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Posts tagged ‘Labour Day weekend breaks’

Is this the Best Hotel in the World?

Taj umaid palace exterior on horizon

Is the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, on a hill overlooking Jodhpur in Rajasthan, northern India, really the Best Hotel in the World as declared by Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2016? Having stayed earlier this year, Chopstix can confirm it’s definitely up there. Here’s why:

1.The sheer scale and grandeur – Yes it’s a palace and it’s staggeringly vast (our first sight of the place was from the plane coming into Jodhpur airport, it’s so big and majestic you can’t miss it). The sight of it is overwhelming when you draw up outside and that feeling never really leaves you throughout your stay.

2.The Royal Welcome – we don’t want to spoil the surprise but it really is special.

3.The Maharaja lives here – Maharaja Gaj Sing and his family still occupy one of the wings. In fact his Highness doesn’t want you to think of it as a hotel but a home.

4.The lobby – you’ll be lead here for a welcoming drink of bubbly when you arrive and take a moment to sit down and marvel at this marble wonder with domed ceiling. International designers flock here for inspiration – Rolex modelled a watch face on the design.

Taj umaid palace lobby fisheye view

5.The elevator – just off the lobby, manned by a uniformed butler and including a cushioned banquette.

6.The indoor pool -subterranean, circular, art deco and flanked by steamer chairs. Need we say more.

7.The outdoor pool – with a view of the impressive Mehrangarh Fort in the distance.

Taj Umaid swimming pool with Fort

8.The gardens – vast and ornamental. And home to several strutting peacocks.

Umaid Bhawan Palace/Jodhpur/India

9.The restaurants – choose between the outdoor terrace of Pillars with a stunning view of the gardens and Fort, both flood lit at night or lavish Risala (which also has a pretty terrace). Or don’t – you can opt for either menu (European or Indian) at both restaurants.

Taj Umaid Pillars restaurant

10.The service – attentive without being obtrusive. And the only hotel we’ve stayed at where we were asked what they could improve – the answer is nothing.

http://www.taj.tajhotels.com

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William & Kate’s hotel in Mumbai

Taj Mumbai exterior

Lucky Will and Kate staying at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. Chopstix thoroughly enjoyed its stay at this grand, colonial hotel overlooking the water and the iconic Gate of India.

Inside does not disappoint: the lobby leads through to a courtyard dominated by a large circular swimming pool. Throughout the day, the colonnaded cafe hums with the throng of Mumbai’s gilded youth. And the space really comes into its own in the evening when the pool and stunning surrounding architecture is flood lit.

Taj Mumbai swimming pool.jpg

You’ll want to book a room in the historic wing to get a real sense of the grandeur. Plus the striking staircase that leads to the historic rooms.

There’s a vast choice of restaurants including Wasabi by Morimoto and the top floor Souk that overlooks the Gate of India.

Taj Mumbai ballroom.jpg

And then there’s the shopping – a whole arcade of carefully curated objects to buy right inside your hotel. We could go on, but please do book and see for yourself.

https://taj.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj-mahal-palace-mumbai/

Come Fly With Me

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If you don’t have plans for the weekend, consider a trip to Cheval Blanc Randheli which opens tomorrow in the Maldives. Yes, the resort is gorgeous (as you would expect from LVMH) but it’s this little beauty above that really caught Chopstix’s eye.

The Twin Otter de Havilland is Chevel Blanc’s private sea plane which will whisk you from Male to Noonu island. I’m thinking of making this picture my screensaver as every time I look at it it makes me smile.

LVMH, Cheval Blanc, Randheli

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