Set amidst the desert, away from the chaos of the city, Le Méridien Jaipur Resort & Spa was a perfect solution for my travel hungry soul.

Words By Abhishek Kulkarni

Far from the clamour of Pink City’s touristy centre is an oasis of tranquility and grandeur, one that offers five star hospitality. As I drove past the high pink walls that once stood tall to protect the Maharajas, I got a closer look at the grandeur of Le Méridien Jaipur Resort & Spa. This palatial structure stood amidst the desert. Had it not been this time and age, this would be an oasis to a weary traveller fighting the dry sand and hot winds of the desert. Though I did not have to bare the hot winds in my air conditioned car, nor push through the dry sand; this was still my oasis, my mecca and a solution to my travel hungry soul.

This was probably my fourth trip to Jaipur, but I can definitely say that it was different and special in so many ways. Le Méridien Jaipur will forever hold a special place in my heart. I have a very special relationship with the captain of the ship at the Le Méridien Jaipur, Vinay Singh. I have witnessed his work for years and have worked with him closely in every hospitality brand and property he was spearheading. Vinay’s grit, determination and his poised and graceful leadership has delivered great results for Le Méridien in the past year and a half of its operations. The most important aspect of luxury hospitality is the word itself – ‘Hospitality’ and there are few rules to hospitality that I tend to tick when I travel. First comes the service, to an extent that you understand what your guest needs even before he/she asks for it, do not say no to a guest because every request is serviceable, clean surroundings, great ambience, finger licking food, service within a stipulated time because time is the most valuable aspect in your guest’s life and lastly polite staff. I am happy to say that I could check all these boxes with a 10 on 10.

Rajasthan is known for its royalty, great hospitality and beautiful locations. Leisure tourists and weddings, both contribute largely to the business of hotels in Rajasthan. And the Le Méridien Jaipur, a property spread across 23.5 acres, is nothing short of a palace and oozes tons and tons of luxury and royalty in the manner in which the property has been designed. They have one of the most beautiful venues that are fit for your dream destination wedding.

The exceptionally designed and well thought drive-way at the entrance with lush greenery makes one feel fresh and gives a sense of being welcomed by nature. This followed and complemented by a talented singer greeting you with some Rajasthani folk music and old Hindi songs that sets in some nostalgia in you. By this time, I was the happiest in the world to have been welcomed with so much love and affection only to realise that it’s not over yet.

As we were walking towards the lobby, we were greeted with rose petal shower from a window above us and now, it felt like we were the most important people there. And every guest here was welcomed in the same manner. And let me tell you that the rose petal shower is not just done when you enter for the first time, it is done every single time you are using the drive-way and the walkway to the lobby. The walkway to the lobby is surrounded by unending water bodies, flower beds and beautiful gardens. This entire setting exuded a lot of positivity in me and it was by now already the best place I have ever visited. We stayed at a villa with a private garden and a Jacuzzi in the bathroom, overlooking another small garden. It was a cozy setting.

At the beginning of this article I mentioned that Le Méridien Jaipur will always have a special place in my heart, reason being, I proposed to my long-time girlfriend Chahat Dalal for marriage. And of course she said YES! The proposal venue was the outdoor section of the beautiful bar ‘Madira’. The place was decorated beautifully by the senior management team, with only one table nicely set up in the corner for us, surrounded by tons of flowers, rose petal decorations and a bonfire on either side. On the other side of the terrace was a huge telescope organised by the team for us to star gaze. Ever heard of going the extra mile for your guests? This was many miles more!

We had our spa booked for the next morning and it was beyond expectations. Wouldn’t have asked for anything better. We had the best time of our life during our breakfast, lunches and dinners. The love and affection in the preparation were felt in every bite. Chef  Piyush made sure we put on at least 3 kilograms in 3 days, that I am assuming was his target, but I must confess that we have absolutely no regrets whatsoever in the amount of food we have consumed during our stay here. What I loved the most was their Khao suey and the Rajasthani Thali. The overall experience of having the Rajasthani thali by the pool with a group of talented folk musicians performing for us was a memorable one. Le Méridien Jaipur’s waffles are to die for. I plead guilty for having only the waffles for breakfast every single day.

The tour of the property

Talk of destination wedding and if you are not considering Le Méridien Jaipur Resort & Spa, then you sure are missing out on a bag full of great experiences. In the midst of the lush green spaces spread across a massive land area within the premises, an almost two acre lawn catches the eyeballs. An incredibly massive staircase that lands on the lawns is just the perfect location for a white wedding. I can already visualise my gorgeous bride-to-be in her beautiful white gown, walking down those stairs to say “I do”, later in the year. The size of their banquets can even host a full blown Punjabi wedding, you know what I mean, needs no explanation. A beautiful pool side lawn and a newly opened outdoor restaurant name SolmHolm that can host up to a hundred people can be used for pre-wedding family only events. In fact what’s amazing about SolmHolm is that they grow their own vegetables here, which are used to cook the food that we order. That’s their secret for fresh food round the clock.

The rooms are in configuration of villas, suites and premium rooms. The suites are housed in a separate building altogether which again has its own outdoor lawn space that can host around 150 guests. Space is something that Le Méridien Jaipur has no dearth of and it has also been thoughtfully utilised to make guest experience world class.

All in all, I must say this is one of the best properties I have ever visited in India and it’s a dream destination for a wedding or a leisure trip.