Laveena and I were once asked by someone who knew our penchant for travel, whether we were Aman Junkies. Since neither of us were familiar with the term, we inquired as to what an Aman Junkie was? We were told that the luxurious Aman had a dedicated fan base, travelers who were loyal to the brand and who were devoted to the treasures offered by this super hospitality group to all who chose to experience the magic of Aman. “In fact, a true Aman junkie is known to plan his vacation according to the 32 resort locations around the world”, we were told. When asked what about the Aman made the experience so different from the other top of the line hotel brands like the Four Seasons, The Oberoi or the Taj, we were told that the Aman promised to help guests ‘lock away cherished memories for life’. This simple response was enough to raise our curiosity and we immediately began scouting around for an Aman property in India given that Laveena had a short weekend break in December.
Laveena recently had a short break for Ganesh Chaturti. It is a Hindu festival, celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed god, Ganesha. Given the auspiciousness of the holiday, Laveena was keen to travel to Varanasi, regarded as one of the seven holy cities of Hindus. The Sapta Puri are seven holy pilgrimage centres in India. While Varanasi also known as Benares or Kashi is one of the seven, the others are Mathura, Haridwar, Ayodhya, Kanchipuram, Dwarka and Ujjain.
‘Vita Pulchra Est’ is Latin for ‘Life is Beautiful’ and our recent stay at the Oberoi RajVilas reaffirmed the aphorism. Laveena and I visited the royal resort, built in a traditional Rajasthani fort style, last month, and fell instantly in love with what the grand property had on offer. Continue reading →
Laveena and I were recently invited to dinner by a very dear couple friend Romil and Aneesha Ratra. Romil is the group director-hospitality at the Phoenix Mills Ltd, a title this suave and debonair young man carries with immense aplomb. His lovely and elegant wife Aneesha is a gifted and talented writer, is ever so charming and an absolute pleasure for company.Continue reading →
For the August 15th weekend, we chose to travel within India. After a short early morning flight from Mumbai, we landed in Managalore, a little after 10:00 am. A hotel car was waiting to drive us to Bekal, a small town on the shores of north Kerala , a state in South India. The drive from Mangalore airport to Kasaragod district, where the Taj Vivanta Bekal is located, was quite picturesque with vast expanses of coconut trees and river crossings. Kasaragod is bounded by the Western ghats in the east and the Arabian sea in the west and has twelve rivers flowing across its terrain. On account of extensive road work, our drive stretched on for an extra 30 minutes, but we did not complain as we let our eyes soak in the local surroundings.