Jaipur has one more luxury destination for those desirous of a royal getaway
Jaipur is a city every tourist to India would have heard about and been encouraged to visit. The palaces-turned-hotels have in recent times become a dream wedding destination too.
It’s wonderful to feel like a king for a day and stay in a palace. Such tourist demand instigated a group like Fairmont to open its first luxury hotel in Jaipur. Its uniqueness lies in that, unlike companies that have turned Rajput palaces into hotels, Fairmont has created one from the ground up. The design is intended to pay tribute to the Mughal empire. It is described as a “sensitive reimagining of the traditional Mughal palace.”
My arrival at the hotel was announced by a gong man in a traditional manner as it used to happen in the royal era. The sound of the gong/nagada echoed and let people know that a guest has arrived. After entering the huge entrance there is a char bagh with four small gardens.
Fairmont has 255 guestrooms, including seven suites. Every room has a timber door and Portuguese colonial-inspired four poster beds. A hand crafted wooden parrot on a swing is also placed in every room as a reminder of the Mughal affection for nature and a personal touch that creates a residential feel.
The lunch was hosted by Executive Chef Anurag Bali at the all-day restaurant Zoya. Spread over a sprawling area, Zoya offers five distinctive seating experiences. I chose to sit in a Shamiana/Mughal Tent. Zoya’s menu is diverse but selected but it is a product of hard work, said Chef Anurag. He said he had undertaken a 1500-km road trip and tasted food at around 40 restaurants to get the authentic recipes of traditional delicacies like laal maans or Jodhpuri mirchi. His travel experiences tempted me to taste the food. All that effort has certainly paid off, as I tasted one of the best laal maans dishes I have had in recent times. Even the daal baati was perfect and flavourful. Chef Anurag’s innovation of sev paratha was also worth trying.
Apart from Zoya, Fairmont also has a lobby lounge, Anjum, which specialises in tea. I was greeted at the lounge by Kazim, who mentored me through my tea tasting session. He offered me around 10 different teas, each with a uniqueness of its own.
Aza, the regency style library and bar, features fine wines and malt whisky with old world oak display cabinets and bespoke cocktails. Apart from the F & B outlets Fairmont also offers guests a gym with an instructor and a refreshing massage centre.
Surrounded by the Aravallis this property of Fairmont Jaipur, where commerce respects both history and modern innovation, is worth the visit.
Name: Fairmont Jaipur
Contact: 2, Riico Kukas, Jaipur – 303101, Rajasthan
What’s nice: Tasty and innovative food at Zoya; aromatic tea sessions at Anjum
What’s not so nice: A lack of traditional Rajsthani culture
Getting to Jaipur: Rail; air; road (four hours by road from Delhi
(The author was at Fairmont Jaipur on the invitation of the hotel)