Gone Fishing Cottages, Tirthan Valley

Gone Fishing Cottages, it is what the word getaway was aptly made for. Located in beautiful  Deori village of Tirthan valley, by a gushing stream is small cluster of wooden cottages designed and conceptualized with love to every detail. Golden marigold bloom everywhere, an in-house café and a hammock right in the middle of courtyard was my glimpse of the property.   

Perfect for anyone who wants a tranquil getaway and enjoy a far away feeling (from the busy world) be it with your family, friends or go solo (like me). From lazy afternoons spent having juicy local fruits, soaking in winter sun by a water stream (or in it) that is just few steps away from the cottage, to nights spent on private deck having perfectly grilled trout and heap of mashed potatoes, my stay at Gone fishing cottages was a mountain fantasy come true.  

The beautiful property is enveloped by step farming fields and blooming orchards on one side, while on the other side, a thick forest of tall cedar and pine trees rests. Gone fishing cottages is both private and welcoming with its incredible host (mother hen- Dimple) She runs the place making sure every little detail from crisp curtains to aromatic toiletries (which she makes employing local women) delicious dishes on menu to surprise desserts.

 This family-run homestay comes with a whole lot of grandeur and warm hospitality – If you love dogs, there are five of them, if you love books, they are racks full of them in the cottage, and if you like nature well take a walk and you are surrounded by best of panoramic views.  

Its cottages, with their bare stone walls and rustic, wooden furniture add to your experience of wilderness living. The rooms are spacious with hint of coziness and pool of natural light flowing in, in mornings and long glass doors that open to your own little private balcony. You can book the entire cottage that comes with 2/3 rooms each or a room in one. The cottage comes with a kitchenette, table with high stools and living space where you can spend lounging around or you could spend hours gazing at the stars at the private deck right outside the cottage. The hosts not only love nature but are also conscious about it, you will notice multiple recycled things all over the property – utilisation of empty alcohol bottles as light shades, twine-entwined lamps, soap stands out of pipes and more.

Whether you’re working from home, a bird watcher, group of friends or two people in love – if you are looking to spend time in nature, I assure your experience at Gone fishing cottages will be nothing short of a rejuvenation.  

Know more: http://gonefishingcottages.com/

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Garli- An offbeat getaway

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Chateau Garli, Kangra – a cattle shed  that was transformed into a heritage property

Garli is a place where you can experience a beautiful embrace of history and heritage at one place. With travel becoming more personal, this is a perfect getaway for any unconventional traveler who likes to explore offbeat places, learn more about deep Indian roots and a slice of architecture.

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Village of Garli hold many stories of bygone era

Heritage Village Garli is marvel in every sense. There is hardly any other Indian suburb with such stunningly diverse styles of architecture on display among the mansions, temples and sarais, all of which stand testimony to the majestic existence Garli that once had. Garli is a classic example of collaborative town planning, vision & foresight of its founders. Established over a 100 years ago, many facets of a mini township were built in, ranging from education, health, to sanitation, commerce etc. examples of all these are still available to see. Today, an abandoned village, Garli is said to have been established in the seventeenth century by the Sud community of the region. Traditionally, the treasure keepers of Kangra’s ruling house.

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My beautiful corner in the room, with tinted color glass at The Chateau Garli

Where to stay: ‘The Chateau Garli’ is a heritage property, built in 1921 that has been restored to its age-old glory by carefully recreating the colonial, Portuguese, Mughal, Rajasthani and Kangri architectural influences that surround the Garli & Pragpur Village. The Chateau Garli offers a home away from home experience with additional comforts to pamper you. It is located on the foothills of Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas, in the heritage village of Garli built in 1921 by Sud family who have now restored it to heritage property. The place boasts of impeccable details, from old gramophone, wooden radio, colonial furniture, crystal chandeliers, contrasting coloured windowpanes, and antique door handles.

Rooms keeping up with the theme have wooden furniture, the paintings a lot of which depict family trees and goddess, colorful embroidered bedspreads and the vibrant windowpanes. Everything at this boutique property transports you another era, also giving you all the urban amenities.  Each of the 19 rooms in the mansion was unique and distinctive.

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Pool Side restaurant at The Chateau Garli

Food: You can indulge in some local delicacies like Himachali Dhaam and fresh trout, preferably requested a day early. From their regular menu too food isn’t short of anything but a great meal. Must try dishes are the Pahari Mutton, Mandra, Maa ki dal, Laal Maas and Kanghri Dham all served at their poolside restaurant or comfort of your room.

The town reflects the progressive planning, that includes water and drainage system incorporated nearly a century ago. The Suds established a boys’ school in 1918, a special women’s hospital in 1921, and a girl’s school by 1955. These, along with Garli Water Works, which used imported copper pipes from London, inaugurated in 1928, are still operational. At a time when the rest of India was largely underdeveloped, the infrastructure of this tiny outpost was leagues ahead of its time.

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Spa at The Chateau Garli that has rural touch

Experiences
Sunset at Beas River -Even if you can view the sunset from the hotels in Kangra but this river bed in Garli offers the best sunset view in the whole village. Dipping your feet in the Beas river bed and encountering the sun set is a must do in Garli.

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Beas River

Night Safari in the Local Forest Reserve – This is for all the wildlife enthusiasts. Taking a jeep around 9 or 10 pm and driving through the local forest reserve would be a surprising adventure as you might spot a leopard, wild boar, wild rabbits or sambar.

 

 

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Masroor Temple

A Religious Tour – There are a vast number of temples in Garli as the city situated in the ‘Land of the Gods’- Himachal. Some of the famous temples in Garli are Jwalamukhi Temple, Maha Kaleshwar Temple, Baba Balaknath Temple, Kangra Devi Temple, Baglamukhi Temple and Chintpurni Temple.

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Must try- Kulfi, there is this man who sits under a tree and famous for his frozen kulfi, it tastes real good but what is fascinating is that i have been told, he doesn’t use ice. Leaves you wondering.

How to reach: By Air : Chandigarh (180 km) approx 4 Hrs, Gaggal (62 km) approx 1.5 Hrs
For more info and bookings – The Chateau Garli

Don’t forget to check out the blog on its sister property  – The Chalets Naldhera  a beautiful stay in Shimla. Subscribe to my blog 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.

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Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur 

Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

After a good few days in Udaipur I headed to Jodhpur – The sun city of India. My love for Rajasthan only increases with what I see. They told me monsoon is not the season to visit Rajasthan, but I feel every place has a unique experience in each weather (well of course, peak summers don’t count in Rajasthan) I leisurely spent my days in Jodhpur, so I din’t really miss anything despite rain, but loved every bit of monsoon.

corridor and open space outside room at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

The city of Jodhpur boasts of heritage hotels that reflect the spectacular royal status that this place once had. I was staying at Devi Bhawan a boutique property that only after, I stepped out of the reception, saw for what it is. a little tropical paradise in the heart of the city. In between its dense green cover were little blips of building spread across the area, which you won’t spot until you are in front of it. There were two little water gardens of which one was full of lotus and had a swing at the end of it, where I spent a lot of time every day of my stay just swinging and breathing  all of it.

Breakfast with a view at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

Over breakfast at Devi Bhavan, I had a quick conversation with elegant Rambha Singh, who with her family owns and manages Devi Bhavan and stays in the other end of the property and is a warm host who is available for any queries in case guests need. She indulged me in details of how this property came to what it is today – Interestingly she mentioned Devi Bhavan is an eighty-year-old residence of Thakur Ratan Singh and his family.

My beautiful room at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

colours that spark joy at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

Rooms: There are 20 rooms at Devi Bhawan, housed within five, two-storey buildings spread among green lawns with neem trees, flowering plants and fountains. I stayed in a deluxe room that had view of both garden and the pool, the rooms at Devi Bhavan are simply furnished, my room had a four-poster wooden bed, sofa and wardrobes. The bedspread, cushions and sofa cover all matched in colorful prints, that perked up the room. While most rooms have a private sit-out mine was on top floor and had a huge veranda with lounge on daybeds and rattan chairs. I spent most of my time out in the beautiful and spacious verandah, listening to chirping birds, sipping tea while overlooking the lush space and the pool on other side.

Pool at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

Well one thing I couldn’t do was get into the pool and swim in crystal clear water. It is located at one end of the property and is great to soak in the sun on the deck chairs the pool a touristy day.

Breakfast at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

Food: They have an in-house restaurant that serves all meals, or you can choose to order in room dining and enjoy your meal leisurely like me. All meals are served in the dining room at the center of the property you can also enjoy your meal outdoors where tables are decorated with vibrant sunny cloths, wrought iron chairs dotted around the garden. I only had breakfast during my stay and tried a thali for dinner. The service was tad bit slow; menu is limited but food was decent.

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Thali for dinner at Devi Bhavan, Jodhpur

When to go: The best time to visit Jodhpur is between October and March when the maximum temperature is around 27C and the minimum around 15C.

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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.

Maison Perumal , Pondicherry

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Maison Perumal is a 130-year-old family mansion dating back to French colonial times in Pondicherry. The heritage property is immensely influenced by the local culture and details of it can be seen in its design aesthetic to a great extent. It took them over a year to restore the building and refurbish it with a studied attention to detail that its former owners would have been proud of.

Inviting courtyard

At Maison Perumal they believe in ‘less-is-more’ philosophy, that is reflected its minimalistic interiors that are adorned with a spare style, yet pay much attention to detail. Stained glass offsets the familiar local white plaster in a telling example of creating a distinct identity. It is how Maison Perumal celebrates its special heritage. 

On arrival the lungi clad men welcome us with a jasmine garland and escorted us to informal reception area, where we checked in and enjoyed our welcome drink (lime and ginger drink) while soaking in the beauty of the cosy courtyard that was filled with a subtle aroma (i assumed it was lemongrass)

Tamilian hospitality and French architecture

 It’s in the details that the property steals your heart, though minimalistic in décor the details get your attention like no other. The stained-glass balconies at the hotel offset the familiar white plaster of local houses to create a distinct identity while the period furniture at Maison Perumal symbolizes a simplicity and elegance that was characteristic of prosperous Tamil households of yore. Again, in deference to tradition and their own obsession for the novel, the rooms at Maison Perumal are fitted with the famous ‘Dindigul‘ locks & keys, reputed for their antique and intricate designs.

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Rooms: The property has 10 rooms and has a very intimate vibe that helps them serve their guests in the best way possible. All the members of the staff are warm and well aware to guide you, be it about the food or local recommendations. The architectural character is deeply rooted in Tamil culture, with a whiff of French colonial influences. To be a guest in a gracious Tamil home was once an honoring experience of a very high kind. In those traditional times, a guest was perceived as a member of the household and treated indulgently. It is this special experience that CGH has successfully recreated at Maison Perumal.  Staying here you can experience a simple and relaxed way of life that echoes the elegant guest traditions of Tamil Nadu with a gentle French accent, which together make for a truly ennobling experience. 

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Food: At Maison Perumal, you can encounter a true local food experience, be curries with best of south Indian spices, or best of local sea food, as in all CGH Earth properties, locally grown produce – from yams to okra and drumsticks – is given pride of place on their tables. Even a plate of exotic pasta gets a carefully crafted local makeover with tiny prawns, fish, chilies, garlic and chef’s unique mix of local spices. We would definitely recommend you to try their Vazhopoo Vadai which is a banana flower pattie, Era Podi Thooval that is tossed in Lentil Prawn that is full of flavors and in chicken try their Kozhi Idicha Masala which is cooked in crushed spices and masala, and in dessert go traditional with their wonderful Payasam 

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Curated experiences– CGH properties are all about experiential stays, they make your visit worth your effort not only by hosting at their mesmerizing properties but also by organizing experiences that gives you a peak into the city and its culture in most personal way possible. They offer options like heritage walks, cooking with chef, a tour to AurovilleKolma Art and our favorite – Pedal through time, a rickshaw ride through the by-lanes of the historic town. This again can be organized by the hotel on request, and we recommend you do it on your first day, the whole tour will take minimum one hour, the rest depends on who long you end up taking pictures at each place. This way you will have ample of time to explore more on rest of the days and pick favorites if you want to revisit a place leisurely later. 

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Fortune Park Moksha, McLeod Ganj

Ringed by snow-capped peaks, McLeod Ganj boasts phenomenal views and full experience of the mountainscape, the Tibetan temples, the rooftop sports bars. Mcleodgunj is a great place for people who love trekking, camping, boating, and sightseeing. You will spot crimson-robed monks everywhere and real good street food, there are number of cafes and rooftop bars as well that will give you a memorable experience..

I was welcomed by Fortune Park Moksha for my stay in Mcleodganj. Nestled in the scenic Strawberry Hills with beautiful views of the snow-capped Dhauladhar mountain range and the pristine Dharamshala valley, Fortune Park Moksha is located just 6 km from the main square. The hotel provides guests easy access to all the main tourist attractions in and around McLeod Ganj. Since it was my second visit, I like how it stood on hills giving a piece of blissful seclusion away from the touristy buzz yet giving an easy access for those who want to venture out.

The hotel is a spacious property, with smiling and welcoming staff, available to cater any need, including planning your day or suggesting available activities around the place. The hotel is surrounded by pine trees and deodar forests which leave the air around scented with sweet pine fragrance, making it an ideal choice for a stay in the lap of nature.

I loved waking up to the first rays of sun peeking through the mountains, having breakfast as it goes up amidst the Himalayas and letting moving clouds surround me with every bit of serenity.

Club Room (the one I stayed in) and suites at the hotel are most recommended as they offer a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and the valley. Interiors of the hotel are minimalistic and soothing giving more credit to natural beauty, long glass window and outdoor spaces. When you mix the modern-day amnesties with luxury of natural beauty surrounding you from the moment you open your eyes to shutting them before you take in breathtaking beauty of open sky full of stars from comfort of your balcony, that exactly the kind of experience Fortune Park Moksha’ offers. The hotel is an ideal retreat for travelers looking for relaxation and peace.

Food: Fortune Park Moksha offers various options to dine in house. You can indulge your taste buds with the choice of delectable food as well as views for company. I had meals at comfort of my balcony or at the Orchid- The Multicuisine Restaurant with an option of both indoor and alfresco seating, that offers an array of culinary delights and sumptuous buffets that makes this multi-cuisine restaurant an ideal venue for an enjoyable lunch or a relaxed dinner.

Spa: The in-house spa by Sansha Spa, was cherry on top pf my cakey stay. If you have been reading blogs for a while you will know, a holiday for me is incomplete without a relaxing spa. The masseuse and staff are well trained and the treatments they offer are wide. I went for 90 minutes treatment that included a body wrap, massage followed by steam. It left me relaxed and my skin rejuvenated, definitely needed it. Post spa I spent hours on loungers by the pool, ending my vacation a perfect note.

Amenities: From a luxurious spa to pool, gymnasium to gaming zone, open lawns to yoga area the property is a destination in itself with best of amenities that you will want to keep coming back to; it’s a retreat you can enjoy with your family and loved ones to get away from the hustle bustle of the city life.

Book: http://www.fortunehotels.in

Naladhera, A mountain retreat

The Chalets Naldhera, Shimla

View from my cottage at Chakets Naldehra

Naldehra is located at distance of 22 km away from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. Situated 2,044 meters above sea level, it is known for one of the best and oldest 18 hole golf course in the country. Historical facts state that this hill station was discovered by Lord Curzon, a Viceroy of the erstwhile British Raj. Impressed by its beautiful natural surroundings, he decided to make a golf course in this hill station. He also gave his daughter Alexendra Naldehra as her second name.

My log hut at Chalets Naldehra

Where I Stayed : The Chalets Naldehra

Chalets Naldehra is a quiet, secluded and stunning property which is located conveniently away from Shimla. It has one of the most attractive settings, with spectacular views from each corner of the property, beautiful landscaped lawns, gardens ideal for an intimate garden ceremony with a forest backdrop. The charming log huts with forest spread across it is a photographer’s dream and makes for a incredible mountain retreat.

The balcony that offer a beautiful view of  mountains, sunsets, sunrise and clouds clouds that turn fog and embraces you in a hug

The Chalets Naldehra is the first property built in India with the internationally recognized expertise that has come to be associated with Scandinavian log homes. The chalets have been built with technology and wood imported from Finland. These fir logs have been specially treated in a high-tech plant and been given a finish that is enduring, warm and welcoming.

Room with a view at Chalets Naldhera

Rooms: I was welcomed to experience a stay in their ‘Log chalets’ that come under their premium segment. These have a drawing/dining room, a bedroom and a parvis with sloping ceilings , I literally had a debate with my dad on who would take over it, as we both loved it equally. Its almost serene how the log huts blend in naturally with the surrounding forest, welcoming the moments of peace. Indoors are spacious, with a countryside feel yet equipped with modern day amenities and our favorite part was definitely the fire place, where we enjoyed your evenings of endless bonding over wine and hot gulab jamuns. Our wake up routine in mornings would be a welcome serenade of birdsong  as nature and its counterparts greet us in our balcony while we sip our coffee. On our second day we went for a walk on a track that begun from the property (much closer from our room itself) a short one but so mesmerizing that one can immerse himself in the grandeur of pristine, old growth, high country forest. On request they organised our morning tea amidst the nature, an experience that will forever be marked in my memory.

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Morning tea amidst nature at the Chalets Naldhera

Coffee with a view from my balcony at Chalets Naldhera

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While they have 2 restaurants, i preferred all my meals outdoors, breathing in every moment  i was there

Food at the revolving restaurant at Chalets Naldhera where for company you have moving clouds, endless mountains and obviously good food

 

Restaurant– Yet another spectacular part of the hotel is the ‘360° Top of the World’ revolving restaurant with huge windows that unfold vistas of the valleys and forests. The revolving restaurant can at a time accommodate up to 24 people and buzzes with Mozart throughout your meal. The food offered at Chalets Naldehra includes, Chinese, continental and Indian.They also offer meals at the shared lawns and an experience not to be missed is the evening tea in gardens with the sight of mesmerizing sunset.

Heated indoor pool at Chalets Naldhera

Pool: They have a pool so gorgeous that can give a modern-day infinity pool a miss. The heated leisure pool of the Chalets has been imported from Australia and placed in a large glass plant-packed hall that seems to bring indoors all the charms of the surrounding woods – it’s almost as if you are swimming with the cedars. Under a starlit sky or on a warm sunny afternoon or for that matter while the monsoon rain patters on the clear-glass roof or when snowflakes swirl, you can take a long leisurely swim or just lounge by the poolside soaking in bliss.

Post spa at Chalets Naldhera

Spa- The spa offers Ayurvedic therapies and massages, sauna, Jacuzzi pool, steam room, hot and cold showers are available. After all what is a retreat without a tranquil massage.

They also have a bar where you pour yourself a strong drink or have a cup of coffee, activity room, croquet green, putting green and library and other facilities. In keeping with the mystique of The Chalets Naldehra, every unit has been given a name that either belongs to the region or has been named after an explorer or adventurer of the region. For example, The Gerard Chalet – named after the brothers Gerard, who were amongst the earliest travelers and mappers of the tract. They also have conference hall that makes it an incredible venue for conferences, so maybe you should take your next team meeting or conference right amidst the hills.

What to do: Naldehra is dotted with several attractions which include temples, lakes, hot water springs, scenic beauty and golf course. Mahunag Temple is one of the most prominent attractions, from which the place has derived its name. Also, a visit to Shimla can be a day’s outing where you can indulge in some famous cafes, stroll around mall road and visit famous structures that belonged from the British era.
Book: www.chaletsnaldehra.com

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J W Marriott Resort & Spa, Jaipur

J W Marriott is one of the most recognized hotel brands in the world, and at their all new property- J W Marriott Resort and Spa, Jaipur we experienced most energized hospitality and were treated to some incredible meals. The property has a welcoming atmosphere, right from the traditional welcome and breathtaking lobby, there is incredible attention to detail that made our stay full of utmost comfort.

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JW Marriott Resort and Spa, Jaipur- Royal and Splendid

The Resort

It can be rightly said that J W Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa is a modern day palace. I mean if i was a queen today, i would want my palace just this way, away from the hustle of the city, surrounded by the hills with all modern amenities and architecture that displays the best craftsmanship. A white tone follows throughout the property with breaks of blue and metallic at various places, well manicured paths, artistically done fountain spaces (indoor as well as outdoors), grand arches that are perfectly apt for a modern day royalty; and staying here we got treated exactly like that. When touring the property I was awestruck by the doors, the hand-painted patterns by local artisans, paintings and the architecture on the whole.

Food & Restaurants

Food at these restaurant are curated by executive chef Yogender Pal, i was delighted to meet him as i have known him for years, from when he was at The Marriott in Hyderabad. Sukh Mahal restaurant offers modern world cuisine but multi-cuisine delicacies are rustled up as adeptly as marwari meals in this all day restaurant.

On our last day we had a special surprise dinner at Mohan Mahal, just being there was a special experience, it was like dining in sheesh mehal. Mohan Mahal restaurant, is a gorgeous, tenderly-lit restaurant that serves up Rajasthani and Mughlai thali, open only for dinner. The design and beauty of the restaurant is architecturally reflective of Amer Fort’s Sheesh Mahal. Lit by candles, with Rajasthani music and gurgling fountains within the restaurant, provides a beautiful background score. Taking a notch above the meals are served in silver-plated tableware and local delicacies left us with a most found memory, one that will definitely add up to best dinner experiences i have had.

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Chai and Musical evenings by the pool at JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Jaipur

Evening tea, in khullads (they also have cup options but obviously we preferred the desi khullad and masala chai) are best enjoyed while witnessing the performance by the pool that included folk music and folk dance. They also have a lot of fun activities like henna application, puppet show, pottery, elephant rides for kids and relaxing SPA sessions (read here), J W Marriott Jaipur has something to keep everyone indulged.

Room- Royal Courtyard Room

Our villa was bright, lively and equipped with amenities like cable tv, safe, coffee/tea maker, walk in closet and an attached bathroom with a tub and forest essentials toiletries, i love forest essentials; period. But our room and outdoor lounging area was not that got me excited, i mean it was beautiful but what i loved the most was our private outdoor plunge pool.

I spent an entire day and night right at the property to soak in all the beauty and luxury, i even spent a freezing few hours out in the lounging area watching the night sky and gazing the stars. If it wasn’t for January and winters, and the fact that it was more colder because it was at the outskirts, i would have spent the night out in the open.

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The landscape of this place has been done so amazingly that I absolutely enjoyed strolling around the property. The resort has a massive swimming pool by itself for all the guests.

We spent 3 days at this property, but it still felt like it wasn’t enough. The hotel is quite secluded from the city but the helpful staff had a car ready for us whenever we needed (on request), that made travelling totally hassle free for us. Finding cabs might get little tricky in the area so I suggest you book in advance. Being winters the nights were freezing, but I enjoyed my visit both to Jaipur and J W Marriott to the core.

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Spa at J.W Marriott Resort & Spa, Jaipur

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The Spa & Wellness Centre at JW Marriott Resort and Spa encourages guests to indulge in pampering, and promotes disconnection from daily routine to maintain a healthy balance.

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The décor of the spa is inspired by the relaxed and luxury vibe of the resort itself. The spa therapists helped me choose a relaxing treatment, also sharing the in-depth knowledge and profound experience she has about the services offered and products used for the same.

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The place was blissful, with calming music and aroma that soothes you the moment you step in. After a welcome tea, more of an immunity booster my masseuse escorted me to my treatment room. I was fascinated to see how certain areas of the spa were heated to keep guest warm and cosy during this winter. The treatment room was well equipped with a private rainforest shower cum steam room, treatment area, a tub and changing area that comes with a wardrobe and safe.

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A vacation for me isn’t complete until I have a relaxing spa to indulge myself at the end of it. And JW Marriott Resort and Spa gave me just that. Expert therapists combined with the international range of wellness products, they allow spa guests to experience a higher realm of overall well-being.

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The products they use for their signature treatments, are by French marine spa brand Thalgo, which incorporates ingredients such as mineral and vitamin-rich algae. Post spa i headed for a good 15 mins steam and relaxed by the pool for next 2 hours before heading for dinner.

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Hospitality Par Excellence at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

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Located on the fringes of the city, amidst serene Aravali Hills, Lebua Resort is a luxury boutique hotel and spa destination in itself that channels the region’s color, vibrancy and cultural splendor.  The architecture of this resort property is heavily influenced by Jantar Mantar, the royal observatory but the result is so contemporary it’s hard to tell.  The entire resort has sweeping views that marries contemporary design with a Rajasthani sensibility. The raw red stone of the arched building appears fiery in the evening sun while each of the 60 suites and three villas at Lebua Resort, Jaipur are a celebration of textures, patterns, latticework and color. Sporting, opulent with maximal interiors, every room overlooks Aravali Mountains and is equipped with modern amenities.

 

Personalized welcome that made my stay even more memorable at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

LR 063-1 BR Luxury Suite

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Vibrant Interiors if my Suite at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

We were allotted a luxury suite , each suite is styled after one of Jaipur’s famous jewel colors and i got red. With unique black and white terrazzo flooring,  my suit had a traditional bay window for seating with jharokas that played with light that came in and also reflected on beautiful mirror work on ceiling.  The suit is full of artistic details, from  hidden bride painting above the bed, intricate inlays, hammered metal surfaces or sheer work of glass throughout the ceiling.

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High Tea on my private terrace at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

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Mornings at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

When at Lebua they pampered us with a specially curated high tea, post spa (exclsive blog on that coming up) at our own private terrace overlooking beautiful mountains with sun ready to set among them and we even spotted a peacock.  The mornings at the property is yet another experience we loved, the suit has a private open lawn with birds chirping around greeting you for a beautiful day ahead.

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Evening turn down service at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

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The evening gets better with their turn down services that literally filled my heart with warmth and respect for the staff for doing everything to make sure that my stay was no less than a memorable experience which i am sure i will never forget. Every evening they left us with surprise desserts rolled in a sheet that details a story of a local monument/tourist attraction along with a special bubble bath with rose petals. I couldn’t be more thankful for it, after a long touristy day,  to just take a dip in and soak my stress away.

 

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The most blissful place- private pool at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

Coming up next is an exclusive blog on my food experience at Lebua resort Jaipur. you got to know it is more than amazing when i dedicate a special blog for it. There is still lot more coming from my Jaipur Travelogue. Make sure you have subscribed and keep watching this space for more. Also don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for instant updates on everything fascinating happening in Hyderabad.

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Glitzy affair at Once Upon a Time, Nahargarh

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The Nahargarh Fort is situated at the height of 700-ft and was primarily built to strengthen the defense mechanism of the city of Jaipur, now just imagine dining at that height, with a view so romantic and food so brilliant you will probably never want to leave. It’s a place that offers a perfect combination of wine and view from high above!

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Once Upon a Time Restaurant at Nahargagh is an experience everyone must have. For me its going to be on my list every time i visit this pink city.  With traditional music played by local artisans, who most happily take requests and greet you with utmost warmth, you can choose to sit alfresco or indoors in a royally inspired seating. The intricate work done on the ceiling and walls, the long glass window that shows of the glittering city of Jaipur by night is a site that will leave you breathless.

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Their ‘Kheema Bhati’ is outstanding, crispy outside and filled with flavorful kheema inside that is full of flavors and just too good to resist. Their ‘Murgh Malai Kebab’ is mouth melting with rich marination and grilled to perfection, so is their ‘Gosht Seekh Kebab’, succulent and juicy paired perfectly with white wine and amazing ambiance is a delight in every bite.

Between your meals don’t forget to step up and join your loved one for a dance or just sip away your wine overlooking the view you will never forget.  Visit Nahargragh’s, Once upon a time for more of an experience than just a quick meal and make sure you have ample of time to enjoy every bit of your glittering night.

Keep watching this space for more updates on my Jaipur travel. Also don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for instant updates on everything fascinating happening in Hyderabad.

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Best places to Eat in Manali

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Casa Bella Vista, Manali

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Casa Bella Vista, Manali

Casa Bella Vista
Tucked away from the main market of Manali, Casa Bella was suggested to me but lot of tourist around. I had read they had the best pizza in town as do it traditional wood fired pizza and serves only vegetarian food.  I ordered for their signature pizza which is a must try, its freshly baked, hand tossed, thin crust and wood fired.. Well a good treat in cold Manali weather.  Like most of the Cafes in Manali, this place has a lot of wood detailing and there are tall coniferous trees giving a very natural vibe to the place. The smoke from their oven, mixed with the smell of fresh baked bread will tantalize your senses even before you begin eating. The pasta however had more Indianized taste to it. Paired with cold coffee we had a really peaceful lunch experience. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, facilitates accommodation in its cottages, and has a small walk-in boutique selling kurtas, organic soaps and also, some accessories. We had a little problem finding a ride back since there are very limited options available on the spot, but the manager of restaurant was kind enough to call a local cab for us. 
Address: Log Huts Road, Old Manali, Himachal Pradesh. Ph:09815444488 

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Cafe 1947, Manali

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Cafe 1947, Manali

Cafe 1947 
My Favorite place in Manali, that visited 3 time in my entire Manali stay. Live Bollywood music, riverside outdoor seating, cozy indoors, dim lit and quaint, hot toddy and uncountable wins of board games and cheerful crowd. It just a must visit place if in Manali. Enjoy your favorite beer, sip on a hot cup of ginger tea, sweeten your mouth with desserts or just look out of daily specials, a visit to this place is a complete treat.  Located in old Manali on the banks of the Manaslu river surrounded by pine trees, this place will release all your tension and stress transporting you to a complete Zen mode. Coming to food, we had ordered coffee, French fries, pizzas and Brownie with ice cream.  Cafe 1947 is surely one of the best restaurants in Manali and a must visit in your itinerary. 
Address: Old Manali, Kullu, Manali, Himachal Pradesh. Ph: 09418461969

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 Johnson’s Café 
Situated at a walking distance from the Mall Road, Johnson’s cafe is known for its expertise of Himalayan river trout. The wood oven baked trout along with roasted almond sauce is must try. They have beautiful wooden interiors, complemented by alfresco seating arrangement amidst the lush lawns and Indoor bar, the live music at night makes it a place that you can chill for hours be it lunch or dinner, or just over drinks and good music. This place also offers accommodation and the host and owner Piya Jhonson was the best company we had in our entire trip. She told us about how this café has been a very natural thing for her, she sourced and grew most of the things keeping a very keen eye for quality. She came from a family that had an open house welcoming friends, family and travelers alike. She sat with us through our meal and entertained us with her travel stories, fats about Manali and some local suggestion we ought to try. 
Address: Circuit House Road, Siyal, Kullu, Manali, Himachal Pradesh. Ph:07018306324 

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My Super ride ‘Himalyan’ for Manali

Read about my stay at Anantmaya a luxury resort in Manali here, and also the ATV ride  at The Alternate Terrain and big bear cafe , that you MUST have on your itinerary Here Don’t forget to subscribe below so you get all updates right in your mailbox. Also follow me on Instagram @Fashioneatista , Facebook – FashionEatista, for more instant updates on all things fun food and fashion… also travel my new addition that will help you plan your next trip,

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Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach

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Visakhapatnam Beach, One of my Favorite Beaches in India

I have always loved Novotel properties; with two in Hyderabad itself my visits to their restaurants are quite often (they have some the best food festivals in town). This however was my first stay at one of their properties.

If you are following me on Instagram you would know the trail of this trip was Araku Valley and Vizag. This was a trip that took me ages to plan; it was kind of a reunion with my college friends but with lovely additions as many now came in category of Couples.

My stay at Novotel Varun Beach was second part of our travel plan. The hotel is just 30 minutes from the Airport and walking distance from the beach giving Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach a great reachability and accessibility factor. The moment I stepped into the hotel through huge glass doors, the foyer was bustling with people, mostly looked like a conference just winded up.

Post our easy check in and welcome drink; we were led to our rooms. The moment our elevator door opened I could see a spacious lounging area with beautiful sea view, only hoping my room would have the same; And it did. The hotel had a very urban vibe – modern decor portraying minimalism without lacking on quality. My room was bright, spacious living room, beautiful washrooms, walk in closet and cozy room- designed for a modern traveler. I loved the view and the coffee machine in my room the most (ah, the coffee addict in me)

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Breakfast with view at Novotel

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Breakfast in Bed, Perfect Leisure Holiday

Food: The Square, an all day dining restaurant serves global cuisines. We had our lunch here and the service and food was just splendid.  Breakfast is also served at the square where you can choose from cooked selection, juices, continental, fruit bowls and choice of eggs and of course Indian selections as well. Well I had mine in bed. Thanks to the courteous staff for making my holiday a perfectly leisure one.

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Cheesy Pizza at Novotel, The Square

 

Vue -The lounge is great place to chill and since had an early morning flight we decided to chill at the hotel lounge for our last night. The interiors were pretty but we preferred our drinks outside by the pool overlooking the endless sea.

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Vue Lounge, Novotel

Zaffran: Zaffran is the second restaurant at the property and the cuisine is regional, they a five course Menu of the Day with all seats overlooking the ocean. I was really honored when the chef had us try some of the dishes from their new menu and the food was just incredible. My favorite was definitely the ‘Chuza Khas Tikka Masala’ that was finger looking good, special thanks to Chef Mrinmoy Pal, for extending his hospitality. Indian travel blogger, Indian lifestyle blogger, best Hyderabad blogger

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Lunch at Zaffran, Novotel

The infinity pool is another feature of property which will enhance your stay (experience) at this property, a dip in the pool and view of Bay of Bengal is just stunning.

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All in all it was a great stay, the view and food is definitely the factor I will most likely visit the property again. so go ahead an make your monsoon plans as its great time of the year to visit Vizag. Hyderabad food blogger, Indian food blogger, lifestyle blogger India

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Filter Coffee and Beach view – Perfection!

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Neemrana Fort – Palace

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Neemrana Fort Palace

The Neemrana Fort Palace in India is one of the first Palaces turned hotels in India, equidistant from both Delhi and Jaipur this should be on your list of travels in India. The fort dates back to 1464 and opened its doors to tourists in 1991 to soak in the charm of its rich heritage. A luxurious 55-bedroom hotel is an enchanting building, which is located on a hillside to afford the former king views over the nearby village, boasts palace wings covering six acres of land over 12 separate levels

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Royal Mornings at Neemrana Fort Palace

True to its nature all Mahal’s (rooms) have been named after the purpose they served in bygone era and promises to give you an intimate experience with history. Each room boasts of authentic decor, traditional Indian furniture and antiques.

I was staying in Surya Mahal, uniquely done up duplex suits on first level is a royal retreat, traditional in design, themed after its name, there are bits of yellows splashed everywhere. The splurge on the Surya Mahal will give you access to two storey independent villa, with two bedrooms in addition to a private terrace, separated by long passage and jharokas; while the ground floor has a lounging area, two washrooms, study area and a dining area as well. Spacious with facilities of mini bar, tea maker, landline and missing TV was just perfect for a holiday meant truly to unwind.

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Raj Kund, Pool at Neemrana Fort Palace

The terraces are the most enchanting spaces at Neemrana, from Shatranj Bagh, the terrace right above the fort’s main entrance and ramparts to Hawa Mahal where the complimentary evening tea, is laid out with cookies. Raj Kund the pool, surrounded by deckchairs to while away your stress. There’s a pleasant open-air amphitheater where concerts and plays are often held, you will be able to experience a traditional folk music — complete with dancers in sequinned costumes and fire-spitters.

Neemrana exudes an old-world charm; it is an exploration site in itself. The long passageways, jharokhas , maharaja portraits in the rooms, old wooden doors, latches, gigantic entrances, sneaky staircases, ruined walls, steep wells, gardens that are extravagant will make you taste the royal past in lap of modern luxury. Heritage drips from every bit and piece at this fort-palace

Food & Beverage: Normally your breakfast is included in your room tariff, but since its located in a remote area you don’t have an option to step out for food. So all our meals where at the in house restaurant including the evening tea session at Hawa Mahal, where all the in house guests enjoy a cup of their choice adoring the evening beauty around.  The Meals are all buffet and they also have special thali’s on weekend. They also have a bar, in the same chamber where maharja’s used to unwind in their days.

Oriental Spa: I had the most traditional Spa experiance at their in house spa, on suggestion i chose to go with their signature Rose Treatment. A luxurious romantic rose ritual that lasted for 90 minutes. It began with a fizzy rose foot soak as a welcome tradition after which my masseuse began with rose body scrub followed by aromatic rose massage, a holiday without spa is truly incomplete and i was in a true zen mode by the end of it. i was led to for a pine steam bath, and unlike modern spa this was a box in which i sat taking in the aroma and letting the oils do their magic (also imagining that, this is how maharanis rolled) winding up with Rose Tea from Anandini and some cookies to beat the hunger pangs on rise;  It was great to embark upon a journey of ultimate tranquility accompanied with exclusive pampering. Indeed making a memorable experience.

Actitivities

  • At Neemrana they offer you a chance to experience India’s first ever thrilling aerial zip-lining by Flying Fox.
  • An on request tour of the fort for the lovers of history and heritage.
  • Enjoy  Ayurvedic massages and rejuvenation programmes available at their in-house Spa.
  • Two swimming pools
  • Table tennis facility and indoor games for residents.
  • A 5 km Vintage car ride around the Neemrana village.
  • Multimedia Tour where you can now discover the history of Neemrana Fort-Palace. Explore its hidden nooks and see how it was as a ruin.
  • A Camel ride and Camel Cart Ride from the main gate to the step-well.

Recommended: Its quite a trek moving around the fort and navigation for restaurants, so make sure you carry your shoes, otherwise the staff is always around during the day to guide you. there are no exact sign boards to guide you, so try remembering the way, i certainly felt like i was at Hogwarts trying to find my way to the restaurant.

Make sure you have subscribed and keep watching this space for more. Also don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @Ssatpreetkaur for instant updates on everything lifestyle and luxury.

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Taj Swarna, Amritsar

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Taj Swarna, Amritsar

My visit to Amritsar became even more special when Taj Hotels warmly welcomed me  to their all new property ‘Taj Swarna’. I have been wanting to explore the travel blogging side more, and this year you are going to a lot of travel blogs, so watch this space and do suggest in if there is anything particular you would want to read about. For now sink in the luxury of Taj. Taj carries weight of excellence and its stellar reputation for service often precedes the stay. Tucked away from the hustle bustle of city Taj Swarana reflects urban elegance with a touch of heritage in few details. The lobby is charming with a brilliantly lit chandelier and an inviting vibe, it was even more special with their traditional welcome, a flower bouquet especially for me and their welcome drink.

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Room: Our’s was a Deluxe Suit, it had ample natural light, elegant décor, especially the gallery wall with some really beautiful pictures. The room was divided in two sections, as soon as you enter you have a lounging space with study table and small dinner table that can accommodate up to 4 people, also a mini bar that has a lot of options to keep you full along with fresh fruit basket refilled everyday; it also has a  common toilet. Attached is a room spacious and comfortable with luxurious and super soft linen, a lounging sofa, walk in closet and another bathroom with both, bathtub and shower area supplemented by forest essential toiletry (i felt pampered to the core). The lovely ceiling to floor curtains perfectly blocking morning sunlight, which for a vacation is most important for me to get that extra hours of sleep. The complimentary in room service (it is charged for guests accordingly) was wonderful and hospitable, they spoilt me to the core with evening snacks and some of the best in house desserts (don’t forget to try their tiramisu)

Restaurant: Taj Swarna has two in-house restaurant – Grand Trunk which is an all-day dining experience with an à la carte menu that ranges from international classics to authentic mouth-watering Amritsar cuisine. With winter weather still in tow, we had the most scrumptious meal by chef of ‘sarso ka saag’, ‘makai ki roti’, ‘amritsari fish’ and lots more. Their buffet menu is vast and full of options The Chinese Room: Well i personally suggest you yo try the Amritsari cuisine at grand trunk, but for those who want to try something different can calm their taste buds with flavors from the Far East. They also have a Cafe that will fulfill all your sweet tooth ravings, i personally loved spending time here over there freshly baked breads and coffee along with indulging desserts.

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The Peg, Taj Swarna. Amritsar

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The Peg, Taj Swarna. Amritsar

Lounge: Well when in Punjab drink like a Punjabi, The Peg: A very classy,spacious bar and lounge serves everything from single malts to the best of wines from around the world.  Request the bar tender for their signature creations and they might surprise you with some really unique presentation that will surprise your taste and mood.

Insider Tip: They have an in-house yoga at their terrace and their Signature JIVA spa where you can make the most out of your leisure holiday, enjoy every bit of peace and calmness. Their Signature treatment offer stress relief massage, ending my holiday on a perfect note. Travel blogger, top Hyderabad blogger, top Indian travel blogger

Location: Plot No. C-3, Outer Circular Road, Opp. Basant Avenue, Amritsar, Punjab. Ph: 01836658000

Hope you have a great week ahead don’t forget to check out my ‘Trip to Amritsar’ blog for more pictures and food details from the city. Lot more Travel plans coming up, so subscribe below and follow my Instagram account @Fashioneatista for instant updates on fashion, food, travelling and lots of fun. Indian travel blogger, travel blogger India