Adivah, Dharamsala

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

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

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

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

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

Check them out : www.leisurehotels.co.in 

Hope you enjoyed reading and getting to know yet another Indian designer through my style and thoughts. Don’t forget to subscribe so you get all updates right in your mailbox. Also follow me on Instagram @ssatpreetkaur , Facebook –FashionEatista, for more instant updates on all things fun, food, fashion and travel.

Love Satpreet Kaur.

Svatma – Luxury Resort, Thanjavur

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Svatma – Luxury Resort, Thanjavur

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

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

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

Visit to local palace with at Svatma, Thanjavur

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

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

Beautiful mornings in this traditional Swappanam Suite at Svatma, Thanjavur

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

Lounge area in Swappanam Suite, at Svatma, Thanjavur

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

Traditional Thali at Svatma, Thanjavur

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

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Pool at Svatma, Thanjavur

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

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

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

Spa at Svatma, Thanjavur

Brass Idol Making Experience with Svatma, Thanjavur

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

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

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

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

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

Love Satpreet Kaur

Beleza by the Beach, Goa

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

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View from the villa at Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

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

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

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

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

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The beautiful living room at Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

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

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

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Room with a view at Norwood Green Resort, Palampur

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

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

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

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Love Satpreet Kaur

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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Love Satpreet Kaur

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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Love Satpreet Kaur

Calcutta Bungalow

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

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

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

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

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

Love Satpreet Kaur

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

Love Satpreet Kaur

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

Radisson Chandigarh, Zirakpur

As I began one of the most interesting trips of the year, the one that that lasted 18 days, the one that has intensive planning because most of it was done solo, but also the one that had seen some great hospitality. My first stop for this trip was Chandigarh, and I was hosted by ‘Radisson Chandigarh, Zirakpur

Chandigarh, is a great place, especially when you are travelling from south (it becomes your pit stop), it connects you to some of the best places in north that you can drive to, while enjoying the best of scenic beauty. My stay was excellent and relaxing, its fairly easy to reach a hill station in Himachal within few hours from the city, and that was exactly where I was headed.

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Lobby at Radisson Chandigarh

Located at in Zirakpur, conveniently away from main city provides a convenient home base for business and leisure travelers seeking easy access to Chandigarh International Airport and top tourist sites. The sprawling open spaces around the property provides a natural respite from its concrete buildings.

Deluxe Room at Radisson Chandigarh

The visit to city from the hotel took us around 20 mins from the property, which we visited to enjoy a bit of night life and a taste of Punjabi music in the land of Punjabis, and of course we were thrilled. The hotel was gracious enough to arrange a pick and drop on request and followed up on any assistance as we girls’ parties the night away.

Warm welcome at Radisson Chandigarh

Room with a view at Radisson Chandigarh

Rooms –We were checked in to the ‘Deluxe Room’ which had a very tastefully done decor, with minimal fuss. The room was spacious, with an option for separate dinning, comfortable bed which almost excluded royal feel, work desk, closet and a bathroom. Some handcrafted chocolates and fresh fruits awaited to welcome us along with refreshing welcome drinks. The room was equipped with all the amenities like Wi-Fi, coffeemakers, mini refrigerator, In-room safe and 24-hour room service to ensure we had a pleasant experience, which we sure did.

When you are work is travel, a good desk is always welcome

Lassi and Parathas, when in Radisson Chandigarh

An extended  dining area in my room at Radisson Chandigarh

Food: The food at ‘Feast’ the all-day dining and multi-cuisine restaurant at Radisson was something we really enjoyed. We tried a couple of dishes from the a-la-carte menu, on chef’s suggestion and each one was to die for. From the ‘Kukad Ki Pukar Shorba’ to ‘VIP Road Chicken Tikka; to ‘Murgh Lassuni Zafrani’, each dish was too good. For drinks we had the tangy ‘Aam Panna’ and ‘Cherry Berry’ each refreshing and unique in taste, leaving to reorder the aam panna. Don’t miss the dessert!

Tasting best of local delicacies and most fusion way at Radisson Chandigarh

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake at Radisson Chandigarh

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Brew Lounge at Radisson Chandigarh

They also have a spacious ‘Brew Lounge’ where you can enjoy exotic teas, freshly brewed coffee and lip-smacking pastries.

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Spa at Radisson Chandigarh

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Workout on the go at Radisson Chandigarh

Leisure: I loved the roof top, it offers a pool and loungers to unwind. It wasn’t winters but the weather was pleasant enough to enjoy a sunset or just have a cup of coffee, we hear they have something very exciting planned for the rooftop in coming months. The hotel also has other services on offer like a business center, fitness center, spa and salon and dedicated events spaces to take care of all your needs. The spa, is well equipped with professional masseuse, who give you a relaxing treatment. Now your visit can be for work or leisure, but a good spa therapy relaxes your mind, body and soul, leaving you refreshed and energetic, it certainly worked for us.

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Rooftop pool at Radisson Chandigarh

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Terrace lounge at Radisson Chandigarh

The location– away from the city yet not too far- makes it perfect for staycations, family vacations, business travelers and even hosting weddings. I’m definitely staying at the same if i ever visit Chandigarh again. The hospitality and food are a definite add on.

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Villa Shanti, Pondicherry

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Entrance of  Villa Shanti, Pondicherry

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

Corridor that leads to room and courtyard at Villa Shanti

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

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

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The four poster bed in my room at Villa Shanti

My room at Villa Shanti

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

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Working on a holiday never felt better

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

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

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

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

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Cafe Bar at Villa Shanti

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

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Courtyard lit up for dinner at Villa Shanti

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

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

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La Villa, Pondicherry

La Villa, Pondicherry

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

Lobby at La Villa, Pondicherry

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

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

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

The suite at La Villa, Pondicherry

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

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

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

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

In room breakfast in calm with only chirping birds around

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

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

The open air restaurant at La Villa, Pondicherry

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

Its luxury when spa comes to your room

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Clarks Amer, Jaipur

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Jaipur is one of my favorite cities in India, it is a perfect mix of heritage, modern royalty and some of the best hotels. I can keep coming back to city and still have so much to look forward for. This time my stay was extended by ‘The Clarks Amer’ that represents exactly the same. The grandeur perfectly in sync with contemporary architecture, hosting leisure travelers and business delegates alike.

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Room with a view at Clarks Amer, Jaipur

I experienced the warmth of their hospitality right when I reached Jaipur. Chauffeur along with a hotel staff member came to pick me up, as I reached way early in the morning, they pleasantly stopped for a quick cup of tea at Tapri on request, and i finally felt i was in Jaipur.

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Scrumptious breakfast in room at Clarks Amer, Jaipur

On welcome I was swiftly checked in to my suite, very tastefully-furnished and spacious with a living area, dining table that can easily accommodate 4 to 5 people and a separate area leading to washroom and bedroom that has glass a window giving a slight peek of Hawa mahal amidst trees and also overlooking pool, with all necessary amenities of a star hotel. While I dozed off catching up on my sleep from all the hectic travel, the chef was kind enough to send in a late breakfast right to my room and I was so delighted to see hot kachoris, kadi and jalebi. I savored every bit of it, and this is exactly what a first breakfast in Jaipur should be like.

Clark Amer is equipped with some of the finest restaurant in town, staying or not, these are must visit when in Jaipur. Each is special in its own way and I was glad I was staying here for three days, and got ample of time do devour at each restaurant and also explore the city.

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Rajasthani Thali at Durbar, Clarks Amer, Jaipur

Durbar- The all day dining restaurant serving North Indian and Continental cuisines, i had my very first meal here and it was an elaborate Rajasthani thali, it included laal maans, dal baati and even ker sangri among other dishes. The venue is designed for enjoying a delicious feast with friends and family.

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Some Asian food at taBLU, Clarks Amer, Jaipur

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Coffee Martini, at rooftop taBLU, Clarks Amer, Jaipur

taBLU- The most happening place in Clarks Amer (apart from Lobby during the day, which is always buzzing with exited guests), is a rooftop restaurant that offers breathtaking views accompanied with great drinks and good music. Their LIT is something I would definitely recommend apart from the coffee martins. The place often sees live performance and keep hosting famous bands. It is a perfect place to visit for drinks and if you are staying inhouse, then there is nothing better than this, post a long touristy day, the mere fact that your room is right below is relaxing.

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Mughlai Thali with a view at Dhola Maru, Clarks Amer, Jaipur

Dhola Maru- Is the specialty restaurant that serves Mughlai, Rajasthani and North Indian located on top floor this restaurant too has perks of twinkling city lights, a view that adds to the royal and romantic ambiance. The hospitality throughout my stay has been incredibly warm, but it was this place that brought out the best of it. They have some of the most experienced, humblest and welcoming staff. The thali I had was a gastronomical treat, it included Nihari Gosht, Nargisi Kofta, Paneer Makhni, Tava Veg Lazeez, Lassuni Dal, Kache Gosht ki Biryani, Purani Raita an Malpua for dessert.

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Half n Half Pizza at Zolocrust, Clarks Amer, Jaipur

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Pasta with home grown veggies at Zolocrust, Clarks Amer, Jaipur

Zolocrust – Probably the first restaurant you will spot when you enter the hotel, the place is filled with light aromas of coffee and freshly baked breads during the day. It is a 24×7 live bakery and pizzeria, but what makes it special is that every service here, even beyond cooking is all take care by the chefs themselves. From serving to clearing tables, not using plastic to offering vegan options, the place definitely has set its standard very high. They offer some really good desserts, apart from pizzas, pasta and shakes that I highly recommended.

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Post spa lounging at Clarks Amer, Jaipur

‘Clarks Amer’ happens to the first 5-star hotel in Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan, and while you may be busy exploring heritage outside, they also happen to have the oldest working lift in the city. They have a beautiful pool, take a dip or just lounge around, or even better take a spa treatment just like I did. While I had a lot to explore, I went for a quick foot massage but they do offer full body massages, because what’s a holiday without a quick spa treatment.

Located on the prestigious JLN Marg, Clarks Amer is just a 5-minute drive from the Jaipur International Airport and a 15-minute drive from major city attractions such as City Palace, Birla Mandir, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal. They are perfectly equipped for large events, conferences and weddings, but with my experience I will suggest you to make your booking way in advance, so it’s not sold out, which it tends to most of the times.

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The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa

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Pushkar, “the rose garden of Rajasthan” is where traditional meets travel in the desert state. Because Pushkar is a spiritual place for so many, you can’t help but feel it’s calming, colorful, tranquil, and timeless ambiance. You can get lost in the winding alleyways while you shop endlessly for souvenirs and even bump into a stray camel or two. 

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With a driving distance of less than 3 hours from Jaipur, Pushkar is coming up as a preferred destination for weekend getaway, corporate events and social gathering. Pushkar is the extension of the popular domestic and international tourist route of Golden Triange; that connects 3 historic cities – Delhi, Jaipur & Agra.

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Place to stay: The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is ideally located to experience the various cultural and historical offerings of the Holy City of Pushkar.  It is one of the first internationally branded upscale resort in the city. An oasis of rejuvenating & revitalising comfort in the ancient and vibrant city of Pushkar, Westin Pushkar surrounded by the picturesque Aravallis, is an immaculate wellness and leisure gateway that offers everything from serene natural elements and beautiful sunsets to rejuvenating therapies and food for the soul. With spacious guestrooms featuring private pools, innovative dining options and state-of-the-art wellness facilities, leave feeling better than when you first arrive. 

 

The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is ideally located to experience the various cultural and historical offerings of this vibrant city, including the annual Camel Fair, which attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe. The resort is a short drive from the Holy Lake as well as the famous Brahma Temple which dates back to the 14th Century. You can experience uplifting downtime in a picturesque setting, within a driving distance from Jaipur. Indulge in a rejuvenating break surrounded by Frangipani trees, water features and sprawling gardens. Careful attention is paid to ensure each visit leaves you exceptionally well rested, well-nourished and well cared for. With spacious guestrooms featuring private pools, innovative dining options and state-of-the-art wellness facilities, leave feeling better than when you first arrive. 

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Accommodation: Each of the 98 guest rooms and villas are thoughtfully designed to leave you feeling cared for by providing revitalizing comfort, with 44 villas / suites featuring private pool and each room having a 4-fixture bathroom. The signature Westin Heavenly Bed ensures restful nights and blissful mornings while other amenities like Heavenly Bath and White Tea by Westin scented amenities ensure you have a rejuvenating stay.  

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Eat & Drink Well: The dining options are designed to offer a diverse, gourmet experience. With four food and beverage outlets at the resort don’t worry about the calories. PANORAMA, the specialty restaurant and rooftop lounge serve barbecues and grills. SEASONAL TASTES, the signature all day dining restaurant offers an innovative combination of Indian and international cuisine with live kitchens creating an interactive dining experience. Nourish yourself with the season’s fresh ingredients and herbs from the kitchen garden of the hotel.

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MIX, the Bar with a wide range of tempting cocktails, offers ample choices to suit your mood. For those who prefer to settle down in their Heavenly Bed and order in, in-room dining menu that offers delectable selections around the clock. You can also relish a refreshing menu of light bites and drinks served at SPLASH, the poolside bar. 


Fitness & Free Time: With over 1,000 square meters of dedicated wellness space, re-energize and rejuvenate during your stay with the Westin WORKOUT fitness studio or the signature Heavenly Spa by Westin that has selection of treatment rooms and a spa menu featuring the best of international and local therapies all designed to relax and replenish body and spirit. At ‘Splash’ take refreshing laps in the scenic pool while enjoying a wide selection of food & beverage offerings 

Thoughtful Extras: They offer services like Concierge, Kids Club that let you rejuvenate while the children enjoy themselves under constant supervision of the inhouse staff. Recreation center including a mini theatre with reclining seats that allows to unwind and have leisure time. Replay, a recreation center with indoor games that can be enjoyed by both adults and teenagers alike.  A Gift Shop, Business Centre and parking facilities are also on offer.  

How to reach: Pushkar is 158 kms from the Jaipur International Airport, 53 kms from the Kishangarh Airport and is also connected by rail to Ajmer Junction. 

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

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