Entrance at Devi Ratn Resort- 8pm
12 Hours After Delhi
our car finally drove up to the magnificent entrance of Devi Ratn, Jaipur, our accommodation for The Day which of course, has turned into The Night. Despite the fact that we were tired, hungry and very grimy, we were blown away. You would think a Maharajah has seen it all but no, he can still be awed.
An empty reception area the next morning
We were of course the only guests for the night and standing at the entrance and waiting were our guest relations manager, Aji, together with 4 others. Aji was so worried (since we were late by almost 8 hours) that she had called our contact in Mumbai to check if we were still alive, a few times. I didn't want to explain about the train or the jam or the punctured tire because any Maharajah worth his salt would have just taken the camel. And unlike the afternoon, this time , we were very grateful for the welcome drinks.
The empty dining room at Devi Ratn- Proof that we were the only guests for the night
Being the only guests there (bears repeating to convince the sceptics out there), the kitchen was awaiting our orders before they start on any preparations. Aji suggested a traditional Rajasthani thali feast to which the chief concubine enthusiastically agreed. About an hour later, we arrived at the dining room. A pleasure to the senses, this room was built to create a shimmery silver and gold ambience. But the long and tiring journey has taken a toll on the entourage and the harem girls started quibbling over the littlest of trifle.
"The ceiling is in 2 shades of gold."
"Nonsense! It's just the light, there's only 1 shade."
"Rubbish! Actually maybe there are 3 shades."
"I TELL you it's just one shade of gold and the rest is silver"
and on and on and on
@-@ <---Maharajah rolls eyes
Finally the food arrived and the music started. How fitting that it was a song from the movie that inspired it all (My Mahararjah's Palace), the theme from Mira Nair's "Kama Sutra-A Tale of Love". The food was good but not extra-ordinary and it did not come cheap.
Window seat in the room with a bowl of hazelnuts on the table
We have a beautiful room and on each pillow is a little tube of aromatic oil, each one a different scent. "Peace", "Dream" and "Tranquility". And that was exactly the kind of night we had in the beautiful resort. I slept so soundly that I didn't even hear myself snore.
Facade of the Villa
My Singaporean friend, now located in Mumbai, recommended this resort to me. At the time we were there, the resort was not yet opened to the public. Let me tell you this is how one gets exclusive possession without paying the full price. The flip side is of course, you also do not get to enjoy the full suite of facilities.
View just outside the room of linkway to another building in the resort compound
A feast for the eye and as far as I am concerned, an architectural marvel, Devi Ratn celebrates the pink city of Jaipur by infusing the architectural tradition of Rajasthan-with its red sandstone structure-and paying homage to Maharajah Jai Singh's ancient astronomical observatories, one of them, Jantar Mantar , and the biggest, lies right here in Jaipur city.
This is where we sat to settle our bill the next day. And realise that dinner cost a bomb!
Once again, I did not intend this post to be devoted to just Devi Ratn but I think some of my architect friends will enjoy the pictures. 2 days ago, I wanted a one entry post on this part of my trip. Last night, I thought maybe it will be a 3 parter. Tonight, it has become a mini series of 4 episodes.
Tomorrow, I will show you Jantar Mantar and the City Palace, only if it pleases you of course.