The first time I went to Jaipur, it was a school trip when I was in the third grade. At that age, a city tour or exploring the heritage was the least of my concerns. All I was interested in was jumping on the mattresses in my hotel room with my friends.
My second rendezvous with the pink city happened very recently when I went there for a weekend getaway and stayed at the JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa. The city epitomizes royalty, charm, and luxury, and the resort has borrowed from its spirit to give a memorable stay to the guests.
In the middle of the heat wave that Delhi was going through, the Pink City opened its arms to me with a cool temperament and made me realize that I didn't know her too well before. Her fresh breeze played with my hair and made me forget the tan and traffic I had been struggling with.
At the resort, traditional Rajasthani tunes on the tabla and a tikka were the perfect welcome. As I entered the aesthetically designed lobby, with walls and ceilings adorned with the renowned craftsmanship of local artisans, I was mesmerised by the shining silver furniture, the chandeliers and the Rajasthani decor elements.
Surrounded by the rolling Aravalis, the resort shines as an oasis of style and indulgence. An architectural gem, JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa takes inspiration from traditional Rajasthani palaces and it has been designed to offer a glimpse into the kingly life of the region’s royalty.
Soon after, I checked into the Royal Pool Villa, my sanctuary in the dessert. I couldn't help but fall in love with the temperature-controlled plunge pool and a day bed surrounded by palm trees.
An hour later, I was sitting in a buggy, being driven for my first royal lunch at Sukh Mahal - the all-day dining restaurant. The chef had a splendid four-course menu prepared with a lavish spread of starters of salmon, chicken achari tikka, fish tikka and malai paneer tikka and mains including Kadai chicken and paneer lababdar. The highlight of my meal was the dessert- green apple mouse with macarons.
Later in the evening, I had time to relax by taking a dip in my private plunge pool. The lukewarm water cooled my body and opened all the pores. This dip at twilight was just what I needed before I head out for dinner.
Feeling refreshed, I headed for dinner at the fine-dining restaurant, Mohan Mahal. It is crafted with tikri, patterned mirror work. With no artificial lighting, 120 candles are used to create a more intimate dining experience. The light from these flames is reflected by beautiful mosaics of numerous mirrors, displayed across the restaurant, creating a warm and regal ambiance akin to the Sheesh Mahal. The lavish dinner was traditional Rajasthani thali with lal maas, dal bati churma, and gatte ki sabzi.
The next morning was a fine buffet breakfast. Apart from the usual English breakfast, the chef brought his signature dish, laal maas omelette, a twist to the traditional dish. I would recommend that to everyone.
Followed by breakfast was the much-awaited spa session, which was 90 minutes of spa including 60 minutes of body massage and 30 minutes of body scrub. Aromatherapy essentials are used for a thoughtful treatment tailored to every body's unique needs. My masseuse Basanthi's fingers worked liked magic on my back and lower body and the massage was a delight to my senses from head-to-toe. It was followed by a body scrub that not only cleansed and detoxified my skin but also hydrated and exfoliated it. It was an ultimate rejuvenating experience.
JW Marriott has collected all the experiences that a traveler needs in a city like Jaipur and it presents them to you one by one, each a pearl in your necklace. During my tour of the city, the resort allowed me to live like a local, taking me to different haunts and giving me a taste of the city of royals. On my way to the airport, I remembered my interaction with General Manager Chandrashekhar Joshi, who is proud of what they accomplish as a resort and turn every little nuance of the experience into a memory. I had asked him what was so special about this property and he had simply said, "This one is the jewel on the crown."
Indeed, it is.
Things To Do In Jaipur
Jaipur is known for its spicy food that'll tickle your taste buds. You must try dal bati churma, gatte ki sabzi, lal maas, pyaaz kachauri and kuladd lassi!
Jaipur has some remarkable shopping places that can enrich your total shopping experience. Two of the most popular ones are Johari Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar. Johari Bazaar, as the name suggests has beautiful jewels, precious stones, and silver jewellery. Bapu Bazaar is known for its textiles.
Amber Fort and Jaipur City Palace are few of the best places to visit in Jaipur. Hawa Mahal or 'The Wind Palace' is another major attraction in Jaipur that will impress you because of its wonderful architecture.
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