Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Travel blog’

Countdown for Amber’s Signature Sea Urchin

Hokkaido Sea Urchin in a Lobster Jell-O with Cauliflower, Caviar and Crispy Seaweed Waffles

There’s one month to try the Hokkaido Sea Urchin in Lobster Jell-O with Cauliflower, Caviar and Crispy Seaweed created by Richard Ekkebus at Amber, Hong Kong, before it’s taken off menu. This is the first fancy uni dish Chopstix tasted and still the best. Over the years the dish has gained a devoted following and inspired a specially designed molluscan ceramic bowl. Last day on the menu is May 31st, go bid a fond farewell. Lucky San Franciscans will still be able to enjoy it at chef Corey Lee’s In Situ restaurant.

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark/fine-dining/amber/

 

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

 

 

 

The Only Way to See the Taj Mahal

Oberoi view from balcony

If like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge you’re planning a visit to the Taj Mahal, there’s only one way to do it in style and that’s by staying at the Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra.

Not only does this glamorous, film set of a resort have a bird’s eye view of the iconic monument from most of its rooms and terraces, it’s also the only hotel in Agra to have private access via golf buggy right up to the gates.

http://www.oberoihotels.com

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/

Finding Bliss in Bali

Alila Villas Soori, Bali

Alila Villas Soori, Bali

[UPDATE: The resort is now named Soori Bali and is no longer part of the Alila group.]

We’ve been sitting on this one for a while. In truth, we really didn’t want to tell you about it. When we visit somewhere so special, we don’t always want the secret to be out. But then again it would be a shame if you never heard about Alila Villa Soori on Bali.

Tucked away on the quiet west coast of the island, an hour’s (luxury) car ride from the airport, if you’re seeking the packed beaches and bars of Bali, this is not for you. If however you’re looking for peace, pampering, great food and a gorgeous spa this is the spot.

Read more

%d bloggers like this: