Kaftan vibe with Nadima Saqib

I love traveling, well that’s quite obvious but what i love more is Traveling in style. In my recent travel to Ahmedabad, i stayed at a beautiful century old property where every corner had a story.

To much the vibe of the place i chose 5he beautiful Nadima Saqib ,cotton crush kaftan. The kaftan has intricate dori work details on neck and slightly puffed sleeves with mire dori work in slits.

Long and flowy, breathable in the humid Ahmedabad weather, i lounged around the property literally getting lost in a by gone era. A place where Mahatma Gandhi himself stayed.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Adivah, Dharamsala

We have been back on travelling grid for a bit now, and only thing that becomes more and more clear is – if you want to travel, do it responsibly. The hospitality industry is welcoming guests all over India with open arms with safety protocols and making the guest experience as safe and memorable as possible. Choosing a location and property could take an extra effort now. But well here is my bit, first hand experience so all you have to do is just BOOK!

The beauty and tranquility of the Himalayas transcend all others. Situated within the mighty lofts of the Himalayas is the magnificent valley of Himachal. Nestled in the lap of this valley is Adivaha – a resort in Dharamsala. Adivaha resort is a 3 centuries old, heritage building, that has been recently restored and remodeled to serve every traveler in search of peace and tranquility. The boutique resort  is situated within just a 30 minutes drive from the nearest airport in the bustling city of Dharamsala. It is surrounded by lush green tea gardens and is spread over an area of 10 acres.  

Room – Adivah resort boasts of being an all-suite property. We stayed in their Viceroy Suite, that provides guests with a remarkable stay within the serenity of the Himalayas. The interiors of the suites are adorned with warm, elegant colour tones that exude a relaxing ambience. The suites overall are spacious, furnished with plush decor and a separate living room for the comfort of the guests. The best part however all the luxury suites open up to a spacious balcony that offers magnificent views. 

Food: The property has an all-day dining restaurant that offers a buffet spread as well as Alacarte menu. In room dining or a private setup in your garden, they do it all. From continental to Indian the food here is absolutely delicious. We also requested to try the local cuisine and chef served us with a Himachali Thali that was delight to our senses.  Handpicked from different regions of the valley, it was an amalgamation of flavors and a great end to our vacation. With outdoor as well as indoor sitting areas, the dining area serves the best in ambience and flavors. 

I was travelling with two of my friends and not once did we step out of the property. We spent our days laying on grass in our private lawns, brewing coffee, watching sunsets, ordering in room in room dining, cycling within the properties, we even had our own little yoga session in our garden. It was an experience that filled our soul with so much happiness and rejuvenation.

Check them out : www.leisurehotels.co.in 

Hope you enjoyed reading and getting to know yet another Indian designer through my style and thoughts. 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.

Love Satpreet Kaur.

SUITECASE OF MEMORIES WITH HYATT

Do you ever visit a same place twice and it only gets better with every visit? Dharamshala has become a yearly visit for me and in last 5 years, there is something about its culture, food but most importantly experiences I think, that keeps making me want to go back every year. This year however was a bold move.  I (just like everyone else) was cooped up for a really long time and my friends and I decided to go experience a safe hospitality with Hyatt Dharamshala.  

It was my second visit to the property and under all safety measures their hospitality is exactly what we needed post lockdown. The beautiful room that gave away the view of breathtaking Dhauladhars and pine trees, while in-room it was spacious enough for us 3 girls to have a spacious 3 days of stay. Getting ready in the spacious bathroom and walk-in closet reminded us of the days gone by. The rooms were well equipped with all modern amenities, special mention to the room coffee machine and bath robes that, we used the most! 

While our day introduced us to new experiences our night matched up to it as well. We spent our evenings at 2082, the bar at Hyatt that is one of the best in Dharamshala. An ideal place for an aperitif or after-dinner drink. With both indoor and outdoor seating options, and an adjacent fireplace, 2082 is a comfortable venue offering a wide selection of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, light munches and an afternoon tea selection. What one must try are the locally infused drinks, that were refreshingly new for our taste buds. 

Food – Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort offers a variety of locally inspired cuisines which provides authentic Himachali experience as well as the comforting delight of Global cuisine.  Thym there all-day dining restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and is an ideal setting for family dining through a combination of interactive breakfast buffets and thoughtfully curated à la carte menus for lunch and dinner.  

The resort features a ‘Home Cinema’ that can accommodate up to 15 persons at one go, delivering an intimate audio-visual experience. On our last night at the property, I enjoyed a dose of ZNMD with my friends and couldn’t have asked for a better end to the holiday.  

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Sarovar Premiere, Jaipur

Just 7 km from Jaipur Airport, this beautiful new property is a great option for people who like to get a taste of luxury under budget, the beautifully done hotel stands out with its beautiful exterior glitzy entrance that looks classy with whole white, gold, and copper look, that is carried throughout the property. Sarovar Premiere, offers a choice of rooms and suites, facilitated with luxurious interiors and amenities that promise you a splendid stay experience.

I stayed at Sarovar Primer for a day but the sheer spaciousness of my room felt luxurious. The meals were served in the room on request. The one most soul satisfying meal i had was a filling Indian breakfast that was absolutely delightful and in the comfort of my living room. The hotel houses a fine dining multi-cuisine restaurant, an intimate rooftop restaurant, and a bar that is designed keeping the young crowd in mind. They have a luxurious pool, and facilities such as doctor on call, flexible check-in check-out, and travel desk that adds to making your stay an excellent one.

Tooka Restobar – Tooka is an outsourced bar at the hotel premises. The cold winter evening, electric fire heaters and a beautiful glass house, which had some indoor seating but primarily the bar area lights up the entire area. Some signature cocktails under the open sky, good music and food that warms up your soul, Tooka was definitely an incredible evening.

Nestled amidst an ambient setting, yet close to the airport, railway station and bus station, Sarovar Premiere, Jaipur, is an apt choice for those seeking luxury and convenience.

To book / Know more – https://www.sarovarhotels.com/sarovar-premiere-jaipur/

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Le Dupleix , Pondicherry

Situated in the heart of old French Quarter of Pondicherry,  Le Dupleix was built in the 18th century as the residence of the Mayor of Pondicherry, and stands on one of the most important corners of the French town. The beautiful experience begins right at gate that is topped with perfectly manicured vine leaves. The massive wooden door entrance lead you to heart of the restored building – the courtyard that is surrounded by modern hotel with deep French roots.

Rooms
Every room in this hotel is different! Every detail in each room has been specially thought out and chosen for that room alone, with the end result being a hotel with delightful surprises around every corner. The mix of the modern and the traditional gives much warmth, but at the same time ensures that the hotel is exceedingly comfortable.  It’s no wonder that the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards listed Le Dupleix as among the three best boutique hotels in India. While the rooms are extraordinary i loved the courtyard the most, giving me a full view of the property, a place where i did a lot of reading in company of 200 (plus) year old mango tree, had all my meals and some great evenings catching up with friends over finest of wine and food.

Food

Le Dupleix and Pondicherry have a very complex, diverse and cosmopolitan culture and they bring it all together, in the menu at Le Dupleix. One of the main things I have noticed over my repetitive visits is that they keep upgrading their menu and are far from boring or old fashioned; so heritage and tradition of Pondicherry is modernized and becomes part of their culture that’s moving forward. Influence of Creole is clearly visible in Le Dupleix’s menu through recipes from New Orleans (which created some of the most exciting Creole dishes) like Gumbo soup and Creole Shrimps & Crab cake. The menu celebrates Japanese cuisine with Miso Glazed Fish & Soba Noodle soup, Classic French dishes like Confit de Poulet & Crêpe Suzette, and presents dishes that stand out like Wild Game Quails & Soft Shell Crabs. 

The strongest influence on modern Pondicherry cuisine has been the emphasis on being natural, organic and healthy. At Le Dupleix they are going organic all the way; their rice, wheat, dals, spices and oils are all organic. Fish is fresh from sea, caught by local fishermen and chicken is free range & organic. Also all soups, salads, appetizers and main course dishes have been presented with suggested pairings of International and Indian wines that helped me experience beyond what i knew and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I know as a matter of fact that whenever i return to Pondicherry, i will revisit the property for its lobster night or their in-house Vanilla Ice cream, which by the way is the best vanilla ice cream i have had in my life.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Rosé Amer, Jaipur

Jaipur has never been short of experience, even when I feel I have seen most of it in this beautiful Pink city, there is something that always blows my mind. My experience at Rose Amer was exactly that. Tucked right in the center of the city, the exterior of the place keeps the mystery of what’s inside perfectly enveloped. It is only when you enter the lobby you see the little details that add up to the big reveal (well at least for me, it was)

After a brief introduction of the place and a welcome drink ‘Anesthesia’ i was escorted to a beautiful private and outdoor cabana setup, where the pink and white theme was quite evident. My lunch experience (which can be booked on prior reservations only) came with a private server, an array of wine selections, and lunch that included dishes like – Parmesan cup with hokaya salad, Beer butterfish Orly, soya chap in khad style, Cucumber, and mint soup, Beetroot cream cheese nuts salad (my absolute favorite) followed by Herb-crusted chicken drumstick and Mooli ka halwa for dessert that blew my mind (that by the way was so well made, I could hardly taste the mooli bit, which I must say I hate). 

The well-trained staff made sure I had an amazing experience with their warm hospitality, timing the courses just right and though I couldn’t see the sunset, my late lunch extended through it and it ended with peacocks singing in the background. The meal overall was the best of local and continental food, a menu inspired by a book printed by the family of owners, years back called “Dadi Ki Rasoi” 

Can’t wait to return to this beautiful place, fit for modern-day royalty and experience a stay. I hear their rooms are a gem in terms of minimalistic decor and beautiful detailing. If you do happen to visit before me do share your experience with me on Instagram.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

The Bungalow on the Beach – 17th Century Tranquebar

Tranquebar is also known as Tharangambadi, ‘the land of the singing waves’ is a stunning coastal town located 283km from Chennai. Tranquebar is a Danish, British Colonial heritage town of pristine beauty and charm, established for the Danish for Pepper Exports on the Coromandel Coast in Tamil Nadu. An offbeat location with the best of breathtaking views, intriguing history, and most importantly – least of tourist buzz, isn’t that exactly what we all need at the moment?

The Bungalow on the Beach by Neemrana group is located 118 km from Pondicherry at Tranquebar (Tamilnadu, India). The beautiful property with its high ceilings, arched pathways, and beautiful colonnade speaks of its colonial architecture. The property is an 18th-century Danish colonial house that once belonged to the Governor of Danish India and is right opposite the Fort Dansborg built by the Danish East India Company in what was once a pepper trading post of Tranquebar, now known as Tharangambadi.

This was our first travel post lockdown and we wanted to be as safe as we can. With fewer tourists and Neemrana’s name attached to our itinerary, we just had to pick Tranquebar. The hotel has two restaurants that serve Indian and French cuisine. You can choose to dine-in in your room or at the restaurant. While we did not spot a menu, what we did get is special recommendations from the chef. Before each meal or your arrival, you can share your choice of dishes and let the chef do the magic with it. We enjoyed all our meals in the verandah with the sea and wind for company. Even though we were there just for the weekend, the time had slowed down as we dwelled over the sea that endlessly stretched in front of us.

Rooms: a spiral wooden staircase lead you to high walls and a room with a chandelier that leads to rooms and further opens up into a verandah. Each room is named after a ship and is equipped with a canopied bed, linen that matches the color scheme of the room, a writing desk, a vintage cupboard a relaxing lounge chair, and amenities for a comfortable stay.


Masilamani Nathar Temple– the 700 year old Masilamani Nathar Temple built in 1306 AD by the Pandya King Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan is unique in its architecture.


The Beach – One of the major attractions of Tranquebar is its rich ozone layer beach. Did you know that Tranquebar has the only Ozone rich beach in India? The ozone has a rejuvenating effect and does wonders to the tired urban body. The Bungalow on the Beach literally sits on the beach on which it commands an emblematic position. The Ozone layer here is the thickest in the country and the second thickest in the World.
Dansburg Fort
The Danish East India company was established in 1616 and the Danes wanted a fair share of the spice trade from India. British and Portuguese companies had already established themselves at various places in India. A treaty was signed between Christian IV, King of Denmark, and Ragunatha Nayak, King of Tanjore for permission to build a fort in Tharangambadi (Tranquebar). This Fort remained with the Danes in 1845 until the British took over. It is now a protected monument overseen by Tamilnadu State Department of Archeology since 1977.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Arte – Alter, Calcutta


There is something about clothes that look beautiful and are so comfortable you can practically live in them. Over lock-down I have been trying more and more to bring to work and create content in collaboration with homes grown brands that bring out the best of craftsmanship, are eco-friendly promotes sustainability and are socially responsible.


Arte Alter, a made in India brand from Calcutta, a city that is a melting pot of art and culture and reflects everything a socially conscious brand stands for. They firmly believe in creating impact, from the betterment of artisans in terms of health & safety, to textile revival in a contemporary fashion, everything to minute detail of packaging is encouraged by local artisans making it reusable and eco-friendly. At Arte-Alter, they celebrate handmade and craftsmanship, and that is what we as a country “India” is proud of.


The first thing that comes in mind when I see their collection is free flowing comfort, refreshingly beautiful colors, a sense of simple sophistication and a splash of subtle art throughout the collection. The name Arte-Alter itself means, an alternative form of art. All their products are made by hand, and for them, that is art.


Fabrics They Use: this is something I feel needs to be highlighted as it’s the core of any good garmnet. With comfort and care as a key aspect, arte-alter takes immense care to provide you with fabrics made out of azo-free and natural dyed yarns. The yarns are all-natural yarns, like khadi, cotton, silk and linen. The yarns used are hand spined yarns and hand spinning is an ancient textile art, in which fibers are drawn out and twisted together to form a yarn.
The biggest advantage of using natural fabrics is that, they are biodegradable, breathable, soft, durable and also can be produced organically. These fabrics are very comfortable to wear, they are porous, so they do not stick to your body, and they do not cause any harm to the nature when produced. The fabrics are hand washed in minimum amount of water, after the fabrics comes out of the loom, to make them soft and reduce the possibility of further shrinkage.


Arie hand woven khadi dress
Handwoven soft khadi cotton jamdani dress. I like wearing it as a dress, can be paired with a beautiful scarf / belt, add a pair of pants and there is yet another look. The vibrant color is such a mood and it has hand-stitch detailing on neck and sleeve making it a perfect day wear. Shop Here


Aquamarine hand-woven khadi overlayer
I can’t wait to travel and wear this overlayer everywhere. It makes for a great airport style, adding as a layer to my mountain trips and back in city it makes for a stylish work wear. I paired it with their pink resort dress, that can be worn as a separate as well. This aqua cerulean drop shoulder trench overlay comes with patch pocket detail and is handcrafted in soft khadi jamdani with tie and dye detailing on sleeves. Shop Here

They are a luxuriously affordable brand that offers customization option and a joy of wearing them, complimentary with each outfit.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

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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Love Satpreet Kaur

Doodlage

Sometimes mind can contradict our own thoughts, i used think if you love fashion, its difficult to walk on path of sustainability; but then again, with time, i ask myself, if i truly respect the fashion i love.

I have never cared about fashion rules, i have always loved wearing colors i like, trends i adore (no matter how yesteryear they are) so trying to give up on fast fashion isn’t very hard (but i am just getting started). Not caring about trends doesn’t mean i am not aware of them, and being a 90’s kid, last decade i have only seen trends come back and nothing majorly fresh, a lot of reinvention, yes! but then again its a very personal opinion.

The only trend i have been trying to get in line is to buy thoughtfully and keep up the main aim- comfort and style. This dress i got from Doodlage is every bit of style and comfort and can easily go from work to brunch, movie date to a vacation outfit.

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Doodleage was born from a simple idea—to create unique, environment friendly products, that are high in style. Everything at Doodlage is made with love; every piece they make is exclusive and unique.

Doodlage is a perfect sync of sustainability and innovativeness. They work with eco-friendly fabrics, such as organic cotton, corn fabric, banana fabric. Another source of fabric is the left over or quality, discarded textile from large manufacturers, which account for the “wastage” in export terms. They also source fabrics, which are left unused by other retailers post-cutting. Much like pieces of a puzzle, these bits and pieces come together, each with its own story. As a brand they love experimenting with textures, embroideries, panels, washes, shapes and sizes to optimize the use of every little .

Hope you enjoy reading this, for more such sustainable brands don’t forget to check out my Conscious Living tab and 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.

Love Satpreet Kaur

 

Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

Aerial view of the beautiful Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 
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Hello from the Shanti Villa, Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

The pretty town in Dharamshala, covered with cedar trees and surrounded by Dhauladhar range was my last escape before pandemic hit us. The amazing new property was a refreshing getaway and now that i look back i am so grateful i did, and an experience i hold on to as we are all quarantined in our safe spaces.

I fell in love with Mcleodgunj when i took a solo trip there. this was my 4th visit to the town and there is something about the air, the sunsets, the monks and monasteries, the beautiful cafes and familiar uphill roads that feels  now home. Dharamshala overall is a great place for leisure and adventure travelers and has a lot of options of beautiful cafes, luxury stay and treks that will leave you breathless, with the view of course. This time i was staying with new luxury property – Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort that opened in Dharmkot, which is located at slightly higher altitude that McLeodgunj.

The outdoor of Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 
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The backyard forest at Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

The world of Hyatt extends its hospitality with a refreshing new property spread across 6.5 acres, situated in the profound depths of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the outer Himalayas. The property is picturesquely ideal for family, solo, and romantic getaways and offers experiences that will give you a true break from hustle bustle of city life.

Room  of Villa Shanti, Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 
Living area with a view at Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

Rooms- Hyatt Regency Dharamshala is located near the residence of H.H. Dalai Lama, also known as Tsuglagkhang Temple. It features 80 well-appointed accommodations, including 4 private villas, 3 suites, 17 Club rooms, 15 rooms with balconies, and 41 Hyatt king and twin-bed rooms offering fresh Himalayan air through large openable windows. The resort also features 21 interconnecting room sets, ideal for travelling families. All the rooms have a view, either through their windows, balconies, private garden or just a n open lawn. It is incredible how centrally heated the hotel is, and with warm hospitality of the staff the experience we had was sure a memorable one.

The villa is well equipped with rooms, private verandah, dining space, kitchen area and a cosy staff room
The private lawn area, Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

Food – Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort offers a variety of locally inspired cuisines which provides authentic Himachali experience as well as the comforting delight of Global cuisine. Whether you are searching for local or international cuisine, you are sure to be satisfied with the choices that are to be found in the iconic area surrounded by the stunning architecture and culture within the heart of Dharamshala. The resort offers three outlets, Thym is an all-day dining restaurant offering both indoor and outdoor seating, is an ideal setting for family dining through a combination of interactive breakfast buffets and thoughtfully curated à la carte menus for lunch and dinner. Featuring the herb garden, the restaurant specialises in locally sourced farm-fresh food that celebrates the bounty of organic Himalayan farming, serving Indian and global cuisines.

Traditional food, Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

2082, the bar is one of the best in Dharamshala, an ideal place for an aperitif or after-dinner drink. Centrally located at the lobby level of the resort, 2082 overlooks the landscaped garden and the snow-capped Dhauladhar mountain range. The central island bar is the focus of the area, with both indoor and outdoor seating options. With an adjacent fireplace, 2082 is a comfortable venue offering a wide selection of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, light munches and an afternoon tea selection. What one must try are the locally infused drinks, that were refreshingly new for our taste buds and a live music performance with live counters only made our experience here one of the best during our stay.

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Infused drinks, Local singers and live food coutnters, evenings at 2082 are just magical, Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

McLeod & Co. bakery and shop is the signature bakery, offering sweet delights inspired by the English-style nomenclature. The bakery is fun, fluid and blends tastefully with the lobby. It also serves as your general store within the resort with selected retail goods and souvenirs from across the region, and essential everyday items in case you have forgotten to pack them.

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High Tea at the McLeod & Co. Bakery and Shop, in hotel lobby.

Shanti Spa: The resort features three single and one couple spa therapy rooms and a wide range of relaxation therapies, from traditional, International, and other renowned contemporary massage therapies. But we recommend is the Tibetan massage that is influenced by local techniques and the use of oil that is made with the best or aromatic and essential oils.

Pool at Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 
An evening of relaxed spa, Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

Library & Fireplace: One of our favorite spots in the property is the beautifully done indoor fireplace at the lounge area that keeps you warm while you enjoy a read at the library which offers an intriguing selection of literature on various historical and cultural areas of interest. Read or just enjoy a cup of hot Kangra tea while you adore the beautiful Thangka painting, it is a cozy spot for anyone who wants to unwind indoors.

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Hot cuppa tea, good read in centrally heated study area! most relaxed evening of the holiday (after spa of course)
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Fireplace and lounge area, Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

Fun & Entertainment The resort features a ‘Home Cinema’ that can accommodate up to 15 persons at one go, delivering an intimate audio-visual experience. Camp Hyatt – Kids Zone is a designated area for children where they can enjoy games and fun activities along with special buffet meals. This will allow some free time for parents who are traveling with their kids.

Morning Trek with Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort 

Must Experience: Bhagsu, Nature Walk, Offering an unparalleled landscape, the Bhagsunag area is a …. oGo along as they take you on a journey through sylvan surroundings where you will get acquainted with the local flora & fauna against the backdrop of a breathtaking waterfall. The resort offers this complimentary activity every day, that ends with a light and healthy breakfast, one you should not miss.

Tibetan Arts and Crafts Tour: To honor the heritage of authentic Tibetan arts and crafts, this guided tour to Norbulingka Institute allows guests to see and experience local crafts firsthand. The tour is an additional paid experience, you can include it in your itinerary while you are staying at the resort.

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.

Love Satpreet Kaur

 

Svatma – Luxury Resort, Thanjavur

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Svatma – Luxury Resort, Thanjavur

I love travelling, what i love even more is when the journey or destination brings an exciting story or an experience. When i chose my destination this time, i knew i would be taking home a lot of interesting memories. I picked Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore when i was in Pondicherry and it was just a 4 hour drive. We had a very amusing start, our driver was a Rajnikant fan and he entertained us through out the way, while i enjoyed the blabbering my friend found him overwhelming as she just wanted to doze off. The landscape on our way was full of palm trees and paddy fields, i din’t snooze even for a bit, i never can, in flights, in cars, i love watching the landscapes change.

Maratha history, Tamil food, Indian Art and Architecture – Thanjavur is an exquisite southern city formerly known as Tanjore. It is world famous for hand crafted brass idols and Tanjore style of painting, a traditional style that is characterized by the use of gold foil and religious imagery. It’s best known today for being home to the great living Chola temples, a UNESCO world heritage. I was invited to experience the hospitality of Svatma Luxury Resort Hotel, a restored family mansion, that gave me an experience of a magical journey that included the luxury of leisure while dabbling with arts in a traditional home environment.

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Living area, for guests to read, chill and enjoy over arts or games at Svatma, Thanjavur

Visit to local palace with at Svatma, Thanjavur

Much like Thanjavur’s temple architecture, which blends styles from multiple eras, the seven-room heritage wing at Svatma is over 100 years old and the erstwhile family home of the Carnatic musician Rama Kausalya, melds seamlessly into the new building built around it. Across the property, murals of dancers, architectural drawings of Chola-era structures, religious verses and black-and-white photographs adorn the walls.

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The restaurant that leads to patio and further to pool and other restaurant, at Svatma, Thanjavur

Beautiful mornings in this traditional Swappanam Suite at Svatma, Thanjavur

Room: Svatma, recreates the ambiance of a classic Tamil residence in a century-old home flanked by old trees. Keeping you company is period furniture, local art and craft and traditional board games like pallankuzhi. I was staying at the ‘Swappanam Suite’ the best in property with unique design and abundance of intricately carved wooden furniture and pretty balcony. it has a living area, airy bedroom and washroom with closets.

Lounge area in Swappanam Suite, at Svatma, Thanjavur

Catching up on some reading in the private veranda of the Swappanam Suite, at Svatma, Thanjavur

Traditional Thali at Svatma, Thanjavur

Food – The hotel has three restaurants serving south Indian and continental vegetarian food. Aaharam, the indoor restaurant – meaning food or nutrition in Tamil, overlooks the pool, and the outdoor restaurant Amar Chitra Katha-themed Palaharam -meaning snacks offers an excellent local and European vegetarian fare. There’s a set menu for the day, but you can expect dishes such as fried banana flower cutlets, ammani kozhakattai (spiced rice flour balls), puliyotharai (tamarind rice), a variety of rasams, and desserts such as feni (crispy vermicelli) with almond milk and boondi. The terrace bar, Nila, is great for drinks under the stars.

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Pool at Svatma, Thanjavur

Relaxed afternoon with some old old comics by the pool at Svatma, Thanjavur

Experience- Svatma offer a fully equipped gym, spa and pool that looks like a temple tank and you can spend your day around it. Apart from leisure and doing all things touristy planned by Svatma for us, the experience i will cherish forever was the live Veena performance, it was the very first time i experienced it and it blew my mind, i din’t move an inch throughout the performance by the three incredible artist in front of me, it was an experience that i will cherish forever.

Another incredible and yet another first was the sound therapy. I loved every bit of it, a unique sound therapy that was like nothing i have ever experienced, it was calming, and rush of something so new and so amazing left me in a state of zen for hours. Post spa i spent my time by the pool reading one full comic, another first (yes, i never read a comic before)

Spa at Svatma, Thanjavur

Brass Idol Making Experience with Svatma, Thanjavur

Another experience we took was of Bronze Sculpting, Thanjavur is the cradle of this ancient art form and the skill has simply transcended generations of sculptors. We watched cire purdue (was casting) live in action from casting to the sculpture taking its final form and it was just brilliant. Watching things being made from the scratch, especially when its handcrafted, makes you value the artisans and the products a lot more (well at least to me).

Check it out- Tanjore is most famous for its UNESCO-listed Brihadeeswarar Temple, an 11th century Shiva temple built in tawny granite. The edifice was built by King Rajaraja I to celebrate a military victory. Any way you look, it’s a lesson in architectural excellence: from the musical pillars, Chola-style murals and lime plaster frescoes to stucco sculptures of Lord Shiva’s various incarnations and ancient Tamil inscriptions. The central tower has 16 tiers rising to a height of 216 ft, making it one of the tallest of its kind in the world. Several shrines dot the sprawling lawns of the complex, including one of India’s largest statues of Nandi (Shiva’s sacred bull) carved out of a single rock.

Try – Tamil-Maratha fusion cuisine, Thanjavur is synonymous for the famous pulisadam (tamarind paste mixed with rice) and other types of dry rice mixes like ellu sadam, sambar sadam and thengai sadam, all of which are also served at temples as prasadams. Some locals claim that the south Indian sambar was first cooked in the Maratha royal kitchens of Thanjavur. When Sambhaji, the Marathi king and son of Shivaji, wanted something tangy for dinner, the ingenious cook substituted the tarty kokum with tamarind in a dal, threw in some sautéed veggies and the sambar was born! The Maratha influence on the region’s cuisine can be seen in dishes such as shakar biranji—sweetened pulao with almonds and coconut to ambat bhendya—okra tossed with Indian spices.

This blog is so informative, yet i feel there could have been so much more written, but i guess some things are left for experiences. I hope we get through these covid times soon and when we do, we will all travel safe, travel local and see experience the incredible India.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Mystical Munnar

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Whenever I am given an option to go for a holiday, the first thing I do see look at the hills. Somewhere I haven’t been, somewhere, where the cool breeze hurdles through my hair, kisses my cheeks. The mere thought of it soothes my soul.

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Munnar wasn’t on my list, but I wasn’t going to say no when my girls brought it up.  The scenic hill station located on the Western Ghats, at an altitude of 1,600 meters above sea level, is no dearth of vistas. Munnar, as I got know from our chauffeur, in the local Malayalam language translates into three rivers.

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We stayed at The Blanket Hotel & Spa, a luxury retreat located amidst the green haven of Munnar.  Situated near the mystical Attukad waterfalls the hotel offers a seamless blend of nature – endless tea gardens, the Nilgris covered with dew and sun that peaks with beautiful strokes of rays from the heavy clouds.

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The property is a picturesque getaway and no matter which part of the hotel you are in – the resort, the room, the pool you are engulfed with the best of nature. The entire resort is cradled within a blanket of  lush spectrum of flora and fauna.

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Rooms – We stayed at the Presidential Suite, the most luxurious room at The Blanket Hotel and it was such an incredible stay. Spacious and elegantly furnished, their rooms are designed to indulge you. The natural colors and wooden decor blend with the surroundings recreating the serene ambience indoors. The view from our balcony, Jacuzzi and bed did complete justice to our luxurious getaway. The suite redefines luxury with a host of modern facilities and you can be rest assured of nothing short of an experience that leaves you wanting more. Waking up to the beautiful view, breathing fresh air from the balcony really soothes your soul and gives you holiday you have been craving for.

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Food– The dining experience at Blanket Hotel Munnar is a heavenly treat for the cuisine connoisseur in you. Their restaurant team headed by their skilled executive chef serves the most intricate and delicious dishes that will give your taste buds an experience to cherish. You can choose from a variety of local and international cuisine from our delectable menu. All our meals were at their all day, Multi Cuisine Restaurant that serves lavish buffet for breakfast and dinner and a-la-carte for lunch.  We through enjoyed their south Indian delicacies and highly recommend you to take a break from continental and enjoy the local special recommended by chef.

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Leisure – The property offers plenty of options through which you can explore the beauty of the Munnar.  You can trek with their in house naturalist who will take you through the tea plantations all the way up to the Attukad waterfalls. You can spend your leisure time indulging in Yoga, Pool or Meditation, witness Cultural Performance where you can treat yourself to traditional dance forms like Kuchipudi or Mohiniyattam.

Thulasi Ayurveda Spa –   You will notice in south Ayurveda has a huge importance and a traditional Ayurvedic therapy should be in you must-do list. We tried  their Rejuvenation Therapy an Indian traditional Massage, that helped me feel revitalized. A season where warm herbal oils depending on your dosha type are used to massage using rhythmic strokes with uniform pressure from head to toe which loosens accumulated toxins in the tissues, improves blood circulation, relaxes the muscles and counters the signs of aging

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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.

Love Satpreet Kaur

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

 

Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

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View from the villa at Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

Palampur  has been known as ‘The Tea Capital of North India’. A small city 3600 ft above sea level is a popular hill station of India, rich in historic temples, forts and  its spectacular Himalayan views. Palampur is a plantation getaway situated in the Kangra valley overlooking Dhauladhar mountain Ranges. the town is less explored and least commercialized and that’s exactly what beautifies it.

I was staying at the Norwood Green by Lamrin resort, a place where you could enjoy both- the view of  tea garden when you lower your sight and Dhauladhar range when you see up from the backyard of your private villa. The experience of spending leisure time amidst beautiful Palampur Valley of Himachal Pradesh that is yet unexplored by most tourists, waking up and spending your days so close to nature was a heart warming experience. I was here with my family and we din’t feel a need to utilize the available tv, or play any games. we spoke, went for walks, fed the pet who wondered in our backyard and revisited old memories. I think it was in the air and vibe that all we wanted to do was just hold back and breathe, an experience we haven’t had in a really long time.

Norwood Green provides you an exquisite resort that has a experience similar of a luxurious home stay, amidst the serenity of the Himalayan ranges and sprawling tea gardens. Its charming aristocratic architecture will transport you to a different era, while providing you with every modern amenity you need and your own butler, who bring everything to you on call.

There is a dedicated team at Norwood Green will take care of you from arrival to departure, your food to laundry and also help you plan any activities and walk if you wish to indulge.  Their concept is simple, they offer guests a home away from home, a place to switch off and unwind, to re-connect with each other and with nature. For all the time we were there, we all had one common thought, if ever owned a home in hills, it would exactly be like this.

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The beautiful living room at Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

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The other side of living room that extends to dining area and opens up to the backyard at Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

Rooms– If you are a group of four or six or more, you can have an entire villa to yourself, we were four and since the other room wasn’t booked, we had the villa all to ourselves. Each of their exquisite villas has four rooms, all of which have flat screen TV, four well equipped bathrooms, private dining area, private kitchen and living area. Apart from this one of the room comes with a spacious balcony, the others have view of the tea gardens or mountains and the whole cottage at Norwood Green has access to rear garden at back overlooking tea gardens along with mighty snow covered Dhauladhar mountain ranges.  Our evenings included sipping hot ginger lemon tea or have aloo parathas, play music and make the most out of the little moments.

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Room with a view at Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

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The spacious balcony outside my room at Norwood gGeen Resort, Palampur

Charming and spacious interiors, to beautiful panoramic views of the mountainside, every moment at the Norwood Green, Palampur is peacefully delightful. While you feast on authentic, local Himachali dishes, the warm hospitality of the staff will help you retire after a fruitful day.

Activities in Palampur At Palampur you will find yourself surrounded by lush greenery and abundant rivers and streams, and a very pleasant climate that will draw you in, and make you never want to leave. And when it comes to tourist attractions, Palampur has more than enough to offer. Just a walk around Palampur will let you enjoy its beautiful colonial architecture. The tea factory, St John’s Church, Bundla waterfall, Neogal Park are interesting places to visit. The village of Andretta, 13 km from Palampur is known for its pottery. The town of Baijnath, 16 km away is famous for its Shiva temple, and the Tibetan monastery at Tashijong, is 12 km away. Adventure seekers will find trek routes leading out of Palampur and into the Dhauladhar mountains. The towns of Bir and Billing have gained international reputation as paragliding sites. Dharamshala and Mc Leod Ganj are also popular tourist places near Palampur.

Don’t forget to subscribe so you get all updates right in your mailbox. Also follow me on Instagram @ssatpreetkaur,  for more instant updates on all things fun, food, fashion and travel.

Love Satpreet Kaur