After lot of deliberations on where to go, and last minute (which is almost 1.5 months before the scheduled date) searches of air flights, we decided to give more priority to our hotel of stay, than spending on travel. And, hence, Jaipur it was.
Delhi-NCR doesn’t have lot of tourist places around for weekend getaways. So, people here are left quite deserted, so to speak. But, as I explore more and more of Rajasthan, I think there’s no other place you need. The year 2013 proved to be an year full of travel for us. We planned many small vacations.
Dec’2012 : South trip (Bangalore-Mysore-Ooty-Connoor-Kovalam-Rameshwaram-Bangalore)
Jan’2013 : Pondicherry
August’2013: Mount Abu and Udaipur
November’2013 : Jaipur
Wow, I am proud of myself and Tarun. 🙂
Now, coming to Jaipur.
We were not very excited about the city as much as we were excited about our hotel. Saving on our travel proved useful as we could book a higher-end hotel. We booked Trident, Jaipur. It’s a 5-star luxury hotel and I must say, stands up to expectations. We had been in 5-star hotels but mostly, through the company. (Lemme think of the 5-star places my company has generously taken me to – Chokhi Dhani, Jaipur, The Taj Heritage Hotel, Gwalior, ITC Mughal, Agra! Hmmm, Awesome! My life rocks! :D) It’s funny how most of the times, I just proved lucky to be at the right place at the right time. Chokhi Dhani, when I was at client side from my company; Gwalior happened because my husband’s company took the complete family for the offsite, so I visited it; it’s only now that I visited Agra when ‘I’ was actually an employee of ‘that company’.
I got side-tracked again 😛
Well, Jaipur boasts of lot of tourist spots but having been to Jaipur quite number of times, we were not very interested in going to all the places. We wanted to chose selected places and enjoy our stay at the hotel. A peaceful, comfortable getaway.
Travel : We reached Jaipur on 29th morning. We had made our reservation in Chair-Class (CC) of Swarna Shatabdi Express. I should rather say, that was the only thing available till the time we woke up to reserve seats for our travel. We were planning to drive to Jaipur previously, but we read many reviews on the net about roads being in a messy shape because of fly-overs and highways being constructed. So, we decided to opt for the train. Well, I would rate a CC ride better than a 3-tier AC. 3-tiers get pretty crowded and you have to adjust a lot between passengers. If someone wants to sleep, and you have the lower berth for yourself, you’re forced to sleep too. CC had more leg-room than any of the air-flights. You get food and drinks served by the Express train. The food was definitely not very tasty so better if you can make your own arrangements. The packed items that they provide (like, Mother Dairy Lassi, Amul butter for bread etc) are good. Thankfully, we were carrying paranthas and we ate only those. The cutlets and besan cheela given by them, went all waste.
Accommodation: We had our booking at the Trident, Jaipur from 30th – 2nd. We needed a hotel for 29th. So, we booked Umaid Bhawan. It is a nice hotel. Very nice ambience and food. Most of the facilities (pool, seating area, garden), hygiene, room facilities, are nice. They even provide complimentary pick-up from the railway station/ bus stop. These are quite near to their hotel so it’s an easy plus for them to provide. But, nonetheless, a nice extra to have.
Trident, Jaipur was nice place too. Excellent and very supportive staff.
> Plus : Kids area in the campus. There’s a care-taker too so if your child is well-fed, you can leave him there for an hour or so too. They have the facility of a baby-sitter, if you need one, but I didn’t try that, so can’t comment on that. They knew that I was visiting on my Anniversary, so they gave us a very special welcome by sending a bunch of beautiful roses, and a cake later. The cake was awesomely yummy 🙂
> Negatives: Ummm, while there was nothing bad/wrong with the hotel, there was nothing special either. Coming from Umaid Bhawan, I was getting the same facilities, same meals, and rather a smaller-room than umaid’s room, BUT I was paying two-n-a-half-times more. Brings a question to your mind – is it worth the amount?
> Big Big Plus : I met Irrfan Khan at the hotel 😛 My money was well spent. 🙂 🙂
We visited Chokhi Dhani, Jaipur on 29th. I had visited it before but it was the first visit for Tarun and Anay. And well, travelling with Tarun, everything was a first for me too. 🙂 It’s a lovely place. So many things to see, to savour. It actually brings the ethnic and cultural feel of a real-village alive. Rides (Horse, elephant, camel, boat), Eateries (Puchkas, Kulladh ka doodh, welcome drink -chhaach, and many more), artificial places (tree-house, village huts and chopal, pond with artificial crocodile and deers, small artificial lake), folk-stuff (2-3 group of people performing different forms of dances of Rajasthan; tribal people singing somewhere; someone playing a lonely flute, another performing magic show, snake dance) and many more of such. There is also many other things happening: Mehendi, Astrologer (3 different kinds), Kala Gram. etc etc A total fun outing for the complete family. No one leaves disappointed.
Amer Fort: A very nice fort. There are 3 options for you to travel up to the fort from the ground level.