Published on September 17th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard0
Street-life Then The Spa
TAKE ME THERE – to Rajasthan where Lebua Hotels & Resorts have three properties offering royal retreats that allow guests to experience the opulence of royal life without paying a king’s ransom.
Properties include Devi Garh by Lebua in Udaipur; Lebua Resort in Jaipur; and Lebua Lodge at Amer, Jaipur.
The property pictured – Devi Garh by lebua – is a heritage hotel in an 18th-century palace in the village of Delwara.
It was the royal residence of the rulers of Delwara principality, from the mid-18th century until the mid-20th century.
Today’s India is a far cry from the place I visited so long ago as a young migrant on her way from the UK to a new life in Australia.
That visit was sinfully brief and it’s high time I got back to India.
Fortunately, the country now boasts a surfeit of luxurious hotels, like the one pictured above.
If a person is going to do India properly – that is get out into the streets to absorb all the chaos, colour and confusion – then that person must have luxury to sink into at the end of each hectic day.
It is one thing to risk your life in a rickshaw by avoiding a wandering cow in frenzied traffic, but it is quite another if you have to come back to anything less than a hotel that will cosset and protect you from that world, once inside its hallowed lobbies and luxuriously calm rooms (or suites if I have my way.)
Stepping out of your hotel to be confronted by India’s madness (not to mention limbless but nimble beggars who latch on to you) will be exciting only if you know there is an icy gin and tonic and a cold towel waiting for you on your return.
Eating on the street wouldn’t bother me at all (a bout of Delhi Belly, good for weight loss), but only if there is a high-end dining room back at the hotel complete with twinkling chandelier, fine china, heavy silver and turbaned staff just waiting for my patronage.
Touring the slums to see the raw India would be insightful only as long as there is a fragrant spa back at the hotel with an appointment book filled with my name.
I know I will love India when I get back there again. I’m going to enjoy the monstrous momentum of the cities, the eclectic vistas in the countryside, the astonishing contrasts between rich and poor … and relish them all.
But only after a martini and a massage.