Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Day 234-A Night In The Life Of A Maharajah

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

while

@-@ <---Maharajah rolls eyes

Thali

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


The Room

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.

Devi Ratn

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. 

37 comments:

Susanne said...

Could I have a taste of that meal, please?
Love, Susanne

The Old Maid said...

Yes please please! What a great place to stay - even though the food costs a lot:) Beautiful photos and the music is back!:D

Kim said...

I am with Susanne- I would like a taste of the meal! It's beautiful to look at- even if it did cost a bomb :) Such gorgeous pictures Sans- of course it would please us to see more and more!

rosanna said...

It will never be as expensive as the one we had in Bali and t deinitely looks yummy. The resort is truly awesome, love how the light flows through the grills. The dinner room was majestic, gold and silver ?! fit for Your Majesty. I'm looing forward the new episodes.Hugs, Rosanna

Sans! said...

Sure, Susanne, it will cost you though like it did me. But if you make friends with a great chef like Gagan (of Peacock and paisley),she may make you some. :):)

I think I may have made it sound like it's not good enough . It was actually very delicious. My friend took better pictures which I may get hold of only this Saturday. Let's say you haven't seen the best yet :):).

Sans! said...

Ewa, the 2nd song is the one they played at the restaurant. :):)

Will you believe me if I tell you as I was picking the songs for this post that I had thought :hmm Ewa will like this . LOL

Sans! said...

Kim, a thali meal is very common here in Singapore. Maybe I say this because I live s close to Little India but until that day, I didn't know it was called "thali" (pronounced ta-li) . Usually vegetarian though. That night the chef did 2 kinds of curry for us, fish and mutton and we also had tandoori chicken, endless supply of 5 different kinds of nann and rice with nuts and raisins. The desert was ice cream if I remember correctly. Really need more complete pictures. Luckily ashram life was not so excessive or I would have put back on all the weight I lost during the operation. :):)

Sans! said...

Rosanna,you may be right. The dinner cost over S$200 for 3 of us. Maybe we think its expensive because we have access to food like this in Singapore and they are inexpensive.

I think this resort will win awards. I was told that the owner is a big fan of architecture and design and played a big part in its conceptualisation. It was really uncompleted when we were there and as we walked to our room, we could see people still drilling, hammering and sawing.

We paid maybe 1/3rd of its normal price and personally I didn't mind the construction. My friends though thought they would not recommend staying there now. It was supposed to be fully functional by 1/4 but I was / am sceptical :).

Anyway, I don't think we can afford the full price ..hehe.

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

How Lucky you were to stay in such a beautiful resort. The food looks delicious, I can imagine the meal with the music and beautiful surroundings. I can't wait to see your next post, I can't imagine more beauty than this :)

Victoria ♥

BiWuBär said...

As far as I am concerned, this report can last for many more episodes... Staying at this stunning resort must have been a fantastic experience - even if they were still working on it. Now I'll wait impatiently for the next report of Your Royal Highness and which part in the life of an outstanding Maharaja like you it will tell me about... ;O)

Greetings
Birgit

Daydreamer said...

Dear Sans! You could NOT take too long in showing your trip! It could be as many posts as you spent days.... and I for one, am sure I would find it fascinating.... mesmerizing and always Beautiful! I LOVE architecture.... of ALL kinds and eras.... and these pictures are stunning! But I MUST say that I agree that it had to be ONE gold color in different lighting..... but to be gracious... that MAKES it more than one gold color to the eye! So it is BOTH!
I LOVE all the tracery screens.... in such modern versions of ancient patterns! I am only sorry that getting there was so difficult... and glad that you made it after all!
Please don't feel you must hurry your posts! :):)

Snowfern said...

STUNNING. wahhhh regale us with more regal stories please!!! :P part 5-6-7-8-9 also can!! (although i do enjoy now skimming through comments for side stories too, like that side jaunt you had searching for the ticketing station....oy....)

Katie said...

You just keep sharing away! lol... but you making me want to go watch The Karma Sutra movie again, I haven't seen it in a few weeks! What a beautiful place to stay... I think I could sleep for a week in those beds, too! Can't wait to see the next set of pics:)

Kikka said...

Wow...sure THE feast for the Eyes, for the mouth, (my mouth is watering),for the ears, and the scents.. Love your architecture photos full of feelings!
Can`t wait till the next story :)
Minihugs
Kikka

Flora said...

Sans dear you make me always dreaming of exotic places and quiet: I understand from this that, in another life, without husband and children, you'd be my ideal travel companion and we could have run the whole world :-)
I am very curious about new places and tastes and appreciate the little luxuries that life has to offer on a journey ...
So now I close my eyes and imagine being in the fourth bed (one off), the one with the pillow that smells of "fantasy"...
Mini hugs, Flora

Sans! said...

Cindy, as you can see, the next post is not happening ..teehee :):). I came home flat out, slept with my makeup on, very UNfitfully :):) and then woke up at about 7-8pm with a writer's block :). I look at my pictures and seriously didn't think much of them .So I decided to catch up with everyone's blogs and got so inspired , I just feel like making minis :). Maybe this weekend. ;):)

1.38am and work tomorrow . Any iota of an inclination left to work on my post has just flown out of the window :).

Goodnight peeps :)

Glenda said...

The food looks good, but the latticework screens and the changing light are just gorgeous!! Did it feel at all strange to be the only ones there? A ghost palace . . .

Ana Anselmo said...

what a beautiful place! I would love to be there....
hugs
Ana

Ascension said...

Sans que maravilla "aposento de reyes", que lujo, todo precioso.
Y esa comida tenia que estar deliciosa, con lo que a mi me gusta probar nuevos sabores......
Un reportaje genial, algun dia a lo mejor yo tambien puedo subir fotografias de un sitio tan fantastico "no creo" jejejejeje
besitos ascension

Jorge Cubells said...

que sensancion de tranquilidad dan estas imagenes, Sans

Jollie said...

I would love the read more about your amazing trip :)
The resort is indeed a feast for the eye!! My gosh so beautiful, I love the bedroom and especialy those soft beds... with aroma therapy, what else could you dream of ;)
The food looks extraordinary to me, I never have eaten something that looks like that... guess I am just used to other food lol! ;)

Thanks again for the wonderful story Sans! :)

Hugs Jollie

Pubdoll said...

You're absolutely right my dear, I really enjoyed the pictures from Devi Ratn! Usually I'm not even a fan of oink, but this was gorgeous!
(Sorry about being late for dinner too, but because the children use the computer in their homework, I don't get to use it every day and yesterday I slept half the evening!)

The Old Maid said...

Thank you Sans! I really liked them!:D

Sans! said...

Ok Vic, you made me feel like going out now (10.09pm) to Little India and have myself a huge Thali meal :):). After my next 5kg, I shall reward myself :):).

I am actually not a foodie but these days , I have cravings :). For Rosanna's basil pasta, pork knuckles with sauerkraut ....weird because all I used to yearn for was my mum's food :).

And V, I am actually not very good at travelogues :). Mainly because I am not into travelogues myself..hehe..

Sans! said...

Lady Birgit, I had writer's block (dare I even allude to being a writer but since I am a Maharajah, I shall be fearless) , brain freeze and hand cramp when I sat down to type my 3rd instalment.

Sometimes, I think it is easier for me to write short silly stories than real ones :). It is clear that I am no Scheherazade . I may have been one those who's head was chopped off :):)

Sans! said...

Betsy! Thank you ! :). I was just telling Cindy how silly I am sometime, setting myself crazy targets and datelines , stressing myself over trifle . I think I had a block because I wanted to do 5 posts in March and was trying to force myself to write even when I couldn't :).

And now, I shall let you in on a secret, I was the one who insisted that there was only 1 shade of gold that night. The next morning when we saw the same dining room in the daylight, it did appear like there was silver as well but by which time, I had my sleep and was nicely agreeable :):).

There is a picture I took at the Amber Fort that I wanted to show you :). Will let you know when it is up since I am no longer under any pressure :)

Sans! said...

Ok Katie, do you know I was in the same place they shot Kama Sutra? I am sure when I post the pictures, you will recognise it immediately. That was one of my surreal moments. I can watch that movie a 1000 times :). It sounds like you do too? Is it a monthly fix for you :):)haha! :)

Sans! said...

Kikka, today, I met with my 2 other travelling companions for yoga and meditation and we were talking about the trip again :).

My friend brought her camera and I asked her if she had photos of "the most expensive dinner" we had in India. And she did! The memory is so distorted now that my other friend thought the dinner cost as much as the night's stay :):):). It did not :).

But one thing is for sure, the food is appealing to you all :).

Sans! said...

Flora, I think you are the real Scheherazade ! :):)

Thanks to blogging, we can still "travel" together while we wait for the children to grow up and the husband to learn to cook for himself :).

You may want to know this about me, when travelling, I am easy going, sometimes a little loud and funny :), laid back, sloppily dressed and dislike having my picture taken :). I also prefer not to be in charge but I don't complain either :):). I usually have 1-2 must see or must do things and once I have done those, I am game for most of everything else except if it is family oriented theme parks :). I don't mind if sh*t happens like not being able to cross borders because visa was refused after waiting for 3 hours or being stuck in a traffic jam for 12 hours. My biggest set back as a travelling companion is that I am not very good at taking care of people as I am pretty independent. So I won't offer to carry your bags ;):). So, when you are ready, my dear, l will gladly join you in any destinations you fancy :).

Sans! said...

No Glenda, it didn't feel strange. I think I am born to be royalty so having a place to myself feels like it is given...teehee :).

Seriously though, I was warned before hand so I kind of expected it to be like this. In this place, I also did not have the "eerie feeling". Everything is so beautiful and calculated to pamper your senses.

I had the eerie feeling once when I visited a palace in a European country. Shan't say which one but I went to the basement where they showed a very old bed used during the war. I swear I could feel restless spirits even when the palace was crowded. I am usually too dense to sense these things :):). Now that place I definitely haunted.

But I do have my own little haunted stories in this trip :):) It is at Samode Palace. :) Will reveal at later post :)

Sans! said...

Ana :):) quickly go now when they are still giving discounts! :)

Sans! said...

Yay Ascensión, Usted está aquí! :):)

Ok, Voy a Tener Que preguntarle, ¿Qué Quieres Decir Con "algun dia a lo mejor yo tambien puedo subir fotografias de un sitio tan fantastico "no creo"

Traduzco Cuando "No Creo", dice "yo no Pensando estoy ". :)

Si usted está diciendo que no es posible que usted haya podido visitar un lugar como éste, entonces yo digo "por supuesto que puede". Si usted desea y desear algo lo suficiente, que va a suceder:):) Vas a ser tan famoso por sus miniaturas que un rey le invita a su casa para que pueda hacer algo por sus hijos :):).

besos y abrazos

Sans! said...

Usted está tan a la derecha, Jorge! :):)

Gracias por su visita:)

Sans! said...

Jollie, it is probably one of the most luxurious hotels I have ever stayed in although Samode was even more decadent :) Thank goodness the ashram is 1/100th of the price here so we evened out the expenditure and after splitting the cost three ways, it was not so bad :).

Sans! said...

Helene, I knew you would know :):). I commented on my last post before I read your comment here :):)

I have yet to show my sister and asked her what she thinks :).

Ok I had to google Oink and do you know that there's something called the Oink's Pink Palace? ;p

Did you ear itched? Cindy and I met last Thursday and you were on my mind :):) You will find out soon why :)

Sans! said...

Sorry , it didn't last Ewa :) Had to change music for next post but I will put them back for later instalments :)

dale's dreams said...

Hey Sans! :) I saw this as soon as you posted, as I happened to be online at the time. I thought I had posted here, but, evidently not. lol ;)

What an amazing place. I love that one wall where it looks like diamonds, is that the sun filtering through?

Was the food spicy/hot enough for you? I know you like your hot stuff. :)

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