Live Like a Maharaja on Airbnb

Live Like a Maharaja on Airbnb

Jaipur’s Royal Family becomes Airbnb’s first Royal Hosts, listing their family home, the City Palace of Jaipur on Airbnb

The 300 year old City Palace of Jaipur, home to Jaipur’s Royal Family, has played host to numerous guests over the centuries. From November 23, 2019, the Gudliya Suite at the City Palace will become accessible to outside guests, and will be able to be booked for the first time ever on Airbnb, with His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh becoming the first Maharaja to offer a stay at his palace on Airbnb, in order to help support the women’s empowerment initiatives of the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation.

Steeped in history, and located in the heart of Jaipur, capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, the City Palace is one of India’s most iconic buildings. Guests will be able to book and stay in the luxurious Gudliya Suite, located within one of the private sections of a royal palace that, until now, has been used for the royals and their special guests. The Suite includes its own lounge, kitchen, luxurious bathroom and private, indoor swimming pool.

Guests will truly get to experience what it’s like to live like royalty.  A practical and down-to-earth modern Royal, the host is the dapper, polo-playing 21-year old Maharajah, Padmanabh Singh, who succeeded his grandfather in 2011 as the Maharaja of a land his ancestors have ruled for nearly a thousand years. 

Built in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of the city of Jaipur, the City Palace exemplifies the best of 18th century Rajput architecture with and other architectural influences of later periods. The interiors contain ornate chambers, large and airy reception halls, crystal chandeliers, gilded wall decorations, intricate carvings and in addition to the royal residence, the sprawling palace complex houses a large, internationally recognised museum. Notable visiting dignitaries have included Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Jackie Kennedy, among others. 

Guests of the Gudliya Suite at the City Palace will be provided an inspiring journey into the rich history, cultural heritage and artistic traditions of Jaipur’s royal family. Guests will be looked after by a private butler and guide who will arrange curated city experiences including shopping tours, guided walks through local museums and other excursions.  Authentic Rajasthani meals may be enjoyed on a terrace offering an amazing view of the surrounding Aravalli hills and forts overlooking the palace, and peaceful afternoon tea can be had in the company of the resident peacocks who live in the Palace’s lush gardens.

“I am thrilled that my family and I are partnering with Airbnb to bring the splendour of Rajasthan to life for travelers from around the world. My own travels with Airbnb have made me feel very welcome in new cities and cultures, and I am happy that the experience of quintessential Indian hospitality will be shared with others.” stated His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh.

The Palace has never been available to be booked by outside guests before. Proceeds from each booking will go to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting rural women and artisans in Rajasthan.  For the remainder of 2019, the Gudliya Suite, priced at $8,000 per night, will be available to book on select nights at a special inaugural offer of $1,000 USD per night, with Airbnb paying the balance amount for each booking as a contribution to the Foundation. From January 1st onwards, the Suite will be available for guests to book at the full $8,000 USD rate.

The Gudliya Suite will be available for stays starting November 23. To make a booking, guests can visit airbnb.com/CityPalaceJaipur as of now.

Since inception, Airbnb has set itself apart by redefining the way people travel. Offering 7+ million unique places to stay including over 4000 castles, Airbnb has pioneered experiential travel creating magical stays for over half a billion guests.

A Home Close To Home- “Tarudhan Valley” by Lemon Tree Hotel

A Home Close To Home- “Tarudhan Valley” by Lemon Tree Hotel

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Cradled amidst the hills of Aravalis, surrounded by dancing fields of maize and mustard, rests a beautiful sprawling resort, adjacent to an international standard golf course, 20 kms off Manesar, just outside Delhi.

Let’s talk about this Stunning Golf Resort, situated just a few kilometers away from Delhi. A swift drive of one hour and you’re amidst a beautiful location. We shall talk about this resort in detail and why this should TOP THE LIST for your next WEEKEND GETAWAY..!!

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INDIA’S FIRST GATED GOLF COMMUNITY 

️With boundaries spanning across 65 green acres; the Tarudhan Valley Golf Resort is India’s first gated golf community. The Tarudhan Valley has been carefully designed to include exotic Golf Homes dotted around a exceptionally designed 9-hole golf course by Graham Cooke. The Valley offers Apartments, Villas and Balinese style wooden cottages for gracious living, as well as a well-appointed Clubhouse, Resort Hotel, Conferencing facilities and Golf Driving Range. At the Tarudhan Valley, it’s the country life at its absolute best @lemontreehotels

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Pet-Friendly Studio Apartment at Tarudhan Valley @lemontreehotels :Ergonomically designed for enhanced comfort, these rooms come with King Bed, combine living room, separate dining area with modern amenities and free WIFI to make your stay comfortable and relaxing. These apartments overlook the lush golf greens and are fully loaded with a multi-utility pantry and kitchenette to make long stay vacations close to home and complete.

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.~ EAT LIKE NO ONE’S WATCHING

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Lemon Tree Hotel, Tarudhan Valley offers an array of treats that are as unique as their ambience and décor. Explore lip smacking options at their themed bar and restaurant with a private dining area.

~ SKINNERS: A themed bar and restaurant with a private dining area, it is named after the famous Skinners Cavalry which served in the British Indian Army before independence. Contemporary and inviting, while the Skinners Bar offers a rich selection of wines and spirits; the restaurant dishes an eclectic all day dining menu including Indian, European, American and pan-Asian cuisine @lemontreehotels

~ Happiness is a Day At The Pool..!! ~

As they say, you’re only one swim away from a good mood, and that’s what a shiny clean pool does to you. A real fun vacation is incomplete without a dive..!! Tarudhan Valley @lemontreehotels is all that you need, to have a relaxing time..!!

.~ Deceptively Simple & Endlessly Complicated~

That’s how the game of Golf is; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.

Had an amazing time learning and playing Golf, the first ever experience of Golf in my life at Tarudhan Valley Golf Resort, Manesar @lemontreehotels

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 Truckloads of Treasure~

Now let’s talk about the different activities that can be done in and around Tarudhan Valley by @lemontreehotels which will bring heaps of happiness to your soul..!! A truck ride around the village of Manesar (within 2 to 3 kms of the resort) is a must experience activity. Narrow lanes, beautiful houses, local people and beautiful farms are worth a visit. Spend a couple of hours with nature around the resort and you can thank me later for this unparalleled experience which will fill your heart with delight..!!

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~ Let’s Spend A Day At Strawberries Farm ~

The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that this fruit is good for you. The garden strawberry is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria, collectively known as the strawberries. It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. Had a spectacular time, while exploring the beautiful farms around Tarudhan Valley, Manesar @lemontreehotels .

#travel #lemontree #hospitality #review #manesar

Had a great time at the farm close to Tarudhan Valley, exploring and meeting these amazing village women who work so hard under the sun to ensure that farms are well maintained and people like you and me get fresh fruits at our home. We really need to step out of our fancy world and see how these farmers work and need our support. Let’s try and do something for them, may be a patient hearing and some financial support can bring a change to their lives! Thanks to @lemontreehotels for taking me out for this visit.

Had a lovely stay at Tarudhan Valley @lemontreehotels. They stand out for their excellent hospitality, exquisite food, stunning studio apartments, fun activities and most importantly the beautiful golf course. This surely will be my ‘go to destination’ whenever I need a break from life, which happens once every month..!! Cheers..!!

NORTH SOUTH DIVIDE

NORTH SOUTH DIVIDE

Yes, you read it right. In Goa, there is a pretty distinct divide between North & South Goa. Enough and more has been written about both but my attempt is to illuminate three lovely places one must visit in South Goa. I mean your trip would be incomplete without a visit to these three, similar in many ways and yet quite distinct, restaurants.

  1. MARTIN’S CORNER: One of the most popular and sought-after places in South Goa close to Utorda, Martin’s Corner has been my haunt in all my six visits to Goa. From the food, drinks to the live music and karaoke nights Martin’s Corner is a place that exudes the true Goan spirit. The moment you sit under the covered roof and side open restaurant your eyes can’t help but notice the live catch of the day. What a sight! Lobsters, crabs, prawn & fish are integral to the menu and believe me they taste delicious because the raw material is of the finest and freshest quality. Somehow their pricing seems so accurate, inexpensive for items which are meant to be (read fresh lime soda, aerated water and bottled water) and well-priced for the lovely sea food preparations. So, while we were there we indulged in Lobster thermidor their signature dish, cheese bruschetta’s, French fries and Manchurian fish. Draught beer and breezers flowed liberally and to top it all there was live music filled with classics by Clapton, Bon Jovi and Elton John. Perfect setting for a pleasant evening. I must add there is plenty of variety in their menu and a good spread of North Indian kebabs if that is your calling. A Live dessert counter adds to the fun and the service is friendly and familiar. We were lucky that the weather was good with mild rain and cool sea breeze and a large screen for live sport.

Location- 69, Binwaddo, Betalbatim, Salcette, Goa

 

Martin's Corner

 

  1. FISHERMAN’S WHARF: My next haunt that is on my must recommend list is Fisherman’s Wharf close to the Leela Hotel. A short drive way leads you to the place with ample parking. The restaurant has a mix of open air and under the roof sitting. If you want to sit facing the sea you better reserve your table or go early. Else make do with seating in the inside portion of the restaurant which too is nice nevertheless. The interiors are done up very tastefully with lovely vintage chairs, modern bar stools (around a huge bar in the center) and drums which are filled with live catch and a price tag. Once you settle down the menu will amaze you with its spread. We gorged on the butter garlic prawns, chilli prawns, spring rolls, honey chilli chicken and hakka noodles. Blue curacao cocktail and vodka was the order of the day to wash it down, our waiter served with a perpetual smile. At the end of the meal we asked for a tiramisu and I can officially state it was one of the finest ones I have ever had after the one I had in Bali. Attractively served and melting in your mouth I almost ordered another one. And then of course was the live music by a band of boys belting out classic soft rock numbers almost like the original. We were compelled to dance after a bit and the momentum didn’t recede. Singing with such ease they effortlessly switched genres between rock and blues with country roads, mambo no. 5, wonderful tonight, sultans of swing, careless whisper and black magic women amongst many of the tracks they pelted. Oh, what a super night it made.

Location- Before The Leela, Mobor, Cavelossim, Goa

 

  1. RAJ’S PENTAGON: Now this is a surprise entrant. Opened only a few summers back and owned by an ex-chef Raj, this place is very popular amongst the locals. Walking distance from the Majorda beach, Pentagon does what it does brilliantly. Live catch is brought to every table to purchase (crabs, prawns and fish) and the crooner is a fellow with a keen interest in reggae music. So, you know he played almost some calypso tunes and did it to perfection. We were a bit early and began with a pint of Bira and Pina Colada and followed that up with fish fingers, calamari, noodles and to my most wonderful surprise chicken gold coins. It reminded me of the good old Calcutta club days where gold coins were a hit. The music soon took over and the place filled up with inhabitants which were all looking familiar with the place and the food. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating and they do a pretty neat job of disinfecting the place for mosquitos. Well priced, Raj is present there in person and does shyly interact with the patrons and enquires if all is smooth. Time moves fast here and food grips you pretty hard. Considering the place has a valet parking, rather rare in Goa, the place is full and ensures you have a feast.\

 Location- Majorda Beach Road, Opp. Majorda Beach Resort, Salcete, Goa

Goa

 

 

 

Luxurious Weekend Getaway from Delhi

Luxurious Weekend Getaway from Delhi

If you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway from Delhi, without tiring yourself much, ‘The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa’ is the perfect destination for you!

This beautiful resort is waiting to pamper you, situated at Sohna-Gurgaon Road, just two hour drive from Delhi (approx. 75 kms) & 1 hour from Gurgaon.

Spread across 37 acres of lush green land with state-of-the-art elegant design, the resort is a perfect weekend getaway to relax and rejuvenate.

Golf cart

 

 

 

You have to take a short walk, before you finally reach your room, and one can even choose the trolley car if wanting to avoid the walk..

 

 

 

 

 

We chose to walk instead, enjoying the colourful flowers smiling all across. The fresh air will charge up your lungs with energy and vigour.

Westin Sohna

 

This was our home for the weekend and we loved itWestin Resort

The rooms are huge and spacious, with 2 balconies attached. Had our morning tea in that balcony with birds chirping and singing around, it works as sound therapy

 

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES:

  • HORSE RIDING:

One can enjoy the countryside setting of The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa in an elegant style on the royal horseback, for the nature enthusiasts the resort offers  a horse paddock where their trained associates take you on a guided tour of the resort on the graceful horses

Horse Riding at Westin SohnaMeet Sultan, who was the newly brought Royal Horse J I had a fancy ride on him and learnt a few tricks of horse- riding from my trainer

 

  • AQUA ZORBING :

 One can enjoy the thrilling new sport of Aqua Zorbing and explore the adventure of rolling inside an orb at the Splash Pool

Aqua Zorbing

 

THE WESTIN LAKE

The private Lake attached to this resort is the best & the most beautiful therapy for happiness available there, and mind you, there’s nothing extra being charged to experience this gorgeous lake out there. One can go and spend as much time gazing at the lake, conversing with the much friendly geese playing there and getting some moments of peace, away from the world.

Located a short walk from the boundaries of the property, one can experience a different world altogether.

Westin LakeThe expansive water body has been restored and refurbished by the resort, and is surrounded by palm trees, sandy landscape, a plethora of greens and even inhabited by a variety of birds- ducks and geese- to name a few.

 

Westin Lake

 

You will get to meet these beautiful Geese playing aroundGeese at Westin Lake

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE:

FISHING:  Pick up your fishing rod and get set to experience the real thrill of getting the catch of the day.
At INR 600/- all inclusive, for 2 hours

Fishing

 

 CYCLING: Explore the 37 acres of lush green Westin Sohna Resort and Spa going back to the nature on the bicycles.

CRICKET: Enjoy a game  of cricket that happens to be first love of many across the globe.

 

SCORE SHEET:

  • Recreational Value: 4 (There’s space for many more activities, must be added)
  • Peace: 4.5 (It’s serene, away from traffic, noise & pollution, to the say the least)
  • Food: 3 (There’s scope to improvise the quality & add more options)
  • Room (Space & cleanliness): 5
  • Surroundings of the resort: 4 (The only bummer is the short walk towards the lake, which is full of stagnant dirty water, NEEDS TO GET CLEANED)

Overall Scores:  FOUR (4)

Highlights:

  • 37 acres of lush greens
  • Beautiful and Huge Rooms, with Balconies attached
  • Recreational Facilities- Horse-Riding, Aqua Zorbing, Cycling, Fishing etc.
  • Heavenly Spa to rejuvenate your soul
  • The Westin Lake- Mini Kerala is how I will define it
THE MAJESTIC TIJARA FORT..

THE MAJESTIC TIJARA FORT..

Just when you are in the mood for a romantic weekend getaway, this is the place for you! Here you will get to experience royalty clubbed with heritage

Tijara Fort Logo.

Tijara Fort Palace is a 19th century palace, adorning beautiful art works. This property has been revamped by Neemrana and they officially opened the doors for travellers in January this year only.

An ideal weekend getaway from Delhi, it has 21 guest rooms and suites that have a wonderful decor and come with modern comforts. Enjoy memorable heritage experiences here during your stay.

It has seven terraced gardens commanding a magnificent view above the tall ramparts.

The best part of this Fort is that all the rooms here are by the name of Ranis/Maharanis/Lady Achievers such as Anjolie Mahal, Anju Mahal, Bharti Mahal, Pushpmala Mahal, Vishakha Mahal, Arpita Mahal etc. The feminist inside us will love this 😉

Image: Arpita Mahal

Anjolie Mahal-The suite, has a large frescoed wall painted by the renowned painter – Anjolie Ela Menon whereas Anju Mahal- the suite is adorned with details of the works of Anju Dodiya, renowned for a new cutting-edge style. All rooms have their unique touch to it.

Anjolie MahalTHE ANJOLIE MAHAL

Anjolie Mahal

Rooms are quite spacious and each room is unique and illustrious in its own way.

We stayed in Nayna Mahal, room was just as the name suggests- eye pleasing (Nayna)Tijara Fort
Tijara Fort Room

 

  This path connects you to different parts of the fort- the front one being Hawa Mahal              Tijara Fort

This large pool offers you heaps of laps 

Tijara Fort Pool

WHY SHOULD I GO HERE: For the love of heritage within a short drive, relaxation, peace, spending quality time with your partner/family. Do we need anything more?

WHAT ELSE: Can be a good venue for Destination Wedding! You may consider this if thinking of getting married anytime soon!

SOME GYAAN SHYAAN: Tijara Fort Palace has three palace wings spread across 8 acres. The dining (Hawa Mahal & Chattis Dari) and living areas (Rani Mahal & Mardana Mahal) are linked by spectacular hanging gardens. It embraces 1 Pent House Suite, 3 Turret Suites, 5 Suites, 7 Turret Grand Rooms, 3 Grand Rooms and 42 Rooms which can sleep a total of 157 guests.

PLACES TO VISIT CLOSE TO TIJARA: Alwar, Siliserh Lake and Palace, Sariska National Park, Bhartrihari Temple, Pandupol Temple, Talvriksha, the tombs and the Jain temples of Tijara.

HOW TO REACH: Total Distance: 120 kms (approx.) from Delhi; Mode: Self Drive is the best option. It’s a smooth 2 and a half hour drive from Delhi

 

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