Your definitive guide to staying close to home
As the festive season comes closer, we hope you find a perfect vacation spot to indulge in luxury, food and experiences. A collection of slightly unconventional, but regal experiences is what we deserve post this pandemic panic. These wondrous abodes are royal statements with a zing of clas, and a dash of rare.
The Maharaja Express
An unconventional option, the Maharaja express promises a regal, award-winning travel experience-on-wheels. The train has deluxe and presidential suite options, with gourmet cruise to suit your palate. The suites are designed to adapt the royal Indian heritage to providing scenic views and a personal butler. One of the five most luxurious trains in the world, the maharaja express hosts Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal, two fine-dining restaurants with an array of food and some of the rarest alcohol collections. You can deboard and enjoy a bespoke tour of any of the fable towns and cities on your journey.
Wildflower Hall, An Oberoi Resort Shimla
Located in the queen of hills, the former summer home of Lord Kitchener, commander of the British Army, is now an exclusive hotel. Restored with 1,450 square feet of handmade rugs, antique furniture, and marble bathrooms, windflower halls hold a vintage charm with exotic mountain views. Escape here for its rare 100-year-old book collection and Quasi al fresco dining area, famous for its north India and pahari cuisine. You can enjoy its fine spa and take in views of the surrounding nature. With floor-to-ceiling windows and an infinity jacuzzi, this Himalayan nest is a league of its own.
Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
Nested 25000 feet above Hyderabad city, the Falaknuma palace is one of the most exclusive holiday locations in India. With a mere 60 rooms and suites, the palace of the Nizam is spread over a lush 32 acres, carrying guests on horse-drawn carriages. The Royal Darbar dining hall consists of the finest gourmet and Hyderabadi cuisine, and a fine pastry collection for your sweet tooth. While in the day you can marvel at a rare book collection and enjoy spa sessions the nights are festive with Qawwali performances. Enjoy the true lifestyle of Nawab and treat yourself to luxury by dining at the 100-seater dining table.
The Oberoi Udaivilas
Marvelousness spread over 50 acres on the banks of Lake Pichola, the Udaivilas is a royal statement. The monumental palace is characterized by domes, lush green walkways, and indigenous botanical gardens. The rooms are tastefully decorated with a taste of Mewar with private or semi-private pools. The Chandani restaurant offers a stunning view of the Udaipur palace and the lake, while the Suryamahal restaurant hosts tables under spectacular interconnecting domes. A true taste of royalty, Udaivilas has volleyball courts, bespoke tours, a croquet lawn, and a state-of-the-art spa.
SUJÁN The Serai
Located in the golden desert Thar, Sujan Serai promises a sensational experience. A regal outpost set amid dunes and a starry night sky, has ravishing musical and safari experiences. The 21 tented-suites, featuring terrace lounges are spread across the beautiful sand landscape. With an array of gourmet cuisine and a spa, it’s unimaginable that the property is located amidst a dramatic dessert. The luxury suites come with a private stone plunge pool and an indigenous walled garden. For a truly luxe experience book the Royal Tented Suite stands as its own abode, with a personal butler, an outdoor pool, and above all, a private spa.
Alila Fort Bishangarh
One of the newest luxury hotels in India, the 230-year-old Alia Fort took almost a decade to renovate. Cradled amidst the Aravali Mountain Range of Northern India, its the first of its kind wonderland of marble courtyard columns and latticed windows. With an open floor plan, each room at this fort holds its own charm with antique brass embossing, neatly designed interiors, and cozy corners with rolling views of mountains. The Alila is known for its fine take on Marwari and Rajput cuisine, hosted in the extravagant dining halls of the erstwhile Maharaja.
The Khyber Resort and Spa
8,825 above sea level, stands the pristine Khyber Resort and Spa in Gulmarg. Located in the Pir Panjal Himalayan mountain range, it’s the finest way to experience the skiing capital of India. With a mere 85 rooms the staff gives exclusive treatment to its guests with the best Kashmiri cuisine in the coniferous forest, with snow-capped mountain views. The rooms are tastefully designed with wooden interiors and floor to ceiling windows for breathtaking views. An indoor heated pool, encased in a glass house gives you the best of a warm and dramatic setting all at once.
Taj Exotica Resorts and Spa, Andaman Islands
Located on the pristine coastline of the Bay of Bengal, Taj Exotica Havelock is a premium experience. Garlanded with mangroves the 46-acre property hosts an opulent Jiva spa, which offers over 50 indigenous beauty, stress and relaxation experiences tailored to guest’s needs. The pool villas and the luxury villas sit on the beach, while the exclusive TATA Suite is a magnificent experience with a seaside pool and butler service. The finest restaurants in Adaman Islands are located here, like The Turtle House which serves the finest authentic curries with a taste of tribal India.