A list of nine absolutely delightful hotels across some of the busiest cities in the world. Distinct and different in every aspect imaginable, what remains common is their enviable location, a unique design language, stunning art, world-class gastronomy and an over-riding obsession for detail in common. In a world otherwise filled with chaos, these luxury hotels are an oasis of perfection – and hence urban sanctuaries.
This article was originally published in the Intelligent Traveler section of Open Magazine. Authored by me, it’s re-published here with additional images & coordinates as a three-part series : Historic Goa, Contemporary Goa and a list of six unusual experiences which are meant for cool hunters.
Another guide to Goa? Not. In the spirit of meaningful travel, let’s wander into Goa’s historic and idyllic heart to discover two distinct flavours: Heritage and Authentic Cool.
This article was originally published in the Intelligent Traveler section of Open Magazine. The article’s been updated here with additional images & coordinates as a three-part series : Historic Goa, Contemporary Goa and Cool Hunter’s list to Goa six most unusual experiences
Make tea, not war. Monty Python’s (rumoured) words echo my feelings. And during my research on the history of teapots for my other post – the eccentric teapot – I was fascinated by how tearooms change from country to country.
Think about this for a minute, my fellow tea enthusiasts. The oh-so-proper tea with scones and clotted cream in England could not be more different from a bunch of friends lingering for hours, chatting, laughing and smoking shisha in Egypt.
Ask anyone who’s traveled enough and they will tell you that exceptional & memorable travel stories begin exactly where popular lists stop. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that a trip to Westminster Castle, Louvre Museum or Statue of Liberty are not important. They are, but let’s face it – when was the last time you were left awe-struck because a friend posted a selfie against a backdrop of hoards of people and a distant Mona Lisa? Silly picture, don’t you think. Well, you’re right and in that lies the trick – seasoned travelers don’t just see things, they define how they see them.
Chandra Mahal located at the South end of The City Palace is an enclosed area and the private residence of King of Jaipur. Usually visited by state guests or blue- blooded royalty, I was delighted to receive an unexpected and exclusive invitation to this haven of Indian design, craftsmanship and royal grandeur. This is how it unfolded …
In a quest to find stores which do justice to Jaipur’s legendary love affair with Design and authentic luxe, I recently decided to spend an extended weekend exploring Jaipur’s shopping scene : from hip boutiques to heaving bazaars to zen-like designer ateliers. The constraint I put on self was to handpick stores which create or stock exquisite objects that transcend borders and have a deep understanding of their craft enabling them to add fresh perspective to ancient traditions.
Apart from my own research I had the privilege of insider lists from my friends – Priya Kapoor and Malvika Singh in particular – who are both champions of authentic ‘cool’ and visit Jaipur regularly, making my pre-visit shopping list for Jaipur as expansive and discerning as possible.
After visiting many (many!) shops which resulted in a rather long list, it took some time to distill the list to 30 shops each of which promise modern design sensibilities and exquisite craftsmanship. Since I visited Jaipur only a couple of weeks ago, this may be the most updated list of best of Jaipur shopping in January of 2017.