Luxury Hotels in India

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The luxury hotels of India are no secret to the world, swarm of indigenous and international chains offer many hotel options, all geared to provide the ultimate in service. Luxuriate, rejoice and rejuvenate in some of the most exquisite resorts at popular destinations of this vast country that rightfully enjoys the status of a subcontinent. The luxury hotel segment has seen a boom in the last decade leading to many new ones, up-gradation of old ones and restoration of the ancient palaces to bring on platter the finest properties where one can indulge in extravagant experiences forming a lifetime memory!!

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Each of the Vilas properties by the Oberoi Group is renowned for the correct combination of breathtaking beauty, luxury and excellent facilities. ‘Vilas’ translated in English means sheer bliss – true to the definition, Udaivilas in Udaipur, Rajvilas in Jaipur, Amarvilas in Agra and Vanyavilas in Ranthambore, are four of the most stunning options in India that have epitomized the concept of hospitality and luxury. These resorts have won several accolades for their world-famous hospitality, unmatched luxury and highest service standards. Complete with lavish rooms, well trained staff, pleasure-seeking swimming pools, indulgent SPAs, magnificent gardens, extravagant fountains, well appointed bars and opulent restaurants serving sumptuous cuisine, they are startling in appearance and unbeatable in their setting. A blissful experience!!

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Ananda in the Himalayas is situated in the serene foothills of the mighty Himalayas, surrounded by forests and overlooking the majestic Ganges. It used to be the Vice Regal Palace during the reign of the Maharaja, which has, in the past hosted some of the country’s renowned heads of the state. Now, one can redefine their lifestyle in this SPA resort with traditional wellness techniques and ancient alternative therapies like Ayurveda, Vedanta & Yoga – that heal the mind, soul and spirit. A rejuvenating experience!!

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Today’s hotel, The Imperial, New Delhi, is one of the most excellent monuments of Edwin Lutyens’ visualization of the city’s unique grand plan. It is a premium combination of several styles of architecture famous in the Colonial Era like Art Deco and Victorian architecture, making it stand out among the best luxury hotels of the capital and the country. It combines the unsurpassed elegant accommodation and great cuisine to provide an enriching experience!!

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There are many business and leisure hotels in and around the Delhi. ITC Maurya in New Delhi is a luxury hotel whose interiors are inspired by the Mauryan dynasty, their art & architecture. It makes available the level of expertise and service in hospitality, needed for an ultimate experience in the capital. Trident in Gurgaon with its opulent interiors, well maintained gardens, courtyards and swimming pool presents a resort-like atmosphere that impresses its patrons. The Oberoi in Gurgaon is the best recent addition, eminent for its customized architecture adding in the element of space, light and greens that provide an exclusive atmosphere to unwind appropriately.

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The Leela, Goa offers idyllic charm – Portuguese legacy of Southern Goa, pristine beaches, natural vistas, well-designed interiors and exuding luxury, making it a perfect getaway. The Leela Palace, Delhi, located in the most prominent Diplomatic Enclave of the city, is an illustrious palace-like hotel, breathtaking in terms of its grandeur, lavishly appointed rooms, hospitable staff and delectable cuisine. The Leela Palace, Udaipur is a beautiful property in the city of lakes with an opulent presence on Lake Pichola. Situated on a cliff and overlooking the immaculate beaches, The Leela, Kovalam provides breathtaking views of its natural surroundings and a popular choice for luxury travelers while in South India. The more recently added The Leela Palace, Chennai is a crown jewel of the South. A luxurious experience!!

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Tree of Life SPA and Resort nestled in the Aravalli hills in Jaipur, is perfect escape from the outside world. The resort is built with indigenous material using local techniques and ornamental styles, and yet it offers the best in modern comforts to date. It is an ideal spot for nature lovers who want to indulge in SPA therapies and want the very best in personal service that the flawless team at the resort is geared to offer. A multitude of activities are yours to pick as you get ready for a memorable experience at the Tree of Life!! The immaculate Villas with private pools, gardens and massage beds present a unique opportunity to rejuvenate or indulge in romance!!

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Kerala – often called the God’s own country – is a popular tourist destination housing some of the most unique hotels and resorts set around virgin beaches, heritage surroundings and abundant wildlife, allowing an opportunity to immerse in the essence of India with nature. Brunton Boatyard in Fort Cochin used to be a shipbuilding yard with Victorian architecture, which now verbalizes the old tales with modern amenities. Spice Village in Periyar introduces its visitors to an abode of green surroundings with elaborate flora and fauna to entice the patrons. Kumarakom Lake Resort on the banks of Lake Vembanad in Kottayam is gorgeously set around the backwaters offering luxury amenities in a fine heritage property. Yet another distinguished luxury resort & SPA on the same lake is The Zuri Kumarakom, with Indian-style rooms, private gardens & pools. A stirring experience!!

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Vivanta by Taj in Bekal, inspired by the nature, myths, traditions and culture of its land, is ideal to get respite from the world outside. Niraamaya – Surya Samudra, Kovalam is a luxury heritage resort with a difference, where the lush greens and the blues of the ocean blend effortlessly with the interiors. The conventional Kerala-styled cottages put forward the old world charm with modern comforts. Devonshire Greens is a colonial-styled property, celebrating the essence of Munnar with its background of tea gardens, waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries and mountain mist. House Boat Experience of Kerala is as exotic as the land itself – it is the talk of the luxury travel circuits across the world. The Kettuvallam (traditional name for the houseboat) is the best way to explore the emerald green backwaters and the many unique ways of life in the God’s own country! An unforgettable experience!!

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There are many more hotels to experience in India. The Taj Mahal Palace of Mumbai overlooks the legendary Gateway of India and speaks for its warm hospitality and rich history of the city. The Windflower, Pondicherry, is a beach resort with lavish French windows and majestic settings. ITC Gardenia is a luxury hotel in Bangalore, embodying the grandeur of nature. ITC Maratha in Mumbai is complete with Maharastrian hospitality, all the modern day amenities and rich history. ITC Kakatiya in Hyderabad signifies the opulence of the Telugu grandeur, overlooking the magnificent Hussain Sagar Lake. The Oberoi Grand at Kolkata is over a 100 year old luxury property with architecture inspired by the colonial Bengal. Raas in Jodhpur is a fine example of the Rajput architecture and their legendary hospitality. The Serai in Jaisalmer is one of the finest luxury desert camps which offer the perfect opportunity for guests to explore the golden surroundings as they chill out in the lap of luxury. Devi Garh by Lebua in Udaipur is a majestic heritage hotel, housed in an 18th century palace on a hill-top. Many experiences in one land!!

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The country boast of some of the finest wildlife resorts. Mahua Kothi, Banjara Tola and Bhagvan, of Taj Safaries, all in Madhya Pradesh in central India, are distinct jungle lodges with a balance of land’s rural architecture and modern day facilities merging to lure its guests. Orange County resort in Kabini in Karnataka, is where one can discover the ways of life of the local tribes, wildlife and nature. The Serai in Kabini is an awe-inspiring jungle lodge offering luxurious cottages abundant with greenery. A rustic experience!!

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Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur is the definite answer to the luxury travellers, seeking the Perfect Romantic Getaway. Set amidst Lake Pichola – a glimpse of its breathtaking sight is enough to make you desire it.  The Palace is accessible only by private boats and it trails of heritage, royal lifestyle and traditions hidden behind its majestic appearance. Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad is indescribable in its beauty and beyond imagination in its European décor. This luxury palace-hotel has won appreciation from the guests all over the world for its grandeur and the royal experience it presents in this former residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad. Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur is a great example of a mix of styles in architecture and is the essence of the royal palaces of Rajasthan. A lifetime experience!!

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Disclaimer: The photographs used in this blog post have been taken from different online sources. We do not take credit for any one of them.

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Indian Cuisine – Best of All!!

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The cuisine of India is famous for its use of spices, herbs and other exotic ingredients. The style of cooking and flavors differ in every part of this country. India is well known globally for its diverse cuisines and a large assortment of dishes served with unbeatable hospitality, dishing bliss-on-a-platter to the food lovers.

The Indian cuisines most popular with the travelers are Mughlai and delicacies from the North-West Frontier epitomized by the ITC Bukhara in New Delhi. Mughlai cuisine is an ancient technique of cooking developed in the India in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Emperors. It has been influenced by the cooking styles of multiple lands developing a unique and rare blend – several delicacies with spicy to mild flavors, with a lingering rich aroma of whole and ground spices & herbs, assortment of meats cooked as kebabs or relished with gravies, and an assortment of mouth-watering breads. North Western Frontier brings to us the Peshawari cuisine, a rustic and delectable style of cooking. In this cuisine, large pieces of vegetables and meats are marinated and prepared at high temperatures in the tandoor (clay-oven), to keep the food tender and moist. The spices, herbs and flavors used will suit every palate – of course with adjustment of chilies to taste.

Apart from these, there are many regional cuisines famous among the tourists like Punjabi food, Rajasthani food, Bengali dishes, Gujarati wholesome thali, Malabar cuisine, Kashmiri food, Awadhi cuisine and delicacies of Chettinard and North Eastern cuisine.

The changing times and innovation has also led to localization of many international cuisines, still the original recipes stick out for their authentic taste. India Fusion food has made rave around the world. The cuisine that stands out is the Fusion food. Its origin can be traced back to the British rule in India, where the British and Indian cuisines were fused to create new delicacies. From that time onwards, people have gone ahead and combined foods from various countries together to create a whole new selection of dishes. This cuisine can be found in metropolitan parts of the country, with different preparations to suit different regions.

India’s celebrity, New Delhi born Chef Suvir Saran opened the DeviRestaurant in New York to great reviews. And it is the first Indian restaurant in the U.S. to have earned a Michelin star. The restaurant offers a unique blend of authentic Indian home cooking brought together with traditional and regional delicacies. Chef Manish Malhotra of the Indian Accent at the Manor showcases Indian food for the 21st century with a remarkable creation of fusion specialties. Awarded the best restaurant all India by Time Out, Indian accent, offers a range of tasting menus that are a must try – for one and all!!

food 1There are many Indian dishes, snacks and desserts that are popular world over, like:

7 Popular Indian Snacks

Samosas – fried pastries containing mixed fillings served hot with mint and tamarind chutneys (accompanying sauce). This snack has a lot of preparations and different types of fillings in different parts of the country – common ones being potatoes, peas, vegetables and chicken

Chaat – one of the most famous savory snack available at almost every street / market of the country. Its popularity has off course resulted in its numerous variants using different ingredients in different regions

Bhelpuri – is said to have came from cafes of Gujarat and local food stalls of Mumbai. It is nutritious and delicious, with its main ingredient being puffed rice mixed with tamarind chutney and chopped vegetables

Vada Pav – a famous Maharashtrian snack usually having fried patties of potato in a heated bun with different side ingredients and chutneys

Momos – are popular in the whole country but these did originate in the state of Sikkim as an appetizer. These steamed dumplings can be steamed or fried, filled with boiled and grated vegetables or any type of minced meat, often served with a soup

Paani Puri or Gol Gappa – round, thin and hollow bread, fried till crispy, which is filled with spicy mint water, diced potato and boiled chickpeas, with a hint of tamarind chutney and spices

Idli, Vada and Dosa with Sambar – are popular snacks from South India, also famous all over the country for their distinctive tastes. These are made from fermented lentils and rice batter in various proportions by steaming, deep frying and shallow frying respectively. All served with coconut chutney

 

7 Popular Indian Dishes

Biryani – a rice dish usually cooked using basmati (the best quality of rice), many spices, meat, eggs and vegetables. This world famous dish comes from the ancient and royal kitchens of the Mughal Emperors

Butter Chicken – the renowned chicken preparation, from the kitchens of Punjabi cuisine, which puts India on the Food Map of the world. For this dish, the chicken is marinated in yoghurt with spices and then cooked in a special sauce made with loads of butter, onion, tomato puree and a number of spices, giving it a unique flavor

Tandoori Chicken – a savory dish made with marinated chicken, cooked in a clay oven with several spices.

Kebabs – pieces of meat, vegetables or cottage cheese marinated in flavoring spices and cooked in a clay-oven before serving with a mint chutney

Palak paneer – a delicacy of Punjabi cuisine, usually served with Indian bread made from maize flour. Boiled spinach and cottage cheese are cooked with flavoring spices, onion and a vital hint of garlic

Dal makhani – a rich preparation of lentils and beans cooked with fresh cream, onions, tomato and spices, topped with butter

Naan and Parathas – popular Indian flatbreads prepared plain or with different stuffings. Naan is prepared in a clay oven and served hot, topped with butter. Parathas are usually stuffed with various fillings and cooked over a flat pan, also generously topped with butter

 

7 Popular Indian Desserts

Laddu – made from semolina, gram flour and other flours, mixed with oil, nuts and powdered sugar. Often prepared on festivals for offerings and on wedding occasions to distribute

Carrot halwa – a rich preparation of grated carrots, prepared in ghee (clarified butter) with khoya (thickened or reduced milk), milk and nuts. It is quite popular in North India in winters and is served hot – can leave many gasping for more

Rasgulla – a Bengali sweet made out of dough balls of cottage cheese that are steamed and then thoroughly dipped in sugar syrup

Jalebi – another famous sweet of India made with all purpose fermented flour batter, fried in circular shapes and then soaked in sugar syrup. Often served with Rabri – a delicacy made from condensed milk and served cold as an accompaniment to Jalebi or savored by itself

Gulab Jamun – the staple dessert in India, prepared out of fried khoya balls stuffed with chopped pistachio and other nuts. Dipped in rose flavored sugar syrup and are best enjoyed piping hot

Srikhand – a dessert from the Western and South-Western region of India, made out of strained yogurt mixed with sugar, nuts and different spices for aroma, especially cardamom

Kheer – an Indian rice pudding, made by boiling rice with milk, sugar and an assortment of nuts. It is then served hot or chilled, sprinkled with saffron, silver leaf and raisins

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