Bujera Fort: The Modern Mughal’s Abode

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Image courtesy of Bujera Fort

You’d be fooled for thinking that the little rural village had a long and colourful history with the imposing Bujera Fort. So seamlessly do its coral pink walls, cascading with bougainvillea, run through the town. One wonders about the tales of ruling Maharajas and long disbanded feudal systems. But in reality, this property is only a few years old. A miracle, that a new build fort could be created with such elegance and style; whilst most of its counterparts end up looking like gaudy cheap representations.

 

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Image courtesy of Bujera Fort

Bujera Fort balances the best of both worlds. Enter through a Mughal inspired quadrangle garden, complete with would be step-well turned swimming pool. No ancient crumbling walls in need of repair, instead pink stone (inspired by the walls of the nearby Kumbalgarh Fort) blending in seamlessly with the surrounding architecture. There are fourteen suites, each decorated in a unique style. Antique four posters, marble inlay drawers, and private balconies. Chintz fabrics add a quaint effect. Marble clad bathrooms include capacious baths, block printed dressing gowns (available to buy at the hotel gift shop) and complimentary Kama toiletries.

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Image courtesy of Bujera Fort

Owner Richard, believes that all guests should be made to feel at home, rather than as though they are staying at a hotel. This means that each of the rooms includes hand-picked book collections. The recent addition of two Labrador puppies makes this hotel feel even more like a home. The food is something to write home about, Richard is a keen cook and believes as much as possible should be made from scratch.

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Image courtesy of Bujera Fort

As British as apple crumble it was no mean feat for Richard taking on such an extensive building project in Udaipur and it was not without its high and lows. But hard work pays of and Bujera Fort is an utter success. An ideal spot from which to base yourself if you don’t want to be right in the heart of town.

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For direct bookings click here.

Rural Rajasthani Refinement at Shahpura Bagh

As reviewed for The Hotel Guru:

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Amidst sprawling gardens this historic estate oozes elegance and charm. Suites fit for a maharaja include four-posters, ornate textiles and large, airy windows. A feast of traditional Rajasthani dishes is served in the dining room or al-fresco whilst the heated outdoor pool is the place to relax.

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An oasis in unexplored Rajasthan. Dating back to the 19th century, Shahpura Bagh provides a stay amidst history with the family of this ancestral mansion house. As you take the turning off the main highway spluttering traffic and screeching truck horns are replaced by stubborn bullock carts driven by be-turbaned Rajasthani farmers in dusty dhotis. Wandering distance from colourful town centre the white gates of Shahpura Bagh are a portal to a bygone age of refined luxury and undisturbed tranquility.

3118049-shahpura-bagh-rajasthan-indiaAccommodation is spread across two colonial style bungalows, ensconced by 40 acres of verdant lawns and farmland, plus a heated pool. An intimate affair there are just nine rooms, all divine, packed with antiques and featuring lounge areas meant for lingering; bathtubs meant for soaking. Our favourites would have to be the Royal Suites for their capacious four posters and open fire places. Generous touches such as complimentary birdwatching and farm visits or sundowners at Dikhola Fort make one feel truly spoilt.

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Getting to know your fellow guests over drinks, canapés and an open fire make you feel right at home. Dine surrounded by family portraits and hunting trophies to the beat of a long unplayed rock n roll score. Another whiskey, sir? Why on earth not. A daily set menu of regional dishes (it is a veritable feast) is served, whilst a continental spread is provided each morning and lunch is set to order. Let’s just say you will not go hungry here! But what is most impressive about Shahpura Bagh is how committed Jai, Sat and their families are to their local community. From monetary donations, personal property converted into schools and employing a team of all local staff, Shahpura Bagh and its town are one. For an authentic yet luxurious, rural Rajasthan experience stay here: no questions asked.

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Great for: A bucolic break between Jaipur and Udaipur and is easily accessible from Jodhpur and Ranthambore.

Best time to go: Between October – March is the best time to visit Rajasthan, though it can be quite magical during the monsoon. Expect it to be chilly in the evening between December and January.

For direct bookings click here.

Take the Road Less Travelled in Style: The Kohima Camp, Nagaland

Take the Road Less Travelled in Style: The Kohima Camp, Nagaland

A piece published in Delhi’s own Little Black Book, Delhi.

As a Brit, the words ‘festival’ and ‘camping’ conjure up memories of leaky tents, soggy clothing, and hangovers that just won’t budge. Whilst the concept of “glamping” has been around for a while, you will need very deep pockets to escape the mud: VIP tents at Glastonbury festival will set you back £7000+. Ever the innovators, the concept of “glamping” {glamorous camping} is enjoying a real moment in India right now. With many adventurists wanting to explore its roads less travelled; temporary, luxury accommodation is the perfect option for locations not frequented all year round.

Whilst India might not be able to compete in the way of music festivals, it has more religious and cultural celebrations that you can shake a sacred stick at, with many modern day pilgrims and travellers wanting to attend.

Presenting The Ultimate Travelling Camp; bringing you five star accommodation in seasonal or date specific locations. The first camp of its kind in India, it is a truly nomadic experience. Having only last month wrapped up their second season in Ladakh, where they were stationed for the Kalachakra festival, in honour of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as I write this, TUTC is busy traversing the country’s most winding passes and remote hill stations, making its way to Nagaland in time for The Hornbill Festival.

At this annual festival, the sixteen tribes that make up the state come together to showcase their traditions, tribal fashion, culinary delights and musical talents. Despite their fearsome reputation of being the Land of the headhunters, for ten days, the Nagas put their differences aside for a jam-packed program of events. Running from the 1st to the 10th of December, with Mr. Modi inaugurating the event, there seriously is no better place to experience the festivities than from TUTC’s Kohima Camp, Nagaland.

Kohima Camp TentThe definition of ‘glamping’: a khaki luxury tent at The Kohima Camp

Forget sleeping bags, we’re talking four poster beds with memory foam mattresses. On returning from a day of exploring the Hornbill Festival, warm your feet by the roaring camp fire, and slip out of those well-worn hiking boots into a pair of fluffy hotel slippers. Maggi noodles and toasted marshmallows? Try freshly baked focaccia bread, to accompany your piping hot lobster bisque. The Kohima Camp, Nagaland has taken care of everything, and if there really is anything else you require, then your own personal butler {who you will literally want to take home with you when you leave} will take care of the rest.

This is camping like you have never experienced it before!

Notes in our Little Black Book | Four poster beds, luxury tents, a delectable menu, here’s presenting the ultimate traveling camp, bringing you five star accommodation in seasonal or date specific locations. Next up, the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland.

Where: Kohima Camp, Nagaland, Tekweuju, Above Japfu Christian College, Kigwema, Kohima, Nagaland

Kohima Camp is running a special limited edition for eleven days only, from 30th Nov to 10th December for The Hornbill Festival. Find out more at here.