Sunday, 21 April 2019

A dip into opulence ,Fort Alila


Opening the box of untold surprises on anniversaries each year, this time I unlocked fort Alila which eventually my husband contemplated  as an idyllic spot  to  best suit my senses. The place promised an authentic slice of royal life and myself being a heritage aficionado, I captured every spirit of this royal place right from the moment I entered.

Tucked away to the Rajasthan 's country side Fort Alila is just 50 km. from the pink city of Jaipur on NH 8.This 230 years old,  fortress stands splendid on a magnificent hill is undeniably an amazing piece of architecture from the 14 century and is witness to many historical battles which is now turned into a beautiful boutique hotel and serves as one of the most romantic holiday destination with a wonderful amalgamation of old world charm with the comforts of 21 century amidst the mesmerizing vistas of mustard and lush green  felids which is a must visit.

Cocooned in rich opulence, the fort entrance was absolutely palatial through the long and steeped cobbled path with the high fort walls on either sides which reflects the glories of the past and elevated me to the aura of old world. Haveli is the reception area much before the fort encircled by a beautiful manicured garden where the guests are given warm welcome .Unlike other hotels  there is no concept of check in counters. All check ins are done in the comfort of your room.

The fort has been amazingly designed and refurbished into a five star property where beauty, elegance and opulence greet you at every step. This heritage hotel has nine stories in all well connected with three fast moving lifts and features 59 suites, which includes 18 heritage rooms, 8regal suites, 11royal suite and 20grand suites and 2 presidential suites. Each room is unique with its own beauty, decor, style and theme. Interestingly, each room offers a sweeping view of the countryside which is sure to stun your senses.

Fort Alila’ s signature lies in its hospitality and leaves the guests spoilt for choices. The property houses three restaurants. “Amarsar “is a multicuisine restaurant on the fourth floor which serves an array of veg and non veg cuisines which promises best to match your taste buds. Fixed menus are set for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The chefs give authentic touch to the food and try to match their preference .A romantic candle light dinner on the Nazara terrace is a perfect way to end your day on. While you can enrich your palate with the mediterrean delicacies at the Mediterrean restaurant located by the pool side. Nazara is the open air restaurant which lets you dine under the twinkling stars hence the highlight of the fort. The restaurant offers Rajput hunter cuisine cooked in sandpits and over open flames. This place offers picture perfect vistas which are best suited for capturing in your cameras. Folk singers add an extra charm by playing soul soothing music which will leave you spell bound. To enjoy a laid back ambiance you can spend time at Kachwaha lounge which serves a combination of 4 c’s that is cake, coffee, chai and champagne. To add zest there is an exotic Madhuvani bar and cigar lounge. Apart from what I liked the most is that the culinary expert practice “farm to table concept” and dig out the most Indian and international cuisine by their home grown organic produce.

To rejuvenate your mind body and soul you can indulge in various holistic massages and therapies offered at the spa. While the fort also features ’’Darbar” as an activity and entertainment room on the fifth floor which houses all sorts of indoor games and TV. for your recreation. There is a swimming pool and kids play area at the haveli side garden which offered the best clicks by the fort being my background for selfies. The best way to get soaked into the sublime beauty of the place is by taking a nature walk by the village .The tranquil beauty of the surroundings offer exotic eye pleasure especially for the bird watchers. The fort also offers string of activities for the enthusiasts like a visit to local jeweler, weavers and potters where you can try your hand over weaving and learn about Rajasthani pottery style. The royal stay at the fort would have been indeed incomplete without a camel cart ride and kite flying activity which reminded me of the ancient medieval era.

Living up to its name, cradled by nature, this 230 years old fort is a celebration of senses, underlined with finest expression of luxury and a practice of perfection culture of generosity which proves to be an ideal locale for a family getaway or a leisure stay which lets your senses immerse in the regal days of the yore. Equipped to throw grandest of weddings with expert in house wedding planners this ethereal palace is a wedding destination for the couples who are looking to infuse royal heritage in to their special day.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Ramathra fort,a blissful escape

Ramathra fort, a blissful escape

Stepping into the shoes of royalty and keeping abuzz my love for heritage, i contemplated Ramathra fort this winters, as an idyllic holiday spot which was well designed to suit my senses.

Tucked away to the Rajasthan’s country side, Ramathra fort is nestled in Jaipur-Agra-Delhi triangle on the foothills of Aravalies and approximately 165 km from the pink city of Jaipur via NH 23. This small fortress is 350 year old and is undeniably piece of architecture from the 17th century. This was further expanded and fortified by Thakur Bhojpal and is witness to many historical battles which is now turned to a heritage boutique hotel and serves a wonderful honeymoon destination with a perfect amalgamation of old world charm dotted with impeccable hospitality and contemporary comforts of the 21 st centaury amidst the breathtaking vistas of lush green fields which is a must visit.

My journey to the fort was bit bumpy and hilly but was worth a drive. Wrapped in rich opulence ,the fort entrance was absolutely palatial with arched doors .After a steep walk through the cobbled path till the reception ,I found the whole complex was full of trees, bushes and bougainvilla creepers .Exploring courtyards, walkable roofs , hallways and round turrets on each corner revealed royalty. Interestingly once a home to the kings, the fort resonates with the stories of the kingly era which suffused a royal feel in me and drove my senses to the yore of the rich past.

The heritage hotel features 4 rooms (including 2 grand suits ) and 6 garden facing luxury tent rooms. Apparently, mine was a valley facing luxury suite layered with state of art amenities, It featured spacious sitting area with a fire place, while the bedroom featured king size four poster bed with  the big windows that opened out to the balcony offering a sweeping view of the countryside. The bathroom was big with a outdoor bath tub with a sweeping view and against the backdrop of Aravali hills. Ramathra fort is more on the lines of a boutique hotel so don’t expect to be pampered like the way you are in a five star hotel. All the rooms are adorned with furniture that evokes old times and is tasteful, there is no television and rooms have paddle locks. Windows are arched that fold downwards showing off carpenter’s skill and uphold the majesty of the royal medieval era. Each room is different and has its own style decor .While garden facing luxury tents are set against the fort’s rampart walls surrounding lush courtyard lawn.

Fort Ramathra ‘s signature lies in their hospitality and leaves the guests spoilt for choices with their gracious services. The property houses a multi-cuisine restaurant which serves an array of appetizing veg and non veg cuisines with well crafted menu. It serves fixed menus for breakfast ,lunch and dinner. Chefs give authentic touch to the food and personally offers guests choices of four course dinner menus and customize meals as per their preference and tries to match their palate. Apart from this what i liked the most is the culinary expert practice “Farm to table “concept and dig out the most Indian and international cuisines prepared by the home grown organic produce.

To rejuvenate mind body and soul you can indulge in Jacuzzi and spa at the turrets which indeed offers a panoramic view of the dawn and dusk. The tranquil beauty of the lake Kalisil in the vicinity offers exotic eye pleasure especially to the bird watchers. The best way to get soaked in the sublime beauty of the surroundings is by taking a boat ride service at lake offered by the fort in the evening. The incredible vistas of the hills and the majestic fort will leave you awestruck. While there are many activities for the adventure enthusiasts like trekking, nature walk, bird watching and village visit.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, Ramathra fort proves to be an ideal locale which lets you soak in the royal charm of the kingly era, where you hear the call of the birds, crackling of the fresh air, rustling of the trees and laid back ambiance of the serene surroundings. Well equipped with amenities Fort Ramathra is a perfect place for your honeymoon especially for the couples who are looking to infuse peacefulness with royal heritage on their special stay.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Singapore , a paradise for kids

Singapore , a kids paradise

Is there a better place to visit in the world with kids than Singapore? Undoubtedly no, as Singapore spells its charm on travelers from around the globe as this lion city is a blend of a kid’s paradise, heaven for shopaholics, a treat to adventure enthusiasts and joy to connoisseurs. So, i contemplated a visit to this buzzing country this year with my family which offered a host of activities for my little one. Here is a sneak peak of some must visit places of Singapore which add fun and frolic to your child's visit.

Singapore flier

Singapore flier claims to be the largest ferry wheel in Asia. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Singapore from 540 feet with all iconic landmarks right in front with the bird eye view. Advisable to visit the place in a clear weather.

Gardens by the bay

It is another eco friendly man made wonder which is fairly designed for families to enjoy the pleasure of music and nature together. It is a huge manicured garden which is advisable to take a audio tour shuttle when you are accompanied with kids .The outdoor garden features Super tree grove which consists of multiple 50 meter high vertical gardens with large shady canopies .As the dusk falls,these super trees are illuminated with lights which add beauty to the entire scenery hence a photographers delight. Super tree light and sound show is a must watch held in the evening at fixed times which is true audio visual treat for young children. In addition, this place also houses two conservatories namely Cloud forest and Flower dome.

Cloud forest: Cloud forest is artificially created rain forest inside the glass dome which is sure to leave you amazed. Entering this place will certainly let your soul feel the actual forest vibe. The indoor waterfall with the mist rolling in is the key attraction. There are ponds, unusual plant life and tree top walkways which will interest every child while they explore. It is advisable to carry warm clothes as this dome is a bit colder.

Flower dome: Step in to this climatic controlled glass dome and you will stand in awe .Galore of countless beautiful blooming flowers of different climatic zones from around the world adorn the dome. The fact is that it is largest glass green house in the world hence a photographers delight. A place not only for enjoyment but also educates kids about values of plant life and know the importance of conserving our environment.

Jewel in the crown Marina bay sands

Your trip remains incomplete without treating your eyes to the tallest hotel of Singapore swaddled in luxury, Marina bay sands which is the jewel in the crown. It houses Sky Park observation, soaring 57 levels above the heart of the city. The place offers world class cityscape, including the vistas of stunning Super tree grove. A place from where you can marvel at the spectacular spectra light and water show and the entire skyline of the city. Hence the best vantage point in the city from where you can hone your photography skills.

Merlion park

Merlion park is bound to captivate lot of interests from across the world. Half lion and half fish ,the iconic Merlin resides at the waterfront .Interestingly, the fish body symbolizes the Singapore’ s humble beginning as a fishing village and the head represents Singapore’s original name “singapura” a lion city. Kids would love to have a glimpse of this legend with spouting water from its mouth. A perfect landmark where you would love to have a family photograph clicked.

Singapore zoo

A family holiday would be completed only after a visit to the zoo, which is not only a unique attraction for the children and animal lovers but also educates them about the animal kingdom . The zoo is set in the natural rain forest with spacious landscaped enclosures with plethora of animals including rare ones like sea lion, puma, otter the live form .To add more amusement to the young children there are animal feeding programs and shows at fixed times. Elephant and seal shows are must watch as they perform their best skills and stunts which will leave you engrossed and spell bound, while breakfast with orangutans is a rare chance which elevates the entire zoo experience and hence not to be missed.

Night safari and the river safari

Nestled in the 40 acres of lush green forest in the vicinity of the zoo, Night safari is another legendary fun place in Singapore with families, having lighting in the enclosures just like moonlight. The tram ride through the forest is the best way to get close and view hundreds of nocturnal animals in natural habitat, recorded audio guide played during your tram ride narrates the spiel about the animals is quite educative while adventure enthusiasts can go around the trails.
River safari is a new attraction where kids of all ages would love to indulge in .It houses largest collection of fresh water fauna.

Jurong birds park

It is world s largest walk in aviary and a unique place of interest for nature lovers where they can spend full day as well. It houses 5000 birds over 400 species from round the globe. To a special excitement for children, there are interesting bird shows and feeding times where kids can feed birds like pelican, penguin , ostrich etc .Lory feeding at the Lory loft is the highlight of the park as it is fun to see lory interacting , fluttering around feels like a whole new world and a sight to behold. Water play area in the vicinity adds more charm to this place, hence an ultimate treat for younger children so don’t forget to carry your child swim attire.

Highlights of Sentosa island (A must visit)

Universal studios

Laced with enticing selection of entertaining movies, rides and exciting shows, this place is paradise for the children which lights up their imagination no matter what age they are. On entering, this park will drag your spirits to the fantasy world as there are several rides for children right from the boat ride for the younger children to the dueling roller coasters like cyclone, mummy for the elder children which is sure to offer you a adrenalin pumping experience. The theme park also offers an delightful opportunity for the kids where they meet their favorite characters like Elmo, Shrek, minions etc and strike a pose with them thus making the highlight of the place.

Trick eye museum

Trick eye museum is a world of illusion which gives a 4 d effect to your picture. The concept is fun for all ages where you can get scary pictures like volcano flooring the lava through the village to fairy tale pictures like flying on the carpet like Aladdin .Hence a perfect place to experience the impossibilities of reality.

Cable car ride Segway ride and luge ride

Cable car ride is the adventurous way to reach Sentosa island from singapore main island as the ride ensures the scenic beauty and the bird eye view of the harbor area, Singapore skyline and Sentosa island. Luge and Segway ride is also a great experience for kids which are not supposed to be missed.

Adventure cove water park

Adventure cove is another fun place which offers many thrilling rides catering to the kids of all ages which charge them up. Perfectly designed for the families where they can indulge in fun with water and spend time together. It houses a specially designed play area structured for younger kids with friendly and professional staff .You can also indulge in activities like wave pool, lazy river splash maze etc. Photography services captures the best moments of your aquatic adventure. To add fun to your adventure, you can swim and snorkel with the beautiful marine fishes while encounter with dolphins offers a surreal touch to the venue at the Rainbow reef which is a rare and a must try experience while in Singapore.

Wings of time

Wings of time is a beautifully scripted light and sound show held by the sea side in evening with incredible combination of 3 d projection and mapping, spectacular laser lights and pyrotechnics while the glimmering fireworks at the end of the show is a treat for youngsters.

Serenade your soul by relaxing, playing and making sand castles at the beach or do cycling by the bay. This is an experience which your child can relish all their lives. Apart from the above Singapore is replete of galleries, botanical gardens and museums. The city has an equatorial climate with summer temperature reaching more than 40 degrees and so it is advisable to visit this lion city between September to January and is advisable to carry an umbrella as it rains quite often. Orchard road is a perfect shopping strip for all the shopping enthusiasts as massive high end shopping malls line this street. While if you looking for budget shopping then Haji lane and Mustafa shopping centre is the place for you. Known as the most culturally diverse city Singapore is a food heaven. To please the palate of the international travelers there are eateries serving fusion authentic cuisines from different cultures round the world .But if you are looking for Indian cuisine, look no further than the Little India area which is tucked away with north and south Indian restaurants where you can engulf your senses in the enticing aromas of freshly made Indian delicacies to satiate your taste buds.
Singapore leaves no stone unturned to offer you an action packed holiday to keep your bundle of joy entertained. A locale stuffed with adventure, family fun, scenic beauty and a chilled out place all rolled into one. No wonder it is huge hit with family. So spin out your days into a Singaporean holiday with your loved ones.

However, there are certain things in remember:

1. For the children below 7 years of age, it is advisable to carry a stroller as the distances are long for the kids to walk.
2. Singapore is well connected with MRT and is the most economical way to commute.
3. Look out for discounted tickets of theme parks and places to visit like zoo,    flyer, and gardens by the bay on klook .com.

4. If you are looking for accommodation cocooned in luxury then you can consider sentosa island, while budget travelers can look for accommodation in little India.

Monday, 20 March 2017


              Dubai, A perfect holiday destination for your child

Wondering where to take your kids to spend holidays?? Well then Dubai fits well. Where else in the world can you find a ski slope in a desert? A huge manmade island and  staggering superlatives of everything highest tallest largest and biggest. Considering a perfect escape with my family to where I could shop dine and play I hit this most glitzy of all emirates, the desert city of Dubai this year. Following are some must visit places which add fun and frolic to your child’s visit.

 It is a paradise for the Lego lovers which are fairly designed for kids between 5 to 8, Entering the park will drag you to the fantasy world where there are amazing buildings, animals and other structures on display made from Lego blocks which leaves you spell bound. There are several thrilling rides for kids while Duplo brick game for the toddlers.
                  Mini land adds more charm to the place as it features all miniatures of Dubai skyline and UAE landmarks which is the artwork of Lego bricks leaving you enthralled. The fact i liked about the park is that, there are Lego play areas near each ride where the kids can indulge in making Lego models while waiting for their turn on rides.


Beautiful galore of flowers in the scorching desert is truly a miracle with breathtaking display of countless flowers adorned in the shapes like air craft, vintage cars castles etc. There is a kids play area as well which adds more fun to this paradise. In the vicinity is the Butterfly garden which is the unique attraction for children and nature lovers. It houses a huge display of many species of butterflies. Live butterflies flinging interacting and fluttering like a whole different world is a spectacular sight to behold.

 These are the latest unique attraction in Dubai for children. Glow garden is a eco friendly garden with lots of trees made out of plastic bottles, porcelain cups, medicine bottles low electric consumable bulbs which are all recyclable. Walk through the park takes you to the enchanting world of dazzling led lights with vibrant colors in the attractive shapes of flora and fauna with soothing music, a true audiovisual treat for the young children. There are few kiosks to grab a quick bite. It is not only a place for enjoyment but also it educates kids about animal kingdom, values of plants life and their importance in our life cycle. There are live music stage shows, games and activities which keep the kids entertained.  Do take the Panda train ride as you are bound to miss few spots on foot.


 This Park is in the vicinity of Glow garden and is quite innovative for kids where they can see many species of dinosaur models flapping their tails and arms and making roaring sounds which makes them look real .This place seems like replica of Jurassic Park.


 Slated as the world‘s largest indoor ski, nestled in the mall of Emirates, is a promising attraction for of all ages. This theme park is a true wonder in the desert country which undoubtedly transports you to the Polar Regions. Families and children can indulge in activities like snow zorbing, slides, chairlifts ,ice toboggan, snow zipping, making snow man etc. while younger kids get fascinated by snow sledging and encounter with penguin bring surreal touch to the venue. If you are feeling very cold then you can warm up over marshmallow topped mug of Hot chocolate.
It is advisable to carry your layer of thermal clothes as the temperature in this park is -4 degree Celsius and gears provided there are not enough. Magic Planet is another great place for kids in this mall, where you can leave kids fully supervised or let them play arcade games.


 It is another fun which offers an adrenaline pumping experience specially for children of all ages and keeps you entertained whole day. It features 30 thrilling rides which charge you up. The park also has a specially designed interactive play area structure for younger kids with friendly and professional staff. Photography service captures the best moments of your aquatic adventure.
Dolphin bay at Atlantis: To add more fun to your adventure, Dolphin encounter at Dolphin bay is a must do and a rare experience of playing  and swimming with dolphins.


 This zoo offers a wonderful experience amidst Dubai mall. It is a place where kids fall in love as they can see all sorts of aquatic creatures right from small shoal of fishes to mighty sharks and crocodile so closely. It houses 33000 marine animals and world’s largest aquarium in this aqua zoo. A walk through glass tunnel enchants your senses into the marine world. Your experience can be enriched by glass bottom boat ride.
Dubai mall also houses Kidszania, an interactive miniature city which is an ultimate treat for the smaller children while there is Sega Republic ,an indoor amusement park with rides and arcade games for the older children.


 Dolphinarium is highly recommended fun place to watch the dolphin and the seal show where these intelligent and friendly creatures play ,paint,do tricks and stunts and which leave you engrossed and spell bound. This show is spanning 40 to 45 min and is a absolute delight for the kids.
Bird show : It is in the vicinity which displays an interesting interaction with the birds like parakeet and toucans which every child loves it . There is an option of getting photographs clicked at the end of both show with the dolphins and the birds in hands. There are many fun activities also in the park like trampoline, horse riding, train riding etc .


 Your child s trip remains incomplete without treating your eyes to the tallest building on the planet,Burj Khalifa which is the jewel in the crown. In the vicinity is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system set on the manmade lake which adds beauty to the entire scenery making it a “phographers delight”.

Burj Al Arab not only shares the spotlight of being the only seven star hotel of the world but also an iconic landmark which gives an identity to the city of Dubai.
Serenade your soul by relaxing playing and making sand castles at the beach add an experience which you can relish all your life. Dubai has a tropical climate with summer temperature reaching more than 45 degrees and so it is advisable to visit this desert city between November to February. December offers a chance to soak you in the shopping festival. Dubai being a tax free nation is a heaven for all shopping enthusiast.
If you want to enjoy the action packed holidays then Dubai is a sure ticket, as it offers a string of adventures to keep your bundle of joy entertained, right from safe beaches to exhilarating rides and therefore it is a huge hit with families.

Things to remember

1.    It is advisable to carry a stroller for kids up to 7 years as distances are long for the kids to walk.
2.    There is a height restriction in every ride based theme park so please enquire before going.
3.    Outside food is not allowed in any theme parks as there are plethora of cafes and restaurants inside.
4.    You can also avail the facility of quick pass to avoid wastage of time in long queue at theme parks, especially in Legoland.

Sunday, 19 March 2017


Hill fort Kesroli, a slice of a royal stay

Keeping abuzz my love for heritage, I turned back the pages of history and visited Fort Kesroli this winters for a leisure stay and marked the occasion of my anniversary.
Nestled in the Delhi - Jaipur- Agra triangle ,on the foothills of Aravalli range, Fort Kesroli  is about 150 km away from Jaipur, and is undeniable an amazing piece of architecture from the 14 th century .The fort was constructed during the reign of the Yaduvanshi Rajputs and is witness to many historical battles which is now turned into a heritage boutique hotel and serves as a one of the most beautiful holiday destination with a wonderful amalgamation of the old world charm with impeccable hospitality and contemporary  comforts of the 21 century amidst the beautiful vistas of mustard and the lush green fields which is a must visit.

Wrapped in rich opulence, the Fort entrance was absolutely palatial with arched doors .After a steep walk through the cobbled path till the reception; I discovered the whole complex was full of bougainvillea creepers, bushes and trees.  Exploring the true maze of staircases, terraces hidden courtyards, walk able roofs and hallways revealed nobility .There were many nook and crannies and secret tunnels that lead different part of the fort .Each part was more intriguing than the other and served as the perfect backdrop for my selfies. Once a home to the kings, this fort resonated with an aura of regal splendor which suffused a royal feel in me and drove my senses to the yore of the rich past.

This heritage hotel has 31 rooms of which 4 are duplex suits, 5 are grand rooms, 10 are suites and 12 are rooms ,bathroom is attached to each room. Rooms are named as "mahal" likeTota mahal, Deepika mahal , Nirmal mahal etc. Some rooms are spacious but quaint some tiny but airy, some are expensive while some are just right for the budget travelers. Each room is unique with its own beauty, decor style and theme with different locations some open to the courtyards, some to the willable roofs while some open to the garden. The Fort Kesroli is more along the lines of a boutique hotel, so don't expect to be pampered the way you would be in a five star hotel as the rooms don’t ooze luxury. Rooms are adorned with the furniture that evokes old times ,furnishing is tasteful ,there is no television , rooms have paddle locks, windows are arched that fold downwards showing off the carpenters skill and uphold the majesty of the royal medieval era and pamper you with all basic amenities .The actual charm of this heritage hotel lies in the fact that it allows you to relax and enjoy in a historical setting and explore nature's beauty around on a bi cycle ride.

Fort Kesroli s signature lies in their hospitality and leaves no stone unturned to pamper you to the hilt with their gracious services. The fort houses a multi cuisine restaurant called “Ranawat burj “which serves a wide variety of delectable veg and non veg cuisines apt to match your taste buds and also brings out the robust flavors of the local rajasthani cuisines which enhance your entire experience of eating. Fixed buffets are displayed for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while there is an option of Ala carte for snacks menu. Appetizing complementary snacks like pakoras, cookies, cakes and beverages are also served at “Bulbul mahal” around sunset. From the restaurants i got a breathtaking view of the endless green fields and watched village life so close, which was not only soul soothing but also a treat to my eyes. At night the fort looked staggeringly beautiful with all lamps lit up adding grandeur to the ancient charm, engulfing my senses in the glories of the rich past. 

Durbar mahal is the recreation room for the guest’s entertainment which offers carom, cards, chess and other indoor games along with a TV. and a huge sitting for your relaxation. To rejuvenate your mind body and soul you can indulge in various holistic massage therapies at the spa, while a game of Bad Minton will actually tone your tired muscles. There are two swimming pools, one for kids and other for adults.

Away from the hustle bustle of the cities, Hill fort Kesroli proves to be an ideal locale which lets you soak in the royal charm of the kingly era, where you hear the call of the birds, crackling of fresh air ,rustling of bushes and a laid back ambiance of serene surroundings. Well equipped to throw grandest of weddings, Hill fort kesroli is also a perfect wedding destination for the couples who are looking to infuse royal heritage in to their special day.