Travel notes

In LOVE with PARIS 

All my life (whatever little I have lived till now), I had dreamt of being in love and going to Paris, and I was fortunate enough to find the man who shared my dreams and off we went to Paris – the city of romance, to celebrate our wedding. We planned to go around Christmas and New Years which made our stay even more dream-like.

All things and experiences that I absolutely love, came altogether in one place!

  • Twinkling string of lights (almost everywhere)
  • Soft caressing snowfall
  • Vast lush green patches
  • Buzzing streets with uber stylish people
  • Piping hot chocolate oozing out of crispy crepes and waffles along with brilliant coffee (at every corner)
  • Heavenly wine
  • Art and fashion all around
  • Christmas themed markets
  • Candy shops
  • Cobbled streets
  • Adventure rides
  • The unforgettable fireworks, et al.

Each day in the city was an experience to remember for life! We decided to stay in a beautiful part of the city – Montmartre near the famous ancient cathedral Sacré-Cœur. The street markets of that part kept us engaged with the local, more economic flavors of the city while we took RER metro line to reach the other gorgeous parts of Paris. The steep uphill lanes that lead to Sacré-Cœur  Basilica were full of tempting restaurants, boulangeries and patisseries. Having a sweet tooth and a huge love for cheese and wine, I was in absolute heaven. And to our advantage it was exceptionally brilliant timing to be there around the festivities, as the entire city was lit up and the eating joints were buzzing with people, out for celebration.

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Buzzing streets at Montmartre

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Christmas lights and decorations on the streets

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Boulangeries and pattiseries with christmas special desserts

We planned each day for one major outdoor excursion that were musts on the Paris to-do list and the rest of the day was kept to just soak in the city. Sometimes wandering aimlessly hand in hand, and some time just sitting outside a restaurant gaping at the passerby while relishing a sipping onto some rosé wine while picking up the culture of that place.

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Me at a cafe, taking in some Paris culture

A trip to Eiffel Tower was of course on top of our list. We took the RER metro from Montmartre and got off to walk our way towards the majestic Eiffel Tower which starts peeping out for you from kilometers. Each step towards that wonder of the world was bringing us closer to the structure that was standing in all it’s glory creating the mood of a giant celebration with its copious lights. The cold winter breeze was kissing our faces as we were watching the thrill in everyone’s eyes that were stuck up on the huge structure, while waiting in the queue to take the elevator up on the top. Staring at the shimmering tower, the time passed there was the most enjoyed queue experience I had ever had. We took the lift to the second floor and then the top, I was actually feeling being elated and leaving the world behind me. Standing on top of the magnificent piece of architecture, looking down, with strong cold breeze hitting, eyes watering due to the sharp wind, lights down below had started looking like stars on the ground. I was thoroughly  enjoying a bird’s eye view, and thanks to the attitude I felt like I could fly as well.


539827_10151502627021703_536919265_nUs 🙂 with the Eiffel Tower

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The Majestic Eiffel TowerEiffel Tower

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View from the 2nd floor of Eiffel Tower

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Next on the list was Musée du Louvre – the most celebrated art museum of France  which among many many other significant art-pieces also possesses the renowned ‘Mona Lisa’ painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Being one of the most sought after art works of all times, there was maximum audience in front of the painting that even had private police protection.The museum was like an underground colony of art works, huge and magnificent, which makes it next to impossible to see the whole of it in a day. But it surely is a striking experience to be able to take in so much beauty under one roof, standing  close to such brilliant pieces of art preserved so well for centuries.

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Louvre museum
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Interiors of the Louvre museumDSC_0135

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Art-work on the ceiling of Louvre museum

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On lookers capturing the famous Mona Lisaa001 (5)

Post that happened what we called ‘a walk to remember’, from Louvre to the Champs Ellesey. Walking on a sunny winter day that soon transcended into a beautiful dusky evening, with perfectly manicured lawns running on both sides, the path lead us straight to a pristine lake with white ducks  floating and the sun setting behind the lake. With a rouge colored beret on my head, mushy woollen gloves, thigh high boots and a thick long coat to tuck my already snug hands in, I was feeling pretty Parisian myself. Stopping over a cafe that served the most delicious chocolate waffles, crepes and coffee, the walk was getting better with every passing step. It was soon dark and the lights on the famous giant wheel – Roue de Paris, had started glimmering. We walked further to find ourselves in a mad rush of people walking past the gardens dressed in shimmering lights all leading to the buzzing shopping streets of Champs Elysees, the street that houses the most prestigious fashion and lifestyle brands in Paris. I was drooling over the Pradas and the Marc Jacobs, when we finally found our destination –  Lido, the music and dance paradise that is next best to the prestigious Moulin Rouge. After an absolutely mind blowing experience, before calling it a night, we stopped for a fabulous dinner that had me tasting the best French cuisine I had ever had, including – Truffade (potatoes sautéed with garlic and young Tomme cheese), Coq au vin (chicken braised in red wine, lardons and mushrooms)), Ratatouille (a vegetable stew with olive oil, aubergine, courgette, bell pepper, tomato, onion and garlic)  and the inevitable dessert- Crème brûlée.

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On route from Louvre to Champs Elessey DSC_0226

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Me enjoying the view of the lake

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Me enjoying my sweet treat

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The giant wheel – Roue de Paris

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We had kept the next day for Disneyland. The mere thought of being in the land of cartoon characters I had grown up watching and loving, made me feel like a child again. Entering the humongous campus, I was jumping with the thrill of planning the day and rides and shows that we wanted to see and the order of it. Starting with the movie park we went onto watching the Disney parade, and then waiting in queue for the shows wearing the animated cartoon head-gears and watching everyone wearing the spirit of Disney, my heart was thumping with excitement of the adventure that laid ahead of us. Wearing a Mini mouse head-gear myself, I surrendered to the mood and felt part of the craze. Taking numerous tours on foot and train, discovering the truths and details about all the special effects used in the Disney movies, coming face to face with the cinema dramatics, sitting on the craziest, most nerve-wrecking roller-coaster rides, having multiple coffee and croissants over the course of the day, being absolutely lost in the huge Disney memorabilia, the day was packed with some of the most fun things that I had not done in years.

The timings couldn’t have been better for us, since it was Disney’s 20th anniversary, and we witnessed what happens only once in a while, the most brilliant light and sound show around the iconic Disney castle. The show that included extensive and creative fireworks that lasted around 45 mins had everyone capture those magical moments and we were feeling just too glad to be the lucky ones part of the crowd that night there.

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Inside the Disney Land

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The Disney ParadeDSC_0016

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Stunt show at Disney Land

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The Disney Land castle

The basilica of Sacré-Cœur was another big landmark on our list, which was convenient too since we were living in the vicinity. As we climbed up the steep road that lead to the basilica, we witnessed one of the most amazing Christmas markets of Paris, right there. With little hut styled stalls, selling exquisite traditional foods, fashion, accessories, toys and decorative items, the space  looked like it belonged to some age-old fairy tale. I was enjoying the market with the most amazing hot mullet wine in my hand that was pushing its warmth within my body and making me buzz with excitement of experiencing the beautiful view that surrounded me. Standing right outside the ancient church, we had a magical view of the whole city, and spotted the ever illuminating Eiffel Tower far far away along with the gorgeous cruises floating in the Seine river.

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The basilica of Sacré-Cœur

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The Christmas market

Another day in the city had us out shopping and experiencing food on the streets. I discovered a brilliant market – the Saint Quen flea market, which is the city’s largest and oldest flea market.  I picked up some of the most beautiful vintage pieces of garments and art that I truly cherish in my collection.

Later in the day, I lost myself like a kid in the candy land, in the beautiful world of Gallaries Lafayatte at Boulevard Haussmann district, where each window display was animated and live. Louis Vuitton and Dior in the mood of the festivities of Christmas and New Years, dominated the external windows and provided for out of the world experience that kept real shoppers and window shoppers equally amused. In another part of the city, going through the stores in The Faubourg Saint-Honoré district which is the centre of Parisian design and fashion, we were absolutely enticed with the iconic fashion houses that are part of the history of French fashion, like Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, and Hermes. Just breathing in the uber fashionable space, it was like meditating, I was in ‘Fashion Nirvana’!

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Boulevard Haussmann district

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Gallaries Lafayatte

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Celebratory window display of Dior at Gallaries Lafayette

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Live animated window for Louis Vuitton at Gallaries Lafayette

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Pondering, loitering, wandering, dreaming and some serious walking around the Arc De TriumphNorte Dam De Paris, along the Seine river, and around many cafés around the city, I was a perpetually hungry tourist who would gorge upon the first opportunity of a crepe, macaron, roasted nutmegs, spicy chocolates, baguette bread, croquette (grilled ham and cheese), or whatever I could lay my hands on. Food in that part of the world is so divine, that I literally drool and cringe while I write this. I had to actually sit with a glass of wine and dark chocolate while typing this, to keep myself from not missing Paris like crazy.

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Arc de triomphe du carrousel

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The Louvre campus

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View outside my hotel

In a brief yet absolutely fulfilling stay, I lived my few days in the city living it up like a Parisian with good food, better desserts, superb wine, great fashion, excellent art and architecture, and a stunning view of the city, that makes Paris for me – The ultimate holiday experience!

LONE VOYAGE = BON VOYAGE !!

A single girl’s travel diary with the Lebua chain of properties, through Rajasthan and Bangkok. 

Traveling with your lover is amazing, with friends is so much fun, and with family, is absolutely lovely! But believe you me, travelling all by your self is so immensely satisfying and therapeutic that you would return back with a new and fresh perspective to life.

I was upset, stressed, bored and lately very low on zest. Life had reduced to doing the everyday chores of home and work, and back again. I just wanted to escape and be somewhere which was neither work,  nor home, I wanted to rejuvenate. Hence I planned a travel all by myself, to a string of luxury properties – The Lebua chain of resorts and hotels, which would take me to multiple exotic locations. I gave them the freedom to plan my itinerary, which seemed rather exhaustive at first, (and it turned out to truly be) but I discovered only later, that being exhaustive was the fun part of the plan. Too much to do and too little time to think about.

Day 1: Devigarh by Lebua.

My day started earlier than the sun – 3 a.m!! It was 6 hours too early than my usual schedule, but soon the grumpiness was taken over by the excitement to embark upon this new journey with a group of strangers, to unknown places. Apprehensions about the travel started creeping in, but I reminded myself the rule of traveling alone – to move with an open mind.

The first leg of the trip was Devigarh palace hotel by Lebua at Udaipur.

The plane landed in a fantastic weather, quite contrary to the hot humid air in Delhi, that I gladly left behind. It was a much appreciated surprise! I met most of my travel mates at the airport, and we hopped on to cozy cars sent by the Hotel. The drive to the airport was nothing less than therapy itself. I was enjoying the lush green Aravalis of Rajasthan ( thanks to the rains a few hours before), and the beautiful up-the-hill ride, while getting introduced to my new fellow travelers. The cars pulled around a gigantic gate escorted by elegant horses, with their Rajasthani attired horsemen, standing there to welcome us. In the first look, the property took my breath away, with its magnificent palace structure and its beautifully manicured lawns. I was instantly impressed by the royal look, to only discover a little later, the gorgeous suite I was residing in. As I entered my room, a huge window overlooking the stunning hills, sat there with the perfect Indian style lounge seating arranged to enjoy the view, to the fullest. I could spend the entire day sitting by that window, reading a book, but the hotel had better things planned for me (fortunately). The suite was quite a honeymooners dream with its large bedroom, a beautiful marble bath tub with a view again, separate shower area, and a lavish bar service.

I stepped out to take a trip around the property and find out what I enrolled myself into. One by one I was introduced to pure poetry in terms of interiors of the lavish palace suites and multiple romantic spots that could work magic, if you come with the right one. Spotted a spa and I at-once set an appointment. I was only happy to find out that Lebua had a tie-up with one of my favorite body-care brands: L’Occitane. The absolutely refreshing spa session ended on a perfect note – with a Jacuzzi bath, set right on top of the terrace, with a 360 degree view of the Aravalli hills. Sitting there, I felt content and beautiful from within.

After the spa session, I met up my travel mates over an absolutely sumptuous Thai lunch at the hotel’s restaurant. The preparation was brilliant with ingredients sourced fresh, right there from the chef’s garden, that we fortunately got to witness. Topped with intelligent involving conversations, the afternoon looked prefect. Lunch was followed by a camel ride around the village, multiple ancient temple visits and a small stop-over by the lotus lake.

I came back tired and feeling a little mucky, my mind immediately hopped onto the fascinating royal bath I had read about in the spa menu earlier that afternoon. I got tempted and ordered myself the pampering session, and agreed to self that I totally deserved to be treated like a queen. Next I knew, there was a therapist decorating my bath area with rose petals and tea light candles set all around the bathroom. As I stepped in, I heard soothing romantic music playing on the iPod with the space smelling and looking like a dream. The royal bath seemed to me like every girl’s fantasy come true. I dropped  my robe and stepped into the rose petal filled tub, while the therapist gave me a luxurious bath with sandalwood water, milk, cardamom zest, all to help my body glow, and then she left me in there to enjoy it. I was in another space, feeling sensual and gorgeous, I was rejuvenated and how!

I had to force myself to step outside the bath for the gala dinner that was awaiting me, I quickly slipped into a slick shift dress, strapped on a pair of heels, to go with my mood, and danced up a storm with the folk singers and dancers performing for us at the dinner. The night ended with amazing traditional Rajasthani food coupled with champagne and lots of fun conversations, laughter and loads of entertainment ! My first day of the trip was well spent, I crashed in my room to an early wake up the next morning.

Exterior night view of Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Exterior night view of Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

The traditional welcome horse and the horseman, by the doors of Devigarh by Lebua, Udaipur

The traditional welcome horse and the horseman, by the doors of Devigarh by Lebua, Udaipur

The large window in the suite with the view of the Aravallis, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur
The large window in the suite with the view of the Aravallis, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur
Aravalli suite bathroom with a view, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Aravalli suite bathroom with a view, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Cozy sitting arrangements spread allover the palace hotel, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Cozy sitting arrangements spread allover the palace hotel, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Me, enjoying the bumpy fun camel ride around the village, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Me and my travel mate, enjoying the bumpy fun camel ride around the village, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Spa room at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Spa room at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Spa products by L'Occitane, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Flattering spa products by L’Occitane, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Restaurant balcony overlooks the pool and Aravalli range, at Devi Garh by Lebua

Restaurant balcony overlooks the pool and Aravalli range, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

The royal bath set-up in my suite's bathroom, looking dreamy decorated with rose petals and tea-light candles, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

The royal bath set-up in my suite’s bathroom, looking dreamy decorated with rose petals and tea-light candles, at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

The brilliant folk dancers and singers at the traditional gala dinner arranged at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

The brilliant folk dancers and singers at the traditional gala dinner arranged at Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur

Day 2: the Lebua resort, Jaipur 

Again a 3 a.m wake up call, and in an hour I was packed and ready to hop onto my flight to Jaipur. Leaving Devigarh, with just a day spent there, was feeling kind of cruel. I had fallen in love with the property. Nonetheless, I was looking forward to my next stop – the Lebua resort in Jaipur. We were told that this property is like how a modern man would build his palace, and I realized it as soon as I set foot in it. The property’s architecture was absolutely angular and geometric yet built with old red stones that made it look like it belonged to a bygone era. The magnificent jaali work and shimmering marble floors led our path to the suite. I stepped in and there came a gasp, I was looking at a huge bedroom drenched in royal blue color with glorious Indian paintings and mirror work that left me in awe. The vast bathroom with its glistening Jacuzzi gave me an immediate sense of luxury. I opened the wall size window to let the sunlight gush in, and fill the entire room, from where I could see the private garden balcony with a cozy seating and dreamt about sipping tea, while taking in the beautiful view. On the property tour later, I realized, each room had a different color and paintings to it, with creative wood works, and out of the world architecture, where each unit of the hotel, be it the bar or function room, had an interesting way of natural light pouring in.

The schedule for the day had already come in. We were off to horse rides and then lunch. I cringed about the horse ride as I wanted to skip straight to lunch, but I played along and  jumped onto the back of a pretty white horse. My palazzo pants weren’t quite meant for this, but I took my chance, and few minutes later I was only too glad that I did. We, on a few lovely white horses in a plush green forest, made quite a picturesque frame. We headed towards the wild, and to my surprise I was enjoying the horse trot quite a bit. Witnessed galloping by an experienced Rajput equestrian, who also later showed us off his dust busting skills on a killer open body jeep (I didn’t only get to sit in the jeep, but also got to loan for a bit and drive myself). I was getting the adrenaline rush, and was feeling quite adventurous with the horses, the jeep, the difficult terrain, and the risqué driving experience. I had started to really enjoy the trip.

They announced lunch by the lake side, out in the open, and as much as it sounds crazy to be doing so in the middle of June, in Rajasthan, we were all just amazed and thankful that the weather god was pleased with us. The first site of the arrangement, I was overwhelmed by the remarkable set-up. The stunning lake with shrubs and swans floating, the white canopies to give shade, the lovely round tables and varied food stations. Being the helpless romantic that I am, I was imagining a dazzling wedding set-up there, or even a lavish proposal date (And the wish of myself being there for both the events of-course). We were welcomed with one of the most beautiful wines that instantly set our tone back to relaxation from the adventure we were all coming from. Mr. Vise president Lebua, Vikram Aditya Singh, who had joined us earlier this morning was playing the perfect host, he narrated us the most sketchy stories from around the town, all about the properties, his life experiences from the hotel business and the fabulous chef in him, even gave us cooking tips while he was at it. We came back to the hotel at around 6 pm after a rather exhaustive lunch and tea session, gladly just in time to catch the sunset.

I rested a bit, and straight away went ahead for my true holiday feel – a gentle and cleansing spa session. One amazing experience was giving way to another one in this trip. After the spa, another blissful meal was awaiting me. I dressed-up in a chiffon blouse and a flowy skirt that played with the wind on the terrace, where our dinner was arranged that night. I was enjoying the view, the live music, the drinks, and on top of it, the company I was in. We started with the astonishing champagne bottle-opening or rather bottle cutting ceremony by a sword, performed by Mr. Vikram, that had his name engraved on it. I was astonished to see such clean swift cut on the neck of the bottle, without a shred of glass out of place. He claimed to do it even with a champagne glass which I refused to believe then, and only accepted a day later, when he actually performed it.

The dinner was another incredible level of Indian contemporary food. The presentation and taste, both were great, the conversations and fun was even greater, but the greatest were the brilliant fireworks they had arranged after dessert, that left my eyes sparkling, for a long long time.

Exterior view of Lebua Resort, Jaipur

Exterior view of Lebua Resort, Jaipur

Lobby with intricate jaali work, at Lebua resort, Jaipur

Lobby with intricate jaali work, at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

The royal blue suite I was residing in, at Lebua resort, Jaipur

The royal blue suite I was residing in, at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

One of the bigger suites with a magnificent in-house swing, at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

One of the biggest suites with a magnificent in-house swing, at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

Another suite with emerald green decor, at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

Another suite with emerald green decor, at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

Horsemen ready with pristine white horses, at Lebua Resort Jaipur

Horsemen ready with pristine white horses, at Lebua Resort Jaipur

The gorgeous lunch arranged at the lake side, by Lebua Resort, Jaipur

The gorgeous lunch arranged at the lake side, by Lebua Resort, Jaipur

Men at work to prepare the lunch by the lake, at Lebua Resort

Men at work to prepare the lunch by the lake, at Lebua Resort

The tempting dessert counter by the Lake, at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

The tempting dessert counter by the Lake, at Lebua Resort, Jaipur

Me, enjoying the wonderful wine, taking in the beautiful view, at the lunch spread arranged by Lebua Resort Jaipur

Me, enjoying the wonderful wine, taking in the beautiful view, at the lunch spread arranged by Lebua Resort Jaipur

The stunning terrace dinner set-up, at Lebua Resort Jaipur

The stunning terrace dinner set-up, at Lebua Resort Jaipur

Day 3: the lodge by Lebua , Amer 

Finally it wasn’t an early wake up. I was lazing in my bed and realized it was time for my favorite part of the day on a vacation: breakfast buffet. I packed and dressed up, as we were to move to the next property post food. Reaching the restaurant I saw the perfect setting, with the table laid outside, a little sunshine, beautiful cool monsoon winds, and breakfast items of my choice. There was more surprise to the already lovely morning. We were in for a gorgeous platter, of the most perfect scrambled eggs with crunchy toast, made by Mr. VP himself. And we even got to go behind the scene and got to learn how to perfect the dish, we all tend to make at home. With pancakes and cold coffee sealing the meal, I was content and happy.

We stepped out of the resort and headed out for The Lodge. There was a new ride waiting for us, as we headed closer to the lodge which was right adjacent to the Amer fort. There were gracious elephants waiting to take us on their backs, and give us a royal welcome. As I entered the lodge sitting high on the mighty elephant, I could see the whole property at once. It was an expansive lush spread of cozy tent studios placed block wise with grass patches running along on each side. Towards the back, there was a swimming pool which overlooked the fort and the whole range of hills. I was surprisingly feeling a strong sense of tranquility at this place. I felt like I had left the world behind me, and was in here for absolute peace. This was a calm vacation, away from the vacation that I was having. My tent was a sweet little room with all amenities for basic luxury.

The itinerary for the day was to just eat and lounge, and eat again. I was happy! As we entered the restaurant space, the most exquisite traditional Rajasthani food was laid in front of us. The whole table was full of sumptuous looking dishes, and as I dug into each one, I was transported to a whole new level of inexplicable sense of divine flavors. I ate a lot that day, and also learnt to cook 2 of those divine dishes – Laal Maas (amazingly spicy meat) and Dahi kebab ( mouth melting little balls of yogurt heaven). I retired to my room post that to take a small nap that would set my tone right for the perfect day.

I woke up with the fear of not missing out too much on this beautiful property, got into my swimming-attire, and plunged right into the pool, while my travel mates (now good friends) dipped their feet into the water, and chatted as I floated dreamily taking in the fabulous views. Post the swim, as goes the tradition of the trip, I ordered a pampering spa, and got a detoxifying one that made me feel lighter and fresher. I rushed to my room for a quick shower and got into a little pop colored 60’s style dress for the evening. It was a brilliant barbecue party night, with a guitarist playing some great tunes. Conversations that lasted till late night included a fun photo session, rounds of drinks, and lots of sharing stories and laughter. That night I was presented with a beautiful memory to carry with me, a framed picture of myself having fun, sitting on top of the majestic elephant, along with an indulgent rich chocolate piece of cake, that wished me to sleep well.

The India leg of the trip was almost over. Bidding good bye to Rajasthan and half of our travel mates the next morning, to head towards Bangkok, I  was feeling sort of sad and was missing the people and the properties already.

Our new ride, the mighty elephants to take us to our new destination, Lebua Lodge, Amer

Our new ride, the mighty elephants to take us to our new destination, Lebua Lodge, Amer

Exterior view of Lebua Lodge, Amer

Exterior view of Lebua Lodge, Amer

Outside view of my tent at Lebua Lodge, Amer

Outside view of my tent at Lebua Lodge, Amer

Toran restaurant at Lebua Lodge, Amer

Toran restaurant at Lebua Lodge, Amer

Toran restaurant by the pool at Lebua Lodge, Amer

Toran restaurant by the pool at Lebua Lodge, Amer

Spa set-up by the poolside, at Lebua Lodge, Amer

Spa set-up by the poolside, at Lebua Lodge, Amer

My souvenir from the property, a framed picture of me enjoying the elephant ride, along with the sumptuous cake, at Lebua Lodge, Amer

My souvenir from the property, a framed picture of me enjoying the elephant ride, along with the sumptuous cake, at Lebua Lodge, Amer

Day 4.5, 5 & 6: the Lebua tower club, Bangkok, Thailand

Landing in Bangkok was my first time in Thailand. I was excited to be there and keen to find out what attracted all Indians to that part of the world. As our Limousine took off, I had impressions of the hotel in my mind, left by the numerous pictures and articles I had read about the place. But reaching there, I realized that no picture or article had done full justice to what that property was actually like. The lobby looked truly international with people from all walks of life and all parts of the world jostling in there. I went straight to my suite which was a prolific 2 bedroom- one of which was converted into a spa room for me, a lavish living and dining room, a dressing space, and a fabulous kitchen with all amenities needed for a family to settle in there for a good amount of time. And that is not even the most fun part, my suite was on the 57th floor of the building, and had 4 large balconies! I stepped into one of the balconies and It blew my mind away. I was sitting on top of pretty much everything in Bangkok. It was a breath taking view where I could spot the Chao Phraya river and the glorious sky-line glittering in the night. I pulled myself away with reluctance and freshened up to head out to ‘The Mezzaluna’, on the 65th floor of the building, which is one of the most coveted restaurants in Bangkok, offering modern European cusine with Asian twist. And oh boy, I was in for a real fine dining experience! Our hostess for the night had my dietary preferences in place, and the twin chefs had customized the dinner menu specially for us. The dishes started rolling out bit by bit, and I was feeling wow with every platter that was kept in front of my eyes, as they all looked like pieces of art that shouldn’t be disturbed. Dinner was fantastic sitting at that height and being served by such brilliant chefs. I was real happy for the decision I had taken to come on this trip.

Me and my travel mates wanted to make the most of the brief stay, and thus we walked out of the hotel to witness the night markets everyone around had been talking about. We hailed a taxi, and requested the driver for some guidance. Next I knew, I was swiveling along the crowded night market which was economic and thrilling with its strange and amazing street food there. I ran block to block in my heels laughing with my new friends, feeling like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, out on some sort of crazy adventure. We returned back exhausted at 3 am, worried to get up at 5 am again.

Next morning was set for a boat ride through the sea to go on a trip for some of the most beautiful historic temples and markets of Bangkok and then the city tour on road later. I was impressed by the painstakingly detailed architecture and maintenance of those temples. Tasting street food and witnessing the fashion while on the city tour, I was absorbing the culture and ways of the Thai people. After a long fruitful day of roving and shopping in the city, I came back in time for my personalized spa session that was set up in my very own suite. The delicate yet powerful traditional Thai massage was like a healing balm on my sore muscles.

Getting ready for the dinner, I was extra careful for I was going to meet the CEO of the Lebua chain – Mr Deepak Ohri. I was meeting him to know more about the property and to quench my inquisitive brain’s thirst for some first-hand information. Meeting him was a total delight and a powerful experience for it influenced my ideas and notions about the whole concept about the hotel industry. After a splendid session of most exotic cocktails, and the starry dinner at Breeze – the rooftop restaurant of the tower club,  dressed in a draped black dress with a crimson red pout, I wanted to look every bit glamorous myself. It was the exact same spot where Hangover 2 was shot. I was imagining the movie characters enjoying themselves right there where I was that moment, and felt like one of the stars.

Morning next was our tour to the spice market of Bangkok and a session with a learned chef of the hotel to teach us Thai food. I picked up my spices for the dishes I were to make, guided by the chef of-course, and later, I learnt to prepare a full 5 course Thai meal with the sourced ingredients (it was easy breezy for me). Shopping session later, and some mindless roaming around in the streets, I returned back to the hotel in time for the high tea. Where I sat with my girl friends on the trip, as we gorged onto the sumptuous macaroons and tarts, and sipped some English tea. Dinner that night was at one of ‘the’ most happening bars and restaurants in the world – Sirocco – the sky bar. Getting a table where is next to impossible on a weekend or a holiday. Highly glamorous, that evening is imprinted in my mind as the most gorgeous dinner I had ever had. Dining in the sky just distinguished with a wall of glass, was an out-of-the-world experience which was enhanced by the brilliant series of food and wine to go with each other, lined-up for us. I was transported to a land of dreams about a fabulous alluring life that I wanted to have. The night ended with stars in my eyes and lots of positive thoughts in my head.

Morning, it was time to get back home. My journey concluded on the right note with a beautiful chick flick – Sabrina, that I saw on board, to my flight back to India. I returned home wanting to do new and different things in life. I wanted to travel alot more and a lot often, I wanted to learn a new language, I wanted to cook different cuisines, I wanted to read more books and watch more movies, I wanted to get back to learning dancing, wanted to make more friends, and be in touch better, I wanted to love life and people in them, a little more!

P.S. :  A tip for a single girl traveler. Carry comfortable yet stylish day wear, and try and pack some glamorous evening wear and heels. Looking good, makes you feel confident and adds that extra fun in not only your experience, but also in your memories through the pictures you take. Try and relish each moment of your travel, and be safe!

 

Exterior view of Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Exterior view of Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Bird's eye view of Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Bird’s eye view of Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Bedroom at the suite in Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Bedroom at the suite in Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Extended living room with kitchenette in Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Extended living room with kitchenette in Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

2nd bedroom of the suite converted into the spa room, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

2nd bedroom of the suite converted into the spa room, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

View from the luxury suite, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

View from the luxury suite, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

View from one of the 4 balconies at the luxury suite, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

View from one of the 4 balconies at the luxury suite, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Me enjoying the view from my balcony at the suite, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Me enjoying the view from my balcony at the suite, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Divine afternoon high tea complimentary to the guests, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Divine afternoon high-tea, complimentary to the guests, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Mezzaluna, on the 64th Floor, one of the restaurants of Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Mezzaluna, on the 65th Floor, one of the restaurants of Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

The delicious pineapple caviar - to die for, created by the twin chefs at Mezzaluna.

The delicious pineapple caviar – to die for, created by the twin chefs at Mezzaluna.

Cafe Mozu, also the spot for breakfast buffet at the Mozu floor, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Cafe Mozu, also the spot for breakfast buffet at the Mozu floor, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

The brilliant view and style of Breeze restaurant, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

The brilliant view and style of Breeze restaurant, at the 52nd floor, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Cocktails that blew my mind, both in appearance and in taste, at Breeze restaurant, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Cocktails that floored me, both in appearance and in taste, at Distil, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Distil Bar, at the 64th floor, dishing out world class cocktails and best kept exotic collection of wines, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

Distil Bar, at the 64th floor, dishing out world class cocktails and best kept exotic collection of wines, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

The best, most mind blowing restaurant/bar experience, Sirocco - the Skybar, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

The best, most mind blowing restaurant/bar experience, Sirocco – the Skybar, Tower Club at Lebua, Bangkok

 

Note: To find out about the cost and availability of a room at Lebua properties, here is the link – http://www.lebua.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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