Posted in Travel

Ranbanka Palace- The Mini Jodhpur

Why I named my review as Mini Jodhpur for Ranbanka Palace is because it gives you a glimpse of what Jodhpur is all about. For me Jodhpur was always been a city full of traditional values and cultures. It’s not just another city, but it carries a plethora of historical happenings.

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Talking about Ranbanka, it is one beautiful looking palace with lush green surrounding and with an aura of Jodhpur in itself. When you enter the palace, you can listen to mesmerising tunes of folk music and enjoy it while you’re sitting outdoor sipping a cup of hot tea.

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We spent two nights at the palace and they were indeed the most memorable ones. We had booked a suite in their Jodhana Wing which to our surprise was huge and that all the amenities one needs were available. If you feel like running inside the room, you can. They have divided suite into three parts i.e Bedroom, Drawing Room and Private Sit Out. The eye opener for us was their outdoor sitting which was just spectacular. The washrooms are decent in size with glass enclosures.

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The Jodhana wing is equipped with all the basic and luxury amenities such as swimming pool, Spa, Traditional Restaurant and small shops from where you can buy Rajasthani goods. So if you miss out on anything while exploring the city, you will not regret it, you can buy it from the Palace inside.

On the second night, we were upgraded to their Royal Suite, there is only one word to describe that room, GIGANTIC. This suite had a bathtub, toiletries by Kama Ayurveda, a bigger than king size bed, mini bar with a refrigerator, a huge private sit out with a view of the gardens of Ranbanka and many more things. If you are looking for luxury, this room is for you!

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We were really pleased with their mind blowing hospitality and food quality. Do not miss their Rajasthani Thali, it’s just mouth watering. The staff was very courteous and professional. We did not have to tell the staff about anything for a second time; whatever we wanted, they provided it promptly.

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This palace has a history behind it which is really very interesting. So I suggest you all to ask the manager and he will be delighted to share it with you all.

Fellow travelers, book this palace without hesitation and you will definitely live like a royalty.

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Posted in Travel

Mussoorie Gateway Resort

These days there are only a few hotels which provide excellent hospitality and stay in a budget. It was our first time in this hotel but the 7th time in mussoorie, we have always booked hotels which were either on the mall road or picture palace.
While surfing down internet we got a look at this hotel and the pricing was mind blowing. Our main priority has always been to book a room which provides a good mountain/valley view with a balcony. This hotel had met all our requirements that too in a lower budget as planned by us.

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Mussoorie Gateway is budget a boutique hotel situated 1.3kms approx from the library chowk. They provide you with spacious rooms, clean bathrooms with shower enclosures and all the basic amenities one needs. Parking is not a problem in this hotel as they have their own parking space.
Every room on the first floor has a balcony attached overlooking the Doon Valley & the ground floor rooms have a small porch for sitting. We booked two rooms with them, one on the ground & other on the first floor. The rooms were clean, everything was working and the view was majestic.

We never faces a problem with the In-room service, the food was tasty, no complaints with the lunch, appetizers or dinner. The only problem was with the breakfast, they take too long to prepare it. But please be clear of what you order for breakfast, because everytime they will forget something. The buffet system was not available when we checked inn, but its good for us, we usually prefer in room dining.

Now talking about the vicinity the sitting area on the upper level of the dining all is all about soaking into vitamin D and enjoying the lush green surrounding. One can sit there for hours just enjoying the weather and beauty of mussoorie. The walk arounds the hotel are pretty quaint and taking a walk on the road till the mall road gives you a very pleasant feeling.

Overall the hotel is perfect if you are on a budget trip & the most important thing, the hotel provides mall road pick & drop complimentary.

Posted in Travel

A Night In Reckong Peo

*BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Solo travelling has always been fascinating yet fearful at times. The time comes, when you feel like travelling places solo just to overcome the fear of solo travelling. Being alone is always an extraordinary experience, you get to know more about yourself. You are not in a group where people have different dreams, agendas and mind sets. Here I am talking about a solo experience of a girl, a friend and passionate traveller. You might feel that the story of this girl is scary, but that’s where you see the opposite, that even after her struggle, she didn’t QUIT. This story is about Kate (Made up name)

Kate started her journey to the cold barren lands of KAZA in a bus from New Delhi in search for some solitude. Kaza, one of the most beautiful towns in the state of Himachal Pradesh, situated near the Spiti Valley. It is the coldest place in India, located some 11,980 ft above sea level. There are several monasteries, hillocks and scenic places to visit. It is also known as “The Gateway to Ladakh”. so to reach kaza from delhi it usually takes 2-3 days depending on various conditions. the route which is taken is Delhi-Shimla-Rampur-Reckong Peo-Pooh-Nako-Tabo-Dhankar-Kaza.

Her first stop was Reckong Peo, A 19 hour journey from Delhi, although it is advised to take a stop somewhere in Shimla or Theog or may be Narkanda, but that depends on travel itenary made by you. Reckong Peo, also spelled Reckong Peo and simply known as Peo by the local inhabitants, is headquarters of Kinnaur district, one of the twelve administrative districts of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is a very small and less inhabitat village and only the mode of transport from Peo to Kaza is via HRTC (Himachal Roadways). You cannot get a prior booking and there is only 1 bus that leaves early morning for Kaza.

Kate reached Peo by nightfall and had to spend the night in Peo itself. The only way to reach Kaza the next day was to board the early morning bus. Kate described Peo as no man’s land, specifically after the dawn, because that’s when she reached. According to her there aren’t many hotels/hostels around the village. It took an hour for her to find a place to stay overnight with in her budget and comfort. She took a room in a small hotel, not very far from the bus stand and being a small city with less travellers she was only girl in the hotel. That night was pretty tiring and she overslept, making her miss the morning bus. The next day she roamed around Peo and Kalpa. It was 4.30 PM, while she was returning to her hotel, she gets an unknown call asking with a very similar voice asking if she is in the room or not. She answered back with a basic question, Who is this? Phone Hung up. Then she got another call after 10 minutes asking the same question again and she felt as it was the manager/owner calling her. This happened thrice which left her in frightened situation. She decided to leave the hotel and book a different one, but unfortunately no hotel was available. She had no choice but to stay in the same hotel, locked up until the sun hits up. All was good until 8.30 PM.

8.30 PM
There is a knocking at the door.
Kate- Who is it?
No answer.

8.40 PM
Another Knock at the door.
Kate- Who is it? (Scared voice)
Manager/Owner- Khana Kha Lia Apne? (Drunk Voice)
Kate- Yes and please don’t disturb.

9.30 PM
Another Knock at the door.
Kate went quietly and put her ear on the door and tried to listen what’s happening behind the door. She could only hear murmurs and giggles.

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She finally took a stand, that she had to run away from this hotel. She packed her bag pack and opened the gate slightly and found the corridor empty and just took off and while crossing the reception she could hear giggles and bottles rattling. If anyone is wondering why she didn’t use her cell phone, Peo is a no reception are, only BSNL works there. Now the scared girl is out on the streets in the dark, and in the mountains 10pm feels like 2am.

She decided to walk up to the bus stand and stay the night in open, while walking she found a soldier, near the cantt area. He asked her is she needed help, but she was in such a trauma that she couldn’t utter a word and just walked away. She told me that, she was feeling uncomfortable by every men who passed by, that is the reason, she couldn’t even ask the soldier for help. Around 12.30 am she found a small momo shop which was run by a lady in her house. She went up to her and asked for some soup and as soon as she said these words, she bursted in tears. The lady calmed her down and asked her the whole situation and also told her to file a complaint, but she was so scared and traumatized that she just wanted to get of that peo. The lady gave her shelter for the night, and her husband stood in the que for the bus ticket to Kaza and didn’t even take any money from her, for all what they did. She finally took her bus, went to Kaza and completed her entire circuit. She came back with a lot of good memories and also with this scary incident.

Even today she feels scared when asked about this incident, but she says ‘A bad past can’t let you judge the beautiful future’

Posted in Food

Artusi Ristorante

Artusi Ristorante is a charming, elegant Italian fine dining restaurant is located in GK2 M-block Market.  This restaurant embraces the culture, the traditions and the cuisine of the EMILIA- ROMAGNA region, a beautiful part of north-eastern ITALY. It is the home of famous products used in fine dining around the world.

The interiors of the restaurant are radiant and very well done which sets you in the right mood along with a rich and sophisticated atmosphere. The décor is minimal & classy, with white & yellow being the dominating colour. We were served an assortment of fresh breads along with a glass of nice white wine while we went through their elaborated menu. Their menu is vast with a lot of options to choose from.

The traditional way for italians to eat their meals differs from the ways a meal is consumed in the most other parts of the word. Italians eat many sequential courses of smaller sizes. They often start their meal with an Antipasto or an Aperitivo. A stimulating Italian Aperitivo cocktail or a glass of sparkling wine is very common and often paired. Italians do not have a main course. Instead they have a First course and Second course followed by a savoury cheese platter, or a sweet dessert.

Their pastas are hand-rolled and hand-cut daily, you can choose from various assortment of pasta. The best part is breads, dips, sauces —everything is made in-house, and you can surely tell. The restaurant has a courteous staff and they make sure that the customers have a complete fine dine experience. But the highlight of Artusi is the authentic Italian food. It will show up at your table perfectly cooked, just the right temperature, full of flavour with a superb presentation.

The service was outstanding throughout our dining experience- the servers were very polite without being overbearing, each dish was explained to us properly and excellent suggestions were given to us whenever we had asked for it. Yes, the prices are on a higher side, but the quality of the food, the service, and the ambience totally justifies the high prices and it is definitely worth it.

Not To Be Missed:

Gran Paté
•Tomino
•Reginette With Smoked Salmon
•Reginette Al Ragú Bolognese
•Pork Chops(Red Meat)
•Panna Cotta (Dessert)
• A glass of Pinot Grigio

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The food here is so scrumptious- it is simple, rustic, and absolutely delicious, and for food this good, Artusi should always be bookmarked for constant visits!

That’s what makes Artusi so special—it doesn’t try to please everybody, it does what it knows, and it does it perfectly.

Posted in Food

India’s biggest youth summit- India Today Mind Rocks

India’s biggest youth summit- India Today Mind Rocks is back. The best of bollywood, politics, business, technology, entertainment and sports personalities are set to enthral the youth at the 9th edition of the youth summit in Delhi.

Date & Venue: Saturday, 15th September 2018, Indoor Weightlifting Auditorium, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.

New Delhi, Thursday, 6 th September 2018: The biggest superstars, youth icons, political leaders and inspirational personalities talk candid at India’s biggest youth summit – India Today Mind Rocks 2018, on 15th September at the Indoor Weightlifting Auditorium, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The heart-throbs of Bollywood Varun Dhawan, Shahid Kapoor and Tiger Shroff along with the talented divas Anushka Sharma, Taapsee Pannu and Radhika Apte will set the stage on fire. The sensational singer Parmish Verma, the youth’s favourite YouTuber Bhuvan Bam and stylish entertainer Raftaar will get the youth grooving to their tunes, while the sports champions, Manika Batra (Table Tennis Player), Lakshya Sen (Badminton Player) and Mehuli Ghosh (Shooter) will inspire the youth to give their best foot forward.

The corporate market leaders Kris Gopalakrishnan (co-founder, Infosys) and Ananth Narayanan (CEO,Myntra & Jabong) will add their wisdom on the steps towards success.  Not to be left behind, the political leaders, Sambit Patra, Spokesperson, BJP, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Spokesperson, Congress and Raghav Chadha, National Spokesperson, AAP will also engage with the youth on why they should vote.

The leaders and achievers will be seen engaging with students and young professionals in this one- of -a-kind power-packed summit. India Today Mind Rocks 2018 will raise the tempo through the day as the speakers and the audience engage in a mix of interactive chat shows, music, dance and lots of entertainment.

The speakers in the earlier seasons like Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut , Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor,  Abhinav Bindra, Kapil Dev, Yuvraj Singh, Mary Kom, Honey Singh, Badshah, Anil Kumble and many more have etched a lasting impression and many electric moments.

With leaders from across business, technology, politics, entertainment, sports and bollywood, India. Today Mind Rocks is sure to leave the audience mesmerised. The event, with its stellar line-up of pure dynamite, is all set to raise the bar and if you can handle it, block your date on http://www.indiatodaymindrocks.com

Posted in Travel

Hotel Midtown- Mussoorie

Mussoorie has always been on our priority list. When anyone of us thinks about vacation in the mountains, the first place that pops up is Mussoorie. Mussoorie is located in the state of Uttrakhand and is 300 kms from New delhi, approx 7 hour drive. One can also take a train/flight to Dehradun and then cab down to Mussoorie.

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This road trip to Mussoorie was a short one and we wanted to book a hotel close to the mall road, but it was the season and all the hotels were sold out. Surprisingly Hotel Midtown was available. Midtown  is situated just on the opposite lane of Picture Palace Road and is 5 minuted walking to the Mall road. All our requirements were fulfilled by this hotel such as Private Parking(Need to be confirmed while check inn), big balcony overlooking Dehradun valley, walking distance to Mall road and in our budget.

We booked two super deluxe rooms and were upgraded to premium room with balcony on a very nominal cost per night. The rooms are neat and clean, the only drawback are their beds which are small for people who are 5.8ft and above. The balcony is huge and a group of three can easily sit and enjoy the nice view of the Valley. You can also book their terrace rooms which are simply amazing as you can sit all night on the terrace, star gaze and enjoy the weather.

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Their food and hospitality is just average, no service is available after 10pm and the staff courtesy is a big question, specially their manager. But then we didnt want to create any issue and spoil our vacation, so we ordered food from outside. There is a small shop just beneath the hotel for your daily needs and is open till 11pm, its was our saviour.

Overall we will suggest this hotel if you are looking for a budget stay with clean rooms and near to the mall road.

Rating- ***/*****

Posted in Travel

Top 10 hotels To Book In Mussorie

Mussoorie is a hill station which is visited throughout the year and is located in the Dehradun District of state of Uttarakhand. It is about 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the state capital of Dehradun and 290 km from New Delhi. This hill station is in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan range. The adjoining town of Landour, which includes a military cantonment, is considered part of ‘greater Mussoorie’, as are the townships of Barlowganj and Jharipani. Being at an average altitude of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft), Mussoorie, with its green hills and varied flora and fauna, is a fascinating hill.

We have been visiting mussoorie since 2011 and almost every year. There are many areas where you can book your stay ex. Library End, Picture Palace, Landour and Barlowganj. Barlowganj is 5 kms from mall road and mainly has 5 star properties such as Jaypee Residency Manor. Picture Palace is the best area to book your hotel as it nearby to the mall road and the road to landour goes near to picture palace. If you love to stay in serenity and a little away from the hustle bustle then opt for library end, we stayed once on the library side and it was amazing.

We are listing down few properties in which we stayed and which we love-

1) Jaypee Residency Manor- Barlowganj
2) Golden Palms- Picture Palace
3) Rokeby Manor- Landour
4) Dancing Leaves By Sterling- Library Hill
5) Kasmanda Palace- Mall Road
6) Fortune Grace- Library End
7) Mosaic- Picture Palace
8) Welcome Hotel The Savoy- Library End
9) Claridges Nabha- Barlowganj
10) Ivy Bank- Landour

Wild Card: JW MARRIOTT WALNUT GROVE- Kempty Fall