Category Archives: India

Green & Chic | Raas Haveli, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

By Dian Hasan | August 31, 2010

Some of Asia’s most historically impressive destinations (save Bali, Bangkok, Luang Prabang & Kyoto) have often lacked accommodation that matched the magic of the place. The choices were mostly limited by large and unimaginative chain hotels, or a coterie of humble abodes for the backpacking crowd. And nothing really in between – a stylish small and personal hotel that breathes and oozes the place. Personality was missing big time. Such condition afflicted Jodhpur, Rajasthan, one of India’s most alluring destinations!

As the Indian economy continues to forge ahead, minting a new monied crowd with a lifestyle appetite to explore the continent’s diverse offerings, tagging with it an international clientele that seeks the chic and hip. The right hotels are coming on stream. Raas Haveli is one such fine pedigree! The age of the Boutique Hotel has arrived!

Situated at the foot of the mighty Meherangarh Fort, in the heart of Jodhpur’s Walled City. It is the only luxury hotel to be based in the old town, and the views directly up to the fort, which looms above you, are quite spectacular. It is situated in the prestigious north-eastern quarter of the Walled City, just a stone’s throw from the Clock Tower. One may simply wonder out into the surrounding maze of streets to explore the markets. The hotel comprises four charming 150-year old restored buildings in Jodhpur’s very own ‘rose-red’ sandstone.

This is combined with stylish, contemporary new buildings which have been designed by an acclaimed architect. In its entirety the Ras Haveli (as it was originally called) remains today the best preserved, largest and most complete urban noble residence perhaps in all Rajasthan. This exquisite little hotel is Jodhpur’s first eco friendly boutique hotel in the true sense of the term.

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Green & Chic | Fateh Garh Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010


In India, the trend of converting their amazing collection of historical royal palaces into luxury hotels continues apace, especially now that India is forging ahead with as an economic juggernaut, next to China.

Without much promotion, India has always been embedded in the minds of many, replete with its fascinating dichotomy of love and hate, the existence of extremes side-by-side, whether its extreme poverty, gaudiness, or natural beauty. India has it all.

The former Maharaja Palaces are now changing clothes as luxury hotels, but with a “green heart”. An eco-consciousness is carefully considered in its re-development.

The newest palace hotel in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Fateh Garh Palace,  is based on the ancient Indian wisdom to deliver a unique cultural and spiritual experience. Derived from the Urdu word Delivered from Urdu word for victory “Fateh“, and Sanskrit word for fortress “Garh“, Fateh Garh is a resplendent abode indeed, victorious in its fusion of the past, heritage architecture, and today’s eco-concept in modern hospitality.

The historic monument, moved stone by stone on a wooded hill not far from its place of origin, was transformed into a majestic hotel of 51 rooms as the 51 principles of ancient Indian wisdom, themselves drawn from elements of nature (fire, water, earth, wind and space). It is therefore not surprising that 50% of energy requirements of the hotel are provided by solar panels and wind turbines. Appointed themselves as the principle according to Vaastu (which is to take maximum advantage of wind and sun), the rooms offer a unique brightness. Spacious and sophisticated, totally indigenous, they offer superb views on the surrounding hills.

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Responsible Tourism Attitude at a Higher Altitude ~ 360° Leti, Ladakh, Uttaranchal, India

360º Leti-SCOTT DUNN-11289-cottage-360-leti-leti-india

Shakti has built its own private lodge – called 360° Leti – in Almora, in the northern Indian state of Uttaranchal. With only 4 exclusive cottages that are only open between October and May each year and, 360° Leti, which opened in 2007, consistently rates as one of the world’s top 100 hotels magazine reader surveys.

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Eco Chic on the water ~ Kerala’s fascinating Kettuvallams


Kerala is about the people who want to discover exceptional landscapes away from polluted lands. This is one of the most prosperous states in Southern India, famous for its culture, beaches and unique backwaters. Kerala is famous all over the world for its backwater boat cruises. The backwaters of Kerala have a fleet of over 250 houseboats providing an excellent opportunity for experience the beauty of Kerala. Every year a large gathering of tourists come here to explore its breathtakingly beautiful backwaters.

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Exquisite Stays | Devi Garh Resort, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

If you fancy to live like a Maharajah, now there’s a way to channel your travel appetite. Nestled in the Aravali Hills, 18th century Devi Garh Palace Hotel comprises of 39 suites takes on the look of modern India. It was conceived where the past meets the future. The contemporary design showcased within spectacular heritage property, complemented by personalised service, creates a new image of India for the 21st century.

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Sleek & Chic ~ The Park, New Delhi, India

By Dian Hasan | August 12, 2009

The Park_New Delhi_INDIA_parknewdelhids11_0Arguably sleek architecture is not the first thing that would come to mind when one mentions India. Images of what to most travelers represents the word exotica, in the sights and sounds that make up India, with her ancient culture, amazing customs, down to the unique cuisine and silk saris and turbans, and a myriad of architectural wonders from centuries past, still standing in all her glory. Against such backdrop, The Park Hotel, is a welcome surprise for this regal capital city. Befitting the status as capital city of the country to watch, next to China. It is high time India had sleek hotels that would look at home at any major urban metropolis around the world.

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