I decided to go for it today since i was at the hotel for a meeting. Having heard so much about the place, I have been here for dinners but never lunch. This chic and friendly restaurant and its AL fresco area has quite a welcoming vibe.  Executive Chef Gaurav Malhotra joined us for lunch talking about the new live station additions to the brunch counters and upcoming food festivals at the hotel.

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The brunch menu has a lavish spread consisting of revered regional classics to contemporary international highlights, from counters that stocked variety of reads, cheese, salad there was a special counter of grills that I loved the most.

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While most of it came on table, I always enjoy going for a quick round, around the spread picking some breads, choice of salad, maybe (definitely) a piece of dessert too.

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Being a weekday it was quite laid back and I enjoyed the relaxed ambiance of overlooking lush greenery, letting the monsoon air soothe me while I enjoyed every delicacy that came my way.

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A sinful assortment of desserts, along with a selection of wines and beverages, are the perfect complement to revered regional classics and international delights.

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Opening hours: Daily – 6:30am to 11pm
Address: Novotel Hotel Road, Near Hitec City, Kondapur, Hyderabad. Ph: 66824422

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

Srinagar, the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is a place which dazzles anyone who sets their eyes upon it. Set within a picturesque location, Srinagar has got mesmerizing mountains and gardens, along with the highly famed Dal Lake. The climate of the region with its ever famous houseboats, make it the perfect location to unwind and relax.

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

The USP of this property is definitely its location, nestled in a serene apple orchard of Srinagar, away from the touristy hustle of the city, the resort is a destination in itself. With breath-taking views, their in-house activities as well as their on request planning for your entire stay is what makes a visit to Srinagar more than just a stopover.

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

Located just 40 minutes away from Srinagar International Airport, overlooking the breath taking Zabarwan Hills and Mount Mahadev, this stunning property offers design with luxury and exclusive comfort. Enjoy features such as Butler Service Swimming pool, Massage, Private villas, Spa and Steam showers.

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Room at The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

All 20 luxury single and double bedroom villas are garden-facing. The dedicated staff is for sure to make your vacation a memorable one. Even though the resort is equipped with all luxuries of a modern hotel, it is the outdoors that that take your breath away. The view of the mountains, the calm and soothing atmosphere, chirping birds accompany you in the orchard turned garden giving you the much needed blissful moments.

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Breakfast at The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

Food: The Orchard Retreat and Spa, Srinagar offers four food and beverage restaurants: An all-day dining Restaurant –Flavours, will offer wide range of cuisine across the globe, The Club Lounge, Poolside Nest will offer more of live barbeque and indulge in the culinary wizardry with their Master Chefs, Café by the name Little Bites with an alfresco is an ideal place to enjoy hot beverages or Shesha.

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

Try: spend leisure hours in the orchard gardens over sheesha of your choice and some mouth-watering appetizers right outside your room. Stay at the orchard is all about pampering their guests and turning their cravings into delightful experiences at your convenience.

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Love Fashioneatista

 

 

L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Resort, Gulmarg

The Khyber Spa is an extension of the L’Occitane brand. Nestled amidst the Himalayas, ensconced amidst unspoilt acres of meadows and pristine nature, is the spa with unbeatable views that offers a luxurious and holistic experiences.

The spa too, like most of the hotel is centrally heated, the property is so huge I took my time exploring, catching glimpse of bits and pieces of winter ice that remained under the shade of property, where direct sunlight dint reach. I was cold by the time I reached the Spa, and was so glad it was centrally heated.

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L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Resort, & Spa, Gulmarg

As the spa manger got me the consent form that included information of my choice of pressure and concern areas, I was soaking in the view of the magnificent pool, one of the finest in the country I am sure. Another member of the staff got me a hot towel and welcome tea, and offered me in-house slippers before leading me to the spa room.

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L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Resort, & Spa, Gulmarg

Soothing, energizing aromas engulfed me and so did the view from my room. I opted for the ‘Revitalizing Aromachologie Massage’ that is a perfect combo of Swedish strokes, Balinese massage techniques and Chinese acupressure. The soothing music, dim lights and the gorgeous view make for a relieving combination

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L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Resort, & Spa, Gulmarg

My masseuse used the Lavender oil which is known to have benefits that reduces mental stress and anxiety, treats insomnia, improves blood circulation and also help relieve muscle and joint pains. L’Occitane Spa uses all in-house products and ensure calming the overactive mind and body. Just as Provence is a unique resting place, The Khyber Spa by L’Occitane is a sanctuary of tranquillity, rejuvenating your body and soul.

An hour and half of rejuvenation, followed by steam and long soak in the tub overlooking the pine trees, it was the most relaxing evening of my stay in Kashmir. Post spa I stepped down for an extended dose of relaxation by the pool, the long glass walls indicated end of another evening in land of hills.

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The pool at The Khyber Resort, & Spa, Gulmarg

Pine-n-Peak by ITC, Pahalgam

Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam

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Kahwa & Freshly Baked Cakes on arrival at Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam

Surrounded by lush pine trees and snow-clad mountains, WelcomHotel Pine-n-Peak by ITC is located in the picturesque town of Pahalgam. Located atop the Rajwas Plateau, Pine-n-Peak’s pristine beauty remains untouched by the chaos of the market and ensures that the best views are accorded to Welcom Hotel Pine n Peak, including the shimmering Lidder River and snow topped mountains playing with the sunrays, bathing the valley in different hues throughout the day.

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This ‘Khwabgah Suite’ our abode for in hills for three blissful nights

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Room with a view at Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam

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Nothing is better than munching hot crisps in the freezing weather

Snuggled in the layers of untouched snow and fir laden paths, the property boosts of 80 rooms, suites and cottages. We got to stay the luxury ‘Khawabgah Suit’ (by the way it was the same room Alia Bhatt stayed while she was shooting for Raazi in Kashmir) not that it had to be a reason to make us special, as the room was special in its own way, the view was great, the living room and room had a touch of Kashmiri details along with urban amenities. Along with the most magnificent views of the beautiful city, one can enjoy a game of golf at the nearby Pahalgam Race Course, or shop from the finest shopping arcade of Pahalgam, or enjoy a day of fishing in the Liddar River. Those looking for high adrenaline activities can enjoy trekking, river rafting and also skating at the Welcom Hotel ice rink. Every season here brings with itself something new; the valley, it seems changes colors as winters fade into spring and summers blend with Autumn.

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Freshly baked sheermal and Noon Chai at Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam

It is rare to find charming and genuinely warm staff at most luxury properties. But at this property the staff will you impressed with their warmth, attentiveness, courtesy and a natural zeal to serve. Each of the staff members will leave a lasting impression on you and make sure even your tiny need is fulfilled with a huge smile.

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Breakfast with a view, right in my Khwabgah suit at Pine n Peak Hotel, Pahalgam

Food: The property has three dining outlets, overlooking the garden and the river, Lolaab – All Day Dinning, Saahil – Tea Lounge, Gulistan – Open Garden all offer mutli-cuisine delicacies. Since it was my first stop in Kashmir i went all out on the local specialties like tabakh maaz, rista (meatballs in a red, paprika-saffron-fennel spice gravy), rogan josh,  korma (lamb roasted with yoghurt, spices and onion puree, topped with coriander leaves),  seekh kababs and contains four pieces of methi korma (chicken or mutton flavored with a spice mixture containing dried fenugreek (methi) leaves), marchhwangan korma (chicken legs/thighs cooked in a spicy browned-onion sauce) and gushtaba (meatballs cooked in a spicy yoghurt gravy) and also wouldn’t want to miss the best ever walnut brownie I have ever had was right here at Pine and Peak with ice-cream. The credit entirely goes to the staff who insisted to send it to our room when I told them I had no space for dessert, and I am so glad I did.

 

Kahwa is the traditional tea in Kashmir and it goes with everything you eat as it helps digestion of the food. The tea is prepared by boiling green tea leaves with saffron strands, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods and occasionally Kashmiri roses to add special aroma. The tea is then served with sugar or honey and crushed nuts, usually almonds or walnuts. I swear I dint have coffee my entire trip, and stuck to Kahwa throughout.

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View from the gardens of Pine n Peak, Pahalgam

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One of the best moments from my stay at Pine n Peak, Pahalgam was breakfast overlooking lidder river

 I am not a morning person, but when I am in hills it comes automatically to me. I was so glad to make an effort on a cosy winter morning for an outdoor breakfast, overlooking the Liddar River. The crisp air, hot refills from samovar paired with fresh Kashmiri breads and an extended breakfast indulging in a view of hills was an absolute bliss. Stay at Pine n Peak was a really heart-warming experience, and all the credit goes to the staff, who will go out of their way to make your needs meet. I loved how they offered to organise a special bonfire, after a long ride (horse ride) to Baisaran organise an outdoor breakfast setup and treated us like family and even packed a take away meal for us for our ride to Srinagar our next stop.

You can have a look at their website here and make you summer/winter booking. A pro tip is that pahalgam has so many places, and if you a person who love trekking and exploring; you can spend up to a week without getting bored. Read more about places to visit in my following blogs, as I take you to a virtual journey to Srinagar and Gulmarg next.

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Enchanted white with Samant Chauhan

I love my whites as much I love my blacks, and yet have a life that is beyond the monochrome magic. While many may disagree an all-white look stands out more than an all-black look for various reasons. Regardless of personal like and dislike for the bright noncolor head to toe hue, an all-white look is more of a statement than its counterpart. It’s brighter; It’s classic but not too been-there-done-that. It’s a no-brainer but not that easy to pull off.

Spelling white perfection in this Anarkali designed by Samant Chauhan, paired with Sangeeta Boochra jewelry that further enhances my look, has to be my most favorite look for summer 2018. Whether it’s a wedding or family function, this look assures spotlight. This top to toe white Anarkali by Samant Chauhan with the light embroidered front is perfect for any summer occasion; It is comfortable, feather-light and paired with right silver jewellery has garnered me several compliments already.

The Brand Sangeeta Boochra has been synonyms to silver jewellery for years now, with best of design that shows the creative craftsmanship has brought Indian craftsmanship on the world map. They offer best of traditional and contemporary jewelry that has developed the ancient craftsmanship and began to create exclusive jewelry with the help of its master craftsmen around Jaipur. Established in the year 1897, it has traveled far and wide. Regularly spotted on best of Bollywood style icons, their pieces are a real treasure.

When I am wearing Anarkalis I prefer the ones with subtle color and not so heavy intricate work. The only reason being I love accessorizing, and lately, I am obsessed with the silver/oxidized jewellery. Apart from the fact that it turns any look classy, the jewellery like the one I got form Sangeeta Boochra is a small investment to a forever fashion, as it sure will never go out of style.

An ultimate neck piece like this brings out a delightful look when you pair it up with a subtle garment, you can style it for a traditional look over a cotton/Banarasi saree, pair it up with your favorite Tie & dye kurta or just a white shirt and it sure will complement each one of it. The intricately designed earrings are light and versatile, the flower ring is just the perfect size symbolizing a blooming flower, it makes me a happy person every time I wear it, even on not so good days, I mean who doesn’t like flowers, it makes everyone happy and this one will never fade out. With generations of efforts, name, and hard work, the quality of products from the brand are undeniably good.

Shop similar jewelry and more from their website – Sangeeta Boochra

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