India: it’s the place of the majestic Taj Mahal; the most wondrous gift a man has ever given the object of his love. It’s where camels lurch across deserts of stones past whitewashed schools, and young girls carrying pots of water for great distances on their heads – a battered yet beautiful country, where the impact of all it has to offer will leave you forever altered.
This mystic land is rapidly developing into an ideal tourist destination, where cultural and architectural wonders mingle seamlessly with top-class luxury hotels full of modern comforts, and chic shopping destinations.
Luxury Hotels in India
There’s no escaping the fact that India is right up there with the world’s finest luxury travel destination. Pick up any top international magazine, and you’ll see that India gets more entries for luxury hotels and spas in annual compilations of ‘The World’s Best’ lists.
Oberoi Udaivilas: counted amongst the world’s finest luxury hotels for some years now, it sensationally adorns the shores of Lake Pichola with to-die-for views. The Kohinoor Suite, a 2650sqft mini-palace, comes with fountained courtyards, an immense private pool and breathtaking views over the City Palace and the Aravali Hills.
Wildflower Hall: if there were ever India’s answer to a fairytale European castle, this is it. Lord Kitchener’s erstwhile residence, tranquilly teetering atop pine and cedar slopes, has been splendidly restored in grand colonial style. Wood panelling and original artwork impart old world aura. Expect rooms with teak floors, quaint furnishings and staggering views.
Shopping in India
During your stay, be sure to make your way to New Delhi for some fabulous shopping opportunities in India’s fashion capital. The latest collection of Indian designers can be found at the Crescent at the Qutab, on Delhi’s southern edge:
Namrata Joshipura G-9, Ground Floor, The Crescent at the Qutab: Fashion editors from around the world snap up slim-fitting dresses with suggestively plunging necklines stitched in gold thread and for day, prim shirtdresses with fitted waistbands and Peter Pan collars in ladylike linen.
Balance G-5, Ground Floor, The Crescent at the Qutab: Rohit Bal, India’s best-known designer, shows off his talent for ready-to-wear items with richly embroidered blouses for women and handsome, silk dress shirts with motifs from delicate flowers to raging bulls.
Fish Fry G-10, Ground Floor, The Crescent at the Qutab: Manish Arora represents the next generation of local talent with his outrageous creations. Expect swing skirts festooned with a veritable aquarium of glittering underwater life of seahorses, octopus and starfish and statement-making coats with Indian gods and goddesses.