India is splendid, from top to bottom
India’s tourism slogan is Incredible! India and the country truly lived up to its promise on my first trip there a few months ago.
I went with Ruth Armstrong, who opens all of our new spas, to see how the construction on the upcoming Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur was coming along and to prepare for our exciting new Willow Stream Spa.
It was certainly a whirlwind visit: Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta and Hyderabad in just 10 days!
We were looking for inspiration for treatments and we wanted to source local spa products and supplies. Most important, we interviewed top spa talent for our team.
India is a full five senses experience. The people are wonderfully helpful and friendly. I loved every minute: the elephants on the road to Jaipur our first morning, the ladies bathing in creeks and rivers fully clothed in brightly colored saris, a hike in the foothills of the Himalayas, monkeys all over the cars – even in cities, luxurious hotels with great service and, yes, even the poverty.
I had expected to feel some sadness but I found India to be very optimistic and in the process of transforming. Some day, I’ll return for a vacation.
In the meantime, we all look forward to seeing the hotel and spa fully open. They’re already magnificent. Designed in the Mughul tradition, the hotel is like a fortress that unveils itself at every turn with layers of interesting features and design elements. One of the arrival halls by the tea room is currently being hand painted by local craftsmen who won’t be finished for three or four years. Teatime while painters work on a masterpiece is fascinating.
The Spa is in its own building (see the picture). The design is, of course, inspired by grand Mughal palaces surrounded by fragrant trees and lush gardens. Treatment rooms will be in yurt-like tents in the gardens. Winding down the central staircase is a subterranean spa oasis with two opulent suites. The therapeutic sounds of mineral water drip into an underground pool and they echo against the columns and stone ceilings creating an awe inspiring ambiance.
The experiences will match the architecture and I am getting very excited as we do the research now to create them. Start making your plans to visit us in Jaipur. It will be the experience of a lifetime. I can’t wait to go back.