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

 

Prego, The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace


Prego has been one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Hyderabad since the very beginning, the pool side dining on special occasion or just craving for the cheesy thin crust pizza, it has always satisfied my Italian cravings. Prego at the Westin Hyderabad has always kept things interesting, food festivals, guest chefs who sing as well as they cook, live cooking sessions, hosting events where guests turned to chefs and now with their all new menu, giving yet another reason to dine here.


The basics of pizza, risotto, pasta stay same but it’s the twist in them that makes the new menu at Prego interesting. Over a quite Monday we visited the restaurant to enjoy some of the new dishes.


We started off with choosing some wine to accompany our meal while enjoying the prego garlic bread the signature accompaniment. The first dish presented to us was ‘Ages of Cheese with Parmesan Crackers’, four types of cheese melted together leaving with a captivating taste, I it was blast to show the best of Italian course coming my way.

Next came a miniature of ‘Pizza Ortholana and Pizza Polo Picante’ the thin crust pizza , Fried Ravioli made from pizza dough and filled with Caponata, Sautéed Prawns which was served with thin layers of bouget that complimented the buttery garlic flavor (I love anything that has garlic and this very dish is something I am coming back for very soon) very basic but buttery and perfectly.


In main course we tried the Spinach Ricotta Ravioli which is the twist to the old one, Chicken Parmigiana, Baked and Marinated Sea-bass that was sweet and sour, two types of Gnocchi in a bowl and the best of the lot Black Rise Risotto with Mascarpone, creamy texture that will bind your taste buds for a quick sojourn to food heaven.

There is so much more on the menu, including desserts, while we were stuffed to soul chef got us a not so small portion of Chocolate Stones with Parmesan Ice Cream and I sinfully dug into it without any guilt.

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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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Center Point, Nagpur

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I was visiting Nagpur for work and even though it was for just two days I was looking forward to get a taste of the city that is famous for its food. After asking some friends and family I choose to stay at highly recommended – Hotel Centre Point, located in the heart of ‘Orange City’.

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The hotel gives you easy access and is centrally located, be it business or pleasure. With 135 rooms & Suites, 3 Restaurants and 15 banquets, Center point Nagpur is great choice for weddings or big conferences.

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The experience at the property was exceptional in terms of food and hospitality, each member of the staff is extremely warm and makes sure your stay is comfortable and you are pampered with the best. I stayed in a Deluxe Suite that has an exclusive dining area, sofa seating in the living area, 2 washrooms and a separate bedroom and a powder room. Luxurious and spacious rooms that made every bit of my stay a relaxed one.

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Bougainvillea – Just as the ‘Bougainvillea’ flower is a favorite to many who fall in love with its cheery appearance and brightly colored petals, the atrium style restaurant offers buffet for breakfast and dinner. A weekend brunch is a lavish affair but so is their breakfast spread that includes everything from Indian to continental, juices to coffee, yogurts to cheese, I went for the local delicacies like tarri poha which is a must try when in Nagpur.

Meeting Point– The all-day dining at Center Point Nagpur offers an array of cuisines that thoughtfully prepared. This iconic restaurant, with its wide range of dishes offered in their À la carte menu and chef puts his finest of skills to suit taste of every guest. Paired with mouth-watering food they also offer a range of beverages and follow it with our sought after desserts for a wholesome experience.

With little time on hand, i couldn’t explore and have a taste of local cuisine. When i shared the same with chef and his team, they arranged a lavish gastronomy for me, in my room. Every meal at Center Point, Nagpur was a delicious one but this stole my heart. I got a taste of ‘Kacha vangyache bharit’ ‘Besan cha Jhunka’ ‘Aloo vangyachi bhaji’ ‘Saoji chicken’ with Jowari ki bhakar and two types of thecha (lal ans hirvya) i was so happy i got to taste all of it and it indeed made my visit to Nagpur a successful fun.

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Freakk – An all-day Bistro offers a contemporary feel and natural light, setting up a cozy, comfortable mood, they offer coffee deserts, savories and combos but what I tried was the blue tea, I love the fact that throughout the property they use jaggery powder instead of sugar.

Banquets – A banquet to hold a high-level social event such as a conference or wedding with utmost comfort; Hotel Centre Point offers you the perfect choices. With event planners, the very best in audiovisual equipment and catering service, these spaces can hold up to 2000 guests comfortable

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ICC Mahabalipuram

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InterContinental Chennai is what luxurious getaways are made of, situated just 45 minutes away from Chennai. With the Bay of Bengal as backdrop, this resort property is where serenity meets hospitality. The property boasts architecture that will leave you stunned, a massive property with 3 water bodies – beach, the lotus pond and pool leave each room with a view to enjoy. The long pathways, huge pillars and coromandel style architecture didn’t want the traveler in me to step out of the property. I wanted to pass through each pathway, sit by each water body (music by the pond, morning swim in the pool and dinner by the sea)

Arrive in style– I was making my way to Mahabalipuram from Pondicherry, while it is 45 minutes away from Chennai, it almost 2 and half hours by road from Pondicherry Our experience began right from the pick-up, a BMW car with chauffeur picked us up, and making sure we had comfortable travel. The chauffeur offered us cold towels and cold beverages once we were settled and on our way.

Once we arrived, we were greeted with welcome drinks with traditional welcome, also trying a stint at blowing the horn and failing multiple times, our private butler and warm host – Arjun, helped us with a private check-in at the Club InterContinental Lounge, and led us to our suite.

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Rooms – They have 92 finely appointed rooms in various categories that overlook the grand waterscape bio pond and central courtyard, while 13 suites extend outwards with a view of the ocean, one of which we were staying in. Our room was an exquisite blend of luxury and design and came with enhanced amenities such as complimentary private bar access and a special pillow menu.

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The suite has a fully contained living space with, lavish bathroom amenities, including a bathtub (my favourite part) with separate shower space and a spacious balcony with a view of well-lit landscape at night and endless ocean and tropical trees during the day. Their ‘At Your Side’ butler services extend to planning your daily activities and scheduling your meetings, even organizing special rendezvous within and outside the resort.

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Spa: Long pillared concrete pathway lead to spa with a beautiful view of wide spread Greenland that ends with beach. The Amrtam Spa by Escenza is dedicated to meet highest levels of body care and relaxation treatments in a spectacular ocean-view setting. Drawing inspiration from traditional eastern medicines and naturopathy, their treatments are designed to restore balance to the body, harnessing all the curative effects of Ayurveda and other holistic practices. You know you are in good hands when you instantly slip into zen mode and that’s exactly what happened when i let myself go under the expertise of the well trained masseuses.

Know More – www.ihg.com

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An indulging evening at Hyatt Regency, Amritsar

Being in golden city of Amritsar is always bliss. As a routine i come back here every year and right amidst the pleasant weather when, winters is just calming down leaving behind days that are pleasant and nights more chilly. I can’t even count the times i have been here yet i find something new to do and indulge in every time. This time i was welcomed by the team of Hyatt Regency, Amritsar, who hosted me for a lovely day.

While i waited at their all day cafe ‘Tarteria’ a Patisserie that promotes the notion of tarts to the taste of locals and travellers alike. What i really liked about the place is its soul- Chef Shiv who holds the reigns in kitchen and makes sure everything they offer is homemade, only natural colors are used and dishes that will impress your taste buds as well as your soul, after all you are in land of Amritsar. I tried an array of fresh tarts and sipped some coffee, a relief from the windy afternoon outdoors. He promised me an authentic local meal for lunch, I had no qualms about it and parted ways while I checked out the property and went for a spa session that was preplanned for me.

I then stepped into ‘Shanti Spa’ a spacious space that has an inviting ambiance. From the moment you walk in, you feel a sense of luxury and relaxation, leaving the outside world behind. The scents that fill the spa are calming and the spa is every bit stunning as the property itself. I love to leave all the pampering sessions to the last day of my vacation, so I can have a rejuvenating experience before my trip came to an end. The well-lit spa was spacious with masseuse who attended me began with a ritualistic feet wash, and treated me with an hour of soothing body massage. The massage began with kneading and long strokes, the pressure on each trigger point was so fabulous, I let go my senses in no time. You know you are in hands of well-trained masseuse when you immediately slip in Zen mode and next 60 minutes were pure bliss.

Pro Tip- while most of the spa’s make you fill forms and know your requirements. Make sure you let them know about your concerned areas and don’t ever feel conscious to tel them if the pressure is too much.

Punjab Province – Post spa i made my way to the in-house restaurant where Chef Shiv prepared a scrumptious North Indian meal for me. Tempting scents of food and an air of extravagance calls you out in this airy restaurant, I stepped out and took a sit in their alfresco seating, appreciating the slight winter chill.

We started off with a platter of appetizers that had tandoored ‘Chicken Tikka’ ‘Lamb Chapli with Anda’ ‘Fish Amritsari’ and ‘Kala kukkad’ the robust flavours made me realize how no part of India can beat the flavours of Punjab, maybe i was being biased but the food was just a gastronomical treat. My favourite and highly recommended dish is Kala Kukkad, with subtle yet lip-smacking flavours.

For main course chef presented yet another platter in an intricate ceramic plate, with a leaf that had several dishes like ‘Butter Chicken’ i mean you can’t leave Punjab without this. I was so glad it was still end of winters so i got to taste seasonal specialty like ‘Sarso Ka Saag’ paired with ‘Makke Ki Roti’ and side of gud (jaggery) and makkhan (butter) ‘Matka Gosh’  with tender mutton cooked really fine, i am not a big fan of chole so skipped that. The accompaniments like ‘Masala chaach’ ‘Kuchumber Salad’ made the meal elaborate and authentic. For desserts chef had a sweet gesture and presented me with a dessert that was full of different desserts. I mean literally desserts in dessert, it had kulfi faluda, ice cream with unique flavours like pan, gulkand etc all served in a glass. Well i can say it was not just food and presentation but the also the hospitality that made my visit a memorable one.

On my tour to property I noticed a vibrant section dedicated to kids, they had staff dedicated to look after kids while you enjoy a spa session of a leisure drink at the bar. They have 2 rooms divided for different age groups and open throughout the day. Form soft toys to video games, board games to movies; they were all stacked dup so your kids can easily spend a few hours without getting bored. I felt it was a wonderful thought and more and more hotels should do this as it gives the parents a much desired break and make the most of their vacation.

For more check out – Hyatt RegencyAmritsar

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Fab Cafe,  Hyderabad

The new trend on rise is where good old retail therapy ends with a cup of coffee and good food. Just few months after Masaba Gupta opened her first store and cafe- Good Cow cafe, that meets retail and food under one roof, India’s yet another favorite brand known for its quality ‘Fab India’ as come up with their own cafe- Fab Cafe. With immense response in other cities, Hyderabad has seen the launch of its first outlet as part of the Fab India experience center.

The place offers a wholesome experience, you can shop, have a delicious meal and a plus is the kids’ area with staff supervision. You can enjoy your meal while kids are busy playing right in next room. I don’t see how catching up with friends and family can get much easier than this for a lot of women.

The café boasts quaint interiors, with full focus on menu. Just a look at it made me happy, it had familiar options with refreshing combinations. Fab Cafe

I began with the cold brew, with almond milk and loved how I have a healthier option, as I can’t help reduce my caffeine intake, this at least will be guilt free. Everything on the menu, I noticed as I ordered was a healthier combination of familiar food. Fab cafe focuses on offering gluten free and health friendly options of quick snacks and beverages.

The ‘Almond Fig smoothie bowl’ along with the ‘Berry Blast Shake’, came first from the all-day breakfast options. The crunchy topping of muesli, layered with fruits followed by gooey smoothie was outrageously delicious. I have always been a fan of smoothie bowls, they are eye pleasing and surprisingly nutritious bowls of goodness! This in particular was satisfying and it’s something you can have any time of the day to keep those hunger pangs away. They have flavors like Mango Mint, Peach Cinnamon, Chunky Monkey and lot more you can choose from. We also tried the veg option of ‘Ajwain Croissant Breakfast Sandwich’ which also has a non-veg variant with egg and bacon. A little to try in taste for me. They also offer options like Pao with Veggie Bhaji, Red Rice Uttapam Trio, Matter Paneer Stuffed Paratha with Cashew Cheese and Idli with Tamato Naryal Chutney and Sambar.

In appetizers we tried the ‘Spicy Sprout Filled Pani Puri’ simple yet innovatively done and comes with three flavors of water- Pomegranate, Pineapple and mint, ‘Tandoori Tofu Rumali Tokri’ another outstanding dish that is crispy shell stuffed with spicy tofu, served with mint chutney and cashew cheese. It was flavorful and I loved the whole crispy and soft combination in each bite. In Non-Vegetarian we opted for ‘Chicken Momos’ that are gluten free, made with jack fruit flour and root starch, served with garlic chive dip and chill chutney that nicely brings out a scrumptious flavor. The showstopper for me was however the ‘Kaleji Masala Dip with Chips’ it is spicy liver paste seasoned with south Indian spices and served with sweet potato chips. Every bit was a winner and I highly recommend this one.

Of course, I wasn’t leaving without trying out the desserts, especially when it comes with guilt free tag. I ordered for a ‘Baked Strawberry Nolen Gur Cheesecake’ that has a crumbly almond flour crust, sweetened with nolen gur, and topped with a scrumptious strawberry compote, ‘Himalayan Organic Honey and Walnut Tart’ another favorite dish for the day is made of almond flour, drizzled with honeyand gur, and tastes heavenly (especially with a cup of cappuccino). it was relaxing, intimate and the food.

While focusing on nutrition, the menu brings delicious, unique and creative recipes to the table at moderate pricing. They also have a range of slow-pressed juices, tea, coffee and coolers. The place is aesthetically pleasing ambiance, basic dishes with a healthy spin, that’s what the new ‘Fab Cafe’ is all about.

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Love Fashioneatista

Feu Dessert Bar, Hyderabad

Feu, the French inspired patisserie in Jubilee Hills is a welcome addition to city’s list of dessert places. A dessert studio that plans to offer much more than mere desserts opened its door just a few weeks back and they are loving the response so far.

Located at a quite byline of Jubilee hills, I was almost nostalgic, as the spot housed my college days cafe almost 11 years ago. The dessert bar overflows with delights, from Toffee Salted Caramel, Tiramisu, Colorful Macaroons, Isphahan, Black Forest, Strawberry Cheesecake Velour, flavors of Eclair and much more.

Patisserie that offers gourmet desserts that are both eye pleasing and delicious. When I got to know the chefs here have been trained by much talented Sanjana Patel of La Folie Mumbai, my hope went up, because won my last visit Mumbai I had engaged in a lot of desserts from the place. She is not only the mentor to the chef but also help design the menu.

While i really loved all flavors of macaroons, what my absolute favorites at ‘Feu’ are ‘Toffee Salted Caramel Dessert’ that looks beautiful, tastes delicious with a mix of crunch and gooey all in one bite. ‘Tiramisu’ one of my favorite desserts ever is a heavenly blend of mascarpone, sabayon mousse with kahlua coffee-soaked ladyfingers, is great. ‘Ispahan’ , tops my list even though i love anything chocolate, this stole my heart. With a rich almond base and burst of flavors like litchi, rose and raspberries. The confections are not only meticulously executed, they’ are also very sculptural, that will you happy.

They also offer homemade breads like croissants that make for a great coffee accompaniment any time of the day. The crispy flakes and buttery flavor is just a delight in your mouth. Apart from this they also have jams, granola cubes, biscuits and muesli.

Indoor and outdoor seating allows you to enjoy your slice of dessert with a cup of tea or coffee on the premises. Cant wait for the winters to set in, which will make the place even more fun to enjoy the outdoors with a hot cup and goey slice of dessert. ‘Feu‘ can be your next go-to spots where you can get anything from an elegant pastry for a dinner party to your morning croissant. Whats better is they are open from 11Am to 11Pm on all days and till midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

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Love Fashioneatista

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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Love Fashioneatista

Brunch at The Square, Novotel

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Westin Hyderabad- A Wellness Staycation

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A warm welcome at Westin Hyderabad Mindspace

Planning to get away for a relaxing break that is good for your mind, body and soul- without the cost and efforts of jetting off abroad? Then a ‘Staycation’ at The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace is just the luxurious break you need.

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Heavenly bed at Westin Hyderabad Mindspace

Sleep Well – Their rooms bring together a composed refuel of the body and mind, the Sleep Well program helps you replenish overnight and leaves you well rested for the next day. Their heavenly bed under the sleep well program provides restorative sleep at its truest. The award winning Heavenly Bed is uniquely designed with plush, pillow-top construction for a relaxed sleep.

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Room at Westin Hyderabad Mindspace

With the exciting Hyderabad city skyline in the background, I enjoyed a complete relaxing 2 days.  The Taipei carpets, lotus headboards, and full menu of activities and services that helped me meet my travel goals at comfort of my city. Whether its productivity, fitness, relaxation, or simply wellness of being, everything is available right at the hotel premises. I however preferred soak in the monsoon showers and views of the bustling technology district from the privacy of my balcony accompanied with pakoda’s and masala chai (thanks to the Chef Rajiv, who made this special arrangement possible)

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A special masala chai at privacy of my balcony at Westin Hyderabad Mindspace

Eat Well- Westin offers a very unique Culinary experience, their Eat Well program is a mélange of a healthy lifestyle with nutritious foods, energizing juices and smoothies that keep the guests maintain their best. My breakfast options were super healthy and super tasty, from gluten free muffins to exotic mix of smoothies and juices they had it all. it was just a great way to give my body a break and perfect detox.

 

While i opted for a healthy breakfast, i planned to take a culinary trip around the world without leaving the hotel. The Westin Hyderabad Mind space offers unique dining experiences that will delight even the most discriminating palettes. From traditional Indian dishes of the Northwest frontier, to the vibrant flavours of Italy, their restaurants, cafes and lounges showcase the best of global cuisine in inspiring settings. I chose to relax and unwind at Casbah their Mediterranean offering.

Casbah is situated at the elevate lounge of the Westin Hyderabad Mindspace it offers mouthwatering Mediterranean finger food but what i love is the middle eastern ambiance with low seating and arched wall surroundings that gives a feeling of living the experience.  The dishes you must try are the Mezze Platter, Soya Chap, Chicken Souvlaki and Grilled Prawns all cooked to perfection with mouthwatering taste, that will leave you wanting more. The fact that it is open till 2 am in just a bonus.

Another option i tried was the ‘Seasonal Taste’ which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed an enlightening (because i had a really good conversation on food over wine with Chef Rajiv who educated us on so many things)  which included a lot of local fare along with international options. They offer nutritious super foods as well as endless selections of desserts.

Feel Well- Designed to awaken the senses, The Feel Well program offers rejuvenating spa experiences along with services catering to therapeutic massages, cleansing facials and invigorating body treatments. When staying at Westin, a visit to spa achieves complete harmony of body and mind with their signature Heavenly Spa treatment, restores balance and promotes a foundation of wellness that lasts beyond your stay. It’s a sanctuary of wellness, where every touch, sound and scent are carefully designed to revitalize your body and calm your mind. They have specially designed rooms for different treatments. The expert masseuse makes sure of an unforgettable experience right from welcoming you; soaking your feet for a cleanse, once you are settled on your massage bed, after declaring your area of concern, you are just transformed into the Zen mode throughout the treatment. Reliving each muscle of stress and pain, you can feel each cell in your body ease its way into relaxing. The Heavenly spa treatment is a complete experience of mind body and soul that includes massage and stretches. Post your therapy you will be lead to steam room, to let the oil absorb and of course detox. You can choose to go for a normal shower, or just lay back in the Jacuzzi. The treatments winds up with a warm cup of herbal tree and chocolate truffle in soothing ambiance at their post spa lounge area while you share your feedback and have some more me time post your treatment. Heavenly indeed!

Move Well – With a motivation to provide guests a well-designed fitness program, move well offers specially designed workout routines with gear lending facilities and local running maps. Their world-class fitness studios offer active state-of -the-art equipment and all the essentials to power your performance.  The also have In Room workout facility provided to the guests on booking offers a treadmill or a stationary bike at the privacy of the guest

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Gym at Westin Hyderabad Mindspace

While i experienced these three wellness aspects, they also have ‘Work Well’ that connects, convenes and collaborates with thoughtfully designed work spaces at the hotel. The program streamlines work experience with rent-able by the hour designed to facilitate along with organised and efficient work stations keeping meeting spaces open and clear. Apart from this ‘Play Well’  initiative brings into focus extended breakfast hours, local activity guide, the guests can explore their surroundings and embark on adventures much like the Westin brand, Westin Hyderabad also promotes wellness in every element of a guest’s stay including the heavenly bed, heavenly spa, Westin workout designated gear which guests can borrow, and the specialty menu with powerful nutrients to energize and fuel the day.

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Seasonal Taste at Westin Hyderabad Mindspace

All in all Westin Hyderabad Mindspace  is the perfect place for a ‘Staycation in Hyderabad’, where you can not only focus on wellness, but be rest assured to be pampered to the fullest! The property is also ideal for events, intimate business meetings and extravagant gala functions.

Location: Building No: 15, Raheja IT Park, Hitec City, Madhapur, Hyderabad. Ph:67676767

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Dum Pukht Begum’s at ITC Kohenur  

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ITC Hotels are synonymous to the term responsible Luxury, with launch of their latest gem ITC Kohenur it has wooed its guests (and me) with artistic charm at every corner.  The moment you step in, the grandeur of the place engulfs you. The more you explore the more you realize how Kohenur dint just gets its name from the famous Kohinoor diamond found in Hyderabad but finds inspiration for its interiors from different legacies and aspects of the royal city of Nizams.

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Dum Pukht Begum’s

The restaurant offers a regal dining experience, one that needs to be enjoyed in complete leisure, from indulging in delightful aromas emanated from the dish to its flavors that’s spark your taste buds. Set in a beautiful setting, Dum Pukht offers a unique culinary experience that is inspired from the kitchens of begums. The food here is delicately spiced yet packed with flavors. There are two aspects to the Dum style of cooking: Bhunao and Dum or ‘roasting’ and ‘maturing’ of a prepared dish. Herbs and spices play their own unique role in Dum style of cooking by lending their characteristic flavors and aroma to the dish. The slow-cooking of Dum Pukht , pushes the spices, meat and vegetables used to give the maximum flavor and cook gradually in its juices.

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Appetizers at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad

During my review chef had an exquisite line-up prepared all we had to do was sit back and savor it all. Our meal began with the welcome drink ‘Jamun-E-Sahi’ which was a jamun juice with hint of lemon and chilies. In appetizers I really enjoyed the ‘Dudiya Kebab’ that melts in the mouth just like its non-vegetarian counterpart ‘Galauti Kebab’ For the ones who are fond of lamb must try the ‘Kakori Kebab’ cooked to perfection with flavors of cloves and cinnamon.

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The appetizing dishes at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad

I enjoyed the assortment of breads, especially the sheermal with dishes like ‘Qasar-E-Pukhtan’ paneer simmered in tomato gravy, ‘Murgh Khushk Purdah’ another aromatic dish that has succulent pieces of chicken. The mandatory try is the ‘Dum Pukht Biryani’, the showstopper dish which is mutton biryani served with curd chutney, raita and mirchi ka salan.

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Biryani at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad (p.c  Saloni- salt to taste)

Wrapping up the meal we were presented with ‘Khwaish-E-Shereen’ , an assorted platter of desserts that includes Khubani ka Meetha, Badami Kheer &  Gulab Jamun.

 

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Desserts at ITC Kohenur, Hyderabad

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Eigerbuck Chocolatier, As luxurious as it gets

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Chocolate is an art just waiting to be perfected and Eigerbuck Chocolates have come pretty close to perfect. Luscious, dark, creamy and fragrant, Eigerbuck presents you with a varied range of luxury chocolates that are sourced from Belgium; Made by Chef Patrick Peeters, Master Chocolatier.

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Their store one the other hand is every bit of luxury in shades of turquoise, gold and royal blue, beautiful chandelier across the room surrounded elaborately by carved vases, Victorian wallpaper and gold mirrors, the room is washed in the warm light of lamps.  Glass cases lined with rows of perfect, moulded chocolates gives you an experience like no other.

Located in Jubilee Hills, Eigerbuck brings pure Belgian pleasure in an exclusive range of Pralines, Truffles, Marzipan, Gianduja and Ganache. Be it a special occasion or just delighting your loved one, they have a range of gift boxes for every occasion and mood. Being a chocolate lover myself i got a box for pure indelgnce. There is no luxury in the world like chocolate for me, it understands you, helps you, caresses you and takes you to unexplored territories of heaven.

What I Tasted

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“Truffle” are something that just attracts you and when they are with 72% dark ganache with liquorice dusting and cacao inside, well it’s just unmissable. I also liked “Alpen” is white chocolate with hazelnut praline and “Rosadunkle” which is dark chocolate filled with yummy hazelnut praline. “Zoet Crunch” is from their milk chocolate category with hazelnut praline inside and topped with crunchy, wheat flakes, extremely smooth and melts in your mouth. “Framboos” it is a Dutch name for raspberry and is combination of 3 chocolates. It comes in their desert chocolate category and has layers of White, Dark Chocolate topped with Raspberry Ganache with cream no doubt it is one of their bestseller. Their cup range is a delight to eyes as well as taste buds “Koffie Kop” come in dark chocolate cup filled with hazelnut praline topped with dark chocolate in shape of a coffee bean,  very light and great for people who are found of coffee (even though it ha s a very light hint of coffee) the other one is “Mangue Kop” which come in milk chocolate cup with mango ganache and caramel oozing  inside, the last was “Hazel Kop” that comes in dark chocolate cup with hazelnut praline inside.  i also tried their range of Marzipa like  “Pistachio Marzipan” and “Amandel Marzipan”

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Gift: You can opt for Gift boxes that are available in 3 styles- Tresor 9- Box of 9 Pieces at 1990/-, Tresor 24- Box of 24 Pieces at 5529/-,  or Tresor 47- Box of 47 Pieces at 10,980/-. They also have customised packaging for special occasions as per your requirement.

Address: Road No.45, Jubilee Hills. Phone Number: 9133778677 (or) 9949352651

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

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

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

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

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

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

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Room at The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

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

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Breakfast at The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

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

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The Orchard Retreat & Spa, Srinagar

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

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The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg

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The Khyber Resort & Spa, Gulmarg

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With a stunning location at an elevation of 8,825 ft in the Pir Panjal range of the majestic Himalayas, The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg, is spread over seven acres in a pristine pine valley. Clad in timber and stone, the resort offers breath-taking views of snow-capped Apharwat peaks. The awe-inspiring location of the resort combined with the unfolding drama of Gulmarg’s changing seasons is a treat to eyes as well as soul. The unavailability of network has given me a real holiday in a very long time (yes in spite of all that travels), I did use my phone a few times on hotel Wi-Fi but I did that mostly to quickly reply on important msgs or mail (only that needed immediate response) rest of the time I used it only to try and capture the beauty around me.

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Luxury Balcony Room at The Khyber Resort & Spa

My Room: We stayed in the ‘Luxury Balcony Rooms’ with generous private balconies that has a huge reclining chair to sit and sip hot cup of kahwa as you catch the first rays of daybreak, I spent hours in the balcony as rain shut us in with no option of going out, but making every moment worth it, in the serenity of its surroundings. This was not it, our room had a separate dressing area, leading to a plush bathroom with a sunken tub where large picture windows offer brilliant view.

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Soaking in a hot tub, with some fresh fruits and mesmerizing view at Khyber Resort, Gulmarg
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Room with a view at The Khyber Resort & Spa

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The Khyber Resort is place that has more than one or two breath-taking spots, this being one of them- The pool
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There is nothing you can’t have at Khyber, having my own wine and cheese sunday

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An evening at calabash at The Khyber Resort &Spa, Gulmarg

Calabash, their sheesha lounge, has fine carpets and seating, designed to invigorate lounging for hours on end and floor-length windows that look out to forests of fir and the Himalayas. Indulge in sheesha or light starters, while the hotel doesn’t serve alcohol, you are welcome to carry on your own, and this indeed is the perfect place to enjoy a few drinks and endless conversations.

Clove is an elegant all-day dining restaurant at The Khyber Resort open where food from across the globe is served up with panoramic views. From pasta to mezze, dim sums to Kahsmiri Wazwan, they serve it all in an atmosphere that captures the grandeur of the mountains.

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Breakfast with a view at The Khyber Reosrt & Spa, Gulmarg
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Tea Lounge at The Khyber Reosrt & Spa, Gulmarg
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L’Occitane Spa at The Khyber Reosrt & Spa, Gulmarg

There is an exclusive spa review coming up, so watch this space and don’t forget to subscribe 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… and ofcourse Travel

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