Saturday, May, 25,2024

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I shall savour an alluring summer and have experienced the height of indulgence with Rambagh Palace which is the JEWEL of Jaipur which won the World‘s Number 1 Hotel Award, Travellers Choice by Trip Advisor- Best of the Best 2023.

Built-in 1835 for the nanny of Prince Ram Singh II and in 1887, during the reign of Maharaja Thakur Sawai Madho Singh, it was converted into a royal hunting lodge.

In the early 20th century, it was expanded into a palace designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob and only in 1957 it was converted into an upscale hotel. Eventually, in 1972, it became a Taj hotel.

Rambagh was the main residence of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. A number of royal suites in 1931 were added which is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture.

I immersed myself in a calm, slowpaced environment without the constraint of time, spending days in a state of reverie, letting my mind wander, listening to the melancholic sound of the peacocks and watching the elegant birds allowing myself moments of pure contemplation. It meant a platform for mental and physical regeneration, a beautiful catharsis for me.

Hotelier Ashok Rathore is an Angel to the entire Indian hospitality industry. With worldwide devotees and endless achievements under his belt, he successfully managed to develop hotels from deteriorating conditions to worldclass positions. He’s known for his exquisite aesthetics and predilection for panache.

He’s the life and soul of Rambagh Palace. He’s a gem. As an Area Director of Rajasthan and the General Manager of Rambagh Palace, the benevolent gentleman opens the doors to an unforgettable escape in Jaipur.

Verandah Cafe, is the coolest place to lounge, overlooking the manicured lawns, the fountains, the birds chirping, the national bird walking around gracefully and there at a distance one can see the birds' view of the moti dungri which belongs to the Royal family of Jaipur.

Anslem, the life of Verandah Cafe who’s the Manager of the restaurant will leave you speechless with his creativity. He never ceases to add a bit of zing into the classical mix be it food or beverages.

Polo Bar is where ancient tradition blends with modern sophistication. As we all know that a fountain symbolizes life truth honesty and change hence the decorative water reservoir right at the centre of the room has played an important role in history and in the present world.

The bar dates back to the Royal era when playing Polo was only for the elite and it was a luxury with the finest and rare whiskies, single malts, cognacs, wines and liqueurs, and a hand-picked selection of Cuban cigars awaiting you in style. The coasters, napkins, upholstery and walls adorned with trophies and pictures echo in elegance the word Polo!

Suvarna Mahal is all about royal indulgence, charming decor, trophies, frescos and murals, impressive cutlery and crockeries and an 82 ft carpet. The upholstery is stylish and swanky. The original ballroom of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II is now India's finest restaurant. I am lucky and have earned the respect of having my name engraved on their rings of fame and displayed there. Specialized in Indian cuisine, taking you back to the golden era where you can experience a royal Indian feast.

Rajput Room bears its own whimsical name and vintage history. The marble arches, the high ceiling, the crystal chandeliers and a larger-than-life portrait of Rajmata Gayatri Devi add to a magical experience.

The Botanist is a new addition to the palace. It will take you into the woods and gives you a countryside feel. A picturesque and contemporary restaurant with a view to die for! Steam is unique and serves global cuisine inside a restored steam train with an attached Victorian-style station. Butlers Karan, Praveen and Amit are maintaining the standards of the F & B high!

Under the leadership and guidance of Ashok Rathore, the sublime team has managed to become the world‘s best hotel this year! It’s a great achievement for the country and the IHCL group to bring home the best hotel in the World award.

Nimish Mathur, Front Office Manager is a lot like a sergeant in the army. Having him on the team can make the difference between success and disaster.

I was totally bowled over by the grand welcome planned by Nimish Mathur and the team which also included an umbrella adorned with my photos on it. One can always anticipate a fresh wave of culinary excellence with Executive Chef Raghu Deora, Senior Sous Chef Kuldeep (Panditji) and Senior Sous Chef Abhishek and the kitchen team. Chef Rohitash from the Bakery taught me to make chocolates and bake a cake. The way Vikas the Head Chief Concierge and Preeti, Chief Concierge interacts with their colleagues and guests most likely contribute to their attributions of being great and likeable. They make sure that all their guests are treated with utmost care.

Stepping out of the daily routine is a welldeserved luxury hence if you are a sucker for magical settings and royalty and know to hold your glass and you aren’t the loud kind Oriental Room library is your go-to place. Come experience the World’s best hospitality at RAMBAGH in your own land Jaipur.

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