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Velaa Private Island to celebrate its 5th Anniversary in spectacular style

This December Velaa Private Island will celebrate 5 years of delivering private highly-personalised moments for its discerning guests with a series of festivities and complimentary experiences designed to delight guests with the wonders of the island, as the most exclusive private island hideaway in the Maldives marks this milestone anniversary.

To begin the Anniversary celebrations, the Velaa Recreation team will be organising golf, tennis, squash and table tennis tournaments as well as a friendly beach volleyball match for guests with the chance for them to win unique prizes, such as a tasting dinner at the signature, gastronomic restaurant Aragu, thrilling watersports activities, and relaxing spa treatments.

As night falls on the 20th December, General Manager, Michal Smejc and senior management team will host a complimentary cocktail party at Aragu. Guests will be greeted by the talented Czech violincellist, Tereza Kovalova, followed by a special surprise announcement that will be unveiled exclusively on the night. The island’s award-winning Chef Gaushan de Silva (whose previous roles include working at Noma and as the private chef to the royal family of Jordan) will then invite guests to enjoy a gourmet food journey, accompanied by the lively and sultry sounds of Los Angeles-based, Nova Jazz ensemble.

After dinner, Velaa’s exciting entertainment will continue with an astonishing Water and Laser Show, followed by the dynamic Italian 4-piece band, the Swingrowers, taking to the stage who will keep guests dancing under the stars until the early hours.

Commenting on this anniversary, Michal Smejc, General Manager of Velaa Private Island, said “This is truly a celebration of our family’s dream becoming a reality. We are so proud of what we have achieved in five years and to have welcomed guests to our island hideaway from all over the world, who return year after year.  We have a true passion for the Maldives, the Maldivian culture and people, and the spectacular marine life here, which we are committed to protecting. We will strive to keep delivering exceptional experiences and look forward to unveiling some exciting announcements in the New Year!

To Book: Velaa Private Island’s Beach Pool Villas start from $4,700++ (AED 17,261++) per night inclusive of daily breakfast. (Rates are subject to 10% service charge, 12% government tax (TGST) and government green tax US$ 6 per person per night.)

To book, email reservations@velaaisland.com  or call +960.6565.000

About Velaa Private Island:

Nestled within the constellation of islands that form the remote northern Noonu Atoll in the Maldives, Velaa Private Island takes exclusivity to the next level with facilities and services that go beyond traditional resorts. Designed by award-winning Czech architect Petr Kolar as “an elegant fusion of Maldivian culture with contemporary luxury, intimate with Maldivian nuances”.

Velaa Private Island is the realisation of the Owner’s dream to create a ‘beyond luxury’ exclusive boutique hideaway in the Maldives. Velaa means “Turtle Island” in the local language – named after generations of sea turtles that flock here to nest and hatch. From a broader “bird’s eye view” which greets arrivals by seaplane, the island’s exclusive over-water villas are also constructed to resemble the head of a turtle, with the island forming the body.

The resort comprises 47 private villas, houses and exclusive residences. While 18 of the 47 are built over water, the Romantic Pool Residence can only be reached by boat, allowing even more privacy and exclusivity.

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A feeling of Royalty, Rajasthali Resorts

“We were treated as Queens, a feeling of Royalty” – Manushi Chillar, Miss India World 2017

It was a memorable time for all to be able to host the Finalists of FBB Colors Femina Mis India 2017 and also to welcome Miss India World 2017, Ms. Manushi Chillar again at the Rajasthali Resorts and Spa.

Here is what the Beauty Queen had to say about the resort !

 

To visit Rajasthali Resorts, connect with me – barkhamahesh@gmail.com

Check out our HIGHLIGHTS section to know all that I have been upto !

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Friday Brunch launch at the Organic Italian Restaurant Sabella’s

Ajman Hotel launches a unique Mediterranean Brunch every Friday at the Organic Italian Restaurant Sabella’s

Located only 30-minutes away from the buzz of downtown Dubai, Ajman Hotel presents its unique Mediterranean Brunch at the Organic Italian Restaurant Sabella’s; and we can assure you the food variety will require you arrive hungry!

Every Friday, indulge in an array of culinary surprises, where the lavish buffet awaits with specialities from Italy, France, Spain and Greece; accompanied with dedicated live stations where fresh pizza and pasta compete with the best seafood coming directly from the grill.

The restaurant offers a bright and warm atmosphere, as natural light shines through the large windows, whilstSabella’s terrace offers delightful views over the lush green gardens and Arabian Gulf. To perfect this culinary journey, our resident live band Blue Soul Duo will perform the best classics from the South of Europe, creating a convivial atmosphere to share with friends and family.

Then, your laid back afternoon can continue at the temperature controlled pool where kids have their separate section, or if you prefer the flickering of the waves, choose the pristine white-sand private beach, offering the best spot for breathtaking sunset.

Fridays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, until 30 September 2018. | For reservations, please contact: fboffice@hotelajman.com or +971 6 714 5582

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From Warrior Fort to Luxury Resort , Alila Fort Bishangarh

THE MAKING OF ALILA FORT BISHANGARH

FROM WARRIOR FORT TO LUXURY RESORT: REBUILDING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE

 

Alila Fort

Alila means “Surprise” in Sanskrit, which suitably describes the refreshing character of this luxury resort, a bridge between the past and the future. The hallmark of Alila is the combination of innovative design and luxury in unique locations, set apart by an unprecedented level of private space, crafted artisan-ship, personalized hospitality, and bespoke journeys.

Perched on top of a granite hillock in the midst of a vast expanse of the Aravalli Range, surrounded by hills dotted with havelis, villages and temples, Alila Fort Bishangarh is the result of the adaptive reuse of a 230-year-old warrior fort into one of India’s most unique heritage properties.

Adaptive reuse offers a sustainable option for the reclamation of heritage sites, an inspiring way to preserve and revive an existing building by merging its traditional ideals with modern culture, usage, design techniques and ideas.

Built during Rajasthan’s royal era as an outpost guarding the kingdom of Jaipur (Amber) against invaders from the North, the fort at Bishangarh had long outlived its original purpose. Almost a decade ago, as the fort stood abandoned in a dilapidated condition, inhabited by thousands of bats and monkeys, the owners – a Rajput leader by birth and election and two successful entrepreneurs – together with Alila took a visionary decision to breathe new life into its reincarnation as a boutique resort, while maintaining its stark sanctity.

What followed was an extraordinary journey of transformation to keep this piece of tangible heritage alive, taking complete care to retain the original structure in its full integrity while reinventing it for the 21st century.

Immense challenges had to be overcome – including stabilising and strengthening the ruins, constructing a road up to the fort, finding circulation through 3m thick walls, and deciphering the unconventional puzzle of the organic structure, which featured not a single 90-degree wall.

Upper and outer wings were adapted to the original fortification to carve out 59 suites following the curved and sloping walls of the existing turrets. Rooms and restaurants have been made to fit around the original walls – 2 to 3 m-wide in many places. With no typical floor plan, there were 23 different room configurations in all, the precise details of which took some 1,800 hours to draw up. To add to that, 23 unique venues  have been created for meetings and celebratory events.

 

Stay tuned more on our visit to Alila Fort and the lovely experience there.

 

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Visit to the heritage village at Chokhi Dhani

Has it happened to you, that during a conversation someone mentions the name of a place and the name pops up when you are closer to it …. I guess it’s Universe’s way of saying you have to go there !

This is what happened with Choki Dhani, I thank my sister in law for mentioning the place as she had been there earlier… and she told me don’t miss it if you get the chance between your work.

Yes, the visit to Jaipur was an official tour but I got one day to explore and use it to my leisure… so after a day spent in retail therapy ( can we live without it … wink wink) I set off to chokhi dhani earlier and wanted to reach there before the sunset to capture pictures in the natural light.

I totally loved the way they were welcoming the guests with the traditional tilak on the head and dhol musicians playing just before you enter the lobby. Couldn’t take a picture of myself though !

It was nice ambiance as you enter the lobby in the traditional decor so typical of Jaipur. Your entry to the village is through your dinner booking at the lobby … you have the option of sitting in the open or take the air conditioned dining in a separate area. Of course the weather in August was so amazing that you don’t want to spend it in air conditioning (living in Dubai, we are in it all year round). So done with my dinner booking I entered inside the place and was in awe of the simplicity and beauty of the whole setup !

Entrance of Chokhi Dhani

There are small food and chat corners, rope walker, different folk dances by local artists, henna design, elephant and camel rides and an amazingly designed play area for children. There was a wrestlers ring as well !! Really and there were some guests trying to show off muscle ..hahaha it was so funny watching people with a pot belly wrestling with professionals ! but who cares when you are of a sporting nature !

Swipe left or right to see the below images …

There are nice places to rest and sit and enjoy the setup. The dinner starts to be served from 6.30 … oh but do enjoy the dances and the henna before you go for the food… I am an early eater so I went in for dinner and then decided to explore the handicraft market – Kalagram and also the haldi ghatti setup with the historic representation of the story of Maharana Pratap. But a little bit of henna on the hand was lovely by the village artist.

The Dining hall was built like a hut with the food serving station in the center and the seating was of course on the floor with food being served in eco-friendly vessels. Well if you are a weight watcher then good luck to you …. you need to be on a slightly empty stomach to enjoy the food or have a good appetite. The traditional daal batthi churma, with gathe ki sabji and different rotis to go with it and chaas …oh gosh … writing about it is only having me drooling about the food.  The amazing thing I loved was the lighted walls with the diyas .. it gave such a soft and soothing effect to dining !

Enjoyed a little entertainment before the dinner …

After dinner it was the Haldi Ghatti and Kalagram shopping of handicrafts … here are a few pictures !

In all a lovely village setting with nice dinner and activities with light entertainment for everyone … the weather gave it the little chill that a desert should be associated with … the nights are cooler.

Tirupathi Temple live size representation

And after all the indulging in the kalagram with handicraft shopping … I bid farewell to a relaxed and light evening surrounded by heritage and culture at Chokhi Dhani !

Ram Ram Sa … good bye the rajasthani way

Ram Ram Sa …. till next time

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Surrounded by Heritage and History

Living in the city … a concrete jungle gets to you after a time. And the heat of the summer in a desert is not a pleasant feeling either… a welcome and a fresh breath of air was Jaipur … totally a city I have fallen in love with … the history, heritage and culture is part of the daily lives of those residing there.

See it from the eyes of a person who has not seen rain or greenery for a year !!! Choosing a place was a bit of a challenge but friends can give you the right recommendation and save the effort … I needed a place with greenery , heritage and quiet surrounding away from the city.

Hari Mahal Palace Hotel, Jaipur – Rajasthan India ; was such a place that fit the bill perfectly … rooms in the main mansion were neat and luxurious with small touches of culture.

The open terrace and the lobby area was very well arranged to enjoy the outside rainy and cool weather and keep yourself cosy indoor as well if you are not a rain person ….