In the midst of a dense jungle, along the foothills of the Western Ghats, there lies a military-styled luxury camp, where retired Indian army Generals and Colonels, and their team of brave and fearless men in uniform, share their years of training in counter terrorism, armed combat and survival skills, with guests who have checked into DATA ( Della Adventure Training Academy).
In February this year Laveena and I checked in at a luxury tented camp located in pristine wilderness, in India’s magnificent Thar desert in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Representing the very best in Indian hospitality, The Serai by Sujan luxury, impressed us both from the moment we arrived, effortlessly standing out as one of India’s finest luxury hotel resorts and helping re-affirm the word ‘incredible’, in Incredible India.
Months ago, when Laveena and I traveled to Calgary in Canada, from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, we decided to experience the Pranaam GVK Guest Services, popular with Bollywood celebrities, sportsmen, famous singers, wealthy businessmen and travellers wanting a seamless and stress free departure and arrival experience.
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.
Early December, during a long weekend holiday, Laveena and I packed for a safari and travelled to Ranthambore in Rajasthan, India, in search of the majestic Bengal Tiger. We were greeted at the Airport by our chauffeur Jagdish, from the Aman-I-Khas. Our 3-hour long drive from Jaipur airport, was peppered with interesting conversation with Jagdish, who was bursting with enthusiasm, and showed a keen desire to share with us, his knowledge about the National Park, which he said was formerly a hunting ground for the royals of Jaipur. He also talked about the Ranthambore fort, the local Marwar culture and just as we were getting further engrossed in his detailed description about the Indian Government’s Project Tiger, he suddenly slowed the vehicle down and stopped by a local village belle selling guavas, which he promised would be the tastiest, we had ever tried. We couldn’t resist and with his help, we handpicked a bunch of freshly plucked fruit, which Jagdish cut with a kitchen knife he borrowed from the young village girl. He sprinkled some chilly powder and salt on the guavas and we feasted on this delicious snack. Less than 30-minutes later, we drove in through the gates of Aman-I -Khas, a luxurious camp, located at the foot of the Aravalli hills, a short 15-minute drive from the National Park.