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

Goa’s greatest draw for tourists, both foreigner’s & Indians, is the experience of slow-paced India and its authentic cool vibe. Here is an insider’s guide to spaces and experiences which are world-class, unparalleled and far (far) away from the tourists or the ordinary. Welcome to exceptional 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.

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Raj Mahal Palace : an incredible example of a design-led restoration and the return of Raj splendour

India, in particular Rajasthan is known for its luxury hotels and Palace properties. And the newest (and hottest) name for design-lovers and luxe-seekers is the recently renovated Sujan Raj Mahal Palace. Here is a post about a design-led restoration and photo tour from my recent stay at this luxury boutique hotel.

Raj Mahal Palace in Jaipur is fascinating. During its 290 years of existence it’s faded in and out of glory on several occasions and yet, each time bounced back with greater magnificence than ever before. In its most recent avatar it was renovated from a listless hotel to a 14-room ultra luxury boutique property which is fantastical both in terms of its design sensibilities as well as its luxe-value.

The impact of this recent change can only be understood through a comparison with the past. Personally for me, the journey of a designer’s grand vision backed by a hotelier’s impeccable service-standard to bring back the splendour of the by-gone Raj era is just as compelling as its current wow-factor. I who purely by accident have ended by standing witness to this transformation, cannot help but remember the first time I visited Raj Mahal..

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