While in Bali, I wanted different experiences across different destinations. When we were finalizing our abode at Kuta, we chose Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel. A dreamful destination, yes, it’s so big, beautiful and splendid that I would choose to call it a destination rather than a hotel.
I love the vivid culture India has where one gets to learn about different religions as well as their festivities. I have enjoyed the splendour of Christmas as much as I enjoy Diwali so when I got an invitation for a Ramadan Food Walk from Novotel Hyderabad Airport we could not say ‘NO’. After a 2 hour flight we landed in Hyderabad, the City of Nizams from where in a few minutes we entered the plush and beautiful hotel. A look around and I was captivated with the serene surroundings filled with greenery and nature.
Well, if I think of Rajasthan, the first few things which come to my mind are Jaipur, havelis, forts, history…and this time my Rajasthan trip was about all these things except Jaipur. Yes, it was a trip to Bikaner. It was time to visit Gaj Kesri, Bikaner. I did a little research on the property and its website said “Gaj Kesri is a small elegant hotel in the outskirts of Bikaner with easy access to the city and its chief attraction”. The gallery showcased the best of pictures combined with modernity and tradition and I instantly said yes to visit the place.
Always ready to explore the unexplored, we caught an early morning flight (ATR) to Bikaner. It’s the only flight operated between Delhi and Bikaner. I was quite amazed to see the cozy Bikaner airport operated by Indian Air Force where the luggage does not come on a conveyer belt but it’s transported manually. Due to security reasons, photography is not permitted and I controlled my urge to take pictures.
Let me tell you about my third trip to Jaipur, actually first with parents! My first trip to Jaipur was with friends which was after college when we had started working and saved our meagre salary for a trip to the touristy city, my second trip was for my Corporate Communications job and now I am in Jaipur again which is a trip with parents. When parents travel, they want everything to be comfortable and cozy that too at a central location. It wouldn’t have been ok if I had booked a secluded place for our little getaway! At times I become melodramatic! 😉
So we chose Lemon Tree Premier Jaipur to be our abode. Located at Bani Park, Jaipur, the property is known for plush and spacious interiors taking the zing up a notch. The hotel is a short distance away from Collectorate Circle and MI Road in addition to being be easily accessible from the railway station (2.5 kms). Since ours was road travel, it was a smooth drive for us as the hotel is 3 kms from Ajmer-Delhi National Highway. The hotel is also in close proximity to major tourist attractions like Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, City Palace and the walled city of Jaipur. Hence, we were sorted whether we wanted to go for shopping or visiting tourist attractions.
It was Nidhi’s birthday recently on 19th Jan and we as family thought of celebrating her birthday as a getaway! While growing up her birthday used to be during exams and we were mostly confined at home. Now that we are pass through those grilling school and college days, it’s time to look at bigger celebrations. Afterall we work day and night, why not cherish those special moments!
Surprisingly, what we got was not only a getaway but an experience in itself! You would have got a glimpse of our experience on our Instagram stories and posts too, but now is the time to tell you every bit of our experience!
We started at 9 AM from Delhi by road to reach Alila Fort Bishangarh, a luxurious 22 acre heritage fort-hotel. Opened in July 2017, Alila Fort Bishangarh is the only warrior fort that has been converted into heritage resort. With 10 years of restoration, the fort retains the fantastic combination of the rugged, untouched inhabited parts of the old fort. It is a magnificent property which boasts of carefully reconstructed royal residential areas, recreating the truly authentic flavour of Shahpura’s royalty. The navigation was simple and the highway led us to Bishangarh village and then to the gates leading us to the majestic property. We were welcomed at the Haveli tent- a massive space which welcomes its guests under a tent with fountains on the sides. It’s such an amazing feeling that you get! There is no front office and one relaxes at the comfortable Haveli tent where welcome drinks in the form of shikanji/tea are served along with gur (jaggery). Then comes the twist in the tale. A jeep comes and takes you up to Pehla Darwaza and into the fort. An ancient era is what we were reminded of when we looked around after coming out of the lift.
I was planning to travel to Mumbai and while deciding where to stay Holiday Inn came up in the options. I had already stayed at Holiday Inn at Phuket and had loved my experience so without a doubt I finalized it. Stepping in at Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport brought back the lovely memories of my time at Holiday Inn Phuket!
The end of the calendar year is usually busy considering the festivities, weddings and holidays. It’s time to travel whether it’s a destination wedding or a holiday which makes it imperative that we book flight tickets well in advance. We all know the more we delay our bookings, it gets more and more expensive. It’s always good to be relaxing at a beach or enjoying your time at a visually appealing place rather than fretting and regretting about a higher fare price.
After Bangkok and Pattaya, our next destination was Phuket, a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea which is known for popular beaches, old shophouses and busy markets. We chose Patong, the main resort town to host us which is an area full of life, thanks to the great hotels, nightclubs, bars and discos!
When you are a family or a big group, you need a cozy space where you can all chill together, plan together and stay together! I have personally been on multiple trips in a group with friends or family but what I have always hated is being confined to different rooms in hotels (and sometimes on different floors) which at times bound us to even basic communication. We do keep a track of each other on Whatsapp or phone extensions but it’s not too convenient most of the times. It looses the whole purpose of travelling in a group.