For the Easter weekend this year, Laveena and I decided to fly to one of our favourite cities in the world, Dubai. We booked tickets on ’flydubai’, an airline which ticks all the right boxes with regards to, ’value for money’, ’comfort’, ’punctuality’, ’service’, ’entertainment’ and ’quality of food and wine choices on board’. Our onboard experience was yet again flawless and we found the standard of service to be nothing short of 5 star. The careful care and attention showered on all passengers in the business class cabin, was deeply appreciated. The chief cabin attedent, the very charming, Aness Charfi Nv Compte and Priyanka Kadam the ever smiling stewardess, had no idea that we were travel writers and yet, both were genuinely sensitive to every need of ours, committed to make our flying experience, even though a short one, a truly memorable one. From the generous servings of a fine French Bordeaux, to a steaming hot cappuccino and repeated visits with trays of delicious chocolates, they made our flight to Dubai, special.
It was in 2017, that the magnificent Soneva luxury brand came into our lives. Given our penchant for travel and luxury brands, I was appointed as a Soneva Ambassador, a title and an honour which I proudly embraced. And with Soneva, came an introduction to a precious jewel in Thailand, Soneva Kiri, located in Koh Kood, one of Thailand’s largest, but perhaps least developed islands. It had everything that I was looking for to make my 50th birthday, truly memorable. A luxury resort, located on a remote island in Thailand, accessible by a private jet and speed boat, set amidst a jungle of lush green trees and surrounded by an inviting calm blue ocean.
Promising discreet luxury, the Mandarin Oriental, located in the heart of Geneva, takes place of pride, perched on the banks of the River Rhône and is within walking distance to the financial district and tourist spots. Offering world-class hospitality, the Mandarin is in a class of its own within the Geneva Hotel circuit.
As India celebrated it’s 69th Republic Day on the 26th of January 2018, Laveena and I boarded a flight to Udaipur in Rajasthan. Udaipur, was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II and was the former capital of the Mewar Kingdom. After a short hour-long flight from Mumbai, we landed at the Maharana Pratap airport, where we were greeted by Kamal Bhati, the regally dressed chauffeur from The Leela Palace, Udaipur. This was our first ever stay at a Leela property and we were beyond excited about what lay ahead.
As members of Taj InnerCircle, India’s largest hotel loyalty programme, valid at over 80 hotels locally, and at 16 hotels at iconic international destinations, we look forward to our yearly stay-cation in our city of residence. Over the years we have enjoyed our free weekends as ‘Taj InnerCircle’ members, at the Vivanta by Taj – President, Taj Lands End – Mumbai and our favourite, The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai, a property we love dearly and have celebrated many a special occasion at. For us, the Taj brand embodies a perfect mix of sophistication and warmth, with high standards of services and etiquette from their staff.
This year, a friend recommended we spend our weekend at the Taj Santacruz, the brand new luxury hotel, located near the domestic airport in Mumbai.