India The Passage-Aman- New Delhi

Those who travel with us know we are thrilled by Aman properties. It seems all the luxury properties in India have mastered the welcome ceremony, setting the stage for a remarkable visit. Act One, landing in New Delhi at 4 am, one can use a lovely welcome!

Daylight was just breaking and I could barely see the city ahead in the morning fog. Surprisingly, the streets are busy with rumbling festooned Tata trucks, bicycle riders, people walking along the road, and the sacred cows, this is India.  I discovered later there is always movement in the cities and villages and the ubiquitous cows are present everywhere and revered. India does not sleep.

Aman at dawn, one does not sense the grace and elegance upon first glimpse of the monumental stone building. I soon learn of the myriad types of stone used in the forts, palaces and hotels. Aman is imposing, very modern, yet, very calming – the perfect refinement following a long Journey.

 

Welcomed by a charming manager with a refreshing warm scented towel and a beautiful garland of delicate flowers, check in is immediate and efficient.

The turbaned and tunic clad gentlemen escort me quietly through the silent corridors to my suite. Steaming plunge pool on my terrace, it can wait –  the huge sunken tub is all I need to relax before napping. Surprisingly refreshed five hours later, ready to explore India. Delicious breakfast delivered and served in a beautiful wooden box, again- the level of service and the attention to detail is superb. My favorite flower, tuberose, on the bedside table has filled the room with it’s delightful fragrance.

Art- besides exceptional service, interesting architecture, the dramatic art within the hotel is gallery quality.  The six-acre property showcases a full range of conceptual art; hallways lined with paintings, shadowed alcoves are filled with beautiful golden goddesses.

A 50-meter outdoor lap pool is flanked by luxurious chaise lounges, overhead wooden fans create a gentle breeze. Lunch is served  under a shaded colonnade, a terrace begging to used for a a day of indulgent reading. Traditional carved jaali screens filter sunlight onto the terraces, subtle Indian architectural elements. 

Best rooms Aman suite 802, overlooking the monument Humayun’s Tomb. Aman Deluxe Room 803 faces the grassy expanse of Lodhi Golf Course.

Royal Rambagh Palace Hotel- Oh So Elegant!

A friend commented on my New Year card filled with little snapshots of India, you make India look so romantic and luxurious! Of course, if you travel exclusively with us, you will find India very lavish and plush!

The captivating cities and villages pleasantly surprised me. Folklore, history, legends of the exotic land has interested travelers for hundreds of years. Oh my, in how many cities do you pass by as many camel carts as often as you pass a bus in the states? Exotic decorated camels, part of the working life in India, travelers can enjoy a camel safari, highly recommend.

Beautifully garbed women in brilliant hued sari’s in the fields, on the back of motorbikes, elegance rarely seen anywhere else in the world.

Rajasthan is one of the most colorful and exotic states in India and its capital Jaipur is enchanting. Enjoy life as the Maharaja and experience an elephant excursion up the ramps to the brilliant Amber Fort. An architectural marvel, gorgeous mirrored ceilings, glistening jewels; the richness of the Royals is abundantly displayed in the mosaics on the walls, the fabulous rugs and tapestries, sensory overload.

 

I stayed as a royal might at the Rambagh Palace, a Taj Hotel property. Inspired by Mughal and Rajasthan styles of architecture, it is a glorious hotel Palace. In 1925, Rambagh Palace became the permanent residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The pride of the palace was the sprawling garden featured in Peter Coat’s ‘Most Beautiful Gardens of the World’.

Elegance abounds from the moment you enter the grand gates, whisked to the front steps in a vintage car, showered by floating rose petals and welcomed by the elegant turbaned doorman, his huge bush like Rajasthani mustache perfectly groomed. The hotel grounds feel like a private park, although it sits in the middle of Jaipur. The peacocks, vibrant green parrots, brilliant magenta bougainvillea blossoms gracefully climbing the garden walls. Enjoy the acres of gardens, a spa, a small Gem Palace boutique, marvelous bookstore and even a palmist on the verandah.
My Palace suite, with its dining room and lovely terrace was a respite from the energy and vitality of India. One evening the hotel chef personally delivered dinner to my room with five wait staff. Another evening, I was surprised to find a beautiful petal floral arrangement in my suite alcove; I adored arriving to my room each evening to the luxurious bubble bath topped by hundreds of rose petals. Royal treatment flourishes at the Palace; one could become accustomed to living at the Rambagh Palace.

Remind me to tell you about dining with the Maharajah of Jaipur – let me know when you would like to sip cocktails with him in Jaipur, a fascinating and charming gentleman!