Somewhere about the time I passed the half century mark, I decided birthdays should
be celebrated for at least a month. For my 64th and 65th birthdays, I did 12-day
Mediterranean cruises and spent a few days each in the European ports where the
cruises began. I celebrated substantially in the intervening years and, for my 68th
birthday, October 3rd, I was here in Jaipur, with three birthday cakes, no less. I, recently,
had a call from a genleman who identified himself as Nadeem Khan of ITC Rajputana,
a Luxury Collection Hotel, and he invited me for cocktails at the property. At first, I
thought it must be a crank call. Mr. Khan said he had read some of my blogs on the
internet and he felt I might be inspired to write about ITC Rajputana if I saw it. I told
him I wrote my true opinions only. He laughed and told me he wasn't worried.
On Thursday evening, October 11, I took an auto-rickshaw over to ITC Rajputana.
There, in all his splendor, was a handsome, tall, turbaned, moustached doorman
with a welcoming smile on his face. Beside him was an equally handsome, clean
shaven young man who said, "You must be Carmen." He, too, had an amazing
smile. I noticed that, everywhere I went at ITC Rajputana, staff smiled a lot, not
with forced artificial smiles but with smiles that seemed to come from within as if they
really liked their work.
I've seen a few of these handsome gentlemen welcoming guests at hotels in India
With Nadeem Khan, Manager, Thikana Suites and Rajputan Royale
and the ITC Rajputana doorman
Beautiful floral arrangements are everywhere as one would expect in a
five star hotel. They are splendid.
This was my first view of the inner courtyard with its spacious grounds and lovely swimming pool. You instantly feel the serene peace and elegance. I was amazed that no one
was using the swimming pool but, of course, Jaipur is a very historic Indian city and
day long excursion are quite common.
ITC Rajputana, with its 218 rooms, is one of Jaipur's larger hotel properties but
one never gets a sense of crowding or noise. The "haveli" concept of the old
mansions of India and Pakistan built around around a central courtyard lends
itself to a feeling of privacy.
With my delightful host, Nadeem Khan, in front of that tempting pool
Even in mid-October, Jaipur temperatures are still warm enough, in the evening, for a swim
It is so beautiful here
I had my kurta outfit made here in Jaipur.
Nadeem shows his hotel with so much pride - and, why shouldn't he?
Cocktails at the lovely lobby bar. At last, a vodka martini, just as I like it ( they are
hard to come by at many places in Jaipur ). I was SO happy.
Ah, perfection...the vodka martini - not me
The first of a parade of lovely treats
Chicken, lamb and lentil with mint sauce
A feast, ITC Rajputana style. While we were having cocktails, general manager, Sunil
Gupta, joined us for a chat. It was such an honor meeting him. I can't believe I
failed to get a photograph!
Beautiful chef, Parul Kapoor
Rajasthani dancer - the hotel has nightly entertainment
I love having all these photos with Nadeem - I'm making my girlfriends jealous!
The lobby bar with the view into the Jal Mahal restaurant
This young man was playing the sitar outside Peshawari Restaurant which specializes
in barbecued specialties of West frontier. Their specialty is a large selection of
wonderful kebabs, both vegetarian and non- vegetarian and mouth watering Indian
Our last stop of the evening was at Nadeem Khan's "favorite place" - the Kaya Kalp
spa. This incredibly beautiful retreat is the ultimate respite for healing and soothing
the senses, utilizing both Indian, ancient and modern, and Western treatment modalities.
The lovely aromas and the soft music left me feeling relaxed and indulged, with just a
visual walk through. I would love to experience Kaya Kalp pampering.
Intricate and lovely carvings on the walls
Everywhere, one sees lovely bowls of rose petals
The spa registration desk
Some of the aromatic oils in use at Kaya Kelp Spa
Sitting with Nadeem in one of the Kaya Kalp treatment rooms
And, of course, flowers are everywhere!
The ayurvedic treatment room
Heading home - the end to a lovely evening
A final stop to listen to some India music - I'd feel sad but I'm coming back to brunch on
Sunday. I'd better diet until then!
To be continued after Sunday brunch.....
Website for the ITC Rajputana is: http://itchotels.in/Hotels/itcrajputana.aspx