Monthly Archives: January 2013

REVIEW: NEEL KAMAL

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In the incomparable Taj Lake Palace hotel (the most oft photographed property in the world and where Octopussy was shot) is Neel Kamal, the hotel’s nod to traditional Rajathastani cooking.

From the Versace plates, patrons dripping in jewels to the relaxing live music you know you have entered a special place indeed.

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REVIEW: MOUNBATTEN LODGE

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In the rugged mountains hugging the Jain temples on the way to Udaipur is the newly opened (and not quite finished) Mounbatten Lodge.

Take your meal underneath one of the sprawling trees and listen to the call of nature.  You are far away from the maddening crowds of tourist India and it is a most welcome respite.

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REVIEW: RAAS HAVELI

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With tremendous views of the old fort and lovely grounds Raas Haveli in Jodhpur continues the theme of living like a moghul while in India.  They say incredible India and as more of the country unfolds itself it becomes ever apparent this is true.

The menu reflects Indian, Oriental, Thai and Italian influence.  Perhaps a meal sans chicken tikka?

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HAIKU REVIEW: MIHIR GARH

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Mihir Garh, Rohet

Paradise lies in the desert

Much needed respite…

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REVIEW: SUVARNA MAHAL (The Golden Palace)

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Christmas Eve is spent in perhaps the most regal room in India, Suvarna Mahal, the Golden Palace.  Set inside the amazing Rambagh Palace in Jaipur this is surely an incredible sight to behold.

Featuring an original seventy meter carpet that took eight years years to produce, one hundred year old Murano chandeliers, a huge ceiling covered in amazing frescoes and finally gold-plated dining ware it is exquisite in every regard.

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REVIEW: RAJ PALACE

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Beautiful courtyard, gurgling fountain, the Raj Palace in Jaipur makes one feel as if they are a king.  And in fact this hotel is the former residence of a Maharaji.  As a heritage property it is both regal and yet imminently comfortable.

The menu pairs both Continental fare with local delicacies. After a morning at the Amber Fort (delightful) a hearty meal will be most welcome.

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REVIEW: SURYA MAHAL

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Sitting outside in the courtyard of the Oberoi Raj Vilas in Jaipur one feels like royalty.

Music playing, fire roaring, the Surya Mahal is an Italian, Asian meets Indian affair renowned for its impeccable service and transcendent food in a setting befit for a maharaja.

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REVIEW: RUDRA MAHAL

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On the way from Agra to Jaipur is this oasis and resort (and little else).  If you’re hungry (and you are) this is your one chance to stop and eat a proper meal.  Save this it’s candy bars and exhaust fumes at the side of the road.

The Monster sits outside beneath a canopy and by a lovely field of mustard.  The grounds are garden filled but you are only a hundred feet from the highway so serenity is by measures.

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REVIEW: ESPHAHAN

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As the musical accompaniment plays and the beautiful candle lit room glows within the heavenly Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra one is transported back to the days of the Taj Mahal and its opulence.  Like a Mughal emperor, expect everything here to be of the finest quality, from the waitstaff’s dress to the classical Hindustani music that charms and beguiles.

This property, renowned as one of the world’s best, is a majestic combination of Indian, Muslim and modern influence set amidst stunning grounds of pools, fountains and lush landscaping that at night comes alive in a magical, dream-worthy tapestry.  With the Taj looming large just outside the hotel gates you will feel as if this will be a night to remember.

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REVIEW: PINCH OF SPICE

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In Agra, home of the incomparable Taj Majal, is Pinch of Spice.  This Indian and Chinese restaurant is housed in a contemporary cum Indian space with a full bar and wine list.

This is a well established spot on the tourist circuit.  If only they’d get rid of the four televisions showing the news while Indian music plays over it.  Only later does The Monster realize the news is about some of the largest protests ever in India occurring in New Dehli from whence The Monster just came.  And later still that this protest is about a horrific gang rape and murder on a city bus.

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