Amazing Hotels in Super Busy Cities…

In 30 seconds….

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.

The Imperial – New Delhi, India

The Oberoi – Mumbai, India

The Leela palace – Chennai, India

Taj Westend – Bengaluru, India

Hoshinoya – Tokyo, Japan

Rosewood – Beijing, China

Mandarin Oriental – HongKong, China

Claridge’s – London, UK

The Sherry Netherland – New York, USA

Continue reading → Amazing Hotels in Super Busy Cities…

Goa-ing Beyond, part 3 : six unusual Goa experiences

These truly unique Goa experiences were published originally in the Open Magazine issue dated 27th March. They are updated here with images, video and contact details.

Continue reading → Goa-ing Beyond, part 3 : six unusual Goa experiences

Goa-ing beyond, part 2 : A discerning traveller’s ultimate guide to contemporary Goa

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.

Continue reading → Goa-ing beyond, part 2 : A discerning traveller’s ultimate guide to contemporary Goa

Explore Goa's Heritage

Goa-ing beyond, Part 1: an insider’s guide to historic Goa

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

Continue reading → Goa-ing beyond, Part 1: an insider’s guide to historic Goa

zen-packers-guide-worlds-15-oldest-tearooms

The world’s 15 oldest tea rooms: which one’s your cup of tea?

 

“Tea is just an excuse.

I am drinking this sunset, this evening

And you.”  – Sanobar Khan, A Thousand Flemingos

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.

Continue reading → The world’s 15 oldest tea rooms: which one’s your cup of tea?

zen-packers-guide-to-travel-secret-to-memorable-travel

The Number 1 Secret of Making Travel Memorable

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.

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Chandra Mahal - Shobha Mahal

A sight to beat all Jaipur sights. Photo Tour of Chandra Mahal – King’s private residence at The City Palace

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 …

Continue reading → A sight to beat all Jaipur sights. Photo Tour of Chandra Mahal – King’s private residence at The City Palace

curated shopping in Jaipur - List of my favourite 30

Curated shopping in Jaipur: a list of my favourite 30

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.

Continue reading → Curated shopping in Jaipur: a list of my favourite 30