Royal Travel’s Grand Sojourn Through India
Embarking on a luxurious journey through India is a dream come true for any traveler seeking opulence, culture, and unforgettable experiences. Royal Travel’s Melissa Lee just returned from a bespoke journey of India on an exclusive itinerary that encapsulates the grandeur, history, and diversity of this remarkable country. From the heart of Delhi to the iconic Taj Mahal, to the regal charm of Jaipur and the enchanting wilderness of Ranthambore, this itinerary is a tapestry of opulence, heritage, and cultural immersion. Follow along through this extraordinary adventure.
Welcome to India: Delhi
Melissa’s journey to India began with a lavish transfer to The Leela Palace New Delhi and a welcome blessing upon arrival. The 5-star Leela Palace New Delhi offers guests a modern and luxurious stay in classically designed hotel offering a range of services and amenities from Indian to international cuisine, a full spa and a rooftop pool with views overlooking the diplomatic enclave surrounding the hotel.
The first days in Delhi were full of unique and exclusive experiences: Private rickshaw tour through the hidden treasures of the old city, including Old Delhi and Dharampura Haveli seeing the bustling streets, spice markets, and the elegance of Dharampura Haveli; Private tour of The Presidential Palace, Rashtrapati Bhavan.; A visit to Humayun’s Tomb and the impressive newly built Sunder Nursery Museum.
Udaipur: A Regal Retreat Beckons in Rajasthan
From the hustle and bustle of Delhi, Melissa flew a little over an hour to Udaipur where she was transferred to a private boat to shuttle her from the banks of Lake Pichola to the private dock of The Oberoi Udaivilas. Upon arrival to the The Oberoid Udaivilas, guests are welcomed by a blessing and showering of rose petals to welcome them to the property. The highlights of this sprawling property with gorgeous pools, abundant greenery, multiple dining outlets and a full-service spa were the stunning sunsets overlooking the lake and the incredible attention to detail from the staff and within the regal design of the rooms.
In addition to enjoying the tranquility and beauty of Lake Pichola, Udaipur and the surrounding areas present a wealth of experiences to enjoy. The City Palace, home to Crown Prince of Mewar and his family, sits on the banks of Lake Pichola and in addition to housing the royal family and historical museums, was also used as a site for the James Bond Film “Octopussy’. The Jain Temple at Ranakpur is an opportunity to visit and learn about Jainism, one of India’s oldest religions and practiced by approximately .4% of the population. A visit to Mountbatten Lodge for a special lunch after visiting the Jain Temple will give you a glimpse into a quieter, more rural Rajasthan and a peek into the rich history of Reggie Singh and his family.
Fort Barwara: Relaxation, Spa and Tigers at Six Senses Fort Barwara
Six Senses Fort Barwara is an impressive modern wellness retreat with a focus on sustainability, luxurious comfort and wellness that maintains many elements of the original 14th century to which the hotel was born from. When walking through the property, one is dazzled by the original palace and temple buildings that have been seamlessly woven into the new builds.
The on-site activities here range from sustainability and conservation workshops at the hotels Earth Lab, Hatha yoga and sound bathing at the Spa Terrace, wellness spa services at the Six Senses Spa and in-house rituals in the house temple. At night, the in-house astronomer sets up a telescope for star gazing and if you’re lucky, you can see the rings of Saturn and other present planets. The cuisine ranges from local and international cuisine with a highlight being the Mediterranean cuisine at Rani Bagh.
For an excursion beyond Six Senses Fort Barwara, Six Senses organizes thrilling game drives in Ranthambore National Park where the Royal Bengal Tiger roam. Ranthambore is a 30-minute drive from Six Senses and home to a multitude of wildlife both big and small to captivate all who visit.
Colorful Jaipur: A Treasure of Design, Print and Artistry
The city of Jaipur is world-famous for its colorful textile art, craft design and high-end jewelry. Dastkar Ranthambhore is an NGO that promotes and empowers local women in the Ranthambore area to make and sell goods with a particular focus on hand block-printing textiles and goods. Rajasthan Fabrics & Arts is a treasure trove of antique fabrics that showcase the history of the textile arts in Rajasthan. Satayam interprets traditional Rajasthan fabrics and workmanship into modern day application for clothing and soft home furnishings. Gyan Jaipur is a 4th generation of family business selling handmade fine jewelry inspired by the artistic traditions of Jaipur.
The expansive Oberoi Rajvilas offers a special place for R&R when taking a break from exploring the excitement of Jaipur. When walking through this 5-star property of hotel rooms, private villas and tented villas, you’ll find yourself sharing the walking paths with the resident peacocks while elsewhere, hotel guests are swimming in the outdoor pool or practicing yoga in the meditation garden.
The Majesty of Agra: A New Day, A New Dawn
A visit to India should not be just about seeing the iconic monuments, but also about experiencing the special flavors, sounds and feels that uniquely define India. That said, Melissa’s visit to India would not be complete with a visit to the majestic Taj Mahal.
The grandeur of the Taj Mahal is best seen at sunset and sunrise when the sun’s light dances across its marble surfaces and the crowds have thinned. There are endless vantage points to take in the magnificent structure (read: lots of amazing photo opportunities!) and a ticketed entry inside the mausoleum to see the tombs and gaze upon precious and semiprecious gem inlay.
The Oberoi Amarvilas has unparalleled views of the Taj Mahal from every guest room and suite for more Taj Mahal viewing and easy access to the Taj Mahal site during visitor hours. The hotel is a luxurious haven with beautiful hand-painted murals, terraced gardens, outdoor dining under the stars, sumptuous garden picnics, a relaxing pool and a full-service spa.
Melissa’s first trip to India was nothing short of spectacular. When asked what the highlight of her trip was, she responded, “Everything! I can’t wait to go back and now that I’ve been, I see that there’s so much more to India than the few places I visited.” Indeed, there is so much to explore and discover throughout India from the cities to the rural communities, from the palaces to the national parks, beaches, mountains and beyond. A visit to India begins with a first introductory trip and ends with the promise to return soon.
- Fort Barwara