India’s Enthralling East

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east indiaGulliver’s made a name for himself by sailing the high seas. Wonder what he would have thought of India – a land that is a kaleidoscope of many!

The road less travelled is the road I want to travel. And so I set forth to find roads less travelled in India.

Moving eastwards, like the rest of India, here too I found a cornucopia of sights and sounds. Gently undulating tea plantations give way to bustling cities, fertile plains and the majestic Himalayas. Here, there is Chilka – the largest salt-water lake in the world with its myriad bird population in their natural habitat; as well as the one-horned rhino in the protected environs of Wildlife Sanctuaries of Assam.

You’d find the throbbing, jostling crowd at one of India’s most famous temples at Puri; and the peaceful serenity of a far-off mountain monastery in Sikkim. And, amidst all this, history and heritage, culture and cuisine, rosogolla and revolution come together in a melting pot in Charnock’s city!  MENTAL NOTE: stop here, sometime.

I discovered the mighty Kanchenjunga from new perspectives from Darjeeling and Sikkim. In case you didn’t know, it’s the third highest mountain in the world and the highest in India. And no, I didn’t climb it; I just saw different views of it 😉

The northeast is home to over 200 tribes and their cultures. However, a word of advice. If you are going to be adventurous and take the roads less travelled, get a guide. My little secret? I let the trusted The Lalit Hotels concierge service organize the experience for me!

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Maverick, Multicoloured Mayhem – Holi Hai!!!

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Hmm, the sun NEVER feels so good, as it does now. Its warmth is pleasant, as nature bids farewell to monochrome and enters the season of countless hues.

Goodbye winter, welcome spring.

Spring does come with its dose of ‘spring fever.’ And nothing welcomes this season with more feverish celebrations than the Indian Festival of Colours- Holi! For those uninitiated, everyone and everything around turns into countless hues of the rainbow! From Rangpanchami in Maharashtra to Lathimaar Holi in Uttar Pradesh, the festival itself takes on different tints is the various states of the country.

Pssst, between you and me, there’s no other festival that people look forward to with such zeal!  Holi is THE official, universal excuse to play with colours and splash water at each other, and well, generally get messy. Believe it, this is one time it is normal for you to spoil your clothes, colour your hair, or have paint your face! 😉

Let the shades of spring sweep you away and let loose the child within! March 2015, from 5th to 8th, celebrate in our hospitable environment. As India explodes in a kaleidoscope of colours, make the most of our stay packages at The Lalit properties.

Colour has always been an intrinsic part of Rajasthan, and Holi is no different. True to the tradition of Rajasthani royalty, The Lalit Jaipur brings alive the heritage of Holi festivities with the auspicious Dhulandi Puja at the Central Courtyard. Enjoy the whirls and twirls of special folk dances of Kacchi Ghodi, Kalbelia, Ghoomar and Chari; before getting caught up in the exuberant celebrations of Holi.

If you haven’t planned that Rajasthan trip yet, do it NOW with our Carnival of colour package for a truly amazing Holi experience. Come, the Pink City beckons!

Speaking of Rajasthan, Holi in Udaipur is definitely a one-of-kind experience. Step into spring at The Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur, bejeweled with the rang of a royal Holi. Experience the Holi halla with grand pre-Holi festivities and a sumptuous Holi Lunch.

If bhang’s not your thing, and nature is your intoxication, then this one is for you (though we recommend you to try our Holi special bhang thandai too)!

How about spending a canoeing or a kayaking Holi? Colour your Holi-day weekend with the hues of nature at The Lalit Spa and Resort Bekal. Our Holi Hideout Package entitles you to a host of adrenaline boosting activities like fishing, nature walk and foot reflexology sessions in addition to the gulal, gujiyas and gaiety!

Looking for a wholly different Holi this year? Celebrate with the candid colours of exotica at The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho. Enjoy the iridescent colours of our Holi Hungama package with traditional welcome tikka and aarti, puppet show and a scintillating sound and light programme on the evening of March 5, 2015; and of course, grand Holi celebrations the following day.

Do you love to eat? Or live to eat? Here’s calling all foodies!

The Lalit Chandigarh, The Lalit Grand Palace Bangalore and The Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata offer a mouth-watering array of dining options, with the culinary connivance of our chefs.

Linger longer on the Holi weekend at The Lalit New Delhi with a 30% discount on the second night; while The Lalit Mumbai makes your stay sweeter with sweet savouries and late checkout.

How could we forget Goa? One of India’s most sought after destinations, Goa has a Bacchanalian personality. Carefree and carnival-esque has always been associated with this seaside paradise. However, Holi brings out another side of Goa– colour, carnival and communities come together to be celebrated as Shigmotsav.

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Wanderlust Bites!!

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Tulip Garden Srinagar Never thought I’ll do it…but I did.

Romantic at heart that I am, I gave up a lucrative job to go roaming the world. Always harboured this fantasy, but a couple of months ago, I mustered the courage to journey like Columbus. I called it quits at office; gathered my savings, wits, and passport, and I was ready to zip, zap, zoom!

“Bags are packed, I’m ready to go…” But where? Sun-kissed beaches? Majestic mountains? Or Bustling cities? Touristy places? Salty lagoons?

Vague images began to swim in by head. Exotic tales of love, valour and famed hospitality, festivals of colour and light, mystic images of snake charmers and elephants, art and craftsmanship, faith and spirituality, forts and modern cities, cars and camels…

It became clearer to me. I was headed to India! Incredible India, waiting to be explored.

India is a breathtaking mix of desert dunes, mighty mountain ranges, azure seas and beaches, and gentle plains. It is a unique diaspora of diverse cultures and cuisines as varied as the different continents put together and more.

My sojourn begins, and I promise to take you along on my discovery of India- the highs and the lows, the journey to places that mesmerize, what I liked and disliked, and above all,  breathe life into experiences that make memories.

So, get set and tighten your seat belts, for a roller coaster ride it promises to be!!

Bon Voyage!!

“Travelogue by The Curious Traveller”

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Fond February Fourteen

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It is that time of the year again. Do you dread February, or look forward to it?

 

Chocolates hearts, greeting cards, lingerie, teddy bears, roses, wine, oysters, strawberries, love potions, ribbons and an overdose of pink and red!

Yes, it is that time of the year when Cupid plays havoc; and the entire world– from Tokyo to Timbuktu turns into a whole big, mushy Carnival.

 

The holiday’s roots lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia- a feast for fertility commemorated on February 15. It was Christian Pope Gelasius I who recast this pagan festival on February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. Other stories extol the virtues of a priest who attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II and was put to death. In a most ironic twist of fate, the story of St. Valentine is one not based on passionate or physical love, Eros (incidentally, he’s Cupid) but on agape (Christian love). St. Valentine was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion. Geoffrey Chaucer linked St. Valentine’s Day with romance in one of his poems:

“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day,

When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.”

Let us not ramble on with the history. The bottom line is today Valentine’s Day has evolved from a day honoring a Saint to a day that celebrates love. Weather you like it or not, Valentine’s Day takes over as any festival.

By the way, fun fact, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day? Phew, that’s a lot of letters to write by hand; thank god for emails and SMS!

Some people are funny about Valentine’s Day. They say it’s commercial and silly and propaganda, that you don’t need one day to show that you care etc. But there’s no taking away from the fact all this Valentine Day schmoodle lets you do one thing- to show the person you love that you think about more than any other. So in our busy calendar, there is this is one silly little day where you can make a fuss of someone who just makes your world that little bit better; acknowledge how much you appreciate having her/ him in your life. What’s so wrong with that propaganda on your agenda?

If you’re single with no strings attached, all this mushy mushy stuff does suck a bit, doesn’t it? Not anymore! Valentine isn’t restricted to the “mysterious” one. Grab your friends; get some great food and go out dancing– get set to paint the town red!! It is the theme colour anyways! Enjoy the chocolates, champagne, cheese and crackers. Have fun- it is meant for everyone!

For those bonded in holy matrimony, there’s really nothing wrong with keeping that spark of romance alive in your marriage. So why not show your partner that they’re still the stuff your dreams are made of?

Yup, it takes two to tango… but some practice to get the perfect arrangements in place. And yes, we’ve done it for you. So that Your Valentine woos don’t become Valentine woes! So for all the besotted, beloved or even the bereft, The Lalit presents a host of ‘wow’ Valentine options across all our properties. Take a peek and start planning…

 

Who wouldn’t want a romantic staycation in the same city? The Lalit New Delhi offers stay packages to suit every taste and wallet. Serenade your sweetheart under the stars at 24/7 Al fresco with unchained melodies of the violin, in a private Cabana and personalized butler service. Or treat your doting darling to a four-course Aphrodisiac menu at The Grill Room. Go the bold way, and do it with panache with poolside pyar!  Opt for our pre-booked champagne and roses stay package– complete with bubbly, blooms and butler. And, of course, with these we’ll pour out so much wine, you can bathe in it if you want!  With such an ambience, gourmet foods, and boundless pampering, believe us- your loved one will be talking about “the wonder of you” for a long time to come!

Aaaannd, while you’re at it, do NOT forget to take that purrrfect Valentine selfie with your loved one and post it for all your friends to see and ‘like’… or well, feel a tiny bit envious!

 

We’ll tell you why. Because we at The Lalit want to make sure your special moments are winnings moments with our SpecialMoments@TheLalit #Allforlove #Valentine contest. So log in and upload on Instagram or Facebook or both with hashtags galore, a selfie that captures the essence of that special moment of your Valentine date at any of our properties! Tag us on Instagram #Trending #fun, and the three couples that gets the maximum likes will be announced #winners! The first two winners get dining vouchers from The Lalit. The runner-up gets Rs. 1,000 voucher of Pastry Shop at The Lalit.

#selfie #hurry #date #ValentinesDay #planyourdate #win #Allforlove!

 

If party is your poison, make the most of the Valentine weekend. Make it a lucky Friday the 13th and start off the Valentine party early with dance, DJ and your darling! The uber-chic Kitty Su welcomes and entertains you and your betrothed with style; with some crazee love potions and portions menu. Not to mention some crazeee partying to take your breath away! Kitty Su’s famous for mood changes, so suit yourself. Make the most of mood services that Kitty Su offers through the many different rooms, each set with a separate tone- the Common Room, Salon, The Dressing Room or The List. So, if you’re looking for some serious partnered moves, or just living it up being fabulously single and dance the night away, Kitty Su is the hippest party destination to land!

 

The Lalit Ashok Bangalore offers a Moonlight Dinner and even a Love Cage for starry-eyed lovers… An intimate dinner in the secluded setting of a private cabana by the poolside, with five course decadent meal, starry skies because “you say it best when you say nothing at all” …need we really say more? And to capture this memorable Valentine for posterity, we’ve even arranged for on-the-spot photograph, presented in an exclusive The Lalit Frame for you to carry home.

 

You really “can’t help falling in love” with our Romantic Rendezvous Valentine dinner. And if you want to linger longer, the Valentine Stay Package also entitles you and your precious to a couple treatment at Rejuve – The Spa. Now, that’s a wonderful opportunity with steam! Wink wink!

And at Sutra, get love stung as the spirit of love takes over…you can feel it in your fingers, you can feel it in your toes, love is all around you, so come on and let it show…

Get it buzzing; and make it a night to remember with mocktails, music and masti! Escape into a phantasmagoria of music; lose yourself in the arms of your special loved one for a terrific tender twosome…

 

Reign with champagne at The Lalit Chandigarh!

A quintessential Valentine Date is never complete without sweets for your sweet. And we have just the thing. Rich red strawberries dipped in glistening ribbons of creamy smooth chocolate- so that you can savour the sweet, sour and tangy…much like relationships, don’t you think?

It comes with lavish buffet dinner at 24/7; accompanied by champagne, mocktails or wine, and our very own sparkling strawberry concoction on arrival. Wear your heart on your sleeve as you woo your Valentine with our four-course Prix Fixe Dinner at 24/7. Check out our bill of fare to accompany your billet-doux – after all, it is all about expressing love, isn’t it?

 

Alpha couples, this one’s for you.

If adrenaline is your seduction, then The Lalit Golf & Spa Resort Goa has the ultimate Valentine’s Package with surf, sun and sweetheart. How about that?!

This year, forget the clichéd red rose and heart-shaped candy (though we’ll arrange for those, too if you wish). Do something different that will leave more than empty chocolate wrappers and wilting flowers in its wake. Cruise out on the waves on a couple Jet Ski ride; head out on the swelling waters of the Arabian with a ‘cosy twosome’ day under the sun. Sure to earn you brownie points for an original idea! The Couple Jet Ski ride is part of our 2 nights stay package that also includes romantic Valentine’s Dinner at Sirocco Restaurant and access to DJ Night at Veri Feni.

 

Now isn’t’ that a truly exhaustive list?

Take your pick. Whether it is your first ‘Be mine, Valentine’ or your fiftieth ‘Forever mine, Valentine’, make your beloved feel extra-special with our impeccable arrangements!

 

So what are you waiting for? Pick up that phone and book right away.

We promise it will not be a hit and miss Valentine, but a hit with lots of kisses Valentine!!! 😉

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The Grill Room

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Redolent steaks, fresh seafood, crisp vegetables that are smoked, seared, broiled or grilled to perfection. A stupendous view to match!

Where can one find such a vista in the heart of Delhi? The Grill Room at The Lalit New Delhi!

Tucked away high above the city on the 28th floor, The Grill Room has always been a coveted dining destination. Don’t believe us? Believe this year’s winner of the Times City Food Award for Best European in Fine Dine Category, Delhi!

The it-place for contemporary European food finely crafted by Master Chef Ishika Konar, The Grill Room offers a sophisticated array of non-vegetarian and vegetarian fare.

Choose from a selection of premium cuts from Japan and USA- our signature premium tenderloin aged for days, poultry, seafood served in an eclectic mix of innovative dishes and comfortable old-school classics.

The Grill Room boasts of an impressive wine cellar of old-world vintage and new labels, delicately paired with each dish by French sommelier Charles Donnadieu.

Distinct flavors, the aroma of freshly baked warm bread, desserts, and a bird’s eye view of the city lights- could anything be better than this “top of the world” dining experience?

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Your New Year countdown…

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It is the season to be naughty and nice. Now that Santa took care of the nice part, go on; give way to your naughty self. The season for spoiling yourself begins! 😉

Now you want ideas, don’t you?

Unleash the party animal inside you; take hedonism to a new height! Have a wild Wednesday on 31st. Or spoil yourself, indulge in romantic nothings in an idyllic setting this New Year…

Have we prepared for a New Year’s eve celebration to suit any mood! Take your pick from any of our enticing New Year festive holidays across 11 cities.

Yessss, it is time to eat, drink, party and, indulge in guilt-free sin! Let your party spirit bungee jump. Kitty Su at The Lalit New Delhi is THE place to let your untamed side run riot!

In the mood for a quieter time? The Lalit Golf & Spa Resort Goa has arrangements for an intimate candle light dinner on the beach. Come on, this is the one evening you can let out the romantic inside you!

Are you a foodie? We promise an exciting food escapade at The Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata. A journey across the subcontinent, from Kabul to Bangladesh– the ‘Grand Trunk Road cuisine’ banquet – a food lover’s paradise.

If none of this is your style, we have a mysterious, fun-filled evening lined up. Lose yourself at the Masquerade ball at The Lalit Ashok Bangalore or The Lalit Chandigarh.

But we’ve got more. If soft, soul-stirring music is your toxin, Ghazal-e-Shaam is JUST the thing! Head to The Lalit Mumbai or The Lalit Jaipur for some exalted ghazal experiences that are sure to linger long after the New Year.

Enjoy an evening of classical dance performances on the lawns of The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho. Then, put on your dancing shoes before the DJ takes you on a musical climactic New Year countdown!

Are you game for something different? Like, reaaaaaally different.
Snuggle up in the lap of luxury this New Year. Special packages for everlasting memories at The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal, The Lalit Laxmi Vilas Udaipur and The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar.

That’s quite the line up, wouldn’t you agree? Decide. Make your reservation!

4-3-2-1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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Holly Jolly Christmas!

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The white snow and green fur trees, red candies and hanging mistletoes, hey it’s time for Christmas dear, oh ya, and reindeers too! It’s the time of the year when warm food with flavours such as cinnamon spice and nutmeg swirl are a highlight, and family gatherings are a must. It’s the time for milk and cookies, hot cocoa with marshmallows, fireplaces, stockings and sledges.

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

Make the most of all the amazing offers, beautiful settings and exquisite food at The Lalit Hotels this Christmas. So, draw lotsfrom a host of options. It is going to be unbelievable fun.

If you have a sweet tooth, which by the way is what festivals are all about, then you are going to fall in love with The Lalit Chandigarh and The Lalit Spa & Resort Bekal. While, the perfect plum cake recipe awaits you in Bekal, a variety of sweets at Le Petit will entice you at Chandigarh.

The Christmas spirit comes alive at The Lalit Mumbai and The Lalit New Delhi, with huge Christmas trees, fireplaces, holly and snow.

This one is so for the kids, a Santa Claus parade like no other, at The Lalit Jaipur. Your kids will adore you, and most importantly listen to you after this treat. Now this is a PERFECT Christmas present for all parents.

Turkey and Christmas go hand in hand, and we at The Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata…wait for it….give you the opportunity to roast your own turkeys! Aaaand, you get to do it with a complimentary glass of champagne. Drink while you cook— how perfect is our holiday planning?!

We are not done!
Imagine this, Christmas celebrations in traditional Indian setting. It’s not a farce; it is what The Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur and The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho have to offer- dhols, nagadas, tilaks and folk dances.

That’s not all. Our spectrum of options includes intimate candle lit dinners overlooking the beaches of Goa, mesmerizing views of snow covered peaks and reliving childhood memories building snowmen in Srinagar and scintillating black and gold themed Christmas celebrations in Bengaluru, The Lalit has it all.

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready for an exciting Christmas and make your choice today.

BOOK NOW

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VOTE for US: Times Food & Nightlife Awards 2015

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The Chef hats come off, the formal attire comes on, and everyone is set to take on the stage. All year long, behind the scenes, in state- of- the- art kitchens, talented Chefs innovate and deliver culinary succulence. Like artists, they create with the underlying that quality is taken for granted. And then, once a year, if you can crack through thick competition, acknowledgement comes knocking on the door in the form of  “The Times Food & Nightlife Awards.”

Instituted in 2003, The Times Food and Nightlife Awards are the biggest culinary awards in the country. They are based on a city wise format and cover various classes and cuisines. Judged by both renowned food critics and users, the awards night is an exalted affair.

Our dedication to innovation in food and belief in the complete dining experience landed us eight nominations, over different properties.

We did our jobs well. We pleased you. As food enthusiasts, it is time to cast your VOTE for US to win the prestigious Times Food & Nightlife Awards 2015. Your vote will mean tremendous encouragement.

Theses nominations await your vote:
The Lalit Golf and Spa Resort Goa has fetched three nominations, The Lalit Ashok Bangalore has also bagged three nominations and The Lalit New Delhi has attained two nomination. Come on VOTE for US!

1. Cortas:  Our Goan restaurant is nominated in the category of Best Shack Food- Fine Dine. We serve the most delicious and authentic Goan recipes.

2. Sirocco: Also at Goa, Sirocco is nominated for Best Mediterranean- Fine Dine. An exhaustive menu that caters to varied palates makes Sirocco a must visit.

3. Sea BQ: The last nomination from Goa for Best BBQ & Grill- Fine Dine. It is the go-to destination for steak and seafood lovers. The unique experience lies in our live kitchen equipped with Hibachi charcoal grills.

CORTA'SSIROCCOSEQ BQ

4. Baluchi: This legendary restaurant at The Lalit Ashok Bangalore is nominated in the category of Best North Indian- Fine Dine. The menu choices exude succulent and irresistible flavors.

5. OKO: The Pan Asian restaurant OKO at The Lalit Ashok Bangalore, is nominated in Fine Dine class for its cuisine. The ensemble of Asian cuisine at OKO is unparalleled. Over time, the restaurant has received numerous accolades for its exceptional food and wine selection.

6. Sutra: And, rounding off the nominations for The Lalit Ashok Bangalore is Sutra. It is nominated in the Best Lounge Bar- Luxurious Nightout category. This contemporary and vibrant lounge stands out for its creative cocktails, live music, and Bollywood inspired artwork.

baluchiOKOSUTRA

7. The Grill Room: Our rooftop, top-notch restaurant in Delhi, The Grill Room is nominated for Best European- Fine Dine. A menu crafted exclusively by Master Chef Ishika Konar and a wine selection compiled by French sommelier Charles Donnadieu, meet the fine dining experience expectation.

8. Kitty Su: We saved the hottest nomination as the last. The part club destination, Kitty Su is nominated in the Best Nightclub- Luxurious Nightout category. It is the trend setting nightspot in Delhi—Kitty Su.

THE GRILL ROOMKITTY SU

So, before you forget, VOTE for US! Voting ends on Saturday, 29 November 2014. Don’t wait, pick up the phone or log onto the website. It will only take a minute. VOTE for US.

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ROMANCE AT THE LALIT JAIPUR

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Reflecting rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan through its grand haveli architecture and resplendent interiors, The Lalit Jaipur provides the perfect ambience for a colourful Indian wedding. Make your wedding night an unforgettable sojourn at the The Lalit Jaipur. As the night marks the beginning of your new life together, we have designed our packages with special thought to every single detail to ensure that your wedding night would exactly be the way you dreamt about.

 

 

 

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