This time last week….I was being pampered and spoiled and cossetted at the lovely ITC Rajputana hotel in Jaipur. Let me share some moments with you.
I was a guest of ITC, along with another blogger, Charis Bhagianathan, as part of a fun ITC sponsored trip through the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur ) called TheDuoEscapade, and we spent 2 nights at this magnificent hotel.
I had last visited the hotel 2 years ago, for a wedding, and since then the lobby and some of the public areas have been revamped. To great effect.
The first impression of the hotel now is one of cool airiness and space and light :
Ooh, actually, talking of first impressions…this was our welcome to the ITC Rajputana – a traditional Rajasthani welcome :
Such fun !
We were yet again lodged in some considerable splendour in Thikana suites. Such fabulousness…
I was in the lovely Alwar suite
And in case I lost my bearings, there was a map on my coffee table…
The suite consisted of a lovely large bedroom. Uber-comfy bed, loads of pillows, huge flat screen TV, work station (with free internet access, yet again) plus an ironing board :
Sitting room with – well – a food and drink station, I guess you could call it.
Tea, coffee, nibbles, bottle of water galore…
…and even more food on the table – some healthy, some delicious decadent.
Here is a greedy overview of my welcome snacks :
There was yet another huge, well-equipped bathroom :
Once again, the hotel has thought of all those things the traveller might have forgotten, especially the lady traveller – nail file, tweezers, nail varnish remover – those kind of things we inevitably forget :
The ITC group takes the concept of welcome very seriously :
And later, we were given a photo of our welcome, all prettily framed for us (and please ignore the astonishingly poor quality of my iPhone photo) :
After dinner (more on that anon, in a separate review) I returned to my lovely cool quiet room to find yet more treats :
How darling is the cake in the shape of the group’s iconic “namaste” welcome logo?
Clearly the ITC Rajputana was on a mission to ensure we didn’t starve, because the second afternoon, while I was recovering from lunch, these arrived :
And then, once again, at bedtime, after yet another fab dinner, just in case I was still hungry :
Each night, we also got the wonderful sleep and relaxation sprays in a little basket :
I mentioned earlier in the review that there was an ironing board in the room. Very useful, but with the wonderful Vivek, our butler, who needs an ironing board ?
Yes, yet again, the height of luxury was having our own dedicated butler.
And Vivek was brilliantly dedicated.
Not only was he always there when needed, he was there when you didn’t know you needed him – like my taking my big camera bag downstairs only to discover we weren’t going our after all. Viek was there – how did he now ? – and relieved me of my bag. I wandered down early to breakfast one morning, and there as Vivek in the coffee shop, ready to serve me. When we came back from ransacking the markets of Jaipur, there was Vivek to relieve us of our shopping. And finally, when we left the hotel in the pre-dawn dark for the station and – sadly – our train back to reality and Delhi – there was Vivek to carry our luggage, sort our seats out and…well let me fess up here that Charis and I came this close to kidnapping him…seeing Vivek jump off a moving train was the end of our dream of stealing him and bringing him to Delhi.
But having a butler is the stuff of true luxury.
We spent one wonderful evening on the cool, airy terrace overlooking the pool :
Musicians played, dancers danced :
and we ate a leisurely dinner (more anon, as I said).
There was an option to eat indoors, but we preferred the pleasant breeze outdoors :
The decor of the hotel is resolutely Rajasthani, with virtually every wing of the hotel being themed differently, with paintings and framed artefacts :
There is a smaller Kaya Kalp spa here than the one in Agra at the ITC Mughal, but it is every bit as opulent and elegant, with the same striking red pomegranate décor :
A relaxing corner (below), to drift back to reality after a spa session :
The theme of red and white is carried through even to the flowers and candles :
Amidst the clamour and noise and heat of Jaipur, the ITC Rajputana is more than a cool, welcoming oasis. It is a luxurious oasis, staffed by delightfully attentive people who couldn’t have been more welcoming (that word again)
One thing I especially enjoyed was the charming evening ritual of lighting the candles in the hotel, in a graceful nod to the past when lamps were lit as the sun set.
The ritual starts outside the lobby :
and then the candles in the lobby are symbolically lit :